Shoji Doors - Screen Material Recomendations?

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Forum topic by unclearthur posted 10-08-2019 04:42 AM 1478 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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396 posts in 3251 days

10-08-2019 04:42 AM

Hi all.
I am making a pair of sliding closet doors, shoji style:

I’m wondering if anyone knows of any materials they would recommend for the screens? It should be thin, light, white or off white and about 50% translucent. Basically it will be glued to the back of the grid. Ideally in sheets say 36” wide. (I don’t want to use glass because, amongst other things, the weight).

The shoji specialty shops have traditional papers and laminated papers, but the more durable stuff gets prettty expensive ($40-$100 / door) plus with shipping to Canada etc it becomes crazy expensive…...

I’ve seen a fiberglass product called “Synskin” recommended, but it seems to be out of production.

I wonder if some sort of fiberglass or pvc prduct that you could get at a plastics shop might look OK, but I’ve no idea how to spec it…....

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

7 replies so far

View Brawler's profile


223 posts in 1293 days

#1 posted 10-08-2019 02:48 PM

I believe I’ve seen frosted acrylic at the big box stores.

-- Daniel, Pontiac, MI

View Mario's profile


208 posts in 4859 days

#2 posted 10-08-2019 03:36 PM

Tyvek… far your best option, and not expensive….

View waho6o9's profile


9194 posts in 4040 days

#3 posted 10-08-2019 03:53 PM

View Axis39's profile


623 posts in 1060 days

#4 posted 10-08-2019 03:58 PM

Drawing velum. Used to use it when I was a draftsman. It usued to come in rolls 36’ wide. But, haven’t seriously searched for it in years.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View unclearthur's profile


396 posts in 3251 days

#5 posted 10-08-2019 05:25 PM

I never thought of Tyvek, which I’ve used for building wrap. I don’t think it will let light pass through, but for closet doors maybe this is not so important. I’ll have to see if I can get some unprinted Tyvek though, as having “Tyvek” in giant blue letters on the door won’t look so great.
Thanks for the replies

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3134 posts in 3488 days

#6 posted 10-09-2019 04:03 AM

You should be able to find thin fiberglass panels that are frosted or translucent (not transparent). Sometimes they even have patterns or shapes, such as leaves, imbedded in them. They are very light weight.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View LeeRoyMan's profile


2731 posts in 1190 days

#7 posted 10-09-2019 04:18 AM

Look for polystyrene.
Here is an example on Amazon. (you can get it thinner if you want)

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