Your imagination and the depth of texture that might compromise the way they hang or the way they fold up are probably the only limits to them. A flat surfaced fabric without pleating or a loose free texture best serves the design of Roman blinds. Silks, linens, cotton, suede, leather, plastic, PVC and other man made fabrics can all be used for making Roman blinds. Special weaves like damask, jacquard and even a light brocade can provide texture and pattern to designs that compliment your other soft furnishings in the room.
Being a rectangle with horizontal folds, crisp lines suit the integral design of the blinds most; floppiness or over-fussiness detract from their simplicity. However, patterns and weaves can make even these simple blinds works of art and allow you to express your creativity through colors and prints. Roman blinds can even be made from bamboo and jute too if you wish to follow a natural ‘woody’ theme in your rooms.
If you decide to use a patterned fabric for your blinds it might be worth looking at the effect when the blinds are folded up – there may be a predominance of a particular color that does not give the effect you want. Strategic positioning of the rods will give you options regarding the dominant color that would be displayed when the blinds are folded up. It’s a bit like taking into consideration the repeat pattern when you are wallpapering a surface; you have to allow for matching up the pattern.
Similarly with Roman blinds you have to take into account the repeat pattern as it will appear if you feel very strongly about the color you wish displayed. Most people are quite happy with the configuration but if you are making up a blind yourself from a kit you are obviously interested in having the desired finish that will blend with your decor and the color palette of your room. A little extra material, perhaps with a full repeat, should allow you to play about with where the rods need to be placed for the pattern to be shown in its best way for you.
Plain fabrics are the simplest to use, as there is no pattern to consider so bearing this in mind you might be able to afford a slightly more expensive fabric, as there will be no waste or loss when the blind is made up. Velcro attachments on the head rail make removal of the blinds easy to clean. Dusting and vacuuming will probably refresh your blinds best and won’t compromise the integrity of the fabric but if you do need to ‘wash’ them you must take into account the manufacturer’s care instructions.
Gently sponging with a clean and damp, not wet, cloth should remove any light dirt and certain fabrics can cope with a swish in a bath of water. Many have wipeable surfaces that can be swiped over with the blinds in situ so they don’t even have to be removed from their fixings.
Terrys Fabrics specialize in the distribution of blinds, roller blinds, vertical blinds and Roman Blinds within the United Kingdom.