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Shade & Blind Glossary

A
Aluminum Blinds: Horizontal aluminum blinds are made out of 6-gauge to 9-gauge aluminum, with the 9-gauge being the strongest and more expensive product. These are also known as “mini blinds,” “macro blinds,” or “micro blinds”.


B
Basswood: A hardwood from a bass tree, typically grown in North America or China. Basswood is very high in quality due to the resistance it has, and the likelihood of becoming less damaged.

Blackout: Blackout fabrics and liners, blocks up to about 99% of outside light. Blackout is the number one choice for bedrooms, children’s rooms, and media rooms. Blackouts are also known as “blockout.”

Bottom Rail: The bottom rail weighs the window covering down and keeps it hanging straight. It is a heavy horizontal piece of hardware that anchors your window covering on the bottom. Bottom rails are usually color-coordinated to match the rest of the window covering.

Brackets: These pieces are installation parts that are mounted on the window frame or the wall, and used to attach and/or install the head rail of a window treatment.


C
Café Mount Shutters: These are shutters that exclusively cover the bottom or top portion of the window; generally the bottom half.

Ceiling Mount: This is an alternative mount for vertical blinds. The head rail is mounted on the ceiling. This application removes the gap between the top of the blind and the ceiling. Ceiling mounts are not to common.

Cellular Shade: Fabric shades that use air pockets to maximize energy efficiency. They insulate against heat, cold, and sound. They are also known as “honeycomb shades”

Cloth Tapes: Vertical strips of fabric, usually one to two inches wide that are generally used to hold a blind together. Tapes are not threaded through the slats like ladders; when the blinds are closed, the tapes will run straight down the front surface. Available on many wood, faux wood and 2″ mini blinds, cloth tapes increase light control and privacy while also adding a decorative accent.

Continuous Cord Loop: A window treatment mechanism that uses a pulley system to rotate a clutch that raises and lowers a shade. The looped cord stays at the same length regardless of the position of the shade.

Controls: This is the mechanisms used to raise, lower and tilt a window treatment. When ordering a product please not that controls are usually cords or wands. You may be asked to specify which side the controls will be placed on. Please note: all 1″ blinds come with wand control for the tilt, since the head rail size does not allow a cord.

Cord Cleats: These pieces are used to avoid the cords of a window covering from gathering on the floor or window sill. Cord cleats are a safe solution to keep dangerous, dangling cords out of reach of children and pets. These are available for inside or outside mount applications.
Cordless: A window treatment device that eliminates the lift cord for graceful raising and lowering of blinds and shades by pushing or pulling the bottom rail. Provides a less messy look and is a safe substitute for households with small children and pets.


D
Divider Rail: Divider rails add both beauty and strength to shutter panels. With a divider rail in place the separate sections of louvers function independently of each other. Usually the default placement for the divider rail is in the center of the panel but you can off center it.

Double Cell: A type of cellular shade construction that offers improved insulation by using two layers of cellular fabric.


E
Edge Binding/Banding: A decorative fabric accent around the sides and bottom of a woven wood shade. These are available in both solid and decorative patterns to compliment your home décor and provide a truly finished look.

Extension Brackets: These are used for installations requiring additional space between the blind and the mounting surface, in order for the blind to clear obstructions such as window cranks or trim. These are available for outside mount applications only.


F
Flush Mount (Product Depth): Depth required for mounting blinds, so that it is fully recessed inside the window frame and no portion of the blind overhangs from the window frame.


G
Groover: A vinyl vertical vane with clear grooved channels on the edges to hold fabric inserts. Fabric vertical blinds are available without this option- ‘freehang’, or with a groover- ‘inserted’. The groover acts as a backing to the fabric material and provides total privacy and light control while still allowing for the fabric to be visible to the interior. You may need to select the color of the groover vane, which will be noticeable from the outside.


H
Head rail: The hardware at the top of the window treatment that contains the mechanical working parts.

Height: Refers to the vertical measurement of the blind.

Hold-Down Brackets: These brackets prevent blinds from swaying back and forth. Mostly recommended for doors, and windows subjected to wind exposure. Brackets must be unfastened from wall/door before shade can be raised. These are for outside mount applications only.

Honeycomb Shade: see “Cellular Shade.”


I
Inserts: This is the fabric that is inserted into a groover of a fabric vertical.

Inside Mount: A type of installation that refers to hanging a window treatment inside the window frame, so that it is recessed with the window.


L
Ladders: These are thin cords that are threaded through each slat and helps hold a blind together. In various cases, you may be able to substitute a cloth tape for a ladder.

Length: See “Height.”

Lift: The control, usually a cord, which raises and lowers the blinds or shades. Assortments of lifting mechanisms are available including cordless, continuous cord, top down/bottom up, and motorization.

Light Control: This is the ability to regulate the amount of incoming light. Blinds or shutters that use slats or louvers provide the best light control. Shades with a Top Down/Bottom Up option also have the ability to control light.

Light Filtering: This shade allows light in while the product is fully lowered. The more opaque a fabric is the less light will be filtered into the room. Darker-colored fabrics will filter out more light than lighter-colored fabrics.

Liner Options:
-Light Filtering Privacy Liner is a light-filtering privacy liner applied to the back of the shade providing additional privacy.
-Room Darkening Privacy Liner: This is a room-darkening privacy liner applied to the back of the shade provides maximum privacy.

Louver: This is an integral part of a shutter that is used to control the quantity of light that goes through, similar to the slats of a blind. Louvers are available in sizes 2 ½” and 3 ½”.


M
Max Square Feet: The maximum area the blind or shade may be in feet. The maximum area is the width times the height.

Minimum Mounting Depth: Depth required in order for mounting blind inside the window frame.

Motorization: Battery or AC powered option for raising and tilting blinds/shades. Motorized tilt options rotate the slats of a horizontal shade open or closed for light and privacy control at the touch of a button. Motorized lift choices raise and lower the entire shade. Motorization offers convenience and ease of operation for almost any window application and is especially beneficial for hard to reach or large windows.

Mount: Mount refers to whether the blind will be mounted within the window frame (inside mount) or on the wall surrounding the window (outside mount).

Multiple blinds on one head rail: Larger blinds can be demanding to raise and lower consistently. Dividing a large blind into two or more smaller ones makes it much easier to operate, and will extend the life of the lifting mechanism. Because the blinds share a single head rail, the window will still have a unified appearance. Please note: there will be a small gap (about 1/2″, but will vary by product) between each of the pieces of the blind to avoid them from rubbing together.


N
Natural Shades/Natural Woven Shades: Roman style shades made of natural material such as wood, fibers, bamboo, and grasses.


O
Opaque: A non-reflective surface that blocks up to 99% of outside light. Opaque is the best choice for bedrooms, children’s rooms, and media rooms.

Outside Mount: This is a type of installation that refers to hanging a window treatment on the wall surrounding the window, so that the window treatment overlaps slightly with the wall.


P
Pleated Shades: These are shades made of single layers of crisp, evenly spaced pleated fabric. These are a less expensive substitute to cellular shades, but provide less insulation.

Privacy: Privacy determines how much of a view is blocked when the window treatment is fully closed. Sheer fabrics do not provide any grade of privacy, while blackout fabrics would be considered fully private.


R
Ramin Wood: This is a less expensive hardwood than basswood and often used for many value priced wood blinds.

Remote Control: When a motorized lift or tilt option is selected, a remote control is essential to work the blind. One remote control will operate multiple blinds; if ordering more than one motorized blind, you can choose to order only one remote control for all of the blinds in a room.

Returns: These are the two “side” pieces of a valance that join the front (main) part of the valance to the wall. Valance returns are only used on outside mounts.

Reverse Roll: The roller shade option is where the fabric rolls off the front of the shade, avoiding the backside of the fabric from being seen and creating a more modernized look.

Roller Shade: A shade made of vinyl or fabric that is attached to a cylindrical roller.

Route-less: Optional slat design for horizontal blinds such as wood, faux wood and mini blinds, in which the cord holes through the slats are offset. This provides increased privacy and light control, tighter closure, and a sleeker look.

Room Darkening: This decreases the volume of light passing through a shade to darken a room. For bedrooms or media rooms where light is a major concern, consider installing the blackout shade using an outside mount.


S
Satellite Eye: This is used on motorized blinds only. This is a tiny sensor that perceives the remote control. You will be asked to specify which side you want it on. If there is more than one motorized blind in a single room the receiver eye for each blind should be positioned on opposite sides of the blinds for independent control.

Semi-Opaque: Fabric that provides moderate light control, allowing images and shapes to be seen, but not details.

Shutters: These are paneled window treatment that use louvers for light control. The elliptical shapes of the louvers make the most of the light controlling aspect and acts as an exceptional insulator when closed.

Slats: An integral part of a horizontal blind that is used to control the amount of light that goes through.

Spacer Blocks: These add an extra 1/2″ or 1″ of depth to the head rail. Spacer blocks are usually used to avoid obstructions such as molding around a window. These are for outside mount applications only.

Specialty Options: Special features that offer an unconventional to standard lifting controls, add extra light control, or alter the decorative appearance of the blind or shade.

Stack: The area in which the slats or vanes of a blind “stack” when opened. On vertical blinds, selecting a left stack or a right stack will control which way the blind opens. If you order a left stack, the slats will “stack” on the left side of the window when completely opened. Other stacks contain split stack, in which the blinds open from the middle, half stacking on the left and half to the right; and center stack in which the blinds open from both sides and stack in the middle. With horizontal blinds, “stack height” refers to the space at the top of the blind that is occupied up by the slats when they are fully raised. The smaller the stack height, the greater the view you will have to the outside.

Swivel Bracket: Special brackets used only for cellular shades. Swivel brackets are used to ease installation when a window does not have enough depth to lodge traditional mounting brackets.


T
Tapes: These are vertical strips of fabric, usually one to two inches wide that are used to hold a blind together. Tapes are not threaded through the slats like ladders; when the blinds are closed, the tapes will run straight down the front surface. Available on many wood, faux wood and 2″ mini blinds, cloth tapes improve light control and privacy while adding a attractive accent.

Tilt: The location (and mechanism, if applicable) of the control that tilts the slats of the blind open and closed. It is usually most convenient to have the tilt control and the lift control on opposite sides of the blind

Top Down: A shade option that opens from the top down instead from the bottom up. When fully open, the fabric stacks at the bottom of the window.

Top Down/Bottom Up: This is a multipurpose shade option that opens from the top down and from the bottom up and uses a set of lift cords to open either from the top down or from the bottom up, or both at the same time. This option is very good for shielding your privacy while still allowing light in.

Triple Cell: A type of cellular shade creation that offers superior insulation by using three layers of cellular fabric.

Two or more blinds on one head rail: Large blinds can be difficult to raise and lower. Breaking a large blind into two or more smaller ones makes it much easier to function, and will extend the life of the lifting mechanism. Because the blinds share a single head rail, the window will still have a unified appearance.


V
Valance: The ornamental piece used as a finishing touch to hide the head rail of a window treatment. The valance material usually matches the material of the product.

Valance Returns: The two “side” pieces of a valance that connect the front part of the valance to the wall.

Vertical Blinds: An idyllic window treatment for patio doors and wide spacious windows. The vanes work as exceptional insulators under light and extreme temperatures.


W
Wall Mount: A standard type of installation for verticals, in which the head rail is mounted on the wall surrounding the door or window.

Width: This is the horizontal measurement of the blind in inches.