The clean, elegant look of bamboo blinds is also inexpensive and durable. Buy them, or try to make your own with the right kind of bamboo.

For a window look that is clean and modern looking but is also very good for energy use, consider bamboo shades. They insulate a room against outside heat, but they also keep the cold out. For adjusting the level of light in a room, they can be really fine tuned to your exact preference. They have a lovely texture that is an interesting touch for any room. And on top of all of this, they are cheaper than traditional window coverings such as shutters or venetian blinds.

Why pick bamboo?

Bamboo may look light and delicate, but it is a very durable material. Fabric shades do not offer any where near the strength of bamboo, which has a tensile strength that is said to be stronger than steel. Here in the West, we have only considered it for its decorative qualities, but bamboo is a traditional material in the East for many different uses.

Is is easy to care for?

The bamboo you will buy for shades is aged and specially treated for that particular use. Because of this treatment, it is very durable. If you take care of your bamboo shades and keep them clean, you will extend their life considerably. Cleaning the shades regularly will get rid of dust and dirt that can scratch the surface. But be sure to use only soft brushes or a dust cloth on the shade, and if you need to wipe them with water, use a cloth which is just barely damp, not soaking wet. If you get them very wet, they may warp. If they get wet because of weather, dry them off as soon as you can. You should also keep your home at a humidity level of no less than 45% (to prevent shrinkage) and no more than 65% (to prevent expansion).

Home made bamboo shades are lovely

You can buy bamboo shades, but think of the fun of making your own. You can buy the bamboo from many sources: The American Bamboo Society can give you a list of places to obtain it. Before you can work with the bamboo, you will have to remove the natural oil that is on it. This will make it harden and also prevent insects from being attracted to it. To do this, simply heat the bamboo and wipe it down with a cloth. Then hang it to dry thoroughly so mold will not grow. The bamboo you use for this purpose should be 3-5 years old, since younger bamboo is too fragile and older bamboo that was not already treated will rot.