The Roman Blind is a variation on the idea of the cloth blind. With Roman Blinds the cloth doesn't roll up or down from a roller but interior cords draw it up. The cloth is horizontally pleated and also has sewn-in elements called dowels that define the pleat. The result is that as the Blind is drawn up the cloth neatly self-folds and stacks as it rises.
This stacking arrangement comes in several variations:
•The Flat Stack – looks just like it sounds. The cloth hangs as a plain surface and the lower edge is a flat horizontal. The result is a clean, crisp look regardless of whether the Blind is up or down.
•The Classic Roman – has visible pleats and also stacks flat. This is a more traditional look for a Roman Blind.
•The Relaxed Shade – has subtle pleating without the internal dowels. The result is a Blind that when drawn up has a gentle, wavy curve. This design is rather less robust than the standard Roman Blind so its function is mainly decorative and should therefore be used only in situations where there is little need for light or heat control or where there is another, additional blind that takes over the practical functions.
•The Tulip Shade – is another of the decorative styles, but its wide lower curve, pinched at the ends gives an air of extreme elegance to a room. If functional practicality is an issue the Tulip Shade can be combined with another Blind.
•Pleated Roman Shades – make the pleats a highlight. A highly functional shade almost resembles a soft, cloth Venetian Blind but without the gaps between slats.
Roman Blind Materials Options
In many ways the Roman Blind combines some of the best qualities of both the Roller Blind (simplicity, easy-of-maintenance) with that of the Venetian Blind (a more dramatic appearance). Because they’re dominated by cloth and are essentially, Horizontal Curtains, the range of available materials for Roman Blinds and the resulting look and finish is quite varied, giving them enormous design versatility.
Fabric Variations in Roman Blinds include:
•Silk – Raw or Taffeta
•Polyester / Viscose Blends
•Wool and Wool Blends
Fabric Textural Variations in Roman Blinds Include:
•Raised Prints and Jacquards
Pattern Variations in Roman Blinds Include:
•Geometrics – repeating abstract shapes
•Organics – floral designs and other shapes from nature
Color options are, to all intents and purposes, limited only to your imagination and what manufacturers have available. If you have a particular fabric in mind you can always produce unique, bespoke blinds.
Electrical Options for Roman Blinds
Although slightly more complex structurally than Roller Blinds, Roman Blinds can be motorized although this option is comparatively rare and this is definitely NOT an option with the more delicate Roman variations such as Relaxed Shades and Tulip Shades.
There are various Electric Roman Blind systems available. Some retain the traditional system of the pleats bunching up from the bottom up, while others bunch up from the bottom down, hiding the bunching pleats in a recess at the top of the mechanism.
If you can have Electric Roman Blinds, it’s only a short step to electronic control.
This means that you can have the following options.
•A simple wall-switch to control the level of the Roller Blind
•A Remote control
•Timer switches pre-programmed to your selection
•Sensors calibrated to daylight levels that also allow for seasonal variation
•A central, computer controlled arrangement that can incorporate all of the above
Care, Cleaning and Maintenance of Roman Blinds
•Roman blinds are easy to care for.
•Use static dust gloves to clear off dry dust.
•If needed, wipe the Blind with a cloth dampened with very mild soapy water.
•More stubborn stains might require a citrus-based cleaner or a non-ammonia based cleaner.
•If the Blind becomes very dirty or is the casualty of an accident, it might be necessary to uninstall it and, depending on the material it’s made of, either hand wash it or send it to be professionally cleaned.
•Take care when pulling the cords when raising or lowering a Roman Blind. It’s important that the pull remains even so that the Blind hangs straight and so that the cords don't break.
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