Terms and Definitions

Have you seen or hear a window treatment term and think, “What the heck is that?” Well, we’ve compiled a huge list of common terms we throw around daily. Have look and the next time we see you, you might even stump the experts.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
A

Aluminum Blinds

Also called mini blinds, macro blinds, or micro blinds. Horizontal aluminum blinds are made out of .6 to .9 gauge aluminum, with .9 being the sturdiest and most expensive. These blinds are especially complementary to modern rooms, although their clean good looks can go anywhere. They offer a great deal of light control options because the vanes can be tilted and the entire blind can be fully raised or lowered.  View Aluminum Blinds Gallery »

 

Automatic Cord Lock

The geared mechanism used when raising and lowering horizontal window treatments.

B

Basswood

Hardwood grown in North America, China, and other parts of the world. Used in making real wood blinds and plantation shutters.

 

Blackout Shade

A window covering that eliminates virtually all light from entering a window. Blackout rated fabrics block up to 99% of outside light. Blackout is a great choice for bedrooms, children’s rooms, and media rooms. This feature has a different manufacturer’s name: opaque, eclipse, room darkening, cocoon and so on. These fabrics are available on a variety of different shades. View Roller Shades Gallery »

 

Bottom Rail

The bar across the bottom of horizontal blinds or window shades. Used to tie in the cords of horizontal blinds and also add weight to window shades

 

Bottom-Up / Top-Down

A bottom-up shade combined with a standard top-down shade for maximum versatility. Uses two sets of lift cords to open either from the top down or from the bottom up, or both at the same time. Very good for protecting your privacy while still allowing light in.

 

Box Metal Bracket

Traditional standard bracket for horizontal blinds with a hinged front for easy installation and removal. Box brackets are installed at the ends of the blind and a center support is located near the center of the blind when needed.

 

Bracket

Mounting hardware to attach window treatments to window frames, walls, or doors. Brackets vary greatly depending on the type of shade, blind or drapery that is being installed. Brackets also vary depending on the age of a window treatment. For example, older Hunter Douglas Luminettes (5+ years) use a different bracket than new Luminettes.

 

Braided Ladders

The arrangement of strings which raise and tilt the slats on horizontal blinds.

 

Break Thru Safety Tassel

A tassel feature designed to break apart to protect children and pets from injury.

C

Cafe Style

Any window treatment that covers only the bottom half of the window. Frequently seen in kitchens. View Wood Plantation Shutters Gallery »

 

Cassette

A sleek, curved cover that conceals the fabric roll and lifting system, covered with matching fabric to give a clean, finished look.

 

Ceiling Mount

Window blinds or shades hung from the ceiling. This is typically an alternative mount for vertical blinds, in which the headrail is mounted on the ceiling. This application eliminates the gap between the top of the blind and the ceiling. Ceiling mounts are relatively rare. View Vertical Blinds Gallery »

 

Cellular Shade

Also called honeycomb shades. These fabric shades have a front and back fabric that is pleated. The two fabrics are connected to form air pockets (cells). Because of the air pockets, these shades have great insulation ratings. Although cellular shades look like pleated shades, unlike pleated shades, there are no visible holes or strings. View Cellular Shades Gallery »

 

Center Tilt

Small window blinds do not have room in the headrail for all the tilt and lift mechanisms. These blinds have a tilt only located in the middle of the headrail or blind. If this choice is required, we recommend that upon installing the shade remove the wand and operate the tilter by hand using the 1″ stem attached to the headrail for tilting. This will eliminate the awkward appearance of a center tilt wand. View Faux Wood Blinds Gallery »

 

Cloth Tapes

Available as an option on wood, faux wood and some aluminum blinds in place of standard braided ladders (the cords that extend down the length of the blind and hold the slats together). These wider tapes help hide rout holes allowing for more privacy and less light penetration. May be available in solid colours and decorative patterns, as well as a number of different widths. View Wood Blinds Gallery »

 

Color

The color of the blind or fabric that you have selected.

 

Continuous Cord Loop

An option using a continuous loop cord or chain to raise and lower cellular shades, pleated shades and other window treatments. The cord always remains the same length, regardless of the shade position. This eliminates long, dangling cords. Continuous cords also make it easier for a person to open large shades and reduces the strain on the cords. View Sheer Shades Gallery »

 

Controls

Controls refer to the mechanisms that allow you to raise, lower, and tilt the blinds. Controls are usually cords or wands. You will be asked to specify which side the controls will be placed on. View All Products »

 

Cord Tilt Control

Alternative to a traditional wand tilt. Operates on a cord pulley system allowing up to 180 degrees rotation of the slats. Tilt cords are recommended for heavier blinds. View Wood Blinds Gallery »

 

Cordless Shades / Blinds

See also : EasyLift

Operating system that allows the lowering and raising of some blinds and shades by lifting or pulling down on the bottom rail. A spring mechanism allows these shades to be easily raised without the use of strings. Cordless operating systems are most commonly found on cellular shades but can also be found on roller shades, pleated shades, roman shades, sheer shadings and some wood blinds. View Roller Shades Gallery »

D

de-Light Feature

See also : No Holes, Routeless

Normally, the ladder on a horizontal blind is routed through the slats, leaving small holes that allow light to show through. The Hunter Douglas de-Light feature off-sets the rout holes to prevent light leakage. De-Light is an excellent feature for a bedroom, or for any place where you need total light control. This feature is available from other manufacturers of horizontal blinds. View Wood Blinds Gallery »

 

Double Cellular Shade

The front and back fabrics are connected with two rows of air pockets (cells) between them resulting in a very high insulating value. View Cellular Shades Gallery »

E

EasyLift and Tilt

A manually-operated mechanism for raising, lowering and tilting two-inch (Graber 2″ Grandeur, 2″ Designer Vinyl and 2″ Traditions Woods only) blinds. The blind is tilted, raised and lowered by operating the continuous control loop. Pulling on either side of the loop opens and closes the blind slats. Continuing to pull either side of the control loop raiser or lowers the blind by action of the patented clutch mechanism. The continuous control loop remains at the same level no matter what the position of the blind.

 

EasyRise

See also: Continuous Cordloop

EasyRise is a HunterDouglas option using a continuous loop cord to raise and lower cellular and pleated shades eliminating long, dangling cords. Designed for larger shades. View Pleated Shades Gallery »

 

EasyUp

See also: Continuous Cordloop

A Graber option using a continuous loop cord to raise and lower cellular and pleated shades. The cord always remains the same length, regardless of the shade position. This eliminates long, dangling cords. Designed for larger shades. View Sheer Shades Gallery »

 

Extension Brackets

For installations requiring additional space between the blind and the mounting surface. Must be specified at time of order. View Installation Help »

F

Flush Inside Mount

See also : Recessed Inside Mount, Inside Mount

A blinds headrail will be inside mounted completely flush with the window opening so that the headrail is not protruding out of the window opening at all. View Measuring Help »

H

Headrail

The hardware at the top of the blind where the tracks and other mechanical parts are located. With horizontal blinds, you can choose multiple blinds on a single headrail (two or three) if you have more than one window in the same frame.

 

Heat Control

The ability of a window treatment to reduce the amount of heat in a room. The most effective shades for heat control are cellular shades (honeycomb shades) due to their ability to trap a pocket of air within the cells that acts as an insulator. View Cellular Shades Gallery »

 

Height

The vertical measurement of your blind, taken to the nearest 1/8 of an inch. View Measuring Help »

 

Hold-Down Brackets

Hold-down brackets prevent blinds from swaying. They are most commonly used on doors to keep the blind from moving around when the door is open or closed. Hold downs can also be used on windows subject to wind exposure.

 

Honeycomb Shade

See also : Cellular Shades

These fabric shades have a front and back fabric that is pleated. The two fabrics are connected to form air pockets (cells). Because of the air pockets, these shades have great insulation ratings. Although honeycomb shades look like pleated shades, unlike pleated shades, there are no visible holes or strings. View Cellular Shades Gallery »

I

Inside Mount

See also : Flush Inside Mount, Recessed Inside Mount

Refers to hanging the blind inside the window frame. While inside mounting a window treatment will allow less intrusion into your room, there will be a noticable light gap at the perimeter of the treatment. View Measuring Help »

L

Ladder Cords

The cords that on the outside of horizontal blinds. This set of cords keep the slats evenly spaced.

 

Lift

The control, usually a cord, which raises and lowers the blind or shade. It is usually tethered by a bell shaped tassel or a child-proof cord. Products under certain widths have limitations with no lift option.

 

Light Control

The ability to allow different levels of light to penetrate a room, from complete privacy to full daylight. The ability of a blind or shade to control light does not necessarily mean that it will reduce the amount of heat in a room.

 

LiteRise

See alos : Cordless Shades

LiteRise Touch System is a cordless lifting system from HunterDouglas that allows blinds and shades to be raised and lowered by lifting or pulling down on the bottom rail of the blind. It delivers streamlined beauty, easier operation and enhanced safety for children. Cordless operating systems such as LiteRise are most commonly found on cellular shades but can also be found on roller shades, pleated shades, roman shades, sheer shadings and some wood blinds. View Roman Shades Gallery »

M

Mount

Mount refers to whether the blind will be mounted within the window frame (inside mount) or on the wall surrounding the window (outside mount). View Installation Help »

N

North American Basswood

A hardwood from the bass tree, typically grown in North America or China. Basswood is a high quality wood. When used for blinds, it is kiln-dried to 14% moisture. The drying process helps prevent cracking, chipping, and peeling.

O

Opaque

Opaque fabric or lining blocks up to 99% of outside light. Opaque is the best choice for bedrooms, children’s rooms, and media rooms. This feature has a different manufacturer’s name: blackout, eclipse, room darkening, cocoon, etc…

 

Outside Mount

Outside mount refers to hanging the blind on the wall around the window, so that the window is fully covered and there is some overlap with the wall. For an outside mount you will have to decide how much overlap you want and measure accordingly. This is a common mount for vertical blinds on a patio door.

P

Pleated Shades

Pleated shades are made of fabric with crisp, evenly spaced horizontal pleats. They are a less expensive alternative to honeycomb or cellular shades, because they have only one layer of fabric and provide less insulation. The other main difference is that pleated shades have visible cords running through them.

 

Privacy

See also Semi-Opaque. A term used to describe a fabric that blocks enough light that only vague shapes are visible from the outside.

Q

Quantity

The number of one particular product you are ordering. Please note that all of the products must be completely identical, including width and height measurements.

R

Railroaded

Due to the limitations of fabric widths, shades larger than noted fabric widths may have to be railroaded or seamed. When fabric is railroaded the width of the fabric is turned and now becomes the length. If the length required is longer than the width of the fabric, the fabric will be seamed at the top.

 

Ramin Wood

A less expensive hardwood than basswood, ramin wood is used for many value-priced wood blinds.

 

Recessed Inside Mount

See also Flush Inside Mount. A blinds headrail will be inside mounted completely flush with the window opening so that the headrail is not protruding out of the window opening at all. The manufacturer will make small reductions to your measurements, to allow for necessary operating clearance. See specific product pages for exact depth requirements needed to mount the blind inside the window frame.

 

Roller Shade

A shade made of flat PVC or fabric and attached to a cylindrical roller.

S

Semi-Opaque

See also Private. A term used to describe a fabric that filters light and obscures detailed features while still allowing light to fill a room.

 

Semi-Private

See also Semi-Sheer. A term used to describe a fabric that filters light and obscures detailed features while still allowing light to fill a room. ng cords. Designed for larger shades.

 

Semi-Sheer

See also Semi-Private. A term used to describe a woven fabric provides moderate privacy while allowing soft, diffused light inside.

 

Sheer

A term used to describe a transparent knit or woven fabric that gently filters strong light without obstructing the view.

 

Spacer Blocks

Used to add an extra 1/2″ of depth to the headrail. Spacer blocks are usually used on outside mounts to avoid obstructions such as molding around the window.

 

Split Controls

The control options are limited to either Lift control left/Tilt control right or Lift control right/Tilt control left. See specific product page for details.

 

Stack

The area in which the slats of a blind “stack” when opened. On vertical blinds, choosing a left stack or a right stack will determine which way the blind opens. If you order a left stack, the slats will “stack” on the left side of the window when fully opened. Other stacks include split draw, in which the blinds open from the middle, half stacking on the left and half to the right, and center draw, in which the blinds open from both sides and stack in the middle. With horizontal blinds, “stack height” refers to the space at the top of the window that is taken up by the slats when they are fully raised. The smaller the stack height, the greater the view you will have to the outside.

 

Slats

A term referring to the horizontal wood, vinyl or aluminum pieces which tilt open and closed creating variations of light.

 

SoftGlide

An exclusive HunterDouglas option using a continuous loop cord to raise and lower Brilliance pleated shades eliminating long, dangling cords.

T

Tapes

Available as an option on wood, faux wood and macro aluminum blinds in place of standard braided ladders (the cords that extend down the length of the blind and hold the slats together). These wider tapes help hide rout holes allowing for more privacy and less light penetration. May be available in solid colors and decorative patterns, as well as a number of different widths.

 

Tilt

The control, usually a cord or a wand, that tilts the slats of a horizontal or vertical blind open and closed.

 

Top-Down

A shade that opens from the top down instead of the standard from the bottom up. When completely open, the fabric stacks at the bottom of the window.

 

Top-Down/Bottom-Up

A top-down shade combined with a standard bottom-up shade for maximum versatility. Uses two sets of lift cords to open either from the top down or from the bottom up, or both at the same time. Very good for protecting your privacy while still allowing light in.

 

TruRise

TruRise® is a state-of-the-art lifting system that allows you to effortlessly raise a shade. Simply pull straight down on the tassel to raise it, or lower the shade by lifting the tassel straight up. Two or more blinds on one headrail: Provides the flexibility of raising one blind while keeping the other lowered on extra wide windows, such as patio doors. This option is usually only available up to a total maximum width (the total length of the headrail), often around 96″.

U

UltraGlide

UltraGlide is a lifting system for Hunter Douglas honeycomb shades. It uses a retractable cord so that the shade glides up and down with precise control and the cord length remains the same.

V

Valance

A term used to describe the decorative wood, vinyl or aluminum slat(s) which hides the headrail of a particular blind. More elaborate valances may be available. See specific product page for valance options.

 

Valance Returns

The two “side” pieces of a valance that connect the front (main) part of the valance to the wall. Valance returns are only used on outside mounts.

 

Vanes

The PVC or fabric slats on a vertical blind.

 

Venetian Blinds

See aluminum blinds. Also called mini blinds, macro blinds, or micro blinds. Horizontal aluminum blinds are made out of .6 to .9 gauge aluminum, with .9 being the sturdiest and most expensive. These blinds are especially complementary to modern rooms, although their clean good looks can go anywhere. They offer a great deal of light control options because the vanes can be tilted and the entire blind can be fully raised or lowered.

 

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds can be made from PVC or fabric and have been a popular window covering choice. They can be used alone, with a top treatment, or as the foundation for a more elaborate look. The vanes are provide good insulation from both light and temperature extremes.

W

Wall Mount

The standard installation for verticals, in which the headrail is mounted on the wall surrounding the door or window.

 

Width

The horizontal measurement of your blind, taken to the nearest 1/8 of an inch. For measuring instructions, click here.

 

Window Number

Used on our order forms, the window number is one that you assign to the windows in a room. This will help you keep track of your order when a room has multiple windows.

 

Wood Blinds

The best horizontal wood blinds are made from natural American hardwoods, and are very good natural insulators. We recommend that you avoid using genuine wood blinds in humid conditions and instead, suggest faux wood blinds for bathrooms, kitchens, and other humid areas.