Fold Up Gymnasium Divider Curtain

Curtain Origami- Fold it or Roll it?

When choosing a curtain for your facility, there are a lot of factors to consider; so, how do you know which is best?  Here are the 4 curtain styles you should know about.

Fold-Up CurtainsFold-Up Porter Divider Curtain

Fold up curtains operate by winch-drawn cables running down a curtain and then lifting a bottom tube. As the bottom tube lifts, the fabric above it folds up as it retracts. Older style curtains have the cable on one side of the curtain and as it retracts the fabric folds on the other side. Newer models weave the cable through grommets causing the fabric to alternate folding on both sides of the bottom tube as it lifts – for a more uniform and aesthetically pleasing folded product.

Due to the simple mechanical nature, Fold up curtains are great workhorse curtains and are very forgiving when you need to go around a curve, lift a very large curtain, add doors, or do something else that is very unique such as a slope fold curtain. They are normally slightly cheaper then their roll-up counterparts (except the top-roll style). They may fold within 3 feet of the attachment point. Cables running down the curtain are exposed to patrons, but rarely cause an issue. A padded bottom tube is optional.


Roll-Up Curtains

There are several different types of roll up curtains. Roll up curtains tend to be slightly more expensive in many cases, but have a cleaner aesthetic; there aren’t any fold lines or grommets in the fabric.  This uncluttered appearance makes them ideal for showcase facilities and displaying custom printed graphics.

Porter Center-Roll® Divider Curtain

[BEST] – Center-Rolling Curtains

The top of the line roll up curtain is a center-rolling style curtain. The fabric rolls around a tube that is positioned in the middle of the curtain. As it rolls, it lifts the top and bottom fabrics at the same time often rolling twice as fast as other curtain styles. The mechanical components are housed at the ends of the curtain. The fabric supports the rolling tube giving you the flattest, most uniform roll possible. Under normal circumstances, this curtain will roll within 14″ of the ceiling/attachment structure! This high clearance  in the folded position is a distinct advantage over other curtain styles. This curtain can be built up to 3000 sq ft. A padded bottom tube is optional.

Porter Bottom Roll Curtain

[BETTER] – Bottom-Rolling Curtains

Bottom roll curtains use straps which roll up to turn a bottom tube causing the fabric to roll around a tube and retract into the ceiling. There are a few straps on this curtain exposed but are spaced 20-25 ft. This curtain may be folded within 2 feet of the attachment structure. This curtain is limited in size to 3000 sq ft due to the weight of the large, heavy bottom tube. This bottom tube cannot be padded to ensure the fabric to rolls evenly.

[ECONOMICAL] – Top-Rolling Curtains [not shown]

The top roll style curtain is the most economical choice, but is not offered by all manufacturers. The fabric encircles a tube at the ceiling retracting the fabric as it rolls. To support the tube, rollers are placed every 10-12 ft. These rollers roll over the fabric and eventually cause premature wear and possibly damage at these contact points. One advantage this curtain offers is a finished retracted distance of 18″ from the ceiling. It is not very forgiving for slopes or other complex building designs and can often be costly to level out the rollers needed to support the top tube.

When choosing your curtain style of choice, keep in mind your clearances, how often the curtain will be operated, and the building/ceiling design.

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