Known as Venetian Blinds, these window coverings aren’t in fact from the Venetian people!
The blinds did not originate in Venice, but were brought there by merchants who traded with Persia between 1100 and 1500. The Venetian Merchants also brought slaves from Persia to weave the blinds. In the 17th century, when the Persian slaves were freed from Venice, they took the trade to France, with the aim of making some money out of it and for their personal use and comfort. Thus, the French call Venetian blinds as ‘Les Persienes’, attributing their origins to Persia. But were the Persians really the real creators of Venetian blinds? The French may be wrong in crediting the Persians with the discovery of this amazing window covering. Well before the time of Christ, the Egyptians used reeds from river banks to craft blinds – the reeds were tied together and hung over windows and doors for privacy and protection from sunlight. The Chinese, Indians, Japanese and other Asians strung bamboo rods together, often split into thin sections, to create blinds. These ancient blinds can be seen in use, even to this day, in rural regions of Asia. The Persians probably borrowed the technique and improved on it to create the blinds which are presently known as the Venetian blinds. The patent, however, belongs to an Englishman Edward Beran. Who would have thought The humble old venetian blind would be steeped in such history!