Fabric roll curtains can be custom manufactured in many shapes and sizes to fit most any application. With the flexibility of being able to use of most any awning or marine grade fabric, there really isn’t look or feel that can’t be achieved. Below, you will find some standard designs most commonly used throughout the industry.

Side Retention Curtains

Side retention Screens are the only retractable screen products that is capable of providing a 100% bug free barrier. These curtain systems are almost always motorized, utilize an enclosed fabric roller tube and side tracks keeping the area free of insects and unwanted sun exposure. The fabric housing, side tracks and weight bar are usually all painted aluminum with stainless steel hardware. Add clear vinyl inserts and you can have a fully climate controllable area that is very efficient, convenient and comfortable. Although Side retention curtains are a bit more on the high end, a quality product can last, and is most often warrantied, five to ten years or more with proper care. It provides the user with a beautiful view of the pool or landscaping.

Gear Driven Curtains

Gear driven curtains should be considered the most durable of the curtain systems. This system utilizes a roller tube which the fabric is rolled on and either guide cables or tracks to control the curtains during deployment/retrieval. The operation can be either motorized or manual gear driven with the use of a handheld crank. During operation, the weight bar and fabric can be held in place by a cable or track system, which ensures safe operation during deployment and retracting in inclement weather. The track can be attached to a custom fence or flooring on a patio. Check with your contractor to make sure properly installed Guided Roller Curtains are generally the most rugged of the curtain systems and should be used when high strength is a must.

Rope Pull Curtains

Rope pull curtains are probably the standard and most widely used throughout the awning industry due to the inexpensive nature and simple design. These curtains are designed to be deployed and retrieved by pulling on a series of ropes strategically placed across the curtain. The ropes are usually locked on a single or double cleat system to maintain their height either in the up or down position or anywhere else in-between. The use of ropes to drive the system allow rope pull curtains to be made in larger sizes and still be operated by a single user. However, the series of ropes required to make the curtain system work can sometimes be a drawback to customers concerned with the aesthetic appeal of the area.

Hand Roll Curtains

Hand roll curtains are exactly as they sound; fabric curtains that are rolled up by hand. This design is about as basic as you can get and most likely the least expensive of deploy on demand curtain systems. Of course, being the most basic curtain design, there is no guide system to keep the curtain from blowing around during deployment/retrieval and once rolled up, the curtains are usually held in place by lashings or straps. Although Hand roll curtains are probably going to be the least expensive curtain design, they do have their drawbacks in the amount of physical labor involved in their use and the lack of strength.

Although fabric curtain systems are designed to enclose most any area, caution should be exercised in extreme weather conditions as nothing short of a concrete wall is designed for heavy winds.


In general, just about any acrylic, vinyl or shade fabric (assuming the fabric has some dimensional stability) can be used with most curtain systems. Because fabric curtains are typically used for element protection of one sort or another, many customers opt to have clear vinyl inserts (like windows) placed into the center of vinyl curtains or utilize all mesh curtains.

Although tinted glass can offer some sun protection, Clear Vinyl Insert Curtains are perfect when a customer wants to block rain and wind or retain heat or cool air in a designated area.

When the requirement is for sun protection only, mesh fabrics are typically the best option because they can block 98% of the sun’s rays, retain some view through the fabric and still allow the protected area to breathe as opposed to remaining stagnant from low air circulation.