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Window Shade Guide: Cellular and Pleated Shades


Today we continue our discussion of window shades. We are moving forward in time and are taking on honeycomb (cellular) and pleated shades. Note: the topic of cellular shades is very extensive and we will cover the most important points. As before, we will give examples of each type of shade.

Honeycomb (Cellular) Shades

Arguably, the most well-known and popular window shades are honeycomb shades, also known as cellular shades. They are comprised of two layers (or more in some shades) of material that are attached to each other in such a way as to create “cells” filled with air. This is where the term ”honeycomb” comes form since that is what the shade looks like from the side. Because of such construction, honeycomb shades have great insulation ability and can significantly reduce your energy costs. They also provide a very soft and warm feel to any room.

Traditional cellular shades are operated by pulling the lift cord to raise the bottom of the shade to let light in. For most honeycomb shades, there is also a cordless option, making them the safest choice for homes with small children.
Yet, another popular option in shades is the top down bottom up feature. Besides the ability to raise the bottom up, you can also lower the top down. This gives you much more control of room’s privacy and lighting, which is great for bedrooms and anywhere else you want to let the light come in but block the view of the room from outside. In addition to the above feature, cellular shades can also stack on top of each other so you could black out one part of the window while filtering light in the other. The photo below shows these options.

Bottom up top down feature plus stackable option

Honeycomb shades can have cell sizes from 3/8” and up to 1 1/2”. The larger the cell size, the larger the window size this shade will look best on. For very large windows and doors, vertical honeycomb shades are available.

Single Cell, double cell and cell sizes

Contemporary Cellular (Honeycomb) Shades

Classic cellular shades have a single cell construction. However, newer shades have double or even triple (like Hunter Douglas Applause Honeycomb Shades) cell construction with much increased insulating abilities. From the side, multiple cells looks like two or three vertical rows of cells stuck together.

The most “classic” example of the honeycomb shades, is Hunter Douglas Duette Honeycomb Shades. But in addition to a single cell layer constructionthey can be made as a double honeycomb. Duette Honeycombs can be ordered in three different cell sizes of single and double construction. As always with Hunter Douglas, the selection of materials and custom shapes are outstanding.

WCMA Award WinnerHunter Douglas Applause Honeycombs are a 2014 Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) AWARD WINNER for 2014 design innovation. It is the ONLY honeycomb shade with a triple cell construction. It is also the ONLY cellular shade that resists the growth of odor causing mold and mildew thanks to a MicroShield™ Antimicrobial Protection of the Venue™ fabrics.

However, this is not all. The most contemporary honeycoms offer even more construction options to provide benefits like light diffusion, sound barrier and even greater energy efficiency. For example, Duette Architella and Alustra Duette Architella feature a honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb construction where four layers of fabric create a large cell containing a smaller cell.

Duette Architella Honeycomb-Within-Honeycomb

A more advanced design is a Duette® Architella® Trielle™, which, according to Hunter Douglas, “incorporates six layers of fabric, five insulating air pockets and the largest 1.5” pleat size, delivering 20% more energy efficiency than even the original Architella shades”. Hunter Douglas IllumiCell™ is built with an exclusive clear inner cell and diffuses natural light for enhanced illumination and energy efficiency.

Pleated Shades

Of course, all the advanced and innovative solutions may not be suitable for all budgets. For smaller budgets, there are other shade choices out there.
Pleated shades have the look of honeycomb shades from the front and back but a lesser price tag. They are not as energy efficient because they are made from a single layer of fabric, whereas cellular shades are made from 2 or more.

Beautiful Pleated Shades

Check out Hunter Douglas Pleated Shades to see that despite some drawbacks, pleated shades can be very fun and attractive on a budget. In addition to a great variety of fabrics, they can be ordered with a room darkening or privacy backings.

We hope you learned a little about the honeycomb and pleated shades and are looking forward to seeing you next month to talk about the modern day shades.

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