The history of shading and its future


How did people deal with shading before and what will be the trend for the future?

Window shading was already known to the Egyptians

The origins of window shading go back to 4,000 BC. It's hard to believe, but the people of ancient Egypt used woven curtains that they hung between pillars and in windows. Even back then, curtains had two functions that persist to this day - practical, i.e. shading and decorative. In Rome, window shading evolved from the need to protect against the dusty environment during the construction of the iconic building, the Colosseum. Because of the construction, dust and dirt spread throughout the city, so the Roman citizens of that time began hanging damp pieces of cloth in windows and doors. Not only did they no longer get dirt into their homes, but the Romans created the first air conditioning system, as the damp fabric absorbed dust and cooled the air at the same time.


Blinds from France, roller shutters from USA


Over time, shading has evolved to more effective ways of protecting against the sun and against onlookers. Blinds and roller shutters are said to have originated around the same time, but each shading system on a completely different continent.


Blinds come from the French word jalousie, which translates to jealousy. In France, such a term was used for a window bars that allowed the resident to look out, but at the same time prevented passers-by from looking in. You would find inspiration in harems, where men carefully guarded their privacy in rooms with women. It was these bars that were the forerunners of later blinds.


Roller shutters have their origins in distant America. An easy and very efficient system of winding and lowering fabric in windows, they quickly became popular in the early 19th century and spread around the world. The success of fabric roller shutters is also said to have been due to the fact that almost everyone could afford them - they were more affordable than blinds, which were favoured especially by the wealthy.


In the middle of the 19th century, wooden blinds with slats connected by strings and tapes began to be produced in Germany and this principle of production has not changed since then. Blinds were both horizontal and vertical. As time went on, wood was replaced by bamboo, aluminium and plastic. This is how the blinds came to be what they are today. 





Blinds and roller shutters in Czech regions

The first blinds factory was established in the Czech Republic in 1889. Until a few years ago, blinds and roller shutters were mainly used for shading. They prevented direct sunlight from entering the room.  Over the last 30 years, however, people have gradually started to have more demanding requirements. As summer temperatures rose, so did the need for shade - at home and in the garden. In addition to light, it is also possible to regulate the temperature indoors with blinds and roller shutters. However, we are only talking about exterior shading. External blinds and roller shutters are gradually becoming a trend and an essential part of energy-efficient homes. Since 2020, when the requirements for energy performance of buildings have become stricter, exterior shading technology has become standard for new buildings.


That is why CLIMAX has been constantly changing the shape of its products over the 30 years of its existence. Although we started with the production of Venetian blinds, since 2003 we have focused on the production of external blinds and today more than 60% of our products consist only of external shading technology. In addition, in recent years, the so-called screens - external design facade awnings made of durable fabrics that do not freeze in winter and can withstand strong storm winds and rain in summer - have become dominant in Western European countries. They can also be used as side shading for a pergola, which is increasingly common dominant feature of Czech exteriors.



 What are the current trends and where is the future of shading technology heading for the next 30 years?

Blinds as part of a smart home

Development and technology are unstoppable and with that comes the future of shading technology. The independent industry association for shading technology, based in Fulda, Germany, claims that automated shading technology, that is part of a building, reduces heating requirements in winter and prevents the building from overheating in summer. Smart automated external shading technology, that links with heating, ventilation and lighting into a smart home, is therefore becoming the trend of the future. In this way, all elements will work together, not against each other, to save energy. The interior shading then becomes just an aesthetic addition. This is also the direction CLIMAX is taking with its smart shading technology for more comfortable living. It equips external blinds and roller shutters, as well as awnings, with wind and sun sensors, that enable the shading to react autonomously and adapt to changes in the weather.



Sustainability and benefits for people and nature

Sustainability is a key factor for the future. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of companies that are now trying to adapt their production to this trend is likely to become, to some extent, fixed legislation.  CLIMAX is forward thinking and shading production is therefore managed and optimised with a view to use as much waste as possible. So you can go shopping with a bag made from leftover durable awning fabrics and skip the consumption of plastic. In its region, CLIMAX also contributes by repairing and revitalising old buildings, which it uses to expand its own production facilities in place of building new halls. 


Aesthetics and functionality as an element of Czech exteriors

Western trends are gradually moving to our market. In the future, we can expect a growing interest in other forms of outdoor shading for terraces, such as automatically operated awnings and bioclimatic pergolas. Czech households often prefer wooden pergolas, but these are subject to weathering, require maintenance and do not have a long service life. With increasing demands on quality and design, the demand for aluminium pergolas, which are permanent and maintenance-free, is slowly growing.


The trend in the following years is bioclimatic pergolas, which thanks to slats tilting allow shading from the sun's rays and at the same time air flow under the pergola. This creates a pleasant climate even on hot summer days. The slats can then be completely closed in the event of rain. You can also equip the pergola with sun and wind sensors.


In the Czech Republic and in Central Europe, there will probably be a great demand for screens, which CLIMAX has been producing since 2015 and so far is mainly aimed at foreign markets. Screens combine aesthetics and functionality in any colour variation. You can try out the timeless design of screens directly on your home, using the shading visualization application (CLIMAX AR), that CLIMAX itself developed and made available for download for Android and iOS a year ago.



CLIMAX: 30 years behind us and another 30 successful years ahead



And where is CLIMAX heading in the next 30 years? CLIMAX'Managing Director David Žabčík says: "In the past, I have made several long-term plans for where CLIMAX should be and it has always ended up being a little different. I'm glad that our main drive is not whether we will be doing a turnover of CZK 3 billion or CZK 5 billion in a few years. The most important thing is that we keep enjoying our work and that it benefits the people around us."


CLIMAX's vision and wishes for the future are therefore simple:

Motivate employees to enjoy their work and come up with ideas for improvements that will project up to you - into your homes.

Improve shading technology so that it continually improves the comfort of your home and saves you money.

"People don't like to be cooped up in their homes, but they do like to be outdoors, so the trend of shading the terraces of houses or the beer gardens of restaurants, hotels or holiday resorts will certainly continue. I believe that we have a fantastic future thanks to our employees, our wide range of quality products and our satisfied customers for at least the next 30 years," concludes David Žabčík, Managing Director of CLIMAX, looking into the history and future of CLIMAX.