The Invention & History of Blinds
It isn’t exactly certain how blinds first came into existence or who invented them. However, there are many reasons to believe that the initial idea of blinds first originated in Egypt thousands of years in the past. The first blinds prototype was likely very minimalistic – simply a series of fixed slats. It is believed that this design was later improved upon in Persia, India, or China.
Things become a bit more clear in the early 1700’s, where blinds begin to appear on European trading routes near the Eastern Italian coast and Venice. You’ve probably heard of “Venetian blinds”. That’s where this name comes from. Throughout the colonial era of the 1700’s in English and French colonies, these blinds began to grow in popularity. They were often regarded as something of a luxury, something that only the high-class would own and display in large houses, churches, and public buildings. There are also early paintings of this same time period featuring blinds in elegant and wealthy settings.
Mass production of window blinds began following the end of World War 2. Over 1,000 distributors owned by Hunter Douglas mass produced many blinds in North America at this time.
In the 1970s, a major change occurred in how blinds were designed, namely the creation of the 1 Inch Mini Blind, making blinds lighter, smaller, and more affordable. Later on, during the 80’s and 90’s, the traditional wide-slat design of blinds made a major comeback, as they were seen as higher class.
Various Forms of Blinds
If you are looking for the right window coverings for your home, there are many different blinds to choose from. There are two forms of blinds that most people recognize: the traditional wide-slat blinds and the lighter (often plastic) 1 inch blinds. There are also many other forms of blinds that can add plenty of style and flare to your home.
- Vertical Blinds: These are vertical blinds that hang from a horizontal track. They can often be opened from the middle or side-to-side. These are ideal for patio doors or floor-to-ceiling windows.
- Venetian Blinds: One of the most common blind designs, these are horizontal slats attached with string. Sometimes they are attached with tapes (cloth strips). The slats can be opened or they can be raised entirely.
- Micro Blinds: These are smaller than the mini (1 inch) blinds. The slats are roughly ½ inch.
- Panel Blinds: These are also vertical blinds that make a great addition to any patio door or floor-to-ceiling window. They can also simply be used for large windows. They are comprised of sections that move along a track.
Blinds can come in a variety of materials.
- Wood: Wood blinds are great for traditional-style homes that have a lot of wood furniture and lush carpets.
- Faux Wood: These are also great for traditional-style homes and should be used in bathrooms in place of traditional wood. This is because they don’t expand and contract due to moisture and temperature changes (which can ruin natural wood).
- Plastic: These are a more affordable option and can also be very stylish, as they come in virtually any color you can think of.
Metal: Metal blinds are a stylish option for modern or industrial-style homes.