What are pleated shades and how they work?
Shades are an extremely important addition to any home and can be an integral part of your home too. As window treatments, shades offer two distinct uses to a home. These can be broadly categorised into aesthetics and functionality. With respect to aesthetics, shades are often used to bring a pleasing look to any room. Houses are not just meant for storage and shelter. They are now places where we go for comfort and relaxation. Shades, as window coverings can give a calm and soothing look to any rooms that they are a part of. They can match or contrast with the colour of the walls and also fit in with the rest of the décor.
As far as functionality is concerned, shades have a practical side to them as well. They offer some much-needed privacy. Furthermore, though having access to sunlight is generally a good thing, there is such a thing as too muchsunlight. Shades can prevent glares and overexposure of sunlight on furniture (which can cause rotting).
Pleated shades are a unique twist on convention shades with respect to their design and structure. They are fashioned out of pleated fabric. The purpose of using pleated fabric is two-fold. The pleats add some texture to the fabric of the shades which will not only make it visually pleasing but will also appeal to a person’s sense of touch. The second purpose of using pleated fabric is that when they are closed, the fabric is bunched up, practically disappearing until they need to be extended again.
The advantages of using pleated shades
- They ensure safety – Shades and blinds often work with a cord-pulley system that enables the user to yank on the cords depending on whether they want to open or close the shades. These cords have a potential to becoming choking hazards for children and pets (a remote, but finite possibility). The cord pulley system for pleated shades is inside the fabric, making it inaccessible to inquisitive toddlers.
If you don’t want the cord-pulley mechanism, you can opt for a spring action lift style of control mechanism for your pleated shades or, you can take things up a notch and use motorised shades (maybe even with voice command).
- Light control – The light control features of pleated shades are one of its best advantages while also being one of its most highlighted drawbacks. Pleated shades are flexible in the sense that they can completely brighten your room by allowing as much sunlight as a window without any cover, or can completely darken your room. While the light control features are at their polar ends, pleated blinds do not have any moderate filtering of sunlight.
You can get your shades in a thick, yet unimposing colour to soften up the sunlight beating down on your home in the afternoons, while also being able to dim the rays of the evening sun.
- Versatility – The possibilities with pleated shades are endless. There are numerous types of fabric, texture, colours and designs to choose from. You can get exactly what you envisioned for your home. You can go for a radiant and grand look or you can go the other way and look for something subtle and soft to highlight the rest of your décor.
What is even better is that if you have a nice view outside your window, pleated shades can also disappear when they are pulled up, causing no obstruction whatsoever to the view as such. If you want, you can add a valance or a swag for bring some grandeur into the room.
- Maintenance – The cost incurred for cleaning, as well as the time invested, actually isn’t too much. Cleaning can be done once in two weeks and all you will have to do is use the bristle that comes with your vacuum, or a damp piece of sponge to give attention to each plate.
Keep in mind that different types of fabric might require different levels of attention. Make sure you inquire about that while buying your shades. The aforementioned instructions are of a general nature.
What are the different options I have while buying pleated shades?
You have a variety of options with pleated shades, depending on the design, fabric and control mechanism. In order to help you get an idea on what kind of pleated shades you would like for your home, here is a list of some types of pleated shades –
- Cordless Lift Pleated Shades – These pleated shades are a great option if you want to avoid cords, which can be hazardous for kids and pets. Cordless lifts usually operate by just lifting the shade up or down by hand, and provide a minimalist and clean look.
- Top-Down Bottom-Up Pleated Shades – If you don’t just operate on extreme settings of sunlight, a top-down bottom-up control mechanism is what you might need for your pleated shades. This allows you to use the shades to partially cover the windows (top or bottom half), which means that your sunlight settings are much more versatile.
- Blackout Pleated shades – If you want to complete darken your room, blackout pleated fabric can be instrumental for your window covering. These shades can be used primarily in bedrooms and dens. With people working shifts and erratic schedules, resting during the day is a normal phenomenon. By blocking the sunlight out with blackout shades can you simulate a night-like environment conducive for sleeping. Using it in your den can enhance your movie-watching or gaming experience.
- Thermal Pleated Shades – There are some kinds of pleated fabric that have insulation capabilities. They can create a barrier that prevents hot air coming from outside that can come in contact with the cooler air inside, which can cause rising temperatures due to thermal equilibrium. These can turn out to be energy efficient options that reduce the money you spend on utilities and can also prevent overuse of your air condition systems.
- Single Headrail System – You can use a single headrail and attach multiple pleated shades to them. This is ideal for larger windows, allowing you to split them up into separate shades side by side.
In order to understand the salient features of pleated shades you might want to compare them to something like cellular shades. While pleated shades have one layer of pleated fabric, cellular shades have more than one layer. This is because cellular shades lay more emphasis on insulation and regulation of temperature. That being said, the other aspects are quite comparable to pleated shades. Make sure to take your time with pleated shades, do all the research you want and make also make sure they fit your needs. Evaluate what you want for your home and decide whether pleated shades can get you there