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Seeing Through Blinds
31 January 2012,
We’re always preaching about the goodness of natural sunlight, but when dawn turns to dusk, we highly doubt it is in anyone’s favor to have windows bare naked and fully exposed to the brightness of a sunrise.
A while back, when my Godfather was renovating his first apartment, he was distressed over the type of window coverings he wanted to install. After visiting many renowned and experienced curtain/blinds company, he opted for roller blinds—a modern and sophisticated type of shadings that offered his home more than just glare control, but anti-dust and allergen capabilities. I personally didn’t think too much about the shade’s mechanism until I got a chance to sit down with creator and owner of Vuitton Blind, Brian Tay, to fully understand everything about roller blinds—from its installation to its benefits, and even its eco-friendly factors.
“Basically, roller blinds have been around the market for a long time. The first time people have come into contact with a roller blind was probably in an office,” explains Tay. “Back then, blinds were very simple, coming in only perforated screens. But over the years, the screens have evolved to fabrications, with many thought and effort put into the manufacturing of its designs.” It’s true. Whether we’re talking about draping curtains or blinds, 90% of its component is made up of fabric. That is why Brian feels a pressing urgency to educate the public about the benefits of switching to roller blinds instead of the traditional and poorly invested option of track blinds (plastic slates or thin wood panels).
It is a misconception to think that because a majority of households are so used to track blinds or rods and curtains that they’d shy away from technologically advance roller blinds; however, the innovative and long-term sustainable structure has been making its way into residential properties with fervor. Tay says to “credit the way that roller blinds have been manufactured for its move into ordinary homes. Most of the fabrics are actually from Europe, where they have stringent environmental policies they are obligated to follow.” All of the hand-selected fabrics from Vuitton Blind comply with Eco-Tex Standard 100, which guarantees that during the production of such textile, no toxic chemicals were emitted into the environment and the end product must have a plausible recycle plan.
More architects are including full panel windows into their structure—be it a full-fledge office building or a humble residential property. So, it is critical that in its plan, it accommodates for a way to control glare and ensure its occupants’ privacy. “Can you imagine a whole building being covered by curtains?” asks Brian. “Not only will it trap in heat with the fabrics being double or triple pleated, but it is also significantly heavier than that of its competitors.” Brian proceeds to show me slides of an office building that is fully utilizing roller blinds. Its designs were simplistic and when unrolled, depending on the degree of its shading properties, escapes little to no light and meshing perfectly well with the nude walls. Professional and clean were the two words that came to mind.
“If you notice nowadays, children are growing increasingly sensitive to allergens. A very common household concern is dust,” says Tay. “Fabric curtains that are double pleated are prime suspects for dust collection, which, without parents knowing, their children are actually breathing in these dust mites and other bacteria.” Brian further explains that Europeans are very keen on roller blinds, as they collect minimal dusts. “When the blinds are not in use, by simply rolling it up to the cassette, the surface of the fabrication will have zero contact to its outside environment. And even if one were to keep the blind unrolled permanently, due to its flat nature, the fiber will collect less dust than when it is pleated.”
Under the guidance of Eco-Tex Standard 100, textiles are now classified with certain properties to address the many concerns of everyday people—such as anti-mold, anti-bacteria, etc. It has gotten easier for consumers, through the benefit of education, to make smart choices regarding the products and materials they choose to surround themselves and their loved ones around. Vuitton Blind made its commitment to support the movement since established and Brian Tay couldn’t be more humbled by its contribution to Mother Earth.
However, when it comes to window coverings which makes up a big portion of a home’s décor, it is ludicrous and illogical for homeowners to settle for second rate designs, even in the name of good consumer behavior. “We understand that it is primal for our blinds to not only be first rate when it comes to benefits, it must also serve a decorative purpose,” Brian says. “One of the more outstanding characteristics of our blinds is that it comes in hundreds of designs and patterns, for any age group with any interest. We make roller blinds for all types of rooms, including customization of its length and width to fit any designation of a space. Plus that it shades up to 95% of UV-rays also adds to the blinds’ appeal.”
Every year, Brian and his partners make a trip to Europe for fabric exhibitions to find fabrics with special qualities for import. They then do their assembly in Malaysia and Singapore. “In our manufacturing house in Singapore, we are actually ISO 1400 certified (encompassing the 3Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle). Because Vuitton Blind is extremely particular about the manufacturing of its products, it is also articulate about the disassembling process. “Anytime, be it 3-5 years or more down the line, if the customer wants to exchange for a new design and color, they can either schedule for a dismantlement by one of our experienced staff, or simply send it back to the factory for us to do a proper separation of its particles.”
After sitting down with Brian and barely touching on the mechanism and technicalities of how roller blinds work, I was sold. But to touch on it lightly, the cassette wheel on the inside of an elongated casing retracts or rolls down the fabrication that is firmly attached to the device. The system can be operated either manually or automatically, depending on the preference of the owner. Vuitton Blind carries over 400 different designs, all with their own special characteristic and environmental-friendly agent.