Unlike horizontal blinds, vertical blinds are less likely to collect dust because they stand vertically. Since they draw to the side rather than lifting and lowering, they are easier and faster to operate. They operate best on patio doors and sliding windows that slide from side to side. In the 1970s there were few choices of fabric- usually beige or white, which had to have stiffener embedded to prevent fraying, rather like on roller blinds fabric but using a thicker textile.
Vertical blinds became available in flat plastic (PVC), fabric, embossed PVC, faux wood materials, metal, wood and also S-curved slats. A more modern modification is to offer them with woodtrim at top and bottom- sometimes midway as well- and these are usually described as ‘Japanese Vertical blinds’ because they are often co-ordinated with Japanese style Shoji blinds using the same timber. Vertical blinds were most popular in the UK during the 1990s, since when sales have slowed as they lost popularity with a younger generation.
Stationary vertical blinds are hung in the doorways of some homes and businesses which generally leave the door open. Movement of the blind may signal a change in air flow, or someone entering the doorway. More commonly however, these vertical blinds are made of thick plastic. In the cold rooms of food businesses, this slows the heat leakage into the cold room. In warmer climates, vertical blinds discourage flies and some other insects from entering the building. In certain areas of the UK window blinds are used to disguise the fact that offices have PCs in them and are used as a burglary deterrent.