The history of Venetian blinds

Wed 11 Nov 2015 James Nuttall

65mm Clay with 38mm Taupe Tape

The term “Venetian Blinds” is actually a little misleading. Horizontally slatted blinds did not originate in Venice. Ever since the ancient Egyptians wove reeds into slats to provide shade from the sun, while also lighting their homes, this type of blind has been growing in popularity.

The first records of Venetian blinds actually reaching Venice, show that it was returning trade missions from Asia & the Middle East which first delivered slatted blinds to Italy, where they slowly grew in popularity.

It wasn’t until the 18th century when migrants from Italy started to spread Venetian blinds, first to France, then England and the Americas.

The fashionable trends in blind type, material and slat size have varied drastically over that time. Initially, wooden venetian blinds, painted in a wide variety of colours and generally with wide fixed slats, were the “in thing” until the early twentieth century when aluminium venetian blinds boomed in popularity. In 1930’s New York, there wasn’t an office building in the city without venetian blinds installed!

Slat size gradually reduced as fashions veered toward a higher number of smaller metal slats. Then there was a sudden move toward using plastic as a material of choice in the home and office in the 1960’s. But more contemporary trends have seen a return to classic, larger wooden slats.

There’s some wonderful speculation about the future of Venetian blinds; we could soon start seeing ‘smart blinds’, which could open/close during the day when you’re at work to maintain an optimal temperature in your home or to save energy on heating or air-conditioning.

As material science continues to advance, we could start to see solar energy-capturing blinds which would feed into the power grid. Other advances in specialised security blinds which could prevent intrusion or make identifying criminals easier are in the works. And there are a myriad of unique designs in the works incorporating 3D printing to customize window blinds.

Whatever the future holds, we’re confident that the classic Venetian blind will still be fashionable in coming decades, whatever material they’re made out of.

Why not head over to our site to see our vast range of both wooden and aluminium Venetian blinds?


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