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Blinds Work Simply-The Mechanics For How

by Judith Persit

The ancient Egyptians, who originally invented blinds, incorporated the basic function of tilting through the use of pulleys. Because of the then intricate design of the blind, which increased the price of the product, blinds were not widely used. If this story is to be believed, then this article is a must read. It is believed that blinds were invented at a later time as a way to control the sunlight, thus believed to be superior to curtains due to their increased functionality. For this reason, ancient Pharaohs can not be credited with the invention of blinds.

Blinds are a curious machine, however. The basic function of a blind is to block light and provide privacy. To do that, they need to be adjustable. Adjustability is what makes blinds different. Basic blocking of a window can be done with paper, fabric sheets or other permanent or removable coverings. However, if an occupant wishes to adjust the level of privacy or permit some of the light to enter the room, she can use a blind to cause this effect.

Blinds come in two varieties. These are horizontal and vertical. The two kinds are defined by the relative orientation of the slat material that hangs from the control system. In America, that is the definition of blinds. In other English speaking countries, the other window treatments that are adjustable are also called blinds, but in the USA most others are properly called shades.

Blinds typically have two methods of adjustment. These are tilt, or rotate, and lift, or traverse. The reason for two words for each of these actions is to distinguish between the actions that cause motion in a horizontal blind or a vertical blind. However, interestingly enough, typical blinds have the same mechanisms to adjust. There is little difference in them.

In the case of horizontal blinds, metal miniblinds available in horizontal slats in different sizes, wood or fauxwood slats also available in different sizes, the operating components are essentially the same, only the quality and design of said components will increase the reliability and the ease of operation of the blinds.

The same principle applies to vertical blinds regardless of the internal systems used by the fabricators. The functions of the vertical blind remain the same tilt open or close or traverse open or close as desired.

In order to explain the functions of a vertical or a horizontal blind, it is necessary to visualize in our minds the product itself. In the case of a vertical blind, carriers which traverse in a made to measure track will vertically hold the vertical louvers, which can be ordered in either solid PVC or free-hanging fabric with a weight inserted at the bottom of each vertical louver in order to force the fabric vertical louver to hang straight. These carriers are interconnected and operate uniformly whenever rotating open to a desired angle or traversed open, either partially or fully, as desired by the end user. In the case of a horizontal blind, regardless of the material used (real wood or fauxwood), the tilt and raise functions are conducted through the use of cords and/or wands. The most popular systems are operated by the use of cords for two reasons ease of operation and aesthetics.

The tilting function of a horizontal blind or a vertical blind is performed by the use of a tilter mechanism built into the blind. This tilting mechanism involves the use of a geared actuator which causes the blind to rotate/tilt to the desired position in order to allow the operator to control the amount of light entering a room, adjust the level of desired privacy or control the level of exterior view. The lift function of a horizontal blind is achieved through the use of a cord lock which allows the operator to lock the horizontal blind at a desired position. In the case of a vertical blind, the traverse function is achieved by either a cord which traverses the carriers to a desired point.

There are a few enhancements to these products. In the case of vertical blinds, there are some dual pinion systems, where the second pinion is used to cause a traverse action. This is actuated by a second chain movement. In the case of horizontal blinds, there are monocommand cord systems, but these are basically enhancements upon the existing products.

In summary, the basic functions of horizontal blinds and vertical blinds remain the same regardless of the systems used in the fabrication process. Notwithstanding the type of blind desired by the consumer, it is very important to purchase all blinds from a reputable retailer which will stand behind their product long after the sale takes place. In addition to local retailers, the Internet has provided the consumer the ability to choose a quality product from reputable on-line retailers without leaving the comfort of the home and usually at a much lower cost, thus allowing the savings to be applied to other products that may compliment the decorating ideas of the end user.

Judith Persit studied bamboo shades for her interior design degree, and writes about bamboo shades. Learn more aboutshades at her website.

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