What is the difference between recess, fabric and blind sizes?

When ordering commercial blinds, there are several decisions to be made; and each of these will be dependent on the shading solution specification in the design brief.

Some of the most common questions we are asked centre on the difference between recess, fabric and blind sizes.

What does recess size mean?

The recess measurement can be seen in the image below.  The recess itself is the opening inside of the window and measurement is made to calculate the total length and width of the blind within this space, or recess, so that the blind fits into the opening, rather than onto the wall above and on either side of the window.  There is no overlap at all.


Recess vs exact | Swanmac Ltd


What does fabric size mean?

A commercial blind fitted to fabric size is a blind that is the actual width of the fabric (see image above).

As you can see, the fabric itself is smaller than the recess with which allows space at either end of the fabric for the blind mechanism (i.e. chain operation) to fit within the recess, as well as for fixture into the window recess.


What does blind size mean?

Blind size is the total with of the blind from bracket to bracket.  Commercial blinds at blind size are wider than fabric size to accommodate the fixtures and fittings, but smaller than recess size in order to fit easily into a recess window.   We calculate the blind size which allows for the necessary tolerances, based on the recess size provided by a client or which has been measured by one of our surveyors. The image below demonstrates the blind size which is calculated from bracket to bracket.

(It should be noted that commercial blinds at blind size may also be fitted outside of a recess.)

Blind Size Commercial Blinds | Swanmac Ltd


What is the difference between recess, fabric and blind size measurement?

The gap between the window recess and the blind fabric varies according to the operation and ranges from 20mm – 35mm on each side of the blind.  Therefore, the blind size is approximately 5mm – 10mm narrower than the recess size,  the remainder being the gap between the blind size and the fabric size as shown below.


Light Gap | Commercial Blinds


As seen in the above image, this shows the light gap around the fabric on one of our standard roller blind systems.  To prevent this gap around the blind, a fully enclosed blackout roller blind can be chosen to block out all the light.


Are recess or exact blinds best for total blackout?

Where total blackout is required, fully enclosed blackout roller blinds are best.  These blinds eradicate any light leakage thanks to side channels which stops the fabric from moving thus keeping it firmly in place so that no light can enter.

For more information or to make an enquiry, please contact our team via sales@swanmac.com.




Recess vs exact | Swanmac Ltd