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Panel Tracks Primer

Panel-track systems are one of the fastest-growing categories of window treatments. No longer just a niche treatment for urban designs, panel tracks are showing up everywhere--traditional homes, fine restaurants, and offices, to name just a few. Read on for more about panel tracks, and learn how to maximize your profits when you use this popular treatment in your projects.

The Basics

Panel-track systems have a long history. In traditional Japanese architecture, shoji screens were made of wood and translucent washi paper and were designed to slide on wooden tracks at the top and bottom of the screen. Inspired by these traditional treatments, today’s pael tracks generallly run on top tracks only, and are available in a variety of materials, including woven woods, mesh, jute, fringe, and vinyl, as well as traditional fabrics.

Components and Hardware

Although some designers balk at the idea of the track system, envisioning unwieldy components, "multiple-track systems require surprisingly little stacking depth-a typical three-track nsystem takes up less than four inches," according to Wren Okasaki, owner of Design Shoji. "Tracks are available in two, three, four, and five passes, and each track allows a combination of two to eight panels," says Phillip Ng, president and CEO of AMC, making panel-track systems ideal for large treatments.

Profit from Evolving Design

Once the panel-track hardware has been installed, swapping out the panel fabric is simple. Encourage repeat business by offering to change your clients’ panels with the season, or offer special installations for parties and other special occasions.


Increase your profits by offering motorized panel-track systems to your clients. "Motorization is the hot new trend," says Mark Scharff, sales director at Silent Gliss USA. "Whether it’s residential, hospitality, or commercial, everyone wants motorization. Motorized systems can be programmed to open and close in several different formats." Consider selling motorization "for hare-to-reach windows or home-theater systems," suggests Wren Okasaki of Design Shoji.

Windows Fashions Design & Education Magazine

February 2007



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