Comfortable outdoor spaces are more important than ever. Ove the past couple of years useable outdoor spots have popped up in residential, restaurant, healthcare, educational, and other settings.

Outdoor shades enhance these spaces by providing protection from the elements, bringing an extra layer of sound resistance, and hiding or reducing the visual impact of surrounding structures or movements.

Did you know Draper has a complete line of outdoor shading systems designed to address any need or type of space? In this article we begin a new series of “Did You Know?” posts focused on outdoor shades. We’re beginning with the FlexShade® ZIP, a type of product known generally as a “zipper” shade.

Photographer: Brett Drury – Architectural Photography​.

What exactly is a “zipper” Shade?
This type of outdoor shade gets its description from a zipper detail on both horizontal edges of the fabric panel. The zipper detail is heat welded to the fabric and runs through a side channel on each side of the shade to keep the panel in place.

How is a ZIP different from other shades?
Typically, indoor shades are free hanging. Outdoor shades, however, require support so the fabric panel doesn’t blow in the wind and become damaged. Some shades use side support cables with a special hem bar with “eyes” on the ends through which the cables pass. This system can leave a gap between the fabric and the edge of the opening, depending on the surroundings. However, the ZIP detail takes the fabric right up to (and inside) the side channels, leaving no gaps.

Why was this developed?
The ZIP approach is advantageous in several ways. First, it retains the fabric much more securely. In addition, there are no gaps so, when fully deployed, the shade resists rain, wind, extreme temperatures, and insects.

To learn more about the Draper FlexShade ZIP click here.

You an also see the ZIP in action in this video.