The History of Window Shades

The History of Window Shades

The history of window shades begins around the 18th century. Just before the era of Venetian window blinds and furnishings became popular, roller shades were used. Here is a brief history of shades from their earliest beginnings until now.

Shades began to appear in European countries like France, England and Holland. It is rumored that Holland was the first to introduce the roller shade. In fact, Linen roller shades were quite sophisticated and named the “Holland Shade” or just “Hollands” according to some sources. Most roller shades of the time were made of paper. Decorative landscapes were artistically drawn on translucent paper to provide a bit of covering for the windows and art that could be seen from inside the home and out. As with most window coverings, by the late 1700s most public buildings in America used decorative roller shades. It wasn’t until later that they became a staple for the American home.

By the 19th century, the designs on the roller shades evolved to include artistry that was easier to manufacture. Complete with stenciled borders and a large center design, the roller shades were often still quite elaborate. By 1855 more than 10 patents were pending with various spring designs to replace the cumbersome operating styles that were used to raise and lower the shades. Today, spring loaded roller shades are still being used, perfected by modern innovations. Roller shades were later replaced with massive draperies and venetian blinds popular in the early 20th century.

Modern shades like Hunter Douglas Roller Shades are evolving with new ideas that make them easier to use and more durable. New fabrics have replaced the paper and linen prototypes. Besides the basic roller shade, we also have many variations of the basic shade available. Woven wood shades come in organic textures like bamboo shades made from grasses and reeds and woven in multiple designs. Modern folded shades come in a variety of Roman shades styles and Honeycomb shades offer increased energy efficiency to help with modern day heating and cooling costs. With the design of modern sheers, we are pleased to offer our most popular window treatments in Houston Texas. Modern Luminette®, Silhouette®, Pirouette® and Nantucket™ sheers provide the most in light control and privacy. Complete with a sheer backing, these shades also have vanes that open and close at varying angles to give you greater control.  

If you are interested in shades in Houston Texas, let the experts at Window Magic show you the modern innovations and exceptional fabrics that make today’s shades a great option for your window coverings. Contact us today for a preview of what your home can look like.

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