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GLOSSARY
Glossary of Blind and Shade Terminology

GLOSSARY
Glossary of Blind and Shade Terminology




Blind Component Terminology
AB Cloth Tape Size designation of venetian blind cloth tape for 2” wide slats with 1 11/16” spacing between slats. AB cloth tape
Bead Chain Made up of small balls one after another fused to string or joined by pieces of metal. Can be metal or plastic beads. Can be continuous or have a connecter securing two ends together. Plastic and metal bead chains
Blind Any window covering with tiltable and moveable slats for controlling light and privacy. Blinds for windows with tiltable and moveable slats.
Bottom Rail The bottom-most horizontal piece on blinds and shades. Bottom rails
Bottom Up Shade A shade that only rises from the bottom and goes up. Bottom up shade
Box Bracket Box-shaped mounting brackets that are fastened to the window frame or wall and used to attach and install the headrail of a horizontal blind. Box bracket
Brackets Installation parts that are fastened to the window frame or wall and used to attach and install the headrail of a window treatment. Brackets for blinds rails
Carrier This internal vertical blind part carries the vanes back and forth across the headrail. It is a geared device that also controls the angle of the vanes. Blinds carrier
Carrier Clip This clip protrudes from the carrier and holds the vanes of a vertical blind to the carrier. Also may be called a “stem” or “vane clip.” Clips for blinds carrier
Center Stack When vertical blinds are drawn open and the vanes stack in the middle of the head rail. Vertical vanes stack in the middle
Center Support Metal bracket installed between box brackets on a wide horizontal blind to provide more mounting support. Center support bracket for blinds and shades.
Chain & Clip Plastic or metal bead chain that has plastic clips protruding from it at evenly spaced intervals. These clips attach to the bottom weights on fabric vane vertical blinds. Chain and clips for vertical blinds.
Cloth Tape Supports and controls the slats on a horizontal blind. Made of two parallel strips of cloth connected at right angles to each other by cloth or string support pieces. These support pieces support the slats and control the tilt of the slats. The size of cloth tape that Fix My Blinds stocks are:

  • 2” Cloth Tape – AB: For horizontal blinds with 2” wide slats and 1 11/16” spacing between slats.
  • 2” Cloth Tape – Designer: For horizontal blinds with 2” wide slats and 1 ¾” spacing between slats.
  • 2 3/8” Cloth Tape – DE: For horizontal blinds with 2 3/8” wide slats and 2” spacing between slats.
  • 1 3/4” Cloth Tape – X: For horizontal blinds with 1 3/4” wide slats and 1 1/2” spacing between slats.
Cloth tape for wood blinds
Clutch A tensioned mechanical device that assists the raising and lowering of a blind or shade. Operates with a continuous loop of cord or plastic/metal bead chain. Clutches for head rails on blinds and shades
Clutch Cover Plastic piece that covers the operational end of the clutch mechanism on a clutch-operated blind or shade. Clutch covers for head rails on blinds and shades
Condenser Consolidates smaller strings into a plastic or metal assembly to which a larger pull cord is attached. Condenser for string that operates opening and closing of blinds
Continuous Cord Loop A length of braided cord fused together by heat and with adhesive to create an endless loop. Continuous cord loops for operating the opening and closing of blinds
Cord Cleats A metal or plastic piece mounted to the wall to wrap long cords around. Cord Cleats
Cord Guide A grommet-like device that directs the string so that it travels in the correct path to prevent wear. Cord Guide
Cord Joiner See “Condenser.” Cord Joiner
Cord Lock A mechanism used to lock a blind or shade to the desired height when raising and lowering. Holds the lift cords by pressure or friction. Cord Lock
Cord Loop System A blind or shade that operates with a clutch and continuous cord or bead chain loop to raise and lower it. Cord Loop System
Cord Stop Assembly “See Condenser.” Cord Stop Assembly
Cord Tilt Corded mechanism used in some horizontal blinds to tilt the slats instead of a tilt wand mechanism. Cord Tilt
Cradle Plastic or metal device that holds the drum in place and guides the ladder and lift cord as they enter the bottom of the head rail of horizontal blinds. Cradle
DE Cloth Tape Size designation of venetian blind cloth tape for 2 3/8” wide slats and 2” spacing between slats. DE Cloth Tape
Designer Cloth Tape Size designation of venetian blind cloth tape for 2” wide slats and 1 3/4” spacing between slats. Designer Cloth Tape
Drum A barrel-shaped plastic or metal piece that is seated in the cradle in the head rail of a horizontal blind. The string ladder or cloth tape connects to and hangs from the drum. Drum
End Cap End caps are used to cover the non-functioning ends of the bottom and top rails of blinds and shades. End Cap
Equalizers Gathers two or more cords together to create a stop device that prevents a shade from going down further than needed. Also helps keep the cords even. Equalizers
Extension Brackets Projects a blind or shade away from any obstructions that may interfere with proper operation. Extension Brackets
Head Rail The head rail is the top-most part of a blind or shade that contains the working mechanism(s) that operate the blind. Head Rail
Hold Down Brackets Used to hold a blind or shade’s bottom rail in place. Common with blinds mounted on doors. Hold Down Brackets
Horizontal Parallel to level ground. Horizontal
Inside Mount When a blind or shade is installed inside the window frame or drywall opening.
Lift Cords The braided nylon, polyester or cotton cord that is used to raise and lower a blind or shade. Common sizes range from 0.9mm to 4.0mm in diameter.
Lift Tape Ribbon-like flat material used as lift cord on certain types of blinds and shades. About 2.5mm wide and as thin as a piece of construction paper. Lift Tape
Louvers The horizontal wooden panels that make up plantation shutters. Can be 1” to 4 ½” wide. Louvers
One Way Draw When vertical blinds are drawn open and all of the vanes stack on the same side of the head rail as the controls.
Outside Mount When a blind or shade is installed outside of the window frame.
Plastic Washers Small, round plastic pieces used to secure knots from slipping through holes. Plastic Washers
Pleat Size Refers to the height of each pleat from fold to peak. Some common pleat sizes are 3/8”, 3/4", and 1 1/4".
Projection The distance between the wall to the rear edge of the blind. Sufficient clearance must be achieved for some blinds and shades to operate properly.
Pull Cords Heavier cord that attaches to the lift cords with a condenser on some types of blinds and shades. Pull Cords
Restring Needle A metal needle used to thread new string through the fabric of pleated and cellular shades. Restring Needle
Reverse Stack When vertical blinds are drawn open and all of the vanes stack on the side of the head rail opposite the controls.
Route Hole The hole drilled or punched into the slats of horizontal blinds that the lift cords run through. Some horizontal blinds are “routeless,” and have the lift cord running up the back side of the slat. Route Hole
Shade Any window covering which lacks a mechanism to control light and privacy. Normally just rises up and down.
Shade Roller Long aluminum tube or wooden dowel with a winding mechanism on which shade fabric is wrapped.
Slats The metal, wood or vinyl strips that make up a horizontal blind.
Slat Size Measurement of the width of a slat from front to back. Slat Size
Spacer Blocks Plastic pieces that fit between the wall and the bracket used to clear trim and other obstacles while mounting a blind or shade. Spacer Blocks
Split Stack When vertical blinds are drawn open and the vanes stack evenly on the left and right sides of the head rail. Split Stack
Standard Operation The most common way that various blinds and shades operate. Standard Operation
Vertical Blind Standard Operation A “One Way Draw” is standard. All of the vane stack on the side of the head rail with the controls when the blind is opened. Vertical Blind Standard Operation
Cellular/Pleated Shade Standard Operation Operates from the bottom up only and has a cord lock with strings coming down from it. Pull on the strings to raise the blind up and then pull the strings to the left or right to lock in place. Cellular/Pleated Shade Standard Operation
Horizontal Blind Standard Operation Pulls up from the bottom with strings coming down from the top. Pull the string to the left or right to lock the blind. Uses a tilt wand. Twist the wand to control the tilting of the slats. Horizontal Blind Standard Operation
String Ladder Supports and controls the tilting of the slats on a horizontal blind. Made of two parallel pieces of string connected at right angles to each other by string called rungs.
Swivel Bracket Mounting brackets for inside mount shades only. They are especially useful for shallow depth windows. Most only require about ½” mounting depth. Swivel Bracket
T-Handles Metal handles used in the place of older and larger window cranks that can interfere with the correct operation of a blind or shade. T-Handles
Tassels Decorative wood, plastic or brass pieces attached the end of lift and pull cords. Tassels
Tensioner Plastic part that keeps tension on loops of cord or bead chain. Tensioner
Tilt Mechanism Mechanism used in some horizontal blinds to tilt the slats. Also referred to as a “tilter.” Tilt Mechanism
Tilt Rod Metal rod that is situated inside the headrail of horizontal blinds. Not to be confused with a Tilt Wand. Tilt Rod
Tilt Wand See “Wand.” Tilt Wand
Top Down Shade A shade that only lowers from the top and goes down.
Top Down / Bottom Up Shade A shade that raises and lowers from the top and the bottom. Has a floating middle rail.
Two On One Headrail Two blinds or shades sharing the same head rail.
Valance A decorative piece that covers the headrail of a blind or shade.
Valance Clip Device that holds a valance to the headrail of the blind. Valance Clip
Vanes The vinyl, fabric or wood panels hanging from a vertical blind headrail.
Vane Savers Metal clips used to repair broken holes at the top of vinyl or PVC vertical blind vanes. Use curved for all curved vanes, even those with an S-curve. Use flat for vanes that are completely flat. Vane Savers
Vertical Up and down. Vertical
Wand Wooden, plastic, fiberglass or metal rod used to open and close the slats or vanes of a blind. Wand
Wire Restring Tool An 18” length of galvanized steel wire used to thread new string through various types of blinds. Especially useful with long blinds and shades. Wire Restring Tool
X Cloth Tape Size designation of venetian blind cloth tape for 1 3/4” wide slats and 1 ½” spacing between slats. X Cloth Tape










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Brand Name Terminology
Break-Thru Safety Tassel A tassel designed to protect children and pets by separating into two parts when something is caught between the cords of a blind. The halves simply snap back together. A trade-marked Hunter Douglas product. Break-Thru Safety Tassel
Duette Brand specific name of Hunter Douglas’ cellular shade.
Duo Fold Pleated or cellular shades where half of the shade is usually opaque for privacy and the other half is usually semi-opaque for light filtering. Brand name of Hunter Douglas product.
Luminette Privacy Sheers Brand name of Hunter Douglas’ window covering that combines sheer drapery and vertical blinds.
Silhouette Shade Sheer shades with horizontal fabric vanes that float between two layers of sheer fabric. The fabric slats tilt and the shades rise up and down with a cord loop. Brand name of Hunter Douglas product.
Vertiglide Cellular shades used for sliding glass doors. They open side to side. Brand name of Hunter Douglas product.










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Types of Blinds & Shades
Accordion Shades See “Cellular Shades.”
Aluminum Blinds Horizontal blinds made with aluminum slats. Slats can be anywhere from ½” to 2 ½” wide.
Austrian Blind A window shade consisting of rows of vertically gathered fabric that are drawn up to form a series of ruffles.
Bamboo Blinds Window coverings made from bamboo. They often roll up, tying off to a cord cleat, or have a clutch lifting system. Also called woven wood or matchstick blinds.
Cellular Shade Fabric shades that uses air pockets to maximize energy efficiency insulating against heat, cold, and sound. They have two or more sheets of pleated material. Can also be called honeycomb or accordion shades.
Cordless Blinds Blinds or shades with no external cords or strings. The use a spring loaded or pulley system to raise and lower the blinds. They simply push up or pull down on the bottom rail to move the blinds.
Day Night Shade Pleated or cellular shades where half of the shade is opaque for privacy and the other half is semi-opaque for light filtering.
Faux Wood Blinds (“Faux” is French meaning “false.”) Horizontal blinds that are made from material that resembles real wood. Made from vinyl, PVC or a wood/vinyl composite.
Honeycomb Shades See “Cellular Shades.”
Horizontal Blind A blind that has horizontal slats that can be lifted up and down and tilted opened and closed.
Macro Blinds Horizontal blind with 2” wide slats.
Matchstick Blinds Made from many thin pieces of wood or bamboo that resemble matchsticks and are woven together. Often just roll up and tie off with a cord cleat.
Micro Blinds Horizontal blinds with ½ wide slats. Made from aluminum.
Mini Blinds Horizontal blinds with 1” wide slats. Can be made from aluminum, vinyl or wood.
Motorized Blinds and shades that are powered by a battery or electricity. They operate with a remote control or wall mounted control unit.
Panel Track Blinds Flat sections called panels that slide side to side on wheeled carriers on a track.
Pleated Shades Shades that are made of fabric with visible cords that run vertically through the fabric. When you look at the side of these shades, they look like a zigzag.
Roll Up Blind Made from bamboo, grass, or vinyl. Blinds just roll up and are tied off to a cord cleat.
Roller Shade A shade made of a flat panel of vinyl or fabric that is attached to and rolls up on an aluminum cylindrical roller or wooden dowel. Can be spring loaded or operate with a bead chain loop. Also called Holland Blinds.
Roman Shade A fabric shade that folds up from the bottom in an accordion-style.
RV Day / Night Shades Pleated or cellular shades found in many RV’s and trailers. Half of the shade is opaque for privacy. The other half is semi-opaque for light filtering.
Shutters A stable paneled window treatment that uses wood louvers for light control. It does not pull up and down. Only the louvers tilt open and closed.
Solar Shade Made from a screen-like material that filters light and UV rays. Uses a clutch lifting system with bead chain.
Venetian Blinds Horizontal blinds with 2” or larger slats.
Vertical Blinds A blind that has vinyl, fabric or wood panels hanging up and down. Theses panels, called vanes, tilt open and closed, as well as pull from side to side.
Wood Blinds Horizontal blinds with slats made from real wood. Slats can be 1”, 2” or more in width.
Woven Wood Shades Shades made of natural materials, such as bamboo, reeds, grass and jute, and can be raised and lowered. The pieces of natural material are woven together with yarn in a specific pattern. Most of the time, they are operated with a clutch using a continuous cord or chain loop.










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