The use of venetian blinds is widespread in homes and commercial spaces. These blinds are composed of several horizontal slats that can be adjusted to regulate the amount of light that enters a space. In this article, we explain how venetian blinds work and how they have developed over centuries of use.

How venetian blinds work

Today, venetian blinds are predominantly manufactured using wood and lightweight metals like aluminium. Venetian blinds can be operated by manually twisting a wand which is connected to the tilt mechanism responsible for moving the slats upwards or downwards, while a cord is pulled to raise and lower the blind. Alternatively, you can opt for a mono chain mechanism which handles both the draw and tilt.  

The slats are held in place by two ladders on either side of the blind which run through punched holes in the slats. These ladders play a crucial role in supporting the slats and ensuring they are evenly spaced. A bottom bar is used to stabilise the system and weigh down the slats. A headrail sits on top of the blind to complete the appearance and provide protection to the mechanism.

venetian blinds by yewdale

The history of venetian blinds

Despite common belief, venetian blinds did not originate in Venice. Historians contend that the initial versions of this blind were created in Persia between 1100 and 1500 A.D.

In the 18th century, merchant traders introduced Europe to the Venetian blind, which was named after the merchant city. Early Venetian blinds utilised strips of cloth which were connected by string, allowing them to be raised and lowered.

Englishman Edward Bevan is credited with inventing the Venetian blind after obtaining the first patent for it in 1769. He significantly improved the original concept by replacing strips of cloth with wooden slats, positioning them within a frame. Using wood as the main material was unquestionably more durable than the original cloth design.

How venetian blinds work remains largely unchanged since John Hampson of New Orleans perfected its design in 1841. He developed a mechanism to adjust the tilt of the slats and better control the amount of light entering the room.


We hope you have learnt how venetian blinds work and which components are key to the shading system’s operation. We have a dedicated venetians department within our UK-based production factory. We are proud to offer faster turnaround times than the industry average for made-to-measure commercial blind orders.

We provide same-day quotes and can set you up with a trade account with up to £5,000 credit within a day. For more information, please contact us.

Other articles to explore:

How cassette blinds work

How vertical blinds work