Shades, Bamboo Blinds

Bamboo is a wonderful material to use in a variety of ways around the home or office, like with bamboo blinds. It's a sustainable product because of it's fast growth -- and requires no fertilizer or pesticide. Using it for your window coverings inside or out can be a good solution to many issues you have. Bamboo blinds inside adds a tropical or exotic look to your room, provides privacy, and helps filter light and heat. Using bamboo blinds outside keeps heat out of the room as well as provides privacy for indoor or outdoor rooms.

Bamboo blinds or shades are an interesting subset of the window treatment market. While real bamboo blinds or shades are really made from bamboo, the term "bamboo" has come to encompass many types of woods woven together into shades or blinds. Indeed, even non-wood fibers like jute, rattan, and reeds are often made into "bamboo" blinds or shades.

Bamboo may be the best natural material for making blinds or shades. It is very tough and hard to cut, but it can be split into long, even strands as thin as matches which are woven into blinds or shades. This trait gives rise to yet another name for split-wood woven blinds or shades –- "match stick" blinds or shades. Rattan is also a tough, flexible fiber, while jute is so strong it is used to make rope and twine. Other types of straight-grained, flexible wood do quite well in bamboo blinds or shades.

Different species of bamboo make different blinds or shades of different colors, textures, and patterns. Madake bamboo makes a dark-brown, rustic-looking shade or blind, while Shizen bamboo is an airier, lighter color. Highly textured or patterned bamboo may be cut into thicker pieces to show off these traits better in a shade or blind.

Bamboo shades or blinds are generally made in one of two styles. As a roll-up blind, the bamboo is woven into the drawstrings so that it rolls up when the drawstrings are pulled. In the Roman shade style, the bamboo has loops glued to its back through which the drawstrings pass, so that each piece of bamboo folds up nicely against the one below it when the drawstrings are pulled.

The darkening properties of bamboo blinds or shades depend on how loosely or tightly the bamboo is woven together. Some bamboo shades or blinds are so tightly woven that they block out nearly all light, while others are deliberately woven so loosely that the filter only 20 per cent of light. In the case of loosely woven bamboo blinds or shades, a fabric liner may be desired to ensure privacy.

They are often mounted outdoors, to provide shade and privacy on patios, porches, and balconies, or at windows facing neighbors' back yards. The durability of bamboo (or any of its substitutes) makes it possible to hang bamboo shades or blinds outdoors, provided the cords and pulley mechanisms are designed for outdoor use. Generally speaking, bamboo blinds or shades hold up very well under sun and wet weather, and their weight makes them relatively wind resistant.

A wide variety of bamboo blinds and shades can be found online at Web sites such as Their lightweight shades and blinds are available in either Roman shade or roll-up blind style; heavier light-blocking varieties are available only in Roman shade style. Prices start as low as $34.

Bamboo blinds or shades are a good investment in window treatments. Their durability and rustic good looks will be a welcome addition in your home for years.