Skip to main content

#good2know episode 7 - blackout vs dimout

#good2know episode 7 - blackout vs dimout

Modern architectural style currently puts the focus on open-plan rooms. Large windows let rooms be bathed in light and create a fluid blend between the interior and exterior of a building. This factor means that there is an increased need for efficient, design-based darkening materials. It does not matter whether the building in question is a school, nursery, office, theatre, cinema, bedroom or even a hotel guest room, the dimout and blackout textiles by drapilux offer the appropriate degree of light transmission for all rooms. 

Kirstin Herrmann, Head of the Design Studio, explains both terms:



We refer to dimout fabrics as materials where a high degree of darkening is achieved. This effect is attained by sandwiching a black layer within the woven fabrics, and the degree of light in a room is reduced by between 85% and 95%, depending on the material and colour used. As many people are not seriously bothered by light when asleep, they are hardly disturbed by the amount of light that still penetrates the fabric. Furthermore, rough outlines are distinguishable in rooms with dimout fabrics, thus making it easier for a person to find their bearings in the room immediately after getting up. That is the reason why dimout fabrics are an ideal means of darkening children’s rooms, bedrooms and hotel guest rooms, especially north-facing rooms with less direct sunlight, as well as in retirement and nursing homes. Dimout fabrics are also an excellent way of providing sun protection in schools and offices.

In early 2018, drapilux redefined the design requirements for dimout fabrics: the new pure white Trevira base fabric for printing, as with Article 218, allows for custom designs of the dimout fabric. In contrast to a conventional dimout material, which is often only found in either silver or grey, drapilux 218 is able to cater for all design wishes. A company logo or colour scheme can be applied to the white base fabric using transfer printing in accordance with customers’ requirements and is the perfect addition to interior design plans. Apart from being able to apply an individual design, drapilux offers Article 218 in three patterns. A modern pattern inspired by a Scandinavian design creates a stylish effect thanks to the white base fabric with cool hues. drapilux won the gold German Innovation Award for this innovation in June 2018.

drapilux 170
drapilux 171
drapilux 173
drapilux 171


Blackouts, by contrast, totally block out light. This is achieved by means of a special acrylic coating on the back of the material, and is also the reason why blackout fabrics are generally stiffer than dimout textiles. Blackout fabrics are excellent for rooms with a high degree of direct sunlight or for rooms where, due to use or sensitivity to light, total darkness is required. Consequently, these fabrics are often found on ships or in cinemas, theatres and hotels. In addition, blackout fabrics prevent rooms attracting direct sunlight from getting too hot.

At the beginning of 2020 drapilux launched three new blackout textiles developed especially with the hotel industry in mind. The goal was to develop blackout fabrics which met the aesthetic and functional prerequisites of guest rooms. The block-coloured drapilux 170 can be used either on its own or in conjunction with transparent items thanks to its slight structural design. In this respect, drapilux 173 is particularly noteworthy. The natural white base material is printed on both sides using the same structural design but different colour hues by means of digital printing. Printing on both sides is unique for a blackout fabric. 

The collection’s highlight is drapilux 171, which is a floor-to-ceiling velour fabric that is special thanks to its fluffy handle. The surface of the fabric has a soft pile, and the fibres can be combed in any direction. These textiles can also be printed, as illustrated by the contemporary leaf design. More blackout options in modern designs are available in the “200°” collection.


Other exciting posts from the series #good2know

Episode 1 Intelligence woven in – how our fabrics become smart
Episode 2 – drapilux all in one – the all-rounder with USP
Episode 3 – drapilux in its pioneering role – journey of intelligent textiles
Episode 4 – Certification – stringent quality tests for contract textiles
Episode 5 – Increased fire safety during Advent
Episode 6 – What is involved in IMO certification?