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Winter Cafe PVC Blinds: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Clear and Tinted PVC Cafe Blinds are a popular winter product. They can be used in a ZipscreenZiptrak or Zip Roll Up style Cafe Blind. Some companies call them Bistro Blinds. Customers like them because they effectively stop wind and rain without reducing the view. This creates an enclosed outdoor living/entertaining area.

About Clear PVC Blinds

PVC is used extensively for outdoor blinds and the marine industry. There are three types for the market; calendared, extruded, or pressed, each type named after its form of manufacture. All three are identical in composition, but differ in quality of surface finish, which determines the degree of visual clarity.

The most commonly used product in the blind industry is calendared as it combines rigidity, thickness and cost-effectiveness. Some companies market Marine grade™ PVC blinds which use the extruded process. The Marine grade clarity is greater especially when looking through on an angle but it is chemically identical. Stan Bond offers, but does not recommend, Marine grade/extruded PVC as an option because it degrades at the same rate as other Clear PVC’s and is more expensive.

UV Degradation

Clear PVC is highly susceptible to degradation due to exposure to ultra-violet light and pollutants in the atmosphere. Over time it will turn yellow, milky and brittle. UV inhibitors are added during the manufacturing process but blinds left down in sunny positions will have a life of around 5 years. Stan Bond uses the best supply chains available to secure High Quality Japanese Clear PVC but we find this still occurs even on our blinds.

To see what we mean by this check out blinds on cafes along Melbourne St, Gouger St or Glenelg.

Shrinkage / Bagging

PVC based products often have a great deal of stretch/shrink in them. This means if the blind is manufactured in Summer is may be tight in the winter time, vice versa, if made in Winter it will be baggy on a hot day.

As one of the main manufacturers in Adelaide we are often called on to repair Zip Roll Up Blinds made by companies that are no longer trading. Commonly the blinds have been made too small and pulled tight to give the impression of a nice flat product. Over time this tension breaks the stitching or zippers requiring repairs.


PVC can create a glass house effect which on sunny days can make the blinds too hot to have down. Dark Tint or Mesh based fabrics are often better suited for openings that will be exposed to significant direct sunlight.


Clear PVC has a soft surface and is prone to scratching during its manufacture, installation or lifetime. Small light surface scratches are unavoidable and can spoil the glass view of a new Clear PVC Blinds. This is less of an issue on tinted products. Scratching can be reduced by good cleaning practices.


Manufacturing and selling Plastic Blinds is a mixed blessing. There is no doubt that in some situations Clear or Tinted PVC blinds are the best product choice. This is especially where the blinds are not too large, 100% wind and rain block is required and the blind is on a southern facing. However, in many cases, customers are hoping for PVC blinds to achieve a result which is just not possible for the product. Remember Clear PVC is not Glass!

For better results, we generally recommend customers use 95% Mesh-Based fabric such as Outlook Mode which still provides significant protection from Wind & Rain without many of the risks associated with PVC blinds.

Check Out our Range of Blinds

Ziptrak Blinds – Great for enclosing outdoor areas from the weather.

Straight Drop Blinds – The simplest form out Clear PVC Bistro Blind.

Zipscreen Blinds – Often not recommended for Clear PVC but can be perfect for smaller drops.


Customer Reviews

LL Logo

I had three sets of day-night blinds installed and a Veri-shade. Very happy with the total experience from Stan Bond. Professional advice, personal assistance, on time, easy to deal with. I benefited from the suggestions and care taken by each staff member. The blinds and shade look lovely and perform exactly as I had hoped.

Lisa Lavan

It is so rare these days that a company offers such wonderful service and quality of product. From the very start to the very end, nothing short of pure excellence. Jenny was amazing with her suggestions and ideas, her patience very much appreciated and her ability to get the job done within limited timescales very much appreciated. This is my second experience with this company, internal shutters and curtains to go to complete my home and I will not even bother to get quotes elsewhere. Thank you Jenny, and all the team at Stan Bond - don't ever close your doors please!

Sharon Burton

We found Stan Bond to have really friendly, knowledgeable staff, they were reasonably priced, had fast turnaround and the installer was efficient and cleaned up after himself and was of minimal disruption to our office staff who were all working throughout the installation process. Very happy with the service, we would definitely use again.

FN Riggall

Recently had Plantation shutters installed. Very pleased with the finished product. Installers were professional, friendly and cleaned up when finished.

Anne Suttie

Called Stan Bond out to replace 2 broken/frayed cords on some older roller shutters. The jobs went very smoothly and the operator, Rob, was excellent - friendly, professional and a real credit to the Stan Bond team. Thanks Rob.

Mako Fin

Excellent service and installation. Very happy with the quality and prompt service, would not hesitate to recommend.

Marilyn Baker

Just wanted to say - I have had roller shutters, awnings & screen doors fitted today by Monte & Jayrus they were not only efficient, they were quick with the installation and cleaned up nicely after themselves...

Ria Darby

I have been using Stan Bond for the last 9 years. Most recent experiences were excellent right from first contact with Craig, then Jan whom inspected the works to be done and his assistance in…

John Princi

Great product with quality installation. Friendly and professional. Thank you.

Gary Meinhardt