Shades and screens are an incredibly important part of smart home designs today. Paired with a projector, a screen can be the highlight of the party. Shades, on the other hand, are an essential part of balancing light in a home and conserving energy. Outside, they can protect people from the elements – from sun and wind, to rain and insects. 

With this in mind, the Connected Design staff had the opportunity to tour the Draper factory outside of Indianapolis recently to find out more how these integral products are made. 

A Substantial Production

This 6th-generation owned business covers more than 400,00 square feet with more than 750 employees. For those looking for custom solutions – and who isn’t – Draper mounts can be made and sawed to size and shades can be made up to 1/16 of an inch in thinness. 4,000 shades a made daily in the facility, which includes 10 storage buildings for shades for smart home designs.

“Nobody can match our breadth of solutions, our depth of knowledge, or our capabilities as a world-leading window shade manufacturer,” said Randy Reece, director of audiovisual sales and marketing for Draper. “You can trust us with your clients’ comfort, security and privacy in the most important place: their homes.”

At CEDIA, Draper introduced a new shade fabric sales kit. The kit includes hundred of dDraper@Home Interior and exterior fabric samples to make it easy to dealers to bring options to their customers.

Customizable Screens for Different Smart Home Designs

Screens can also be customized by Draper; they have the room for screens of all sizes to dry with multiple finishes, and they source fabrics from everywhere so the screens can be completely custom. These screens can also be used inside or outside in large sizes.

According to Draper, no other projector screen has their top secret coating and finish. What is disclosed is that the company uses tab tension to keep screens in place, and they uses a fiberglass back that includes a polyester screen with two coats of protectant. AV specialists appreciate this product because it gives home theaters an improved feel and look.

A New Superpowerful Shade

One of the standout products from Draper is their new FlexShade ZIP, which filters harsh glare, wind, weather, insects and particularly rain. The motorized, wind tunnel tested FlexShade ZIP also has a unique ZIP detail along the sides of the fabric to keep the shade panel firmly in place. 

In a recent case study, a restaurant on the coast had FlexShade ZIP installed and saw how a powerful rain storm failed to penetrate the screen, although the ocean was still clearly visible. The rain instead just slides down the outside of the screen, without the use of unsightly plastic hangings. This creates new potential for both commercial and residential smart home design projects where clients are looking to spend more time outside.