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Graber classic roman shades in a bedroom.

The Complete Guide to Roman Shades: Classic, Tailored & Natural

What Are Roman Shades?

Simplicity is the key to the Roman shade’s centuries-old appeal. Roman Shades, as the name suggests, date back thousands of years. Their sturdy design has a look that fits with almost any décor. And they are easy to use: Roman shades are controlled using a system of cords and rings sewn into the fabric so that as the shade is raised, the fabric folds up in a tidy stack.

In this article, we’re going to go through the basic types of Roman shades as well as the many variations that are available. You’ll find that the Roman shade is among the most versatile and evocative of all window treatments. And the first step in finding exactly what you’re looking for is knowing what you want—and that starts with getting educated.

Three Basic Styles of Roman Shades

There are several different basic types of Roman shades as well as some style variations within these types.

A Celebration of Simplicity: The Classic Roman Shade

Graber classic roman shades in a home office. The Graber Classic Roman Shade is the simplest version of a simple shade. Made from a continuous piece of material and available in a range of neutral colors, the Graber Classic Roman Shade is one of the most versatile of all window-treatment designs. Operating one of these shades is a breeze, and they are among the most durable of all window treatments. There are few rooms that wouldn’t be well served by a Graber Classic Roman Shade.

Types of Classic Roman Shades: Two Design Variations

Classic Roman shades are available in two different styles: flat and looped.

  • Flat-style—Pleats form horizontal lines. Very sleek look.
  • Looped style—Billows of fabric. Graceful appearance.

Materials and Fabrics for Classic Roman Shades

One of the reasons why people choose Graber Classic Roman Shades is the neutral palette of colors in the fabric selection. Each fabric is carefully formulated to create the most durable, long-lasting shade. In addition to neutral colors, the collection includes patterns and solids in vibrant hues—something for every décor.

A Celebration of Beautiful Fabric: Tailored Roman Shades

Graber tailored roman shades in a living room. The tailored Roman shade design was made to showcase beautiful fabrics. Constructed from just one single, continuous piece of material and with no vertical seams, the tailored shade displays the full brilliance of a color or pattern. This fabric-centric quality is why tailored Roman shades are popular with designers looking to make a strong statement.

Types of Tailored Roman Shades: Five Design Variations

Graber offers four styles of tailored Roman shades: looped, flat, seamless, and relaxed.

  • Flat style—Flat panels for a clean look. Showcase a brilliant pattern or choose a monochromatic fabric for a modern look.
  • Seamless style—The simplest style—no folds or panels. Solid colored fabrics in this style variation can produce a fresh, contemporary look.
  • Looped style—Sometimes called “hobbled.” Cascading folds add visual interest and warmth to a room.
  • Balloon—Features large, draping folds. The most dramatic of the styles.
  • Relaxed-style—Simply features a gentle curve along the bottom. Works well with most fabrics and can be used to soften a room filled with straight lines.

Tailored Roman Shade Materials & Fabrics: An Amazing Selection

People choose tailored Roman shades because of the incredible range of fabric options. Nearly every fabric you can use to make a Graber Custom Drapery can also be used to make a Graber Tailored Roman Shade. That means you have hundreds of fabrics to choose from—wool, silk, cotton, linen—every material you can think of in a spectrum of hues. There’s truly a fabric for everyone.

A Celebration of Nature: Graber Natural Roman Shades

Graber Natural Roman Shades in a living room. Graber Natural shades are built as Roman shades. They combine an age-old window-treatment design with natural materials to create a truly timeless design element that will elevate any room. Every Graber Natural shade is a unique work of art: the organic textures of the bamboo, wood, grasses, and rattan make each shade one-of-a-kind.

Types of Natural Roman Shades: Three Design Variations

Natural Roman shades are available in standard, looped, and old styles.

  • Standard style—Flat design is perfect for highlighting beautiful natural details.
  • Looped style—Loops of natural material make a truly impressive shade.
  • Old style—Cascading natural fabric. A very modern look.

Natural Shade Materials and Fabrics

Graber Natural Roman Shades in a living room.

All Graber Natural Shade fabrics are made with sustainable natural materials. These grasses, woods, bamboos, and other natural materials are harvested by hand and built into works of art. The natural fabric selection for Graber Natural Shades includes a surprising variety of colors—some quite light and others much darker in color. This variation lets you select just the right natural woven fabric for your décor.

Roman Shades are Perfect for Light Control and Privacy

There's a Roman shade for every window and every room in your home. That’s because the Roman shade category offers such a wide range of light-control and privacy options.

Graber sheer classic roman shades in a living room.

Sheer Roman Shades

Choose a Graber Classic Roman Shade or a Tailored Roman Shade in a sheer fabric for softly filtered light and good views to the outdoors. Sheer shades are at home in living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and other rooms where privacy isn’t a concern.

Graber light filtering roman shades in a living room.

Light Filtering Roman Shades

Light-filtering fabrics are available in Graber’s classic Roman shades, tailored Roman shades, and natural shades.

Graber blackout classic roman shades in a bedroom.

Blackout Roman Shades

For blackout shades, choose a tailored Roman shade with a blackout liner. Use these shades in bedrooms, entertainment rooms, or any room where you’d like to completely block the sunlight or have absolute privacy.

Operating Your Roman Shades

There are three basic options for controlling your Roman shade: corded, cordless, or motorized.

Corded Roman Shades

There are two types of corded Roman shades. The traditional cord lift uses a simple cord that you pull or release to raise and lower the shade. The continuous-loop lift utilizes a cord set in a loop and attached to a tensioner—an arrangement that allows you to smoothly raise and lower your shade.

Cordless Lift Roman Shades

Cordless shades are easy and convenient. And with no visible cords, they look sleek and attractive. Cordless lift systems help to create a safer home environment for children and pets, and they make opening and closing the shades easy for anyone in the home.

Motorized Lift

Graber motorization app.

For the ultimate in ease and convenience, choose motorized Roman shades. Use a remote control to open and close your shades at the touch of a button. Or, use an app and hub to open your shades from anywhere in your home or anywhere in the world. And Graber’s excellent motorized shade systems integrate with more than a dozen smart home systems. A motorized Roman shade takes a centuries-old window-treatment design and turns it into a modern masterpiece of intelligent technology.

Learn more about how motorization can give you ultimate control and convenience.

Tips for Choosing the Right Roman Shade for Your Space

Your Graber Dealer can help you find the perfect Roman shade for your windows. They’ll help you select the right configuration for your window’s size and location, and they’ll help you select styles, fabrics, and liners to give you the light control and privacy you need. And with a full range of fabric choices—from the neutral tones of Graber Classic Roman Shades to the endless patterns and colors of Graber Tailored Roman Shades—you’ll have no trouble finding a shade that matches your décor and your budget. And because the Roman shade design is so simple and durable, you can be assured that you’ll be enjoying your window treatments for many years to come.

Find a Graber Dealer Near You

The Bottom Line

No window treatment provides as much visual richness as a Roman shade. And because they can be constructed in so many different ways, you can find exactly the right shade for your situation. There’s something very special about the look and feel of a Roman shade. Consider this time-tested classic window treatment and you’ll be rewarded with many years of sturdy performance. To get started, contact your local Graber Design Expert or order fabric swatches.