History of Blinds

History of Blinds

Window Blinds have been around for thousands of years, in one form or another. They were used in ancient times in Egypt, Rome and China for controlling light, air flow, privacy and security. Although window blinds were used way back then, they have undergone many changes to make them into the modern day blinds we use today.

The first use of blinds was in ancient desert civilizations where wetted strips of cloth were used to cover windows of huts or tents. These wet strips kept out some of the intense desert heat and provided a crude form of air conditioning as air blew over the wet cloth. Later reeds from the Nile River were used to make mats that could be rolled up or down at will. This was a precursor to the woven roller shades of today. The Chinese used pieces of bamboo tied together to create roller blinds, and Ancient Romans used fabric in what were the original Roman Shades.

The Venetian blind, although named after Venice, Italy was not actually invented there. It is speculated that merchants from Venice discovered the blinds in Persia and brought them back to Italy. These blinds use many slats of the same length that are linked together with a ladder of string that allows the slats to be raised and lowered. The knowledge of how to make these blinds then made its way to France and Spain through slaves who were traded to those areas. By the mid 1700’s these blinds were popular all over Europe. 

Throughout the years, many adjustments have been made to the functionality of blinds. One such development was of blinds that allowed for the slats to be adjusted for inflow of light and airflow. Different materials were also used to make blinds throughout history: the original material strips, to reeds, bamboo, all the way to the modern materials of today: wood, aluminum, vinyl, and fabric. In 1946, Hunter Douglas first mass produced aluminum window blinds. The distributors would sell the blinds by day and assemble them at night for their customers. By 1950, vertical blinds were invented and became the newest thing in blinds. In the 70’s mini blinds became popular with very narrow slats. In the 80’s, these aluminum mini blinds were replaced by blinds made of vinyl.

Today there are many options when covering your windows, modern mini blinds made of aluminum or vinyl, wood blinds of real wood, composite or vinyl, shutters, vertical blinds, honeycomb shades, roman shades as well as Silhouettes or Luminettes to name a few. One of the newest modern inventions are blinds controlled by smart home technology where a computer can be programmed to tell the blinds when to open and close and can be remotely controlled from your iPhone. With the popularity of window blinds one thing is certain, they will continue to grow and change and new developments will continue to be made in the area of window fashions. Find out more at Window Magic Blinds & Drapery in the Houston, Texas area. We are happy to help you find the right blinds for you. Your satisfaction is our highest priority.
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