If you ask us what our favourite blind is – it’s the Duette honeycomb blind from Luxaflex. At the Scottish Shutter Company, we know a lot about Duette blinds. We’ve fitted them to Scottish windows, glazed doors and conservatories for over thirty-two years. Since the original Duette fabric was launched in fact.
A Duette shade is a specific type of honeycomb or cellular blind from Luxaflex. It has no equivalent.
Luxaflex is the UK subsidiary of Hunter Douglas. A $3.2 billion company and the largest supplier of window coverings in the world.
Duette blinds will help you save on your heating or cooling bills. Often referred to as Duette thermal blinds because of the insulating pocket in the fabric.
Duette blinds are so versatile. They can solve most window-based challenges from privacy to energy-saving to shaped windows and for room darkening.
With Duette fabrics, the operating cords are set inside the cell of the fabric. There are no visible holes. An essential requirement for an
excellent dim-out blind. Pleated (Plisse) blinds have holes in the material to accommodate the operating cords. This means some light will come through the body of the blind. It’s for this reason that we don’t recommend single pleat blinds in room darkening situations. Also, the visible cords on a Plisse blind make it less child-safe. A Duette blind is a far better option.
Duette blinds were initially developed for the harshest environment you can get in a home – a conservatory roof. The Duette fabric is 100% polyester, which makes it impervious to water or varying atmospheric conditions. It is also a very stable fabric. This means Duette blinds are equally at home in steamy bathrooms or very hot conservatories.
The design of the honeycomb cells also means that Duettes do not suffer from fabric curl, which can often be a challenge with roller blinds.
Quite a lot of homes have wide sliding or bi-folding patio doors. Standard Duette blinds can be made up to three metres wide. However, you can have Duette blinds up to 4400mm wide as long as there are electrically controlled.
One key factor in deciding the maximum possible width and prop of any Duette blind is the fabric weight. With such a wide range of fabrics in the Duette range, there are four different weight classes. Ultimately, we do need to do a weight calculation, depending upon the size of your recess and the chosen fabric.
For a number of our clients fitting Duette conservatory blinds has made a massive difference. The difference between not sitting in their sun lounge from Autumn through to Spring to having Christmas dinner in the conservatory.
In the summer months, Duette blinds can cut down the glare and the heat that builds up in your conservatory.
If its tilt and turn windows you have then there’s a Duette product which is ideal for you. And it’s not Perfect Fit or INTU. Perfect Fit blinds are old school. Fitting Perfect Fit blinds means putting brackets between your glazing and the rubber glazing seal. Sometimes this can distort the rubber seal if the brackets are not fitted carefully.
The new TruFit Duette blinds are ideal for tilt and turn windows and for glazed doors.
So, what’s so great about TruFit blinds then? Well, they can be fitted directly to your glass without drilling any holes or squeezing brackets between the glass and the seals. They’re great for doors and conservatories as well. Like all of our Luxaflex range of blinds, Tru-Fit is totally child safe.
TruFit is something completely different. Not only that, the blind is a top-down, bottom-up blind. This means you have lost of possibilities when you
want shading or privacy.
Duette blinds can be easily shaped. This means they’re perfect for shading triangular and shaped conservatory roofs. They’re also an excellent choice when you have shaped gable end windows such as triangles.
There are two main types of bay window. A segmented bay window and a full bay window. A segmented bay has individual windows separated by a piece of wall or timber. This is known as a mullion post. This type of bay is treated as three individual windows which happen to form an angle with each other – the bay angle.
With a full bay window, the window frames of the side windows touch, or nearly touch the frame of the centre window.
One of the challenges of fitting blinds in a full bay window is the angles that the side windows form with the main window. These angles can vary from ninety degrees in a box or square bay to around twenty degrees in a very shallow bay.
If the windows were side by side in a straight line, then the tops or headrails of each blind could be butted together. Think of these three windows as a bay window
where the bay angles are zero degrees. As the angle increases then the blinds need to be made shorter in width to accommodate the angles. This can create big gaps between the fabrics if blinds such as roller blinds are used. Primarily because the width of a roller blind at the top where the end brackets are is much wider than the actual fabric. This is called “running room” and is often the problem when dim-out roller blinds are fitted inside a recess to darken a room.
Duette blinds, on the other hand, are an excellent choice for bay windows. This is because there is only about a 3mm difference between the width of the Duette fabric and the headrail. Which means that the gaps between Duette blinds in a bay will be much smaller. In addition, the top rail of a Duette blind tends to be much narrower in width compared to most other blinds which also helps to accommodate the angles of a bay window.
Duette blinds also help control ultraviolet bleaching of your soft furnishings. Particularly those closest to your windows. Dark colours, in curtains and upholstery, are particularly prone to bleaching. Dark leather suites are also vulnerable to bleaching if no blinds are present to protect them.
Roof Lanterns and Flat Roof Lights are gaining popularity again in many modern interiors. They were once used in Victorian homes, as a method of introducing light from the roof to a dark internal stairwell. However, the challenge was that while they introduced light, it was impossible to control that light, the glare and the heat build-up.
Because Duette blinds can be made with a tensioning system, they’re perfect for shading large glazed areas horizontally. Roof lights up to eight metres long, and up to three metres wide can be covered by a Duette blind. This can be in a transparent, translucent or dim-out fabric which is ideal for bedrooms with roof lights or lanterns. For added convenience, Roof Lantern Duette Blinds can be motorised using PowerView.
As well as being great energy savers, Duette blinds are good at softening your room’s acoustic qualities. Most modern interiors have a lot of hard surfaces. Hard wooden or tiled floors often lead to your rooms having a harsh acoustic feel to them. Conversations can sometimes sound jumbled because of the echo. With Duette blinds on your windows and doors, the whole room acoustic softens, creating a much gentler atmosphere.
When you’re looking to darken a room such as a bedroom, the window blind industry, often suggests a “black-out” blind. Unfortunately, a “black-out” blind doesn’t often do what’s expected of it. “Black-out blinds” do what they promise as far as the fabric is concerned. That is, they prevent light from outside, passing through the blind fabric into the room. Unfortunately, they still allow light to enter the room down the edges and over the top of the blind.
Interestingly, one of the most common complaints in our industry is from consumers having been sold a “black-out” blind. Only to find that it still lets light into the room. Probably because even within the window blind industry there is a profound misunderstanding between the terms “black-out” and “dim-out”.
A blind with a fabric that stops light passing through is a “dim-out” blind. It’s not a black-out blind.
It only becomes a real black-out blind when there are side guides with light-proof brushes and a light-proof metal cassette at the top. A proper black-out blind might look ok in a photographic studio or other commercial premises, but they tend not to look too stylish in your home.
A dim-out fabric will not allow light to pass through the body of the fabric, but there will always be a small element of light sneaking around the outer edges of the blind. With a roller blind, this gap between the edge of the window recess and the fabric can be as large as 20mm per side. This gap is much smaller on a Duette blind. Room darkening Duette blinds are very good at reducing the ambient light level in your room. Perfect if you want to stop the early morning sun from waking you too early in the summer. Or, you work at nights and need to block most of the daylight out to get a good sleep.
Now, this is a very special blind. The Architella Duette has an additional layer of fabric. This creates a pocket within a pocket. Or a honeycomb within a honeycomb if you like. The Architella gives you the ultimate in insulation.
Three is a significant number where Duette blinds are concerned. There are three different densities of fabric. From transparent, through translucent to dim-out. Three different pleat widths – 25mm, 32mm and 64mm. And three different methods of operation – SmartCord, LiteRise and for the ultimate in convenience PowerView motorisation. Of course, when it comes to fabric choice, then there are more than three – there’s 429 to choose from to be precise. LiteRise is a totally cordless cellular shade.
PowerView is the latest automatic electric blind system from Luxaflex.
With PowerView you can control your Duette blinds (and other Luxaflex blinds) from a simple handheld device called a Pebble. With the PowerView App, you can easily create customised scenes that control all the blinds in your home. You can operate all your blinds at the same time or in any combination you choose. Scheduling scenes to move your blinds automatically, so you don’t have to is also possible.
And for the ultimate in luxury, our new hub system allows you to control your blinds from your smartphone or via voice activation from the most popular of home automation systems. The PowerView system is designed to be compatible with most home automation system technologies. PowerView works with Amazon Alexa, Apple Home Kit, Nest and Google Assistant. PowerView is also compatible with Apple® iOS and Android™ Smartphone or tablet devices.
With the hub system, you can set your blinds to move at any time of the day (multiple times if you require) automatically to a preferred position.
As well as giving you total control over your Duette blinds, PowerView can also operate the following Luxaflex products:
The lightweight structure of Duette flame retardant fabrics makes them energy efficient and helps them fold to a small stack when raised.
The new Duette flame retardant shades are ideal for a wide range of commercial spaces.
This new FR range is ideal for bars, restaurants, offices and hotels where sun protection and optimal control of daylight is required.
The insulating properties of Duette blinds enable savings on heating and cooling costs in commercial environments.
Duette blinds also help to reduce harsh room acoustics and echo in rooms.
The Duette flame retardant range complies with /DIN 4102 B1. This standard is the primary fire retardancy test in Germany. It measures the reaction of the fabric to fire and is considered the highest flammability standard in Germany for upholstery fabrics.
This is a range of fourteen new fabrics (seven translucent and seven room darkening) which are the new entry-level fabrics for the Duette collection. The Solo collection has a pleat width of 25mm
As you would expect from an extensive range of blinds, then so too is the pricing. All Duette blinds are custom made to suit your windows.
“How much do Duette blinds cost?” is a question we get asked regularly.
It is a tough question to answer without us asking more questions.
Questions such as
There are so many options. Many of which you just don’t need. But they do have a significant impact on price. We’re always happy to advise, and we’ve been doing this for over thirty years.
When properly cared for, Duette blinds will last a very long time. That’s why it’s essential to get the right product for the job from acknowledged experts.
But we don’t want to avoid answering the price/cost question here.
So, let’s assume that you have a window which is 950mm wide (that’s 37.4 inches in old money) and 1790mm tall (70.5 inches). That’s a typical sash and case window size. We’ll also assume that the blind is to be operated by a child-safe SmartCord system. There are four different fabric types. Each of which has its own price. So, the window size above would cost somewhere between £306 and £422 excluding fitting.
Adding motorisation to a Duette blind adds about £150 (depending on the type of blind). A Hub Kit is around £225 and a Pebble around £70. However, pricing will depend upon the actual configuration of the blind(s).
The Essentials Range from Luxaflex is a wide range of products, with a lower price ticket. The Essentials range does not have as many of the options are the main Luxaflex collections. However, they can bring style and quality to your home with a lower price tag. The Luxaflex Essentials collection contains the following products:
You have a choice when it comes to purchasing Duette blinds in Scotland.
There are national companies such as Thomas Sanderson Blinds and Hillarys Blinds. These companies favour self-employed salespeople and fitters and are famous for their extensive use of national marketing such as television, including TV programme sponsorship and Sunday magazine leaflet drops.
There’s also Apollo Blinds which is the UK’s largest window blinds franchise. However, the two Apollo shops in Edinburgh have now closed.
The department store, John Lewis, also sells Duette blinds.
Then there are the “Independent” companies. Companies which are neither department stores nor national chains or franchises. The Scottish Shutter Company is an independent company. However, we are one of only a handful of Luxaflex Gallery Dealers in Europe. Luxaflex appoints Gallery Dealers because of their product knowledge, installation experience and shading expertise.
We’ve been working with Luxaflex products for over thirty years. There’s no one else in Scotland with this much expertise in Luxaflex products. We own and operate the only two Luxaflex Gallery Dealer Showrooms in Scotland. One in Edinburgh at 67 Ratcliffe Terrace. This showroom is just a couple of minutes south of The Meadows. And one in Dundee, on West Pitkerro Industrial Estate near Sainsbury’s.
Each showroom has the full range of Luxaflex products, and most of the blinds are motorised using PowerView, the hub, the scene setter and the Pebble.
All Luxaflex products (Excluding the Essentials Range) come with a five-year warranty. We can provide full details of the warranty, just ask. Or you can take a look here – Luxaflex Warranty
The fabric of both Duette and Plissé Shades cannot be separated from the headrail and bottom rail. The blinds should be cleaned regularly with a feather duster or with a vacuum cleaner at a low setting to prevent the Duette fabric from becoming dirty.
Stains should be removed as quickly as possible with a soft sponge and lukewarm water containing a non-synthetic detergent if required. Duette and Plissé fabrics with a metallic back should not be cleaned with water since this could damage the metallic coating. It is possible to clean the whole blind by submerging non-metallic Plissé, coated Duette and Plissé fabrics in a bath together with the bottom rail. This method of cleaning does not apply to the dim-out version.
Proceed as follows:
Fill a container, bath or basin with lukewarm water (30 °C) and add one scoop or cap non-synthetic detergent. Lay the fabric in the water and hold the headrail above the water. (Applies only for motorised models.) The cleaning result will be better if the pleats are not held in the water as a bundle but opened, preventing creasing or deforming of the fabric and the pleats. Use a soft sponge or brush on the fabric to clean any stains.
Do not leave the fabric in the water for longer than two hours.
Hang the fabric out fully above the bath (tilt over the fabric, so the headrail and bottom rail stand upright). Spray-clean it front and back, to ensure that dirt and soap residue are removed from the fabric. Pull the fabric up carefully and ensure that the pleats fold correctly. Once the bundle of material has been completely folded together, press the headrail and bottom rail together again with both hands. This will wring as much water as possible out of the fabric. Now replace the Duette or Plissé Shade in the mounting brackets and allow the fabric to drop completely.
You can try again to remove any marks or residual dirt with a slightly damp sponge. Now raise the fabric to ±300 mm under the headrail.
Raise the fabric once every hour and then allow it to drop before raising it again to 300 mm under the headrail. Repeat this cycle until the fabric is dry.
If the shade is wider than the bath at your disposal, you can clean the fabric with a soft sponge, or have it cleaned by a professional cleaning service.
All Luxaflex Duette blinds are cellular or honeycomb blinds. But only if it says Duette on it is it a Luxaflex Duette Blind. There are lots of imitators. Some are ok and some just awful. A lot of cellular blinds come from South East Asia where cellular shades are manufactured at the lowest possible cost. Without any regard for the consumer and the subsequent lifetime of the shade itself.
Here at The Scottish Shutter Company, we know our products are not unique, so our service has to be.
Hopefully, we’ve been able to give you a good understanding of Luxaflex Duette blinds. Please do pop in and see us in either our Edinburgh or Dundee showrooms.
If you’d like a price, then why not take a pic of your window(s) and some rough sizes and email them to me?
In conclusion, If we’ve left something unanswered, then send me an email at [email protected] or call me on 0800 086 2989.
Director & Self Confessed Duette Fan
The Scottish Shutter Company