When it comes to shading, vertical blinds are a classic solution that are heavily used in workplaces and residential properties. Not only do they look great, they provide a high level of control over the amount of light entering a room. In this article, we’ll explain how vertical blinds work, walking you through the variety of mechanisms available.

How do vertical blinds work?

As the name suggests, vertical blinds feature fabric which hangs vertically from the headrail. Vertical blinds move from side to side instead of up and down. Vertical blinds were invented in 1950 because Venetian blinds collected too much dust and required regular cleaning.

There are a variety of mechanisms that can control a vertical blind’s slats (also known as louvres). This level of control enables you to block out sunlight while still letting daylight enter the room. As the sun moves in the sky, the slats can be tilted accordingly.

how do vertical blinds work

The correct mechanism on the right blind can transform the user’s experience. Moving the blind needs to be easy and suited to the environment, but clients are often not aware of every blind mechanism we manufacture, so it’s always worth explaining how vertical blinds work.

Chain-operated vertical blind

The chain-operated vertical blind is perceived by many as the classic mechanism for a vertical blind, and for good reason. A metal chain provides a great level of control and is a reliable option that will last for many years.

Our YewdaleDefiant® VL30 Premium Profile vertical blind is supplied with a cord and metal control chain. The cord allows you to quickly move the blind sideways while the chain tilts the slats to suit your shading needs.

Each time the metal chain or cord is pulled, the precision-made aluminium spindle smoothly moves the louvres. The metal chain provides complete control over the positioning of the blind, enabling a superior level of shading. Check out how our chain-operated vertical blind works below.

Crank-operated vertical blind

Crank-operated vertical blinds are commonly used when the window is in an awkward position where a chain or cord wouldn’t be suitable. Due to its sturdy design, crank mechanisms are also well-suited to large blinds which are heavier and more challenging to control.

The YewdaleDefiant® VL64 Vertical Blind is supplied with a fixed crank as standard, which is operated with a built-in slip clutch that controls the draw and tilt of the louvres.

We can also supply our crank-operated vertical blind with a detachable crank. This option is very popular with facilities managers who grow tired of occupants constantly adjusting the blinds, and with education facilities to prevent students from controlling the blind.

Using our crank-operated vertical blind is easier than you might think – see for yourself.

Mono chain vertical blind

Depending on your preference, you may prefer a mono chain to a cord and chain mechanism. The YewdaleDefiant® VL60 Mono has a metal chain that controls the rotating of the vertical blind slats in addition to the opening and closing of the blind. This simplified mechanism is very popular and commonly specified for office blinds.

See how our mono chain vertical blind works in our video.

Electric vertical blind

Wand-operated vertical blinds may be easy to use, but they’re no match for electric vertical blinds! The YewdaleDefiant® VL65 electric vertical blind can be controlled at the touch of a button. It’s powered by a quiet 230v AC electric motor and features an integrated aluminium spindle shaft that ensures the louvres are constantly transported smoothly.

Electric vertical blinds are ideal for windows that are difficult to access or within reach of children (making hanging cords and chains risky). They are also popular in areas where restriction of control over the blind is needed.

The electric remote control can be used to tilt the louvres and traverse them along the durable aluminium headrail.

The electric vertical blind truly is a premium option that is commonly selected for companies’ office blinds. To see the electric motor in action, watch the following video.

Wand-operated vertical blind

A wand-operated vertical blind can be moved into the exact position required using the wand. All you need to do is pull the wand and the blind will follow. To rotate the louvres and control the amount of light coming in, the wand just needs to be twisted.

The YewdaleDefiant® VL31 premium profile vertical blind is operated by a simple wand that is thin and discreet. This ensures that it blends into the background when it’s not being used.

Some of our clients prefer the wand mechanism, arguing that it is easier than having to pull chains or cords. Watch this demonstration video and see what you think!


We’re now reaching the end of our whistlestop lesson on how vertical blinds work. Vertical blinds are a stylish option for any room and perfect for large windows. They provide superior control over shading and privacy and collect less dust than horizontal blinds. To see our full range of made-to-measure vertical blinds, click here.

If you’d like to learn more about the mechanisms of vertical blinds, feel free to contact us.

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