Creating Shade and Privacy With Pergola Curtains

We get asked by customers all the time about how to provide sun protection and privacy for the sides of pergolas. There are a number of companies that make roll down screens that do this and at one time we even considered making our own system as an accessory for the ShadeFX canopy. Side protection and privacy is an important element of finishing the outdoor space that the pergola defines, and until recently it was a problem for which we did not have a solution. Pergola curtains are the perfect solution for providing maximum shade and protection while maintaining the aesthetics of your outdoor room.

Being a manufacturer, our first instinct was to make a roll screen system that would provide the same benefits as our canopy system, vertically. We prototyped a simple set up and found it needing a track or cable system to keep it from blowing around in the wind. We looked at importing an Italian system and after testing found it too ‘commercial’ in appearance and operation. We looked at pavilion systems common at resorts and had similar concerns. We hope our summary below will contribute to your research and help prevent you from making the wrong decision about how to finish the sides of your pergola.

FeatureRoll Down ScreensCurtainsPanels
Can open and closeYesYesNo
PrivacyYesYesYes
Sun ProtectionYesYesYes
Rain ProtectionYesYesNo
Wind ProtectionYes with cable or track guides on postsYes with wind anchor tethersYes
Protects from bugsYes, but only for the vertical sideYes, but only for the vertical sideNo
Can pass through when partially open or closedNoYesNo
Adds to style aestheticNoYesYes
Can match canopy system and or upholsteryYesYesNo
Install EasilyEasierEasiestEasy
Removable for cleaningNoYesNA
Makes pergola look GREAT!NoYesMaybe

Needless to say, we concluded that for a pergola covered outdoor living space, pergola curtains are the best, most stylish and functional way to add privacy wind and rain protection to the sides.

Does ShadeFX have a curtain kit? Yes we do. ShadeFX worked with Shade Voila, a leading outdoor living outfitter (and ShadeFX customer) to design the easiest, most reliable tracked pergola curtain kit available. The kits use the same fabric as the canopy system if you want everything to match to a tee. Choose Sunbrella water and fade resistant fabrics that provide up 98% UV protection in any of over one hundred colors and styles, or Harbor Time waterproof fabrics from a smaller color offering that offer 100% UV protection. In either case you’ll add privacy, atmosphere and style to your outdoor living lifestyle.

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