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Roman Blinds: A Brief History

18th July 2018

Roman Blinds

The Roman blind, while a common feature of many modern homes, has actually been around for thousands of years. Coupled with its elegant and simplistic design, the Roman blind’s rich history brings character to the popular choice in window coverings.


History of Roman Blinds

The Roman blind, somewhat unsurprisingly, takes its name from the period of its conception at the height of the Roman Empire. An immense two thousand years ago, the construction of the Colosseum led to dust being scattered across the streets of Rome. This became particularly problematic when horses began regularly kicking the dust into the air as they rode through the city. Unfortunately, society was not advanced enough at this point to have developed glass windows, and so homes would usually have large, open holes in their walls, of which dust would usually find its way into. To combat this, Romans began hanging material up to cover the windows. Typically, the material used was damp cloth but there is evidence of thick paper or animal skins being used as well.

The wall coverings worked well. Soon, Romans began to notice other advantages of the hanging material, such as helping shield them from the heat. The blinds started to rise in popularity. Before long, blinds started to get more and more extravagant, with multiple colours, trims and designs. A rod was then attached in order to easily extend and retract the material.

The popularity of blinds expanded beyond the average Roman home. Evidence shows blinds would be used to enhance experiences at amphitheatres, stadiums – and even the Colosseum itself! During shows at the colosseum, Romans would be known to occasionally use blinds to add to the atmosphere of the performance. This would likely be seen as a luxury and would often be used to accommodate spectators of higher status and wealth.

Roman Chariot


Modern day Roman Blinds

Roman blinds have advanced slightly in the two thousand years since first created, but the classic, simplistic design has largely remained the same. One notable difference is that modern Roman blinds extend vertically, whereas classic Roman blinds used to extend horizontally. Regardless, both sets of blinds create an elegant, flat piece of material when fully extended and a neat, collected pleat of fabric when retracted.

At UK Blinds Direct, we’ve stayed true to this classic design but have added our own little bit of history by developing Roman blinds in a variety of sizes, colours and materials. Alongside the classic, fabric blind, we provide wooden and textured blinds for customers looking for a more natural feel. We also provide original styles and designs tailored personally to suit every customer’s needs.

Roman Blinds in Living Room


At UK Blinds Direct, we offer a diverse range of blind styles and designs. Our passionate team of specialists offer free home visits to find the perfect blind for you. For more information, please get in touch with our friendly team today.