Cooks Blinds & Shutters Years Service

The Surprising History of Venetian Blinds

Blinds and Curtains

Venetian Blinds are a popular product for controlling the amount of light entering a room through the use of horizontal pivoting slats. But did you know that Venetian Blinds are unlikely to actually originate from Venice as their name suggests? There are several theories about where they were first created, which we will delve into in this week’s blog.

Old wooden Venetian blinds

A Tale as Old as Time

Some writers have argued that Venetian Blinds were created in Ancient Egypt when reeds were woven together into slats. Much like the blinds of today this would have provided shelter from heat whilst still allowing in sufficient natural light to illuminate a room. It seems doubtful, however that these blinds would have resembled anything like the Venetian Blinds we know today. 

Trading Times

The Japanese and Chinese have also been credited with creating a form of Venetian Blind using bamboo slats. Others cite Persia (modern-day Iran) as the home of this elegant window covering. Whatever the truth of the matter, it seems that it was the rise in international trading that brought products such as slatted blinds from Asia and the Middle East to places in Europe, such as Venice, in the 1700s. Some believe that it was freed Persian slaves migrating from Venice to France who helped to spread the knowledge of Venetian Blinds. Further evidence for the Persian theory might be found in the name the French use for shutters or blinds, which is ‘les persiennes’.

Patent Popularity

Whether Venetian Blinds were Egyptian, Persian or European in origin was of no consequence when on 11 December 1769, both Gowin Knight and Edward Beran took out patents relating to Venetian Blinds. By this time, the style had already reached America. It was recorded in 1761 that St Peter’s Church in Philadelphia, was actually fitted with Venetian Blinds.

Venetian blinds from Cooks Blinds & Shutters

 We can supply aluminium or timber Venetian Blinds in a range of durable styles and with differing slat sizes. See the product pdfs on our website for further details, or give us a call 01603 410304.

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