For many growers crop rotation is soon upon us and it's the perfect opportunity to change the screen cloths now that the greenhouses are empty for a bit. It means a busy time for the cloth suppliers. Vegetable growers tend to rotate their crops around the same time, and growers of flowers and potted plants rotate between October and the end of January. In vegetable cultivation, transparent fabrics are used as screens that help save energy.
Entire process under one roof
At Phormium, a Belgian supplier of greenhouse screens, they are ready. "There are enough canvases in stock", says Peter Ollevier. "After a grower, often through his installer, orders a screen, we deliver within two to three weeks on average."
Everything happens under one roof at the company in Lokeren, Belgium. The canvas is woven and sized according to the customer's specifications. Even the yarns and straps are made there. "The polymer granules come in on one side and the custom-made screen leaves the company on the other. As a result, we control the quality of the entire process. Our R&D department is not only concerned with the weaving process but also with the composition of the yarn. For example, attention is paid to strength, UV stability, light transmission, moisture transport and fire retardation."
Light transmission is crucial for Dutch growers. "For them this is the most important reason to replace the canvas," says Peter. "A new screen cloth is clean and without any dust or pollution. As a result, the light transmission is good. In countries like Mexico, canvases will be replaced less frequently."
Woven vs. knitted
The cloth screens of Phormium are woven and not knitted like many other screens. "This allows us to use different raw materials (for example high density polypropylene), which make the fabric stronger and give it a longer life. We also use acrylic yarns. These ensure a controlled moisture discharge without energy loss. The cloths also remain closed longer because of the weave structure, so that you will save energy over a longer period of time."
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