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.

Feature Roll Down Screens Curtains Panels
Can open and close Yes Yes No
Privacy Yes Yes Yes
Sun Protection Yes Yes Yes
Rain Protection Yes Yes No
Wind Protection Yes with cable or track guides on posts Yes with wind anchor tethers Yes
Protects from bugs Yes, but only for the vertical side Yes, but only for the vertical side No
Can pass through when partially open or closed No Yes No
Adds to style aesthetic No Yes Yes
Can match canopy system and or upholstery Yes Yes No
Install Easily Easier Easiest Easy
Removable for cleaning No Yes NA
Makes pergola look GREAT! No Yes Maybe

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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