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Blinds First Glossary

In order to make your decision and shopping experience as easy as possible, we want to share our knowledge and design expertise about window blinds and shades with you. Here we can help you select the perfect window blinds and shades, teach you how to measure for window shutters or mini blinds correctly, help you understand the differences in Blinds First's products, inform you about care and maintenance of your windows blinds and shades, and much more. Simply click on the area of interest below and we will tell you everything you need to know.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

topA

Allowance
The deduction taken by the manufacturer from the actual measurements of a window opening. For inside mounted blinds only.

topB

Basswood
A fine grain, lightweight wood used for blinds and shutters.
Blackout
A shade which allows no light penetration.
Blackout Liner
A separate lining attached to a shade to block out light.
Blind
A window covering consisting of horizontal slats.
Blinds
General term for manufactured window coverings.
Bottom Rail
The bottom of any horizontal blind or shade, usually a rigid rod or slat.
Bottom sill
The lower horizontal side of the window opening.
Brackets
The hardware used to mount blinds.

topC

Café Shutter
A shutter which covers the lower half of a window only.
Carriers
Holders for the vanes of Vertical Blinds.
Ceiling mount
A type of blind mounting whereby the brackets attach directly to the ceiling, or bottom of a soffit.
Cellular Shades
Same as honeycomb shades.
Center draw
Same as split draw: A vertical blind in which the vanes split in the middle and draw to both sides when open.
Center support bracket
For wide blinds, the bracket(s) provided which support the center of the blind.
Cloth tapes
Decorative and functional fabric for blinds that creates a vertical striped effect.
Contempo hem
A decorative hem for a roller shade that allows the fabric to be wrapped around an aluminum rail and enclosed with end caps for a clean and contemporary finish. The aluminum rail also adds weight which allows the shade to hang flatly.
Continuous cord loop
Also called Easy lift. A loop which operates the raising and lowering of a shade.
Control location
Where the control is located on a blind.
Controls
apparatus that operates blinds.
Cord cleat
a small holder that a cord may be wrapped around to keep the cord off the floor or out of the way.
Cord equalizer
A knob on the lift cord of some shades. The cord equalizer acts as a stop, keeping the shade at its correct length. As an adjustable apparatus, the cord equalizer also keeps multiple cords even.
Cordless
Manual lifting system for blinds that eliminate the hanging cord. The blind is operated by pushing up or pulling down by hand.
Cornice Board
A decorative window treatment that consists of fabric-covered, padded board that is installed at the top of a window.
Cornice
Wood or faux wood decorative molding mounted at the top of windows, doors, or cabinets.
Custom made
Manufactured one-at-a-time to specifications obtained through the ordering process.

topD

Day Night shade
A two-in-one Honeycomb shade with two different fabrics, allowing the window to be completely covered with one or the other fabric, or half-and-half. The Day Night Shade provides privacy on the bottom half, and sheer on the top.
Depth
Distance between the front and the back of the window box.
Double cell
In Honeycomb Shades, this refers to a double layer of cells, or honeycomb-shaped spaces.
Duofold
A lifting system for shades in which the top and bottom rails both operate up and down.

topE

Easylift
A lifting system which uses a continuous cord loop to operate the shade or blind.
Edge binding
Twill or grosgrain tape that is sewn around the edge of a blind.
End caps
Decorative color-coordinated end pieces for a headrail or bottom rail to present a finished look.
Extension brackets
Optional brackets which allow the blind to come out and away from the window, in order to clear obstructions, like handles and cranks.

topF

Factory Deduction
The deduction taken by the manufacturer from the actual measurements of a window opening so that the blind fits well.
Faux Wood
Composite material for horizontal slatted blinds, made to look like wood.
First tier outside mount
Measuring for an outside mount on a framed window. The measurements are taken only out onto the first flat level on the framing.
Flat fold Roman Shade
Roman shade that when down, the fabric hangs completely flat.
Flush mount
For an inside mount, having enough depth in the window opening to accommodate the entire blind. Nothing sticks out past the opening.
Fully recessed
Or “Flush Mount.” For an inside mount, having enough depth in the window opening to accommodate the entire blind. Nothing sticks out past the opening.

topG

Gap
Space between the window covering and the side of the window opening.
Gimp
A decorative woven ribbon or fringe used as a trim.
Glaze
A film or material applied to the glass to filter light and/or UV rays.
Grosgrain Tape
A solid fabric ribbon woven with a ribbed pattern.

topH

Headrail
The top of a blind which houses the workings.
Heat transfer
The amount of heat that travels from the inside to the outside, or the reverse, through glass.
Hobbled
Also “Teardrop,” or “Waterfall.” On a Soft Roman Shade, the fabric is constructed into horizontal loops or folds for a decorative effect.
Hold-down bracket
Small bracket installed at the bottom of the blind, holding it there when the blind is down, and preventing the blind from flopping when, for instance, the door on which the blind is installed, opens and closes.
Honeycomb Shades
A solid shade consisting of fabric layers with a honeycomb-shaped space in between.

topI

Inside mount
Mounting a blind inside, or back in, the window opening.

topJ

Jamb
The vertical sides of a window opening.

topL

L-bracket
L-shaped metal piece for mounting blinds.
Ladders
The color-coordinated braided strings on a blind that serve as a spacing and tilting system.
Lift cord
The manual cord for raising and lowering a blind or shade.
Lift Strings
The internal working strings which pull blinds up.
Lifting System
The mechanical system for the purpose of raising and lowering blinds.
Light filtering
Shade fabric that lets light in, while providing privacy.
Looped control
A beaded chain control for Roller Shades.

topM

Middle Rail
In a duofold shade, the top rail refers to the rail just below the headrail which operates up and down.
Mini blinds
Aluminum slatted blinds.
Miter
To angle two adjoining pieces of wood or faux wood to create a finished corner. Used on valances and cornices.
Motorized
Lifting system in which the battery-operated shade is controlled by a hand-held remote device.
Mullion
Decorative molding mounted to create a grid pattern on windows.

topN

Natural Roman Shade
Roman shade constructed with bamboo, reed, grass, and matchstick fabrics.

topO

One-Way Draw
A vertical blind in which all the vanes draw to one side when open.
Opaque
Shade fabric that lets little to no light into the room.
Openness factor
In open-weave fabric, the openness factor is the percentage of how open the weave is. A 15% Solar fabric’s weave is open 15%. The higher the percentage, the more light the fabric lets in.
Outside mount
Mounting a blind on the frame or wall outside the window opening.

topP

Pleated Shade
A single-layer, folded fabric horizontal window covering.
Plug
a small, usually round rubber or wood piece which fits into a hole for the purpose of holding lift strings or to conceal screws to create a more finished look.
Projection
Distance that blinds or drapery extends out and away from the wall.
Pull
Decorative ornament hanging from the bottom rail of a Roller shade.

topR

Remote control
Or “Motorized.” A battery-operated blind or shade.
Repeat
In reference to fabric, the repeat is the size of a repeating pattern. Can refer to the horizontal size or the vertical size of the repeating pattern.
Return
The side piece of a valance that “returns” to the wall, creating a finished look to the valance.
Reverse roll
In Roller Shades, “roll” refers to the direction the fabric falls off the roller. (Think toilet paper!) Standard roll is when the fabric falls off the back of the roll, and “reverse roll” is when the fabric falls over the front of the roll.
Roller Shade
A fabric shade which rolls up on a round headrail.
Roman Shade
A solid window covering that pulls up in horizontal folds.
Room darkening
A window covering’s ability to darken a room considerably. May not mean total darkness, (blackout), is achieved.
Routing holes
The holes in vanes for horizontal blinds through which the ladders run, giving the vanes stability, even spacing, and tilting ability.

topS

Sash
A window with one or more moveable panels – sashes. Also called double hung.
Satellite eye
On a motorized shade, this is the point on the headrail that detects the remote signal.
Savannah Shadings
Flexible fabric vanes are suspended between two sheer layers. It looks and operates like a blind while being a roller shade.
Semi-opaque
Shade fabric that provides privacy while letting filtered light into the room.
Semi-sheer
Shade fabric which does not provide complete privacy, and diffuses light into the room.
Shade
A solid window covering.
Sheer
Translucent or transparent fabric.
Shutters
Here it refers to an indoor window covering consisting of slatted panels, or doors, that can open off the window.
Sidelights
The narrow window(s) off to the side of a front door.
Single cell
In Honeycomb Shades, this refers to a single layer of cells, or honeycomb-shaped spaces.
Slats
Also “Vanes.” The pieces of a blind that open and close.
Soft Roman Shade
A solid window covering that pulls up in folds, constructed with drapery-type or solar fabrics.
Solar Shade
A PVC and polyester open-weave fabric shade which cuts glare and heat from the sun, while still allowing view to the outdoors.
Solar fabrics
Open-weave PVC or polyester fabrics.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
SHGC is the measure of heat that comes in through windows. The lower the number, the more protection windows have.
Spacer blocks
Spacer blocks are used during installation to bring a blind out and away from the wall.
Split Draw
A vertical blind in which the vanes split in the middle and draw to both sides when open.
Spring roller lift
The standard lift device on roller shades. Shades are raised by pulling lightly on the bottom of the fabric, and lowered by simply pulling them down. No controls are needed.
Stacking Height
The height measurement that a blind or shade occupies in its open position.
Stacking Width
The width measurement that a blind or shade occupies in its open position.
Stationary Drapery Panels
Drapery panels at the side of a window for decorative purpose only and are non-functioning.
Swivel brackets
ptional metal brackets for window coverings that allow the blinds to be mounted in a very small depth.

topT

Tapes
Decorative vertical cloth strips on a wood blind that replace the ladders.
Top Down Bottom Up
Same as duofold.
Teardrop Roman Shade
Roman shade that when down, hangs in decorative horizontal folds.
Three-on-one
A window covering in which three independently working blinds hang from one headrail.
Tilt wand
On a blind, the rod used to manually open or close the vanes, by twisting.
Top sill
The upper horizontal side of the window opening.
Twill tape
A solid fabric ribbon woven in a twill, or diagonal pattern.
Two-on-one
A window covering in which two independently working blinds hang from one headrail.

topU

UV rays
Ultra-violet rays from the sun that fade fabrics, floor coverings and other possessions as a result of uncovered windows.

topV

Valance
The top decorative covering mounted over a blind’s headrail.
Vanes
Also “Slats.” The pieces of a blind that open and close.
Vertical Blind
A blind in which tiltable vanes hang from a headrail. The vanes may also be pulled off the window.

topW

Window opening
The indented wall area in which a window is installed.
Window Box
Also “window opening.” The indented wall area in which a window is installed.
Wood Blinds
Horizontal wood slats make up this blind.
Wood Essence
BlindsFirst brand name for faux wood blinds.

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Suite 1200
Wilmington, DE 19801
1-888-553-3811

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