Acoustic Window Covering

Materialised has pioneered acoustic window covering since the 1990’s.

In fact, Gary Price developed our first light reduction acoustic fabric years before architects and designers were demanding it, meaning that we were first to market when they were! After much research and product development, our complete Hush acoustic range was launched in 2014.

We offer two types of acoustic window covering fabric and these are acoustic light reduction and acoustic sheers

Hush light reduction curtain fabric

Acoustic Light Reduction Fabric

Materialised’s Hush acoustic drapery fabric, Midnight (printed with a custom colour), was perfect for the job and was both soft in its handle and weighted in its drape.” – Jodie Duddington, Senior Interior Designer, EJE Architecture.

Hush sheer acoustic curtain fabric Materialised

Acoustic Sheer Curtain Fabric

Materialised’s Hush acoustic sheers offer unobtrusive and highly effective sound absorption. Consideration of sound is a very important aspect of interior design, especially in open plan office environments.” – Frances Fraser, Honour Creative.

Hush sheer blinds

Acoustic Sheer Blind Fabric

We make roller blinds using Hush acoustic sheer fabric.  Not only do they perform well, reducing the echo and intensity of sound in the room dramatically, but they look great too and we often have comments from visitors.” – David Reilly, Reilly & Associates.

Acoustic Light Reduction Fabric

Gary developed our first acoustic light reduction fabric in the 1980’s with a double-faced satin, woven in Indonesia. But we couldn’t give it away! This changed as demand grew and innovation was required to provide attractive acoustic window covering solutions that unified both acousticians and designers.

When the call was there, we were ready to go with our acoustic light reduction range. For this type of acoustic curtain fabric, the performance is all in the management of airflow through a filament yarn.

acoustic light reduction curtain fabric
CAMERON BUFF – acoustic light reduction fabric. Residential project designed by Design Code Interiors. Photography © William Mallat.

Acoustic Sheer Fabric

As windows became a larger proportion of room walls, and as glass is so reverberant, Gary pursued alternative means of taming noise in spaces without destroying the light and vista that windows provide.

To create an acoustic sheer we needed a transparent yarn solution and he believed we could build on a theory by Chinese acoustical physicist, Professor Ma.

History For The Physicians Among Us

Professor Ma Dayou / Dah-You Maa (1915-2012) specialised in various aspects of acoustics, especially sound generation, transmission and absorption. This man was something of a genius. Working his way up from a poor family in Beijing he became the youngest Professor in the whole of the University in Kunming, aged only 27. (Source: Wikipedia)

The theory of his micro-perforated panel absorber, initially presented by Ma in 1975, is based on the classical treatment of sound propagation in short tubes. The key to this working successfully is shown in Figure 1 below. (Source: Paper Number 92, Proceedings of ACOUSTICS 2011, by Christian Nocke, Catja Hilge and Jean-Marc Scherrer)

  • Micro-perforated panel of thickness t
  • With holes of diameter d
  • Spaced at a distance b apart
  • In front of an air cavity with a depth D
RSL Lifecare, Crown Furniture, Florence Broadhurst by Materialised
SOUNDCHECK WHITE – acoustic sheer fabric. Project RSL Lifecare Port Macquarie. Photography © Ryan Linnegar

The A-ha Moment!

Gary had been invited by General Electrics to solve acoustical problems in a harbour view room.

As he sat there, contemplating how to master this without hiding the view, it occurred to him that we could possibly simulate Professor Ma’s perforated foil model by weaving a textile with this particular and precise airflow.

A Story To Live By

After initially being rejected for an R&D grant, someone on the decision panel gave Gary a call to say that his idea was amazing, and that the grant decision was all about the delivery, not the rationale.

This person offered to teach him how to write a Government grant application. And there it began!

acoustic sheer curtain fabric
FREQUENCY WHITE – acoustic sheer fabric. Radium office fit out designed by Honour Creative. Photography © Bonny Beattie.

CSIRO Development

The R&D took place at CSIRO’s Waurn Ponds facility. It took over two years, and many failures, before we achieved an elusive 0.6 NRC!

Our desire was to weave in Australia, but sadly the necessary equipment is not available. The splicing of the polyester film to create the yarn is done in Turkey, and the fabric is woven in Italy. After finding these specialist partners, our Hush acoustic sheer curtain and acoustic sheer blind collections were born!

acoustic sheer fabric
SOUNDCHECK PUMICE – acoustic sheers. PAC The Terraces, Paddington designed by Gilmore Interior Design. Curtain manufacturer and installation by Reilly & Associates.

The Launch

The release of Hush sheers was at an Acoustic Engineers conference. To observe the jaw-dropping expression when attendees heard our demonstration video was so encouraging. Turning windows from a noise management problem, into a solution, is most gratifying!

So if you’re looking for acoustic window covering innovation, Materialised leads the way. Get in touch to discuss your commercial acoustic window covering project and our expert team can help guide you with fit-for-purpose product sampling and pricing.