Types of Shade Cloth


Gardeers and farmers alike know that sometimes, a little shade can make a big difference. But did you know there’s more to shade than just throwing a cloth over your plants? The types of shade cloth can vary in several ways, each designed to cater to specific needs. From materials to weaving patterns, shade percentages, colors, and applications, there’s a whole world to explore.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the different types of shade cloth, helping you choose the best one for your garden. So whether you’re trying to protect your plants from harsh sunlight or create the perfect ambiance, understanding the types of shade cloth can lead the way. Let’s dive in!

Aspect 1: Classification Based on Materials

Shade nets are essential tools in agriculture, allowing them to control the amount of sunlight that reaches their plants. But did you know that they come in various materials? Let’s dive into some of the common materials used in making shade cloths.

1. PE Shade Cloth

Polyethylene Shade Cloth

PE, or polyethylene, is a durable, lightweight material that is widely used for shade netting. It’s resistant to wear and tear and offers good sun protection. One major advantage of polyethylene shade net is their ability to block harmful UV rays while still allowing rainwater to pass through. This makes them a popular choice for gardens and greenhouses.

2. PP Shade Cloth

PP, or polypropylene, is a material known for its strength and durability. Known for its resistance to most chemicals, UV rays, and moisture, PP shade cloth is ideal for long-term outdoor use. It’s also recyclable, making it an environmentally friendly option.

3. Polyester Shade Cloth

Polyester is known for its strength and ability to retain color. If you’re looking for a shade cloth that can withstand strong winds and doesn’t fade easily, polyester might be the answer. It’s also fairly easy to clean, adding to its appeal.

4. PVC Shade Cloth

PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is another robust material option. PVC shade nets are not only resistant to UV rays but also to mildew and rot. This resistance makes them perfect for humid or rainy areas. However, it’s essential to note that PVC can become brittle over time, especially in colder climates.

5. Aluminet Shade Cloth

Aluminet Shade Cloth

Aluminet is a unique type of shade cloth that reflects sunlight, thereby providing a cooler environment beneath it. It’s especially useful in regions with intense sunlight. Made of knitted aluminum strips, Aluminet helps to scatter light, ensuring plants get diffused sunlight, which is optimal for growth.

In conclusion, when choosing a shade cloth material, it’s essential to consider the specific needs of your space and plants. Whether it’s UV protection, resistance to chemicals, or aesthetic appeal, there’s a material out there to meet your requirements.

Aspect 2: Classification Based on Weaving

Weaving, as a technique in the creation of shade cloths, greatly influences both the appearance and functionality of the cloth. Let’s delve deeper into two primary weaving types: knitted and woven shade cloths.

1. Knitted Shade Cloth

Knitted Shade Cloth

Knitted shade cloths employ a method where yarn or threads are interlaced to form a pattern of interconnected loops. Due to their looped structure, knitted cloths are inherently stretchy. This makes them adaptable to various installations, whether you’re covering irregularly shaped areas or using them as screens.

The looping pattern in knitted shade net means they don’t fray easily when cut. This translates to a longer lifespan even when they’re modified or tailored to specific sizes.

2. Woven Shade Cloth

Woven Shade Cloth

The weaving process for these cloths involves crisscrossing two sets of yarns – one horizontal and one vertical. The over-and-under weaving technique results in a compact fabric. This tightness offers significant resistance against sunlight, making it effective in areas demanding high sun protection.

Woven cloths, due to their structural makeup, are less stretchy than knitted ones. This means they maintain their shape well over time, but might require precise measurements for specific installations.Their interwoven design gives woven shade fabric added strength, making them resistant to wear and tear. They’re perfect for long-term installations.

In essence, the weaving style of shade fabric can dictate their purpose and efficiency. Recognizing the distinctions between these two can help in making an informed decision based on specific needs.

Aspect 3: Classification Based on Threads

When it comes to selecting the right shade cloth, the thread type can make a different difference. Two primary threads dominate the shade cloth industry: tape and mono. Understanding the difference between these threads can help you choose the best one for your plants.

1. Tape Shade Cloth

Tape Shade Cloth

Tape shade cloth is made using flat, wide threads. These threads look like tiny tapes. Because of its design, tape shade cloth tends to be stronger and more resistant to tearing than some other types.However, it might not be as flexible as other options. If you need a sturdy and long-lasting shading net, tape could be a good choice.

2. Mono Shade Cloth

Mono Shade Cloth

Mono shade cloth uses round, single threads, much like traditional sewing thread but thicker. The tight weaving of mono threads can provide a strong and resilient cloth. However, one thing to keep in mind is that because of its intricate design, it might require a bit more care during installation to prevent snags or damage.

In short, the choice between tape and mono often comes down to your specific needs. Whether you require strength and durability or flexibility and gentleness, there’s a type of shade net that’s right for your garden or project.

Aspect 4: Classification Based on Shade Percentages

Shade cloths come in different shade percentages. This percentage tells you how much sunlight the cloth blocks. Let’s explore the common shade percentages and what they’re best used for:

1. 30% Shade Cloth

30% Shade Cloth

This type allows around 70% of sunlight through. It’s great for plants that need lots of light, like many veggies. Think of tomatoes or peppers. They’ll benefit from this gentle shade, especially in slightly hot areas.

2. 50% Shade Cloth

50% Shade Cloth

Blocking half the sunlight, this type is a middle-ground option. It’s suitable for plants that like a mix of sun and shade. Many herbs, like basil or cilantro, would thrive under this shade percentage.

3. 70% Shade Cloth

70% Shade Cloth

This cloth blocks most of the sun, letting only 30% through. It’s ideal for plants that prefer cooler conditions or indirect sunlight. Ferns and orchids are examples of plants that would enjoy this setting.

4. 90% Shade Cloth

90% Shade Cloth

For the plants that need utmost protection, a 90% shade cloth is the answer. It’s perfect for seedlings or sensitive plants that can easily get burnt by direct sunlight. If you’re starting a plant nursery, this might be the go-to choice.

In summary, the shade percentage of a cloth is crucial in ensuring plants get the right amount of sunlight. Picking the right percentage will help your plants grow strong and healthy. Always consider the specific needs of your plants when deciding.

Aspect 5: Classification Based on Colors

Shade cloths come in a variety of colors, and each has its unique benefits for plants. Let’s dive into the most common colors and their uses.

1. Green Shade Cloth

Green Shade Cloth

Green shade cloths blend well with natural surroundings, making them a popular choice for gardens. They help filter sunlight and offer a soothing ambiance. Plants underneath can still receive indirect light, which promotes healthy growth.

2. Black Shade Cloth

Black Shade Cloth

Black shade cloths absorb and block a significant amount of sunlight, making them suitable for plants that need more shade. They’re great for sensitive plants that might get burned with direct sunlight.

3. White Shade Cloth

White Shade Cloth

This color reflects sunlight, making white shade cloth a great choice for keeping plants cool. It doesn’t block as much light as other colors, so it’s best for plants that need lots of light but not too much heat.

4. Red or Blue Shade Cloth

Blue Shade Cloth

Some gardeners believe that red or blue shade cloths can enhance plant growth by allowing only certain light wavelengths to pass through. Red can encourage flowering and fruiting, while blue can support vegetative growth. However, it’s essential to note that not all plants might benefit in the same way.

5. Silver Shade Cloth

Silver Shade Cloth

These shiny, metallic-looking cloths are designed to reflect sunlight, similar to white. They can keep the area underneath cooler than other colors, making them perfect for high-temperature regions.

In summary, the color of the shade cloth you choose can play a big role in plant health. It’s not just about aesthetics; each color has its own set of benefits. So, when selecting, think about what your plants need most and choose accordingly.

Aspect 6: Classification Based on Application

Plants, like us, need protection from the elements to thrive. Shade cloth plays a crucial role in offering this protection. Depending on where you want to use them, there are specific types designed for various applications. Let’s delve into these different uses.

1. Greenhouses Shade Cloth

Greenhouses Shade Cloth

In greenhouses, shade mesh helps control the amount of sunlight reaching the plants. This is crucial, especially in summer, when too much sunlight can harm the plants. Shade mesh for greenhouses is often made to filter out specific amounts of sunlight, ensuring plants get just what they need.

2. Garden Shade Cloth

For outdoor gardens, shade cloth can shield plants from harsh afternoon sun or protect sensitive plants. Some plants don’t require full sun, and a shade cloth can ensure they get the right balance of light and shade.

3. Nurseries Shade Cloth

Young plants are particularly sensitive. In nurseries, shade cloth protects these young plants from strong sunlight, allowing them to grow strong without the stress of too much light.

4. Animal Shade Cloth

Animals, especially in farms, need protection from the sun. Shading net in animal shelters ensures that animals, like chickens or cows, have a cool area to rest during the hottest parts of the day.

5. Windbreaks Shade Cloth

Windbreaks Shade Cloth

In some areas, the wind can be just as harmful as the sun. Some sunshade nets are designed to act as windbreaks, protecting plants from strong winds that can dry them out or cause physical damage.

6. Patios Shade Cloth

Apart from gardens, shade cloth is also used for human comfort. On patios and decks, they provide a shaded area where people can relax without the intense sunlight. It’s not just about comfort; it can also protect outdoor furniture from fading.

7. Car Parking Shade Cloth

Vehicles, especially when parked for extended periods in open areas, can become exceedingly hot inside due to direct sunlight. In car parking areas, shade fabric can protect vehicles from the intense sun, keeping them relatively cooler and protecting the car’s interior from potential UV damage and fading.

In conclusion, the application of shade cloth goes beyond just plants. Whether it’s providing comfort for us, protecting our belongings, or ensuring the well-being of animals, shade netting serves multiple purposes in various settings. Its versatility is a testament to its importance in our daily lives.


Understanding the various types of shade cloth is essential for anyone looking to maximize plant growth. Whether it’s the material, the weave, the shade percentage, color, application, or the thread type, each characteristic can make a significant difference in meeting your plants’ needs.

By selecting the right shade cloth, you can ensure that your plants thrive and reach their full potential. If you’re considering a shade cloth for your plants, remember that QiBang Netting offers a wide range of options tailored to fit your needs. They’re here to help guide you to the perfect fit for your gardening needs.

FAQs about Shade Cloth Types

1. What are the levels of shade cloth?

Shade cloth levels indicate the percentage of light blocked, ranging from light (30-50%) for partial shade, medium (50-70%) for vegetables and soft fruits, to heavy (70-90%) for full shade applications like orchids or ferns. Each level suits different plant needs and environmental conditions.

2. What is the best type of shade cloth?

The best type of shade cloth depends on your specific needs. For vegetable gardens, a 50% shade rate is ideal, providing ample light while protecting plants. For more delicate plants or orchids, a 70% shade rate might be preferable to shield from intense sunlight. Choose a UV-stabilized, durable material for longevity and effectiveness in filtering sunlight.

3. What are the types of shade cloth by weaving?

Shade cloth varies by weave type, including knitted and woven. Knitted shade cloth is lightweight, flexible, and more common, offering easier installation and greater durability against fraying. Woven shade cloth is sturdier and provide more precise shading, suitable for agricultural uses but can be more challenging to handle and install.