Horizontal Blinds information (San Diego)
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Horizontal Blinds

Horizontal blinds are made of horizontal slats suspended one above the other by cloth tapes or cords (ladders). All of the slats can tilt in unison in either direction up to about 180 degrees. Slats can very in width from 1” to 2-1/2” or more, with 2” being the common size. Lift cords connected to the bottom rail run up through the blind and the head rail to allow all slats to be raised from the bottom-up. Horizontal blinds allow variable control over the amount of light, the angle of the light, and privacy. Unlike shades, blinds allow air flow, depending on the degree of closure.


Some people refer to any horizontal blind as Venetian blinds, which were historically made of metal.  The origin of Venetian blinds is thought to be Persia. Venetian traders brought the idea to Venice.  From there, freed Venetian slaves are thought to have taken the blind to France. Venetian blinds in the US were pioneered beginning in 1767 by John Webster of London. The tilt mechanism (still used today) is attributed to John Hanson of New Orleans in the mid 19th century. This “new concept” horizontal slat window covering was thought to be more economical, more durable, and easier to operate than cloth shades.  Horizontal blinds are still an enduring window covering option for the same reasons. Today’s slat material is more commonly wood or faux wood materials than metal.  Horizontal blinds can be appropriate for nearly any décor with many homeowners softening the look with decorative drapery side panels.

Modern developments:

  • Routeless: Most horizontal blinds can be ordered “routeless”, which means the lift cords are wound around the ladders instead of through holes (route holes) in the slats.  This eliminates the pin-holes of light and creates a darker room.

  • Cordless Lift: Some brands are available with cordless lift.  Counterbalancing “spring motors” in the head rail allow you to raise and lower the blind by simply moving the bottom rail by hand to the desired position.

  • Motorized Tilt: Some blinds are available with battery powered tilt motors and remote controls.  This is a great feature for hard-to-reach blinds.

  • Faux Wood Slat Materials: Blinds that look like wood blinds are available with man-made materials (polyvinyl and composites of poly and wood) that don’t have wood’s potential to warp and crack.

Not looking for “Blinds” after all?

Sometimes “Blinds” is a term used generically for a variety of window coverings. If this site is not describing the product you’re looking for, please visit our comprehensive window covering web site: San Diego Shutters and Blinds

For more information specifically on shutters, visit San Diego Shutters.

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Horizontal Blinds