History of Venetian Blinds

Venetian Blinds, known as ‘slatted’ or ‘louvre blinds’ and popular for their affordability and low maintenance, venetian blinds have been around for a very, very long time. In contrary to popular thought, Venetian blinds originated in 12th Century Persia, with cruder versions being seen further back in ancient Egypt and China (think reeds and bamboo slats).

Brought to Venice, Italy by traders in the 18th Century, they increased in popularity and gradually spread to ever-fashionable France. Held together traditionally by cloth strips, the slimline and uniformed look was loved by French, and the Persian-French connection is further solidified in the French word for Shutters/Blinds being ‘les persiennes’.

Venetian blinds remained highly popular even in the British Colonised America, with claimed usage as early as 1761 in St. Peter’s Church, Philadelphia. Numerous paintings and illustrations from the 1700s, including when the Declaration of Independence was signed, show Venetian blinds on windows.

Finally patented (twice) by 1796, Venetian Blinds remained barely changed, until a patent from 1841 By John Hampson of New Orleans, a well-known railroad engineer and mayor of Carrollton, Louisiana. Hampson’s design enabled Venetian Blinds to remain stable and to be tilted, creating the modern versions we see today. Venetian blinds continued to soar in popularity, with many government buildings adopting them - even the Empire State building used them to adorn windows! Since then they have continuously grown as popular window coverings.

There are four main variations of Venetian Blinds, Wood Venetians, Metal Venetians, Shutter Venetian Blinds and the younger Faux Wood Venetian blinds.

Metal Venetian Blinds

Metal Venetian Blinds have been around in their current form since first manufactured in 1936 by Kirsch and taking off in in the 1940s. Our metal venetians come in 15mm,25mm, 35mm and 50mm slat width options, and are comprised of rust-free Aluminium.

Due to their cheap material, these blinds are the most affordable and are widely used in offices and homes for the simple and contemporary look. Operated with a tilt rod and pull cord, these blinds allow full control over light and privacy, and offer a saturated colour that lasts, fantastic for updating window décor.

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Wooden Venetian Blinds

Wooden Venetian Blinds offer a more robust finish to the traditional slatted blind. Using tilt and raise cords, wooden blinds are made from bass wood with various finishes available from traditional wood stain, to contemporary gloss whites and gorgeous grey shades.

Available in 25mm, 35mm, 50mm and 63mm sizes, wooden blinds are a fantastic natural-looking option and as they are thicker than metal venetians, create an effective sound barrier to the outside world.

Wooden Venetian Blinds are a perfect addition to any room, especially living rooms and bedrooms for a chic finish.

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Taped Wooden Venetian Blinds

Wooden blinds also have the option of having ‘tapes’ added, small cloth strips keeping the slats together, which not only is a throw back to the traditional medieval Venetian design but helps in the modern era to reduce light and noise.

Tapes can also be a fantastic design option, as seen here with a bold black tape against gloss white slats for a luxurious finish, which ties in with the black accessories.

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Faux Wooden Venetian Blinds

The newest addition to the Venetian Blinds family, Faux Wooden Blinds are made from PVC, and as such are not only moisture-resistant but are also flame retardant, perfect for kitchens or bathrooms.

Made to look exactly like real wood blinds, we feature a wide range of different options, from stained wood colours, grained finishes to sleek monotones, faux wooden blinds are not only a sustainable option, but are great to look at.

Available in 35mm, 50mm and 63mm slat widths, faux wooden blinds are favoured as an affordable and durable choice. We can also provide tapes to complement.

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Shutter Blinds

Shutter Blinds are the internal blind version of the traditional external shutter windows seen mainly on the European continent.

Sitting in a neat frame, shutter blinds are the sturdiest option, and can look beautiful in any room – whether it’s the bathroom or bedroom.

We offer both faux wood shutters and real wooden shutters for a wide fitting choice. If the thought of a ‘full’ shutter seems too much, why not try the café shutter option which comes up half way and allows light in over the top?

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We hope this article gave you a better understanding of what venetian blinds are. Don't forget you can order free samples to get a feel for different materials and styles of venetian blinds.

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