At their most basic, roller blinds are a square or rectangular piece of stiffened fabric wrapped around a tube which can be unrolled using a sidewinder chain or spring-loaded mechanism. Roller blind fabrics come in many designs, styles and colours with different properties such as light diffusion, light blocking, fire retardancy etc.
So if you are thinking about buying roller blinds the following information should help you choose the best roller blind for your window.
Cheap roller blinds have a cardboard tube which is not particularly durable or long lasting, better quality roller blinds have aluminium tubes in the centre and as the width of the blind increases, so should the diameter of the aluminium tube to give it strength and prevent sagging in the centre.
Traditionally roller blinds are either operated by an internal spring or a sidewinder mechanism but can now be operated by remote control or Alexa / Google voice commands.
Installation Height / Child Safety
All blinds should be child safe, whether or not children are present, and all safety devices must be fitted according to the manufacturer’s instructions. There is some excellent information issued by the BBSA under their make it safe campaign which can be accessed here
There is also a leaflet issued by the Government which can be accessed here
And from ROSPA here
Bear in mind that spring loaded roller blinds do not have cords so eliminate any danger totally.
Cost – there are different qualities of fabric which can vary quite markedly.
Properties – What properties do you require – light diffusion, light blocking (blackout), thermal, fire retardancy.
Do you want the blind to fit Inside or outside the recess? Is the blind going to be fixed to underside of the rebate (top fix) or face fix (fastened to the wall)?
Reverse or Standard Roll
Do you want the fabric to roll off the front of the tube (reverse roll) or the rear of the tube (standard roll)?
Reverse roll is when the fabric material falls forward off the roll, keeping the roll hidden when the blind is lowered. Whilst this will create a gap between the fabric and the window this gap helps with clearing obstructions such as window handles and means the blind can be fitted further back in the recess than forward rolled blinds.
Do you want the controls on the left of the blind or the right?
Enhancements / Embellishments Do you want a basic blind, or do you want to embellish it, using options such as:
Chain Type – upgrade from a white cord to a metal chain
Fascia – a decorative fascia can be used to cover the roller at the top which can be either a metal one or covered in the same fabric as the blind.
Bottom Bar – the bottom acts as a weight to ensure the fabric is flat when lowered but can be enhanced with decorative bottom bars and end caps.