Venetian blinds
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Venetian blinds

A History of Venetian Blinds

It can be interesting to know where your interiors come from; not only can this be handy for quiz nights, but also educating guests and being knowledgeable about the items you choose to display in your home. The history of Venetian Blinds is fascinating; with so many countries claiming their original invention, it is somewhat of a mystery to be enjoyed.

It is said that the Nomadic African and Asian desert tribes, Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Chinese, and Romans all had a hand in inventing the first roller blinds, using anything from sheets of woven cloth to bamboo and reeds to create shade from the sun.

Where Did Venetian Blinds Originate From?

Because of the name Venetian, many people think that this is where Venetian Blinds come from; in actual fact they were developed in Persia in the mid-18th century. It is believed that Venetian traders would travel to Persia to collect the blinds before returning them back to Italy, where they became popular.

The Venetian Blinds were thought to be a more modern choice than curtains and so their fame quickly spread to France and other metropolitan European countries thanks to the travels of freed Venetian enslaved people. The blinds were made from wooden slats around 2-inches wide, held together with decorative ribbons that were certain to add a touch of elegance to a home.

Blinds in Venice

The Development of the Venetian Blind

In 1761, the construction of St Peter’s Church, Philadelphia, was completed and the windows were adorned with Venetian Blinds – This is thought to be the first time the blinds were seen in America. Artist Jean-Leon Gerome Ferris painted The Visit of Paul Jones to the Constitutional Convention in 1767, which shows founding father and navel hero of the American Revolution John Paul Jones standing in front of the blinds surrounded by admirers.

An Englishman named John Webster cottoned onto the idea and began to sell the blinds in Philadelphia in the same year due to a rise in demand following the painting. The blinds continued to become the ‘must-have item and crossed the Atlantic once more before reaching England.

By 1841 Venetian Blinds were seen worldwide and so an inventor from New Orleans named John Hampson came up with the futuristic mechanism which allowed the slats within the blinds to be adjusted.

Modern Day Venetian Blinds

The design of Venetian Blinds has barely changed since its rise to fame. The sleek, faultless finish is still as pleasing today as it was three hundred years ago. Thanks to modern-day technology and materials, we are able to create blinds to match our interiors. Traditional wooden Venetian Blinds are still highly desirable, with plastics and aluminium options also being available which can be more cost-effective and easier to maintain.

Barlow Blinds

If you want to chat about what we offer at Barlow Blinds, call our team on 0116 366 0652 or email You can also complete the contact form and have one of our friendly customer service advisors call you back.