Panel blinds (Panel Glides) are a very popular choice now for large windows or doors. Contact almost any blinds company and they will offer a large range of Panel Blind fabrics. Where Vertical blinds were previously chosen, Panels have taken over but not completely replaced as Verticals tilt whereas Panels are only either in the open or closed position.
How are Panel Glides actually made? Well a simple Panel blind is made from a stiffened fabric, the same fabric used to make Roller blinds. The fabric is cut to size, a bottom pocket for a weight is stitched/glued and velcro sewn in a strip on the opposite end. Very quick and easy for blind companies to produce. The Panel track is cut to size and the gliders are slid onto the channels. The track can be opened and closed by a wand, cord or an electronic motor. The gliders have velcro which the fabric panels stick to. The panels can be easily swapped around, replaced or removed for cleaning.
A fitted Panel Blind
Since we started to produce Panel Glides over 10 years ago, we looked for other ways to incorporate soft fabrics too, as stiffened fabrics were and are still limited in colour, texture and design. Over time we discovered a way of ensuring the soft fabrics worked perfectly as a Panel Blind and looked good mixed with plain stiffened fabrics too! The most popular option is to choose two panels in a soft patterned material and the rest in a plain stiffened fabric.
Over the years, wooden horizontal rods on the panels became popular too, as they gave an oriental appearance.
Then 10 years after we began making Panel Blinds, we were on a measure at a client’s apartment in London and the client asked was it possible to have vertical strips as well as horizontal wood on the panels too. She loved Shoji Screens but they weren’t going to work for her as she didn’t know how long she’d be staying in that apartment and Shoji Screens are quite costly.
We had never made a panel blind with the vertical and horizontal wood frames before but we decided to give it a go and here was our first ever Shoji Blind!
We soon had many orders once this first photograph was displayed on the website so many more different options were photographed, light coloured wood frames, white washed, Washi paper or blackout fabrics used. Have a look at our portfolio for many more Shoji Blind options!
Then we had an idea! What if you have a different fabric on the reverse of the Shoji Panel? The panels on any panel glide/blind can be removed, so all it would need is velcro on both sides of the panel and you can turn them around! So we made a little video demonstrating this…
The fabric we used on the white side was a dim-out plain and the patterned side was a soft fabric.
The above is again a plain dim-out fabric one side, and the reverse is Harlequin ‘Tempo’ Poppy.
A new TV series called Double The House is currently being filmed and we were contacted as the producers loved the idea of the Shoji Panels, especially the ability to reverse them and have a different ‘look’ whenever you fancy a change. We were asked to make a demo blind for the show so it’s on its way to London right now for filming tomorrow. Keep a look out when the series starts on C4 !!