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5 Little-Known Facts about Roman Shades

5 Little-Known Facts about Roman Shades

Roman shades remain a design favorite when it comes to window coverings. While the name might make the product sounds ancient, they’re simply a great option when you’re looking for something with more texture than wood blinds, but lighter than drapes. So if refreshing your window coverings is on the agenda, perhaps these five little-known facts about roman shades will help you make that final decision.

1. They hail from ancient Rome.

It all started when Roman households began draping wet cloth over their windows to help keep dirt and debris, especially dust from the construction of the nearby Roman Colosseum, heat and sunlight at bay. The people quickly realized they were on to something. Soon, the people of Rome began using colorful, ornate cloth adorned with beautiful patterns to give their windows style to go along with the added functionality.

When the Colosseum was finally completed, two things quickly became apparent. First of all, the Colosseum was an architectural wonder. Secondly, it was unbearably hot in the upper seats. So the Romans devised a plan. They constructed a giant awning-like shade with pleats that could be extended to help shield the people from the scorching summer sun, much like modern roman shades. The difference was that the original Roman shade hung horizontally, extended out from the wall.

Linen Roman Shade

2. Seriously, they meant business!

According to architecture and interior design site Feng Swish,  it wasn’t long before roman shades took off on a commercial scale. As the damp cloth concept caught on, savvy entrepreneurs realized the potential and began to produce the shades with all different types of patterns and decoration. As you can imagine, Roman homemakers leapt on to the design trend, and soon there was demand for mass-market production of the shades in a host of different patterns, colors and fabrics.

3. They’re all about being “practical”.

Freedom from dust was one benefit of Roman Shades, and privacy to go about daily tasks another. But roman shades had yet another important advantage – they helped block out the sun. Today’s roman shades have improved in leaps and bounds upon the invention of the ancient Romans. When compared to other kinds of window coverings, they offer much better temperature control. Draw them high during winters to let the maximum sunlight come in. Prevent overheating of interiors by opening the shade in the evening during summers.

Roman Shade

4. They can (and should) be customized.

The look of a custom made, well-tailored Roman shade is hard to beat. At Alva, our specialty is custom! Custom made, quality Roman Shades that come with the unmistakable excellence that is difficult to find in “off the shelf “ products. Our Roman shades will help you transform any space in your home into an inviting and relaxing retreat with its unique texture and character. With our roman shades, you can choose from a variety of 100% Linen fabrics, which will bring an air of elegance into any room. Boasting the soft look and feel of a luxurious fabric, roman shades are a perfect window treatment wherever a formal or casual elegance is required.

5. They’re low-maintenance.

This is probably unsurprising given that the origins of roman shades lie in trying to keep life simple and undisturbed, but Roman Shades are a breeze to install and maintain.

Any handyman can quickly and easily put them up, and a quick brush or wipe-down keeps them in good shape.


If you’re considering renovating parts of your home to include modern shades that have a bit of history behind them, then roman shades are the way to go.

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