Transparency: Good and Bad?
Transparency of a fabric can have two meanings, both of which are important to the fabric's performance in an acoustic system. If a fabric is not opaque it can allow the acoustically absorptive material to show through, and is considered to be too transparent. Opaque fabrics will provide a more aesthetically pleasing finished result. It is also important to establish whether or not a fabric is acoustically transparent. Acoustically transparent fabrics will allow sound to pass through them and into the absorptive material. If the fabric does not allow a majority of the sound to pass through, it will limit the functionality of the entire system. In days of old, a common test involved blowing smoke through the fabric. Today, tests have evolved to ensure the fabric does not diminish the effect of the acoustic system. Some fabrics can even enhance the system's acoustic performance.
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