Are Venetian Blinds Really From Venice?
The simple answer to this question is no. Venetian blinds are not from Venice. In fact, they very likely did not originate in any part of Italy. The spread of ‘Venetian’ blinds began in the 18th century, with the growing trade and migration between Italy and the rest of the world. After blinds were introduced to Italy by merchants, Italy then proceeded to introduce blinds to the rest of the world.
The blinds were first introduced to France, followed soon after by an introduction in England and America. However, the 18th century does not mark the invention of this slatted blind design. Venetian blinds were in fact only ‘rebranded’ by the people of Venice, not created by them.
Numerous theories surround the true origin of Venetian blinds. Some trace them back to southwestern Asia, believing their origin in Italy came about from trade with Persian merchants. However, other theories date Venetian blinds all the way back to Ancient Egypt, where they first wove reeds into slats to provide respite from the sun.
The Spread of Venetian Blinds to the West
The introduction of Venetian blinds to the rest of the world was met with keen interest. The innovation of slatted blinds introduced more light control to homes in the western world and quickly became a desirable feature every well-off family and office manager wanted. They weren’t limited to the wealthy, however. The affordability of Venetian blinds made them great options for all levels of society. After this initial re-introduction of slatted blinds to the world, new blind designs started cropping up and being sold, too.
Venetian Blinds: Style Development
Contrasting the slim, wooden, faux wood, or metal Venetian blinds sought after today, the early designs introduced to the west in the 18th century featured large, flat slats.
During the early years of their introduction to America, Venetian blinds with natural finishes were the most popular style for homes. However, as the century moved on, blinds of white or stone colouring came to be considered more elegant and desirable.
Not until the early 20th century in 1930’s New York, did aluminium Venetian blinds come into production and upon introduction to the market, they boomed in popularity. These slats slowly became thinner over time as they continued to be developed and redesigned into blinds combining thinner designed slats in a higher number.
During the 1960’s, plastic slats became the trend in offices and homes. By the 21st century, more traditional wooden Venetian blinds have come back into fashion with some even incorporating larger slat designs.