What to look for in a shade cloth?

  • Colour

One of the most common colours for shade cloth is black and green. There are also other colours available such as white, red, yellow, grey and blue.

There is also a special type of coloured shade cloth. It is called aluminet shade cloth. This is used as an alternative for black shade cloths. It is a reflective metalized high-density polyethylene (HDPE) knitted screen. It is specifically used to protect the plants against frost radiation damages and prevent oxidation.

Choosing the shade cloth colour is not just a matter of personal preference. Experts believe that picking a lighter shade cloth colour can resolve issues for ventilation because it will reflect more heat from the sun.

White shade cloths reduce the quantity of light but not the quality of light spectrum

Dark colour shade cloth is known to absorb the sun’s heat while the light colours reflect the sun’s heat. Usually, green and black shade cloths behave like filters and deprive the plants in receiving much sunlight.

Aluminized shade cloth may also offer additional cooling effect for the plants. Colours such as red can benefit specific plants by filtering different wavelengths of light.

  • Fabric material

A shade cloth can be either knitted or woven. The knitted shade cloth is made of polyethylene blend which deflects heat and light. It is lightweight but can withstand regular wear and tear.

While the woven shade cloth is made of 100% polypropylene which is more suitable to use during winter. It is also heavier than knitted cloths which enables more heat build-up.

  • Density Percentage

Aside from the shade cloth fabric material, the density percentage of the shade cloth is an important aspect to be considered. For instance in Agriculture-choosing the appropriate density percentage will depend on what plants you will be growing. Here are the density percentage that some plants require:

  • 30% – this shade cloth is recommended for heat tolerant plants such as pepper, squash and tomato. It can also be used for flowering plants such as snapdragons, geraniums and chrysanthemums.
  • 40%-50% – this is ideal for flowering plants such as lilies and caladiums, orchids, azaleas, begonias, camellias
  • 60% – this percentage is ideal for sensitive plants like lettuce and spinach
  • 70%-90% – generally used for ornamental plants such as ferns, palms, anthurium, dracaena, philodendron