The Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) Product Awards are the benchmark of excellence in the industry.  The 2011 results were just announced and Hunter Douglas, Inc., North America’s leading manufacturer and marketer of custom window fashions, has, once again, led the field. 

The company captured the coveted Product of the Year for the 11th year as well as the prestigious Judges’ Award reserved for a submission selected by the panel that exhibits measurable benefit or standout appeal to end users. This year for the 16th consecutive year, Hunter Douglas won more awards than any other manufacturer – an impressive 30 of the 47 awards conferred went to Hunter Douglas companies. 

Debuting on May 2, Vignette® Traversed™ with Vertiglide™ Shades was named 2011 WCMA Product of the Year.  Ideal for expansive windows/doors, this product offers Vignette shades in a vertical application and provides a totally coordinated room solution.  It combines the beauty of Vignette shades with the convenience and easy operation of a vertical window covering. This product also won Best New Style Concept and Most Innovative Overall Concept in the Specialty Applications Category.  

Luminette® Privacy Sheers & Modern Draperies: Manhattan™ Decorative Hardware received the discretionary Judges’ Award, the only one granted this year, as well as Best New Technical Innovation in the Drapery Hardware Category.  Available in May with all Luminette Privacy Sheers and Modern Draperies fabrics, Manhattan Decorative Hardware adds sophisticated style to windows and consists of decorative drapery rails and finials with a smooth combination wand/cord operating system.

In the Green Products: Energy Efficiency Category, new Duette® Architella® Batiste Fabrics with IllumiCell™ walked away with Best New Style Concept.  This offering consists of two fabrics: the linen-inspired Batiste Textured™ and Batiste Bamboo, which is made from sustainable and recycled materials has its own naturally occurring variations; in fact, 45 percent of the fabric is bamboo. Both fabrics feature
IllumiCell™, a clear inner honeycomb that allows greater transmission of light, making the fabric’s natural texture more visible.  IllumiCell offers the same great energy efficiency as the original Architella construction. 

The Duette Architella Batiste Bamboo fabric also won Best New Style Concept in the Green Products: Sustainability Category.

Most Innovative Overall Concept in the Green Products: Energy Efficiency Category went to Vignette® Tiered™ Architella® Modern Roman Shades, which offers Vignette shades with enhanced energy efficiency and will available in May.  Rear fabric air pockets behind each fabric fold trap air and double the degree of insulation added by traditional Vignette Tiered shades. The sound absorption rating is also the highest of any Hunter Douglas product. 

In the Green Products: Health and Environmental Safety Category, the only award bestowed was to Enhancements to Vignette® Modern Roman Shades, which received Best Overall Concept.  These new additions – Vignette Tiered Architella shades with added energy efficiency and Vignette Traversed with Vertiglide shades, offering a vertical Roman shade that traverses – both also provide enhanced child safety.  Like all Vignette shades and unlike typical Roman shades, there are no exposed rear cords.   

2011 Enhancements to The Alustra® Collection won Best New Style Enhancements in the Miscellaneous Category of the awards, as the collection bridges product groups.  Built on a foundation of exclusivity and design with signature elements such as exclusive fabrics, finishes, systems, Alustra has been taken to new heights with enhancements in every category.  Soft Screens™  and Screen Shades redefine traditional solar screens by fusing functionality with style.  The naturally-textured Brio woven sheer elevates Alustra Silhouette® window shadings.  Alustra Duette® honeycomb shades transition completely to the Architella® construction, while Alustra Vignette® Modern Roman Shades benefit from new fabrics.

In the same category, new Luminette® Modern Draperies Ribbon™ Panel Design was named Best Overall Concept. The Ribbon Panel design is a brand new drapery choice for consumers – seamless rippled fabric with an inviting, deep dimensionality and a smooth, uniform appearance. Available in sizes up to 192" wide and 120" high, this new design is offered exclusively with Manhattan Decorative Hardware.

The only award in the Shadings and Sheers Category went to the 2011 Silhouette® Window Shadings Collection, which garnered Best Overall Concept.  This exciting collection offers four beautiful new fabrics. These include Chateau™, reminiscent of raw silk and featuring richly textured vanes with a coordinated colored face sheer; Nouveau™, inspired by wheat fields and northern woods with natural horizontal textures; Voila™, a light iridescent pinstripe featured on the front sheer for a subtle design touch to any room and, lastly, Sunscreen privacy shadings, an ideal alternative to traditional sunscreens with the added benefit of light control and privacy.

UltraGrain™ – The New Finish for NewStyle® Hybrid Shutters won Best New Enhancement in the Shutters Category.  This state-of-the-art finish only available in NewStyle that was introduced last fall authentically replicates the color and grain pattern of real, stained wood. It comes in four colors designed to match today’s most popular interior woodwork and home furnishing trends.  NewStyle hybrid shutters with the UltraGrain finish are made with composite material to add strength, stability and straightness to the shutter.  NewStyle hybrid shutters with the UltraGrain finish:  A shutter that looks like real, stained wood at a fraction of the cost of real wood.

            Also being introduced in May, Natural Elements™: A Collection of Modern Precious Metals® Blinds was honored with Best New Style Concept in the Horizontal Blinds Category.  Inspired by the colors and textures of nature, Natural Elements blinds mix two-inch metal slats with a wood valance, bottom rail and tassels. Customers choose their slat finish and wood accent color to personalize blinds to their room decor. 

Hunter Douglas, Inc, headquartered in Upper Saddle River, N.J., is the leading manufacturer of custom window coverings in North America and a national sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, covering windows in every Habitat home built in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit or call 1-800-274-2985.


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