A Short History of Roman, Venetian, and Roller Blinds

A picture of wooden roller blinds in a modern property
While the history of blinds might not jump off the screen at you screaming ‘read me!’, it’s always interesting to look into the past. Looking backwards, and finding out how many of our day to day items or activities started out, can often be surprisingly rewarding. Blinds really are no different, and, in fact, can reveal some interesting facts about old ways of living. We’re also a blinds company, so it makes sense that we’d be writing about them here!
The very earliest forms of blinds were probably around far too early for them to have been recorded. The ancient civilizations of the world endeavoured to let sun into their buildings where they could. Thus, it makes sense that the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans would all have invented ‘blinds’ of some form. While these might not have looked at all similar to today’s versions, a blind in its basic form is simply a piece (or pieces) of material used to cover a window or opening.

Venetian blinds

It is generally accepted that Venetian blinds were first invented in Persia. Only after they were brought to Europe (and, unsurprisingly, Venice) did their name change, and they became the ‘Venetian’ blind. The first Englishman to patent Venetian blinds was Edward Bevan in 1769, before they continued to spread throughout Europe and America during the nineteenth century. The style remains one of the most popular even today, which is testimony to their lasting appeal.

Roman blinds

No prizes for guessing where this style came from … ancient Rome in all of its glory was a busy, bustling place. The exact population of ancient Rome at its peak is unknown. Some place it near one million, while there is evidence from censuses that suggests it was as much as four or five times more than this. With lots of people (and horses) in a hot sunny place came lots of dirt and dust; people needed to keep their homes and its air clean. Thus, as we alluded to at the start of this piece, a method of covering openings in houses was devised. As time went on, the patterns on these Roman blinds began to emerge. Today, the style remains largely unchanged.

Roller blinds

Now for something a little more modern. It wasn’t until relatively more recently that roller blinds became popular. At the start of the eighteenth century, people began making blinds from Dutch linen. This linen was then changed turned into blind fabric in Scotland, and a simple cord mechanism allowed the roller blinds to be opened and shut. A spring was then added to the mechanism in America a century later, and by 1864 Stewart Hartshorn had devised something similar to what we have today.

Controlux Limited

We supply high quality Venetian, Roman and roller blinds here at Controlux Limited. Our company is a prime example of why blinds of all varieties are still so popular in the twenty-first century. We provide a friendly, professional service to all of our customers, and have built up an outstanding reputation in Surrey and the surrounding area. To find out more about what we have to offer, call us on 020 3044 2988 or fill out one of our simple online contact forms.