Blinds Through the Ages: a Brief History

It’s undeniable that blinds are a mainstay in homes today. They’ve also been around for so long that it’s easy to forget they weren’t always there. But of course, everything starts somewhere and blinds are no different. So really, where did they come from? How did they come to be so popular, and what’s their story? Who, in fact, came up with the idea of better controlling light and privacy?

All very good questions. So we did some digging for ourselves. In the process, we were able to uncover some interesting facts that just goes to show there’s so much to learn. We hope you have as much fun reading these as we did unearthing them!

1. Early Blinds

Necessity is the mother of invention as they say, and that’s precisely how the first blinds came to be. It’s thought that the earliest form of blinds were used by desert tribes who had to deal with extreme heat and of course sand/ dust. Naturally, the solution was to hang up a cloth in the front of doorways and windows to keep these at bay. As simple as this sounds, it’s clear that even then the aim was to control light and privacy. Wetting the cloth was also a way to keep the interiors cool.

2. Ancient Egypt

We all know Ancient Egyptians were light years ahead of their time, so really it’s no surprise that they’re on the list. They took the nomadic desert tribes’ simple cloth covering and took it a step further by using reeds instead. Reed was commonly used in Egypt back in the day for papyrus too as it was readily available. It was now possible to roll up the blinds and with the help of woven cords, could be bound up too. The blind became functional as it could now be rolled up or down, improving flexibility too.

3. Ancient China

Now let’s travel back in time towards the East, specifically China. 

While the Egyptians were experimenting with reed, the Chinese were making use of something readily available to them: Bamboo. As a durable, moisture-resistant material, bamboo proved to be a great option, and is still used in blinds today. China started making roller blinds with bamboo, possibly the first of its kind.

4. Romans

Much like the desert tribes, the Romans had to deal with heat and dust constantly entering their homes. While they initially started off with using cloth as well, they were inventors like the Egyptians and moved on from this. They used thicker, more durable cloth and gave it design and shape. It’s thought that these were the first origins of Roman blinds. In fact, the Romans led the way with creating blinds that allowed the fabric to fold back up on itself. This was likely the start of moving away from the Venetian blinds style that was circulating at the time.

5. The Industrial Revolution

The industrial revolution was a key period in time for us humans. While it’s believed that roller blinds were likely doing the rounds around the 17th century, they only became popular in the 18th century. As it turns out, this was around the start of the industrial revolution as well. During this time, the production of materials including cloth was high, making it convenient to make blinds. This in turn meant that they could be sold affordably, so they were popular with people. As they also began to improve their standard of living, blinds were seen as a luxury addition to a home.

6. Modern Blinds

Fast forward to the 21st century, and blinds are a whole other ball game. Not only are they functional and practical as originally intended, they’re also stylish and interior design staples. From double-roller blinds to panel glide blinds, vertical blinds and more, the list goes on. They’re also available in a wide range of colours, patterns and textures, allowing you to precisely customise your choices. They can be used to complement a theme or make a statement, depending on your needs. Really, the sky’s the limit when it comes to using blinds as you can also use various combinations. Motorised blinds also let you operate them remotely, and when paired with a smart device, even when you’re away.


We hope you enjoyed that little trip through the history of blinds, because we certainly did. And if you need a hand with making the right selections for your home, reach out to the team anytime. We’re here to assist and support you through the entire process, from start to finish. Our DIY system is simple and cost-effective, easy for absolutely anyone to follow. 

So go ahead and reach out, that’s what we’re here for!

Blinds Through the Ages: a Brief History
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