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Screen roller shades are the fastest growing window treatment in the industry today. What used to be a very unattractive application for shades has changed dramatically in recent years. Screen roller shades have taken a very high fashion appeal in both commercial and residential application. The emergence of thousands of decorative fabrics and mesh screen choices has been exploited by domestic manufactures. Companies like Phifer Screen Products of Tuscaloosa, Alabama have continued to innovate new fashionable screens that have convinced the interior designers and architects to look past traditional window coverings for both commercial and residential window treatment. Mermet window fashions, (Hunter Douglas Subsidiary) has also created unique green products, energy efficient and fashionable products that have added an element of highly desirable options for the consumer to choose.
While both the leading domestic suppliers provide a wide range of low priced roller screens to the retail trade, the threat of cheap imitators is becoming very prevalent. The Chinese manufactures have taken notice of the growth of this category and begun to flood the market with cheap screen roller shade material. The Chinese product is primarily targeted high volume commercial grade fabrics and stock products found in the DIY stores like Home Depot and Lowes. The risk of these low priced fabrics is the normal concerns over potential high lead content, lack of ultra violet inhibitors and ability to warranty the product over the long term. Many large Internet retailers also do not employ standards of holding their suppliers accountable to provide the branded product represented on their sites and allow low priced Chinese substitution of screens to maximize their own profits. These substitutions misrepresent the brand, warranty, energy efficiency and many environmental attributes of many of the screen products represented on these sites.
Buyers beware when seeking out a low priced screen roller shade products. Consumers should be concerned with the long-term durability, energy savings and free from concerns of lead and other safety risks. At the same time designers and architects should employ standards of verification that the specified product is actually what is provided as a finished product. Low priced imitators should be avoided at all cost.