Venetian blinds have been popular for a very long time. They are practical when it comes to giving you privacy as well as being very aesthetically pleasing to the eye. No wonder venetians are still a popular choice for many and it doesn’t look like they are going anywhere anytime soon. Many of you might be wondering how this style of blinds came to be and how it’s changed over the years. Well, there is a rich history when it comes to venetians all of which we will cover below.
Now most people think that because they are called venetian blinds they originated from Venice, but this is false. They actually started a bit further to the East and while you can see similar designs throughout history including the Chinese and Ancient Egyptians, it was actually the Persians who came up with the design we call venetian blinds. The Chinese used to tie bamboo together and the Egyptians used to do something similar with reeds, but the Persians were the first to come up with the slatted design we all know.
Different styles of venetians started to come around when Persian merchants made their way across Europe and the Middle East. These blinds really became popular on the Eastern Italian coast in places like Venice. This is where the traditional Roman design came about in order to keep out dust and other things, many people began crafting venetian blinds using 2 inch wooden slats tied together with ribbons of fabric. The only difference in the design then is that they were made by hand unlike now where they are produced in a factory.
After they took over Venice the design started to spread across the west by slaves that have been freed, mostly in France. The French, of course, renamed them with this design of blinds being called ‘Les Persiennes’ which is said to be an ode to the Persian heritage. Many English speakers just went by venetians so that is why it stuck like that to this day, but you can also call them Persian blinds and mean the same style. After they became popular in France, the design slowly started to spread across the Western world. They began to grow popular throughout the United Kingdom and also throughout the USA. The first person on record to sell venetian blinds in the USA was a man named John Webster who lived in Philadelphia in 1767. Although he is known to be the first merchant they were seen in St Peters Church about 6 years earlier.
Venetian blinds really took off in the USA as curtains cost a lot more money to make. The fabrics being imported at the time were coming from the UK and they carried a big tax. After they grew popular, the designs started to alter more so, with people adding adjustments like John Hampson who created the mechanism that helps you control the angle of the blinds. The first aluminium blinds also came about in 1936 by a company called Kirsch. It wasn’t long before mass production of aluminium blinds took place and it is a design that is very popular to this day.