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What Is A Window Blind?

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, used to start out each new season with the team in the locker room where he would pick up the football and say to the team “This is a football.” It was all about getting down to basics.

Blind CordsWhat Is A Window Blind?

This is a window blind, (sometimes called mini-blinds, plantation blinds, or ”Venetian” blinds) and they can be horizontally or vertically oriented with slats that are made out of metal (usually aluminum), plastic, extruded vinyl, wood, or a wood composite.

Horizontal blinds, can be raised and lowered to provide access to the window opening using a fabric lift cord or a mechanical cordless lift system installed inside the headrail at the top of the blind.

The slats can be tilted up or down to control the direction and the amount of light allowed into the room using a fabric cord, a baton, or a motorized tilt system inside the headrail. (A note about motorized horizontal blinds: most companies can not produce a motorized blind that will raise and lower the unit. Most motorized horizontal blinds only tilt the slats.)

Horizontal blinds are available in a variety of sizes depending on the material selected. Aluminum blinds can be ordered with slats as small as 1/2” and as large as 2” with the 1” version being the most popular. Plastic slats are typically found in the 1” variety as an entry-level product and are fairly inexpensive. The extruded vinyl products are most commonly found in the 2” style. Wood blinds seem to have the largest number of options starting at 1” with 2”, 2-1/2”, and occasionally a 3” slat size to choose from. The composite blinds are most likely to be found using a 2-1/2” slat to simulate the look of a plantation shutter.

Vertical blinds are typically used to cover sliding glass doors or other wide or tall areas. Some vertical blinds can be as much as 200” wide.

The slats on a vertical blind can be vinyl, metal, wood (usually a lightweight material like basswood), or a decorative fabric. The slats can ”stack” or push back to the left or right or split in the middle with half of the slats on each side when drawn back.

To draw the slats across the window or to stack them off the window a fabric cord is typically used. (Although a small number of companies offer a motorized system that will draw the slats and tilt them).

To tilt the slats, a beaded metal chain or baton is used.

In recent years, vertical blinds have lost some of their popularity in new homes while horizontal blinds (especially those made of wood with the 2” or larger slats) have increased in popularity.


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James A. Holloway
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James A. Holloway

James A. Holloway has been working in the window coverings industry since 2001 but it wasn't until 2009 that he took the leap and started his own installation business.

In 2011, he created the "Window Treatment Installers Network" a online forum for window treatment professionals.

In 2013 he began writing for window coverings blog called TraVerse.

And in 2014 he was recruited by the Custom Home Furnishings Academy to teach their Installation 101 Curriculum .
James A. Holloway
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