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Were Roman Blinds Invented by the Romans?

Yes, Roman Blinds were invented by their namesake over 2000 years ago!

Like most developments in the home they were invented for practical reasons; in hot, sunny countries with horse drawn carriages billowing dust, Romans found it useful to hang dampened cloth over their windows to keep the home cool and dust free.

Over time these blinds became more elaborate; drawstring mechanisms were attached making it easy to raise and lower the fabric. This allowed total control over the amount of light and air coming into the home and the wealthier in society wanted blinds just as as elaborate as their mosaics and wall paintings.

The earliest evidence of Roman blinds was found in Pompeii, which was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The remains of a house were excavated and archaeologists discovered that one room had a window with two layers: an outer layer of linen fabric, covered by an inner layer of wooden slats that were held together by metal rings.

This essential mechanism has not changed in thousands of years and Roman blinds today work in the same way. This style of blinds was common throughout Europe until the Middle Ages when they fell out of favour and were replaced by wooden shutters. They didn't come back into fashion for the masses until the 20th century!

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