Venetian window blinds are among the classic window covering options, and it has been a standard feature in homes for centuries. Their simple and stylish design is the reason why Venetian blinds have endured the test of time, and trends in modern design show no signs of that changing any time soon.
Designers from kensingtonsystems.co.uk describe Venetian blinds as coverings with a series of horizontal slats, typically 2 inches across and made of aluminium, wood or plastic. Wide cloth tapes or cords hold the slats together, with a mechanism that enables them to rotate in unison. This allows for quick, simple operation while maximising control of how much light enters a room.
The design of Venetian blinds has remained largely intact over the centuries. The same cannot be said about its name, however; just ask the Venetians themselves.
The French, even those living outside of Venice, are among the few to recognise the blinds’ true origins. Les Persienes, the term they use to refer to Venetian blinds, translates to either ‘The Persians’ or ‘The Shutters’ — both of which make sense given that Venetian blinds actually originated in Persia.
Not until their introduction to European trade in the 1760s did Les Persienes achieve intercontinental prominence. Of course, the product ended up attributed to the French traders responsible for its spread.
Much of Venetian blinds’ history remains conjectural, still, despite tracing their trade origins back to Persia. The idea of screening windows was not exclusive to one continent, apparently, since woven bamboo and papyrus blinds have been recovered from various locations, most notably in Japan. The Venetian blind was the variety to find its way to modern stores, but it would be incorrect to say that its name is enough to tell its entire story.
Countless everyday items possess a rich history behind them; Venetian blinds are only one example of how much it takes to create classics, and how easy it is to appreciate a product that time itself has picked out.