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Some things are just made for each other…..
Monday, 04 June 2018 00:00

Panel blinds are making their way to the UK

There’s a well-used statement in our business - if you don’t show it, you won’t sell it. The industry can occasionally show reluctance to display new products or ideas but if we don’t, the consumer doesn’t get the chance to understand the multitude of shading options that are available and the impact they can have on home environments.

One of the products that often falls into this category is the panel blind. What can be a really elegant and incredibly classy window dressing just seems to pass by the UK without many of us noticing.

Hugely popular in Continental Europe, the panel blind systems seen in global Exhibitions feature all types of fabrics from traditional roller blind fabrics to wild and exotic soft furnishing products, hemmed top, sides and bottom and deliciously expensive. So why do panel blinds sell on the Continent and not so well in the UK?

Until recently they were the industry’s best kept secret and frankly no one knew how to make them or price them. Louvolite changed this when it introduced its Lite-Glide system and manufacturing method a few years ago.

Simply put, if you can manufacture a roller blind you can manufacture a panel blind – a few simple training tips by one of Louvolite’s technical team and away you go. Louvolite fabric panel instruction guides allow you to accurately establish the panel widths required for any width opening and the assembly of the child safe headrail system is simplicity itself.

Occasionally, products don’t have an “obvious” application – in fact vertical blinds were such a product until patio doors came into fashion in the 1970’s and 80’s. Luckily for Louvolite, the company was around then to help the industry take advantage of this opportunity.

Again in the early 90s the pleated blind, long a forgotten curiosity, suddenly became the answer when the conservatory market exploded – this was re-enforced again as Louvolite invented Perfect Fit which created even better solution for furnishing double glazed windows.

So is there such a vehicle for panel blinds? There certainly is, with the latest big-ticket item for new homes or remodelled homes being the bi-fold door. Regularly reaching up to six metres or more in width, these gargantuan, yet incredibly stylish, openings need an elegant and specialist type of window furnishing. It needs to be one that allows the opening to be fully covered when required but that can be majestically removed, at a whim, to reveal the outside world. Panel blinds are just made for such an opportunity.

Almost every Louvolite roller shade fabric can be manufactured into an awe inspiring and impactful panel blind. Soft pastel greys, bold primary colours, screens, fabulous design products or a combination of mixed textures and colours – this really is the most flexible of products and one that many blind making companies still don’t feel the need to offer or haven’t yet grasped the opportunities it presents.

So have another look at your showroom and decide where can you put a fabulous Panel Blind display. Don’t hide it at the back of other blinds, have it stand out proudly or use the design team at Louvolite to suggest some combinations that will inspire your customers, a good number of whom will want to give this great blind a home.



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