Cassette blinds provide a premium aesthetic and are prevalent in commercial and residential environments. Before diving into how cassette blinds work, we want to shed some light on why the shading system is called a cassette blind.

The blind system was inspired by the cassette tape, which was invented in 1963. The cassette tape was a popular form of media that younger readers of this article may not remember. Before the CD asserted itself upon the world, music was played using cassette players. A cassette is a sealed plastic container which holds magnetic audio tape and protects it.

Similar to the cassette tape, a cassette blind encloses the blind’s fabric within a container which is also known as a headbox. The cassette blind’s headbox covers the top of the blind and protects it from dust and other damage, making the cassette blind a popular choice in schools. The image below shows what the headbox of a cassette blind looks like. 

cassetted blind with blind side channels

How do cassette blinds work?

The cassette blind utilises one piece of fabric to block out daylight when needed. The blind system is essentially a standard roller blind with additional housing and optional extras. When the blind is operated, the fabric comes down from the headbox, which conceals the blind’s barrel.

Installing cassette blinds is usually a simple process that only requires a screwdriver, drill, tape measure and pencil. Cassette blinds are assembled using various blind system components, including:

  • Headbox
  • Barrel
  • End plates
  • Bottom bar
  • End caps
  • Fabric
  • Side channels
  • Brackets
  • The chosen blind control mechanism

Blind control mechanisms

Cassette blinds are controlled using a variety of blind control mechanisms, including chain, spring, crank and electric. Chain, crank and electric mechanisms all work by rotating the blind’s barrel, which in turn opens or closes the blind.

Spring-loaded cassette blinds have a coiled spring which the manufacturer will tension. Operating a spring-loaded cassette blind is incredibly simple. The end-user simply pulls the bottom bar, and the fabric will move and lock into the desired level when they let go of the blind. The blind installer can adjust the spring’s tension clutch mechanism if the system lacks tension.

Cassette blind side channels

One of the significant benefits of cassetted blinds is that they can be produced with blind side channels. The cassette blind side channels secure the fabric within grooves and close the system, ensuring there are no gaps for light to travel through. Side channels also enable cassette blinds to be fitted to overhead windows and angled windows where the fabric would otherwise hang down.

The blind side channels are also great for windy days when shading is required. The wind would blow a standard blind and result in an irritating noise. The cassette blind’s side channels hold the fabric in place, ensuring that air can enter the room without disrupting those within it. However, with many cassette blinds on the market, the fabric can still come out of the side channels because it is not securely locked in place.

For customers looking for a 100% guarantee that the fabric will not move, we recommend our Tracker Fabric Retaining System. This system is more reliable than competitors’ solutions because it utilises intelligent, flexible plastic seals which maintain constant fabric tension. Our Tracker Fabric Retaining System is compatible with the following cassette systems C40/C44/C45 and C47.

Blackout cassette blinds

When coupled with blackout fabric, the addition of the blind side channels enables the cassette blind to block out 100% of light. We produce a range of blackout cassette blinds that guarantee complete darkness.

Commercial cassette blinds

At Yewdale, we manufacture commercial cassette blinds which are regularly bought by trade customers and installed in offices, schools, hotels and other settings. Our cassetted blinds feature a strong aluminium headbox which comes as standard in black or white, but most of our cassette blinds can be produced in any RAL colour.

If you’d like to find out more about our blinds, you can get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.