A window blind is a window covering composed of long strips of fabric or rigid material. Examples include shutters, Venetian blinds, roller shades and curtain-like track blinds. In Britain awnings are also considered blinds. A blind limits observation and thus “blinds” the observer to the view. The main types are slat blinds which can be opened in two ways and solid blinds.
Slat blinds have long strips called slats. These can be rotated to open the blind while it is still covering the window. In track blinds the slats hang vertically from one end. In Venetian blinds and mini blinds the slats are suspended horizontally on cords. A slat blind can also be opened so it is no longer covering the window.
Solid blinds can only be raised or lowered and are often called shades. In some such as Holland blinds and woven-wood blinds there are small spaces between the slats. In others such as pleated shades there are no spaces because the slats are sewn inside fabric.
Window blinds reduce the heat from sunlight. Ancient Egyptian pharaohs had blinds made of reeds. The most inexpensive blinds in the 1800’s were home-made roller shades, made of cloth.
Window blinds can be manually drawn or automated through motorization, controlled from a wall switch or keypad, remote control, or a personal computer, thus eliminating the hazard of dangling cords.
The most common window blinds are slat blinds, which consist of many horizontal slats, usually of metal or vinyl, connected with string in a way that they can be rotated to allow light to pass between the slats, rotated up to about 170 degrees to hide the light, or pulled up so that the entire window is clear. Vertical blinds consist of slats of stiffened fabric, plastic, or metal hanging by one end from a track; like the horizontal versions, the slats can be rotated 90 degrees to allow light to pass through or to fold up on one side of a door or window. Vertical blinds are very good at controlling how much natural or exterior light comes into a room, due to the ability of the slats to close tightly.
Window blinds have varying thermal effects: they can block unwanted heat of the summer sun and they can keep in heat in cold weather. But in both of these applications, they also reduce light to varying degrees, depending on the design. Many kinds of blinds attempt varying balances of privacy and shade. Blinds can be made of a number of different materials and manufactured in a number of different ways. This usually determines the name by which the blind is commonly known.
Pinoleum blinds are made up of small wooden twigs laid horizontally which are joined together by vertical threading. The resulting weave is, as a result, only flexible vertically and can be drawn upwards once manufactured as a roller blind or in a similar fashion to a Venetian blind. Conservatory blinds are often made with Pinoleum. Drawings in ancient Egyptian tombs of reed blinds have been reported and a common window blind during the 1800’s is said to have been the home-made roller shade.
Car shades are another common way to protect the vehicle. The shades for the rear and front windows are designed to be unfolded and sit against the window. They can be made of plastic or cardboard. The shades that go on the side windows of a vehicle are usually attached using suction cups or using static cling.
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