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Bamboo blinds solve the problem of admitting light and air into a room while still preserving privacy. These attractive blinds have long been a favorite for informal areas. Today, they are also gaining popularity as a window treatment made from a renewable resource.
Roll-up bamboo blinds work on a simple rope-and-pulley system. An updated form of roll-up blinds leaves no rope hanging loose to endanger children and pets. It is possible to purchase bamboo blinds that roll down from the top as well as up from the bottom, allowing a very precise control of light. Roman blinds made from bamboo are also available.
Bamboo blinds can be mounted inside the window casing or on the wall beyond. Customized blinds can be ordered for windows of non-standard size. Some people also purchase a blackout liners to shut out light, especially when bamboo blinds are used in the bedroom.
Although bamboo blinds are usually sold in their natural color, that color can range from light yellowish brown to a very dark brown. Bamboo wood from many species darkens naturally over time. Bamboo blinds also make an excellent backdrop for hand-painted ornamentation. Many crafters decorate their blinds to harmonize with the rest of the décor.
Bamboo is processed in a variety of ways in order to make blinds. Matchstick bamboo blinds are made from long, thin pieces of bamboo. Each piece is approximately the diameter of a wooden matchstick, which is how these blinds got their name. Sometimes the pieces are flat or square, but usually they are rounded. When the blind has fewer pieces of bamboo and more string sewing them together, it may be called a matchstick mesh blind.
Slat blinds are traditionally made of basswood. The two-inch (5.1 m) horizontal slats, repeated across the length of the blind, give a feeling of calm to a room. Today, these attractive blinds are also available in bamboo.
Some woven wood blinds are also made from bamboo. These usually combine bamboo pieces with multiple widths, some flat and some round. They are woven together with an intricate pattern of threads. Woven bamboo blinds can be very ornate.
Bamboo blinds are especially popular among eco-conscious consumers. Although we think of bamboo as a tree, it is actually a grass. There are over 70 genera and more than 1,000 species of bamboo in the grass family Poaceae. Bamboo grow faster than any other woody plant in the world, many growing as much as 24 inches (60 cm) a day.
Bamboo normally reaches full height in the first growing season. Over the next two years the exterior wall, called the culm, hardens and dries. Bamboo is ready for harvest in three or four years. This makes it the ideal renewable resource for a variety of purposes, including bamboo blinds.