Cords and cables

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For pleated, pinoleum and roman roof blinds support cables are required to support the weight of fabric. Without these the blinds would simply swoop down from the facia to the ridge of the conservatory causing the blinds to be unattractive and also not function properly. Shaped blinds tend to require more cables than rectangle as the diagonal edge needs more support. Whilst blinds will look fine when shading when they are pulled back the support cables become very noticeable and web like.

This is probably more of an issue for glass roof conservatories than polycarbonate ones. Additional cords are required for the friction system which keeps the moving float rail in position wherever it is moved to. This is achieved by using a figure of eight cord system. A small spring is used in the base rail and attached to the cord before crossing through the float rail then passing through the top rail. The cord then follows a mirrored path back down to the opposite end of the spring. Pinoleum and roman blinds tend to have less support cables than pleated as they have some natural horizontal support.

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Roller blinds have a different method of retaining tension. By using a specially manufactured spring in the tube around which the fabric rolls, a constant tension is created. The spring is approximately 300 mm long and like clockwork is wound up before being located into its bracket. Imagine two people at each end of a sheet pulling it taught. Only one cord per blind is required for both tensioning and support. This cord is used to pull up the blind and then wrapped round a cleat to maintain its position.

Blinds up to 3 metres drop can be fitted and still remain flat. The key factor to remember is that the area of fabric will affect how flat the blind will lie. Another consideration would be how adjacent blinds interact when they have different fabric areas. A large blind next to a small blind might give the impression of the small blind being closer to the beams. One solution to this is to put more tension on the larger blind. This is done by putting more turns on the spring thus pulling the fabric flatter. Care must be taken not to over tension a blind as this can result in making the blind hard to operate.