Since the early sixties, the Hunter Douglas Group which includes some of the world leading weavers of shading fabrics including Helioscreen, Hexcelscreen and Mermet, have led the industry in the weaving of high performance solar shading fabrics with coated glass core yarns.
As far back as 1961, when the first curtain wall buildings appeared in the urban landscape, Hunter Douglas companies responded to the evolution of glass building architecture, pioneering the development of high performance screen fabrics that are recognized worldwide for their superior stability, quality, performance and aesthetics versatility. In 1961, Helioscreen pioneered a new concept to solve the problem of overheating in the summer for the new MADOU building, the first curtain wall skyscraper in Brussels. Combining high design flexibility with performance materials, Helioscreen developed a new concept for external shades made of woven coated glass-fibre. The solution was quickly accepted as a key contributor to comfort and energy savings, by substantially reducing the inside building temperature, reducing the level of energy consumption needed for air conditioning. With the opening of its screen weaving plant in 1974, Helioscreen became the only vertically integrated solar shading manufacturer in Europe controlling the whole process from fabric manufacturing to the finished shade.
During this same period, Mermet, the first in the weaving of coated glass core yarns for external shades in France, launched the brand Sunscreen in 1981, a new solar protection range with coated glass core yarns. In 1976, the subsidiary Mermet 3G, in Cowpens, South Carolina, USA started to develop some of the most advanced solar screen fabrics. Further developments included fully integrating yarn coating into its manufacturing process to become the only weaver in France controlling the whole production process ensuring superior quality fabrics and a continuous program of innovation. Today, Mermet is recognized worldwide as a leader in solar protection with outstanding knowledge and creativity.
Xlscreen was also a leading weaver in coated Glass core yarns, innovating screen solutions by developing a range of technical fabrics designed specifically for the contract market. Innovation collaborations include breakthrough projects with French National School of Public works and the National Scientific Research centre.
The 1990s saw the booming demand for open plan office space with large numbers of computer monitors and new working environments that required new strategies to control heat and glare. Hunter Douglas screen weavers were at the forefront of this design movement, innovating screen fabrics with 100’s of new high performance fabrics, colours and openness levels that provided aesthetic versatility and maintained the view to the exterior without compromising performance.
The launch of Enduris™ Glass Core technology, the latest high performance screen fabric with outstanding strength, dimensional stability and durability, demonstrates Hunter Douglas commitment to continuous innovation in developing solutions for demanding building design.