Blackout Fabric: Its Importance and Applications

Last Updated on 15/12/2020

Concept of Blackout Fabric and Its Applications

Yash Sanjay Trivedi
Government Polytechnic, Nagpur, India


In today’s time due to advancement in technology, one can work from home on PC, laptops without going to offices. Students needs silent atmosphere to do study and late night study is an increasing trend in student of today’s time, workers are working in night shifts. All these results into inadequate sleep to person.

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well being throughout the life. Getting enough sleep at right time can help protecting mental health, physical health, quality of life and safety. Other than this for various testing in industries for getting accurate results they required total blackout atmosphere and there are many more other places where blackout atmosphere is essential. So this study is on blackout fabric by which one can create a total blackout atmosphere in order to create a night atmosphere at home, it can be used in industries, photo labs according to requirement.” So by using textile product one can create a blackout atmosphere anytime where the total blackout is needed. The process of manufacturing the blackout fabric, its importance, its application is discussed in this study.

Keywords: Blackout, Late Sleepers, Sleep, Health, Industries


What is blackout fabric?
Blackout refers to foam-backed fabric used to blackout light. Blackout fabrics are most commonly found in hotel rooms as curtains or drapery fabrics, blocking much of the light would otherwise enter through a window when the curtains are closed. For third shift workers, a parent of babies’ blackout is an essential element in the bedroom. Besides window coverings, other uses of blackout fabrics include industries, movie projector screens and planetarium domes.

  • Drapery fabric-it may refer to cloth used for decorative purposes.
  • Foam-backed:-having a backing layer made of foam rubber.
Blackout Fabric
Fig: Blackout fabric

Need and Importance of Blackout Fabric:
In today’s time due to advancement in technology, one can work from home on PC, laptops without going to offices. Students generally need silent atmosphere to study and generally the late night study is an increasing trend in student of today’s time, also now-a- days workers can easily works at night without any problem. All these things results into inadequate sleep to the person. Elderly and senior people’s, people’s who are living in market area are not getting proper sleep at day time. Some restaurants having glasses, the sun rays directly came inside and make the inside atmosphere unpleasant, same with the houses too. Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well being throughout the life. Getting enough sleep at right time can help protecting mental health, physical health, quality of life and safety. So by observing such things like adverse effect of lack of sleep on people, privacy at some places, suitable atmosphere at some places and also for creating a night atmosphere at daytime in room etc, I decided to take project will help people to get enough sleep, privacy and a good working silent atmosphere especially for students at day time, for the people those who are living in the crowdie areas and specially where lights falls directly on the houses or rays came inside throughout the day, it will be suitable for night shift workers, elderly people, old people, students and it can also be used at various working areas like industries, theaters etc.

So my project work is on “BLACKOUT FABRICS”. So by using textile product one can create a blackout atmosphere anytime where the total blackout is needed, not only it blackout the but also it keeps up to 40% of outside noise from entering into the room, as well as reduces echo and reverberation. This fabric also increases the room efficiency and reduces energy cost by as much as 25%.

A blackout curtain which is an application of blackout fabric on the window completely restricts the outside light, sun rays, sound and helps in keeping the room warmer in winter and cooler in summer. It is ideal for the night shift workers, theater room, late sleepers, students and elderly people, industries, hotels and for the places where researches takes place. The process of manufacturing the blackout fabric, its importance, its application is discussed further.

Manufacturing process of white blackout fabric:

  • The fabric is made from the fibers with each fiber having a core that contains carbon black as light blocking substance and a whitening agent (TiO2)
  • Sheath contains whitening agent TiO2.
  • Each fiber has approximately 3 denier weight with an appropriate staple length.
  • Polyester is suitable for spinning into fibers.
  • Thus by minimizing the amount of carbon black in the core and maximizing the amount of TiO2 in the core and sheath of each fiber, a white yarn can be produced.
  • Approximately 0.005-0.01 weight% of carbon black is used in the core.
  • Approximately 0-4.0 weigh % of TiO2 is used in the sheath and TiO2 in core is 3-10% weight.

* Carbon black- A fine carbon powder used as a pigment, made by burning hydrocarbons in insufficient air.

* TiO2 Titanium dioxide pigment is a fine white powder, it provide whiteness.

Coating is a process in which a polymeric layer is applied directly to one or both surfaces of the fabric. The polymer coating must adhere to textile. The coated fabric is heated and polymer is cured (that is polymerized)

Coating on blackout fabric:

* Foamed and crush foamed coating:
This method can be used to apply polymer to woven fabrics or fabrics of general open construction which cannot generally be direct coated. This is possible because the foam, which is rather like shaving cream, sits on the top of coating. Crushed foam coating increases the no. of fabrics which can be coated ; it also greatly reduces penetration of resin into the fabric, which allows the production of much softer handles and better drape can generally produced by direct coating. This technique is used for blackout fabrics.

A typical formulation may contain:

  • Acrylic resin
  • Water
  • Foaming agent
  • Thickening agent
  • Filler carbon carbonate
  • Fire resistant chemical

Applications of Blackout Fabric

A. Blackout Fabric in Industries:
Blackout fabric generally in the form of curtain wall helps in preventing light from either outdoor or indoor sources for getting through. These curtain wall completely opaque to block out sunlight, welding frames and other types of light for a variety of applications.

These curtains walls not only block out light, but they also protect employees and equipment from damage caused by welding sparks and other hazards in the workplace.

B. Blackout Fabric in Colleges and Schools:
As with the increasing technology the trend of E-teaching I.e. teaching by means of electronic medium like projectors etc is increased, blackout fabrics are the perfect choice for numerous classroom types. It provides a better environment for using interactive white boards or projectors, offering a great level of lightning control. For schools and colleges the blackouts are manufactured from fire and flame retardant finishes.

C. Use of Blackout Fabric in Medical Studies:
For medical studies like sleep study and other important studies it is necessary to eliminate outside light and create a suitable environment inside or confuse the brain about the time of day, for such studies blackout fabric is a major advantageous material, which will help in easy conducting of studies.

D. Use of Blackout Fabric in Tests and Equipment Use:
Some tests and equipment’s requires total darkness to provide accurate readings. So use of blackout fabric in doing such tests is important. It gives accuracy in results of the tests which are conducted.

E. Photo Lab Use of Blackout Fabric:
A dark room is necessary to develop traditional photographs, being able to convert a space into a dark room can make a room multi functional and eliminate the need of having to create a dark room that only serves one purpose. So blackout fabric can be used in photo labs to make the atmosphere black so that to create a working atmosphere inside.

F. Use of Blackout in Hotels:
Hotels near airports and other areas are generally brightly lit, generally such light from outside can make the inside atmosphere very unpleasant for the visitors and customers at day time. So blackout fabric gives totally good atmosphere inside prevents the outside light to come inside, this has the benefit that the inner light and decoration of hotel looks beautiful at day time too.

G. Use of Blackout Fabric for the People Work in Night Shifts:
Blackout fabric in form of curtain is very much beneficial for night shift people. Anyone who works an irregular work shift can benefit from the light erasing properties of a blackout curtain. If a company provides a resting place for employees to nap or rest after a long shift, implementing blackout curtains provides a way for them to fall asleep faster and rest more peacefully.

H. Use of Blackout Fabrics in Airport Security:
In airport too blackout fabric in the form of curtains helps security with their security evaluations. The X- ray equipment’s that they use needs total darkness to work and blackout fabric helps them to create such an environment.

I. Use of Blackout Fabric on Performing Stages:
Blackout cloth is used on stage to hide areas from the viewing public. This may be to aid quick set changes, hide waiting actors in the wings or simply to hide the stage lights. Blackout cloth is also used on mid- stage, rear or upstage travelers, these awe moving curtains like the front main curtains, these help divide the stage into sections, which will help with quick scene and set changes. For all these situations thick black cloth is normally used as it absorbs light very well.

J. Use of Blackout Fabric for Home Theatre:
Blackout fabric in form of curtains has various advantages as in home theater blackout curtains keeps light from filtering in and don’t ruin movie at night time, adds soundproofing by minimizing outside noise and echo, and can reduce heating and cooling cost.

Benefits associated with blackout curtains:
One of the biggest benefits associated with blackout curtains is their ability to block light out of a room. In many cases they can stop 99% of light from entering a room which is a definite advantage if you are trying to enjoy a movie during the day.

Blackout fabric curtain
Fig: Blackout fabric curtain

These curtains can keep up to 40% of outside noise from entering the room, as well as reduce echo and reverberation.

Blackout curtains can also increase home’s energy efficiency and reduce energy costs by as much as 25%. They keep the heat in during the cold winter months and icy during the summer month.

Future scope and development:

  1. Blackout fabric from 100% cotton
  2. Blackout fabric using knitted material
  3. Blackout fabric using non woven techniques
  4. Blackout fabric in solar curtains
  5. Blackout fabric in magnetic curtains


  • Hence we can say that blackout fabric has a wide application in various fields. It can help people those who are working in night shifts, those who are living in market areas, those who are not able to take sufficient sleep at day time or at night to take good amount of sleep ,by creating a blackout atmosphere in room, by using blackout fabric in the form of curtains.
  • Blackout fabric can also be used in industries, photo labs, airports and many other places to create a black atmosphere according to their requirement.
  • From the case study on students we come to know that students are not getting proper sleep and result of case study shows that students must take proper sleep for a good and healthy life.

Hence blackout fabric has got various benefits and it is very useful for betterment of life of people.


  1. Link-
  3. A Review on Coating & Lamination in Textiles: Processes and Applications paper by Kunal Sinha(dept. of textile technology, Panipat institute of engineering & Technology, Haryana,India).
  4. Patents White Blackout Fabric US5019445A by Herschel Sternlieb
  10. show/514699.cms

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