The History of Window Blinds

July 3, 2012

While popular styles, colours and patterns for window coverings change from year to year the actual invention and use of the window blind dates back to 1500 BC.   We thought it would be fun to take a trip back in time to see the earliest forms of window coverings and shed some new light on the technology and inherent style of modern window coverings.

The Chinese were the first to employ window coverings which was recorded as early as 1500 BC.  The homeowners of the day used the plentiful bamboo with basic string to create the original roll up blind.  Green bamboo was the most effective as its moist structure and color helped to repel the heat from entering room.  As bamboo stalks dried out, they were often replaced with new green “blinds”.

Romans and early Egyptians also employed draperies to cool homes and to manage the relentless Mediterranean sunlight.  Their preference was to select thick but porous fabrics that could be hung in a voluminous way around door frames and windows.  The fabrics were first soaked in water before hanging to provide additional cooling and to increase the light deflection properties of the window covering.  Cool air was permitted to permeate through the wet cloth while heat and sand were filtered out.  From this thick fabric appearance the design for modern Roman Shades are derived.  It is a style that remains very popular today offering a Mediterranean design flair to the home.

Did you know that in 1969 a British gentleman named Edward Beran patented the Venetian Blind?  The patent was registered in London and shortly afterward the popular design began to appear around the world.  Venetian blinds were thought to have originated in Persia and also brought to France where they are still known as “Les Persiennes”.

Just after the Second World War and in 1946, the venetian blind was redesigned in an affordable and plentiful material.  Aluminum venetians became a hit for both commercial and residential applications.  These early blinds were constructed with small fabric strips to make raising and lowering of the blinds easier.

In the mid 1980s cellular shades were developed during the era of the energy crisis.  These shades had a unique honeycomb structure which trapped heat and prevented it from entering the room.  Consequently shades that repel heat from the outdoors also help to retain heat during winter months from escaping through windows.  Cellular shades are still in production today and a valuable options for those looking to reduce their heating and cooling expenses.  Additional technology such as fire resistant coatings and other features are available to enhance the safety and comfort of your home with quality window coverings.

A great deal of history and technology has gone into the evolution of window coverings and blinds.   We are proud to offer quality blinds that continue to meet the comfort and safety demands of our clients.  Made to Measure Blinds UK offers a convenient means of ordering your blinds from home.