The below blog post is also available as a white paper. To download the PDF of “Window Shade Design and Aesthetics,” click here.

With proper use and maintenance, your Draper window shade will provide many years of service.

Window shade fabrics are dynamic and, as such, there are some occasional issues that can occur. These are easily remedied, however, either in the design process, or with some simple field fixes. Below are some of the more common issues, and some suggestions on how to deal with these issues.

Shade Deflection

Examples of "V" sag (left) and "A" sag (right).

Examples of “V” sag (left) and “A” sag (right).

Although Draper has strict tolerances on how much deflection is allowed, the wider the shade, the more likely the metal roller tube will sag in the middle due to the weight of the fabric. When this deflection occurs, it causes the fabric to sag. This is visible as an “A” or “V” sag in the center of the fabric. Sagging can be minimized. First, operate the shade down far enough to expose the fabric attachment. An “A” shaped sag can then be dealt with by raising the fabric at the ends; a “V” sag can be eliminated by raising the fabric in the center.

To avoid shade deflection, lighter fabrics and smaller shade widths are the key. Although larger and stronger tubes will help, even the largest tubes will have deflection if they are too long or the fabric is too heavy. Instead of one very wide shade, if aesthetically and logistically possible, consider having two or more units.

Edge Curl

Edge Curl.

Edge Curl.

This is a problem mostly seen on very tall shade units. The curling may also be accompanied by ripples, waves, or twisting in the fabric panel.

The simplest way to avoid edge curling and waves is to keep the height-to-width ratio of your shade to roughly 3:1 or lower—that is, try and keep shade height no more than three times the width of the shade.

If that is not possible, battens—which are rods in pockets sewn horizontally across the shade—can be used; these are visible, however, which may not be aesthetically acceptable.

Another option is to place two shades in one vertical opening.




Sometimes a shade may not track (roll down) perfectly square with the roller. This is called telescoping. The shade fabric is uneven, and, on one side, may even track off the side of the roller. Each Draper Solar Control Shade is tested to ensure proper tracking and operation. Even with this testing, however, some field adjustments may be needed for telescoping. If the shade is telescoping, place a piece of high quality gaffer tape about 1” wide on the exposed roller (where the fabric will cover it) on the side that you want the fabric drawn toward. For example: if the fabric is tracking to the left, place the tape on the right side.




Although Draper uses modern cutting techniques that reduce the likelihood of frayed edges, any time a fabric is being cut—whatever the method—there is a small possibility of fraying after some time in the field, depending on the usage of the product.

For polyester shade fabrics, carefully use heat/flame to melt the frayed pieces away.

For fiberglass, scissors can be used to trim the fabric. Because fiberglass core yarn is white, fraying may be more visible on dark fabrics. Once the frays have been trimmed away you may need to use a permanent marker to color the edges.

Keeping It Clean
Most of Draper’s standard fabrics may be cleaned at the window by vacuuming with a soft brush attachment. Most may also be cleaned by using a sponge or soft cloth and mild solution of warm soapy water. A dishwashing liquid, such as Ivory liquid, is recommended. Some uncoated fabrics are exceptions, and must be cleaned with a dry art sponge, but that is the same whether fiberglass, polyester, or a blend. Be sure to steady the fabric with one hand during cleaning, and don’t jerk or place weight on the fabric. Depending on the installation hardware and substrate, placing too much weight on the fabric could result in the mounting hardware being pulled loose.

For information on specific fabrics, visit and select the fabric to be cleaned.

Most window covering products manufactured by Draper, when properly installed, should require no operational maintenance or lubrication. Occasionally, however, idlers on window shades may start squeaking. If you do start hearing a squeak from the idler end of the shade, apply a small amount of a lithium-based grease directly to the idler pin. (Take care to avoid spilling lithium-based grease on shade fabric.)

Draper Online Design Tools
Draper’s online Pro Portal is an excellent resource for tools and references to help design the best and most attractive shading system possible. Registration is free. Go to to sign up.

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