Different types of Blinds and Shade in the World
There is an abundance of choice when it comes to understanding what the vast world of Blinds and Shades offer for a window. This article should help clear out all confusion by listing out all the types and what they are best suited for. With that said, there may be a few that might have been overlooked due to their niche nature.
What makes a blind? How is its different form a Shade?
Blinds are fundamentally different from shades in the way that they are structured. They have individual slats which can be adjusted up and down. Some Blinds also tilt from side to side, offering more control over the light entering the room. For most blinds, A cord on the side allows a user to adjust them up and down with a rod on the side to adjust the tilt.
Shades also come in a variety of materials, but their main difference is that they are made of one piece of material instead of individual slats. This means that they can only be adjusted up and down but not side to side.
Types of Blinds:
- Vertical Blinds
Vertical Blinds have individual slats that are positioned vertically as opposed to horizontally. They open either form side to side or part down the middle. These are a popular choice for glass doors overlooking a patio or floor to ceiling windows. They would go well with smaller windows as well.
- Venetian Blinds
These are the most popular style, featuring horizontal slats attached with string or cloth. When raised, the bottom slat is pressed into the slat above it.
- Mini Blinds
These operate in a similar fashion to Venetian blinds but have thinner slats. They average at around one inch.
- Micro Blinds
These are even thinner than Mini blinds, featuring slats around half an inch thick.
- Panel Blinds
These are another popular choice for patio doors and very big windows. These feature large sections on a track which slide open and closed.
- Smart Blinds
These blinds are ones which can be controlled via a smartphone app in groups or individually. They can be programmed to times as well. But, the caveat is that they cost a bit more than regular blinds.
Types of Shades:
- Pleated Shades
A piece of material is pleated to form an accordion style pattern which allows it to be lowered and raised. They look similar to Venetian blinds but cannot be adjusted from side to side. Typically made from fabric or paper.
- Cellular Shades
They are visually similar to Pleated shades and are made from similar materials. But, unlike Pleated shades, they are made from two different pieces of material. The front and rear sections open in the middle, creating a section of air to provide insulation. They come in a variety of cell sizes to suit a user’s needs. They also have the added benefit of insulating sound.
- Roman Shades
These are window shades made from fabric or other dense woven materials. They vary in style but they all share the common characteristic where when raised, they fold into themselves.
- Roller Shades
These are usually made from synthetic or natural fabrics and can be rolled to suit one’s needs. The roller is usually visible in the most common fittings at the top of the window.
- Tie-Up Shades
These are a cross between a shade and a curtain. They are made of a fabric that uses ties extending past the base of the shade. It is raised by rolling it up and tying it in place.
- Solar Shades
These are similar to Roller shades. They are usually used to tone down sunlight, glare and UV rays entering the room. While doing these, they allow one to view the outside without obstruction.
- Outdoor Shades
They are made of strong, durable materials and typically used on verandas to reduce the sunlight and heat entering the area.
- Skylight Shades
They are available in various styles. These are made to cover hard to reach skylights. They feature a removable rod that can be used to adjust the shade. Some use a handle instead of a rod while smart shades use motors.
The most popular material for construction of blinds, they offer the natural look and warmth. With wood being available in a wide number of colours and types, it is quite a favourite for shade use. They are not recommended for areas with moisture or humidity.
- Faux Wood
They offer all the benefits of wood with the durability and economical value of synthetic materials. These are fast replacing wood shades in the world.
With plastic being the most economical and flexible material available to man, it is quickly gaining popularity with the colours and wide selection of sizes it offers. While it doesn’t look as luxurious as wood, it offers the same functionality. They are quite easy to damage owing to their thin form factors.
They look similar to plastic but are the most durable. They are resistant to moisture and make a great option for wet environments. Their only drawback is the noise the make owing to their metallic nature.
Paper shades are the most popular for different décor styles owing to the very low cost. They are usually a single colour but sometimes can have custom images or stylised writing.
Natural fabrics are another popular material. But synthetic fabrics have made them obsolete with their more durable and economical nature. They are the easiest to work with and often the most durable. Synthetics are very resistant to fading as opposed to natural ones.
A single sheet of fabric is used to completely block out all light in this type of blind.
These blinds have a layer stitched onto them which acts as an insulating layer to keep heat from escaping or entering depending on the use case.
Sheer fabrics can be added to make a shade have the functionality of a blind. It features a sheet of fabric like a regular blind with a sheet of slats in front of it to regulate the light entering a room.
These are typically adjusted by using one’s hand to bring the blind to where one wants it to be.
- Top Down Bottom Up
These are suspended in the middle with rails on the side and can be adjusted from the bottom as well as the top. They are visually stunning and add a lot of character to a room. They can often be installed without any screws.