Roman blinds also known as Roman shades, originated from Italy. They are in fact, an age old window dressing tradition that has evolved and improvised with the changing times.  The main function of Roman blinds was to block out harsh sun rays from residential windows.  Today, while they continue to perform their prime duty, of keeping the Singaporean sun at bay, they also manage to beautify numerous local landed homes and Condo/HBD apartments.

A Roman blind is characterised by its typical folding style which stacks up uniformly when shut, and when the blind is open, it appears to be one smooth piece of window covering, some with segments and others without.  These blinds can be made of a wide range of materials including wood, vinyl or various fabrics.

Roman Blind – Components and functions

Header – The header on a Roman blind refers to an inch thick piece of wood that runs along the top edge of the blind.  It is to this piece of wood that the blind is attached, along with all its other mechanisms.

Panel – The panels or the body of the actual blind is constructed to fit the window perfectly with no gaps at any side.  The lowest part of the blind is fitted with a metal or wooden rod to keep the blind stiff.  Such rods are placed throughout the blind at regular intervals.  Each dowel or rod also has rings.

Cords – The cord that regulates the folding up or unfolding of the blind, is tied to the bottom-most ring and goes through all the rings in each dowel right till the top one.  When the cord is pulled the blind rolls up as each pleat of the panel folds or unfolds as per the design of the blind.


Types of Cords

Cord Type Description Advantage
Standard cord Most common, lengthens as its pulled and the blind folds  Simple, cost effective
Continuous cord Loops and remains the same length whether the blind is open or closed, with clutch system  Neat, safe, ideal for heavy blinds
Retractable cord Lengthens as the blind lifts but then retracts back into a compartment causing it to shorten Neat, safe


Popular Types of Roman Blinds

  • Flat panel – This simple style of panel extends into one smooth sheet of material when the blind is shut and folds or pleats into sections as it rolls up.
  • Knife pleat – This pleat variety is a sharp narrow kind of pleat and is common for Roman blinds.
  • Waterfall – As the name implies, this blind when open looks like cascading waves and offers an artistic look to the blind.
  • Hobbled – The hobbled design combines tradition with a contemporary touch.  It has soft folds that gather and then unravel softly, giving the blind a flexible, easy going look.
  • Modern – Apart from the traditional blind styles, the modern varieties include features such as roll up canisters unlike the traditional bunching of folds when the blind is closed.  The modern materials are thinner, lightweight, yet perform the function of cover well.  Some are fitted with blackout lining for increased light blockage while other modern designs are installed with motorised operation of the blind.

Depending on the interiors and individual tastes, one can opt for a simple polyester, cotton or cotton blend or even silk Roman blind in range of colours.  Since there are so many varieties to choose from, it is advisable to contact the team of professionals at Best Fit Drapes for guidance on the type that fits your specific needs and budget.