Windows are crucial in a home because they give light and ventilation. Dressing your windows properly is vital, not just to retain your privacy but also to make your home look aesthetically pleasing.
Since their introduction, mini blinds have been quite popular. Also known as aluminum blinds, mini blinds have long, narrow, horizontal slats, tied together by a string. The width of the slats of mini blinds is less than half the width of regular blinds. The slats can be opened and closed by rotating a rod or pulling the string. They are ideal for small windows in bedrooms and bathrooms.
Have you ever wondered who invented mini blinds? Keep reading to find out the interesting history of mini blinds.
Invention and History of Mini Blinds
The story of mini blinds dates as far back as the early Egyptian era when people strung reeds together to cover their windows. The ancient Chinese also carved slats out of bamboo to form blinds. They were first introduced to Venice by the Persians. These ‘Venetian’ blinds became a huge hit. Edward Bevan, an Englishman, received the first patent for Venetian blinds in 1769.
Venetian blinds are small blinds that can be adjusted to let in or shut out the light. By the 1840s, they became available in different colors and were typically tied together by flat strips of cloth rather than cords.
The wonderful feature of today’s mini blinds is the ability to change the angle of horizontal slats. This most useful feature was first introduced by John Hampson of New Orleans in 1841.
However, the blinds of that era were rather heavyweight. Then, in 1946, came the revolutionary aluminum slats (50 mm) for Venetian blinds thanks to the efforts of Henry Sonnenberg and Joe Hunter, who developed the innovative technology and machine for the production of these lightweight slats.
The control mechanism of the blinds underwent a sea change over a period of time. In 1966, a pulley system was invented which was a major improvement in the control mechanism. Narrower slats became increasingly popular over time as they were easy to clean. They were loved by customers as they had a pleasing aesthetic and helped reduce glare.
Many drastic changes in the style and model of mini blind took place thereafter. In 1979, 25mm slats became popular. As the concept of apartments and new model homes picked up, mini blinds became the most preferred choice as they were convenient, cost-effective, and easy to install. In the 1980’s mini blinds were so much in vogue that they captured about 70-80% of the window covering market.
The early 80s was called the mini blind era as the popularity of these window treatments was at its peak. However, in the late ’80s, their sales drastically came down owing to the global recession. As years passed, there were innovations and new trends in window treatments and the popularity of mini blinds slowly faded, giving way to modern window coverings. In the late 1990s, wood blinds surpassed mini blinds and Venetian blinds in demand and popularity.
However, even today, mini blinds enjoy their own share of the market. The reason is that mini blinds have evolved over time to suit the needs and tastes of the modern home buyer. And, most importantly, mini blinds can be made free of strings and cords, so that they are safe for homes with kids and pets.
Varieties of Mini Blinds
Mini blinds come in different varieties and sizes, such as one-inch aluminum mini blinds, cordless aluminum mini blinds, and mini blinds made from vinyl. Compared to vinyl blinds, aluminum blinds are stronger and sturdier and don’t break easily. Vinyl blinds are more flexible than aluminum blinds and their slats are less likely to dent or crease. Both aluminum and vinyl mini blinds are easy to clean and maintain. Since they are cordless, they are safe to operate. For customers with disabilities, mini blinds with long pull cords are also available.
Advantages of Mini Blinds
Safety: Pull cords and dangling threads from window coverings may prove hazardous for children and pets as they may cause strangulation. Data by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that over 500 cases of death or injuries of children strangled by blind cords were reported between 1983 and 2010. Between 2014 and 2019, 46 kids reportedly died after wrapping the cord around their necks. In view of the injuries and deaths due to entanglement, the CPSC has recommended cordless blinds as the safest alternative for homes with small children. In cordless mini blinds, there are no dangling cords. These blinds are operated by a spring motor system. A push or pull on the bottom bar is all that is required to raise/lower or tilt the slats.
Convenience: If you have windows that you cannot fully access, covering them with cordless mini blinds will be convenient.In bathroom settings, mini blinds are comfortable to use and they look certainly better than blinds and shades with dangling cords. You just have to lift the blinds or lower them to adjust, open or close. You can use wands to operate them.
Light control and privacy: With mini blinds, it is easy to control the inflow of light and air just by adjusting the slats. Unlike blackout shades, mini blinds cannot block light completely. However, you can turn the slats up to minimize the gaps between them for blocking light effectively. This provides improved privacy too. If you want to let some light and air in, you can turn the blinds down.
Easy to clean: Because mini blinds are made of highly durable metal and synthetic materials, they may be cleaned with mild household cleaners without any hassles. You can use a wet cloth to wipe them or a feather duster or vacuum cleaner to dust them.
Durable: Mini blinds do not fade much or crack, even under harsh sunlight. The material used in mini blinds, like aluminum and faux wood, is water-resistant. So, they are ideal for humid places like bathrooms and kitchens.
Economical: Mini blinds are cost-effective. Aluminum mini blinds and faux wood blinds cost less than many other window treatments.
Mini blinds are highly functional, affordable, and easy to maintain, which is why they are a popular fixture in households, offices, and commercial fixtures. They also come in a variety of colors and styles, so you don’t have to compromise on aesthetics. They provide a sleek and sophisticated look to your interiors and enhance your overall décor. You can choose the color and texture of the slats to match your wall painting and furnishings. You can also pair mini blinds with other window dressings like curtains and sheers to achieve the look and functionality you desire. The centuries-old mini blinds have evolved over time to suit modern homes and trendy offices and will continue to be one of the most preferred window treatments.