Shade, Don't Hide, the Beauty of a Stained Glass Window

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The light filtering fabric still allows a view of the stained glass window, while blocking out the glare.

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Case Study

Plum Creek Christian Church in Rushville, Indiana, was in a bit of a conundrum. Sunday morning glare. How do you prevent it without hiding the beauty of a stained glass window? This was the conundrum that Plum Creek Christian Church in Rushville, Indiana, experienced until they met with Draper.

“We have very large stained glass windows in our church building, which was built in 1912,” said Carolyn Keith, who serves as the pianist, organist, and trustee for Plum Creek. “For years we have had room darkening blinds on the south windows. When they are pulled, they take care of the problem of the sun shining in on Sunday mornings.”

The original glare control issue was resolved, but another one became apparent.

“We started showing Christian movies a couple of years ago for our congregation,” Keith said, “and we were always having to put black trash bags up on the west stained glass windows if we were showing in the afternoon.”

The church board discussed the matter and voted to tackle the problem and purchase a light blocking shade similar to what they had on the other windows. A Draper employee who attends Plum Creek contacted Stu Milligan, one of Draper’s regional sales managers, to work with the church.

“At first they wanted opaque spring roller shades, just like the ones they have on another window of the same proportions,” Milligan said. “But I wanted them to see the benefits of a light filtering fabric with view through and glare control benefits. I told them that this time around they didn’t need to hide those beautiful stained windows in order to control ambient light.”

To keep the price down for the church and to offer a less intrusive solution that would complement the appearance of the curved window, Milligan suggested abandoning the idea of multiple top-down spring roller shades. Instead he proposed using Draper’s Bottom-Up FlexShade.

Draper’s Bottom-Up FlexShades are window shades where the fabric rolls down into open position onto a spring roller located at the bottom of the window. A clutch-operated or motorized second roller at the top of the window raises the fabric up into position, using thin, unobtrusive cables.

For Plum Creek, Milligan went with the clutch-operated model to keep the cost low.

Before finalizing everything, Milligan tested his theory of controlling the glare, while still seeing the stained glass by hanging a test shade panel behind the church’s projector and sound console. He found that it did cut the glare, while allowing views of the stained glass.

However, there was another potential problem. Due to the size of the unit needed to cover the window, weight become an issue.

“The only shade fabric light enough for full coverage of the window was the GreenScreen Revive fabric,” Milligan said. “In the end it worked out great-plus, GreenScreen Revive is PVC-free, so there was no off-gassing—a huge bonus for the air quality of a public space.”

GreenScreen Revive is Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver by MBDC, indicating that it meets or exceeds a rigorous and holistic standard for environmental impact. Constructed of 100% polyester yarn, Revive contains a minimum of 89% Repreve polyester. Repreve is recycled and recyclable, contains low VOC’s, and is made in the USA.

The church has been happy with the results.

“We are very pleased with the appearance of this blind which is light filtering and not room darkening,” Keith said. “It does allow the stained glass to show through, and I like that it looks like it is in a black frame. It actually accents the stained glass.”

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