A style of window dressing, an alternative or addition to curtains.
Blinds come in many forms:
Slatted: these tend to be best for conservatories – inexpensive, easy to manage, can be opened or closed to let more or less light and air through; cut and made to fit any shape of window; managed from a distance.
Roller: flat blinds from a top roller that sits neatly within the window recess – as long as they don’t get in the way of shutters or other opening and closing mechanisms, such as espagnolette bolts. They can be made of stiffened fabric, laminated fabric, or a selection of specially engineered light diffusing, furniture protecting materials. The fittings are not the prettiest- they can be covered by a neat pelmet, or the blinds can be rolled the other way so that the fabric comes from the front of the roller rathe than behind which is usual.
Rolled: the soft fabric version of the above, that uses a fixed batten rather than a roller to hold the top, and which can only be operated by hand- via ties or primitive cording mechanism.
Roman: a soft fabric blind with a rodding system that forms and holds the blond into accordion pleats.
Austrian; soft fabric blind that is full enough in the width to drop as scallops, they can look like curtains when they are down and can double up as such.
Festoon; fixed ruching all the way down makes these a bit frilly for most, however they are traditional – they sit close the the window and within most recesses, and pull up as any other soft, or informal Roman blind.
Venetian: my venetian clients swear that what we call Austrian are Venetian. My understanding is of a harder construction – metal or wooden slatted blinds that can be raised or lowered and whose slats can be open or closed by degree to afford privacy, filtered light, maximum light to virtual black out.
The material that can be used to make one blind or another must encompass the whole possibility. And includes: soft or hardwood slats, bamboo, metal strips, aluminium, steel, copper, leather, pineapple fibre, agave, abaca, taffeta, seersucker, chintz, Holland, broderie anglais, gingham, linen stripes, small prints, large prints, voiles…ad infinitum.
Fabric may be as floral and traditional as you like, made as sheers, unlined, lined, interlined, and from very full to flat panel. Silk and other lightweight fabrics that are affected by sunlight may also be used, but with a lining. They can be adorned with braids or embroidered. Ready-to-hang blinds are also available.
All blinds can be used on their own, or with a further window treatment or dressing, to gain the best characteristic of both.
See also : roller blind, rolled blind; Roman blind, window blind, festoon, Venetian.