Window Covering Terminology

window covering terminology | Photo by Edho Pratama on Unsplash

Sometimes people just don’t know what they just don’t know. That is not to say that people are not intelligent, it just means that not everyone can be as well-versed or well-informed as others. This is especially true with a niche industry like this one where the window covering terminology we use can sometimes be overwhelming to someone that doesn’t work in this industry on a daily basis.

I recently surveyed members of a window coverings forum and asked them what sorts of incorrect and just plain bad window covering terminology they have seen being used to describe various window treatments and accessories. Some of these terms I had heard, some I had not.

The most commonly found misused term was fox wood blinds used in place of the correct term faux wood blinds. It’s a French word and is pronounced /fō/ and means “imitation” or “not real” as in faux pearls or faux fur.

Some of the other terms that we found “in the wild” were:

  • Cell blinds – presumably they meant cellular shades as blinds are made with horizontal slats.
  • Levelors – no one is 100% sure what this is supposed to be. Levelor is a company that makes a wide assortment of blinds, shades, and other products but if I were to guess, I’d say that they are referring to mini-blinds, which is one of the products that the company Levelor is well known for.
  • Vertical Slots – I guess they would be referring to the vertical slats that are used in a vertical blind.
  • Slats (on shutters) shutters have louvers, horizontal blinds have slats.
  • Bistro Style Shutters – I think they meant café style shutters that only cover the lower portion of the window.
  • Duvettes – I really have no idea on this one. A duvet (pronounced “doo-vey”) is a type of bed covering. A Duette is a line of cellular shades manufactured by Hunter Douglas.
  • Cornish Board – I think they meant cornice board which is a type of top treatment typically used in conjunction with draperies, blinds or other types of treatments.
  • Rod Iron – instead of wrought iron when referring to custom drapery rods.
  • Travelers rod – We personally take offense to this one. It’s “traverse” rod.

Many times these mispronunciations are the result of regional dialects affecting how certain words and phrases are enunciated. Other times, these “faux pas are simply the result of never having the opportunity to learn the correct window covering terminology.

Another common terminology argument revolves around whether or not curtains and draperies are the same things. We discuss that in this post.

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