Roman window shades are named because they originated in Rome. The original purpose of Roman window shades was to provide shade for the wealthiest spectators when they attended events in the city’s public stadiums and amphitheaters.
The Mediterranean sun could burn hot during parts of the year, so Rome’s well-to-do citizens were able to evade its oppressive heat and glare by sitting under large, elaborate awning made of cloth. The awnings were raised and lowered using a system of pulleys and ropes. This is a design feature that prevails in other forms in today’s Roman window shades.
Of all the types of window shades that are available, Roman window shades are the most difficult to make. A lot of human effort is expended to ensure that each Roman window shade works perfectly. Imperfections anywhere in the creation process of Roman shades are virtually impossible to fix, which means that the windows shades have to be recreated from scratch.
Roman window shades, unlike other types of window shades, require some initial work to get them to fold in the right places when they are first installed. With time, the thick fabric will naturally fall into place at the correct position as the fabric adjusts to being folded and unfolded.
Whether you want your window shades mounted on the inside of the window frame or on the outside of the window frame, Roman window shades work well either way. If you want the trim of your window frame to accent the Roman window shades, then mounting the window shades inside the frame is a good option. If you have a small window and want to make it look bigger, then mounting the Roman window shade on the outside of the window frame will accomplish this.
Roman window shades have a lot of different features. Because they are made out of fabric, the variety of colors and textures that available are virtually unlimited. Roman window shades are also available with top down/bottom up, room-darkening, cordless, and pleated options.
When choosing pleated Roman window shades, you have several different types of pleats to choose from.
One type of pleat style is flat. A flat pleat Roman window shade requires you to do very little styling or adjusting of the fabric to have it fold properly in a neat stack at the bottom of the window shade.
Another type of pleat style for Roman window shades is the butterfly (also known as tulip, swag tail, or Venice) pleat. A butterfly pleat Roman window shade has two gathered seams at the top of the shade that, when raised, cause the shade to gather at the bottom with a slightly longer edge on the right and the left of the window shade with a rounded middle part.
The third type of pleat style that is available for Roman window shades is a relaxed pleat. Relaxed Roman window shades don’t have any rigid supports built into the shades, so the fabric sags softly into folds when the window shade is raised, creating a slight curve at the bottom of the shade. Relaxed Roman window shades are also known as “soft smiley” shades for this unique way in which they fold when they are raised.
For more information about roman window shades, you talk with our experienced staff at McNeill Palm. You can come to our showroom at 1191 N. Elgin Pkwy, Ste. C, Shalimar, FL 32579, or you can call us at (850) 613-6228.