Greener BeeGreen LivingGreening Your Windows: Top Natural Materials in Window Treatments

When we surround ourselves with nature, we benefit our physical, mental and emotional health. But feeling like we’re one with the Earth doesn’t have to be limited to our time outdoors. Using natural materials in our everyday lives can also help foster that peaceful connection with nature.

In fact, we can use natural materials throughout our homes to find benefits not only to our health, but also to the environment and our wallets. Natural materials can be incorporated in a number of places when it comes to furnishing your abode, and window shades are one of the areas often overlooked when considering transforming your home into a “green” living space.

There are a few types of natural window shades to consider. Check out these natural choices so you can bring the outdoors in.


Bamboo is one of the hardest raw materials used for furniture, decorations and window coverings. (There’s a reason those panda bears take forever to chew on a single piece of bamboo!) Bamboo is a sustainable material that grows quickly and abundantly – harvesting bamboo helps reduce the destruction of hardwood forests.

While durability and sustainability are the main advantages when it comes to bamboo shades, style is another factor. It can be manufactured to resemble traditional blinds and shades, but at the same time it diffuses light in the home in a different way. Light shining through bamboo material can bring new vibrancy to the colors in your home, and the wood-like fibers add a rustic touch. Beyond its functionality, bamboo can make a strong fashion statement in your space.

Bamboo shades are also among the most affordable options in window treatments. Since they are more durable than tradition vinyl or faux wood blinds and shades, bamboo window shades don’t have to be replaced as often. On top of that, bamboo material is in abundance in the home interiors market, so the initial price of bamboo shades are often less expensive than traditional window coverings.

Woven Materials

Woven shades can also be manufactured using bamboo, but they are no longer limited to bamboo or wood. Some woven shades are made with hemp, some with jute, and others with materials like kenaf or flax.

To optimize the UV protection of woven shades, they need to be installed with a thin liner to fill in any gaps between the weaves. Woven shades are also available in a number of natural colors and tones to fit the decorative themes of any living area. They come in a variety of raising and lowering operating styles, and they are lightweight and easy to remove and replace.

Speaking of replacing, woven shades will most likely need to be replaced with about the same frequency as traditional blinds and shades. They are thinner and less durable than bamboo, but the price point of woven shades reflects this.


Cotton is another natural material that can be used for window shades, but cotton shades can get dirty easily. They can also tatter easily with heavy use, or in a home with pets or young children. However, 100% cotton drapes are another option for adding a natural accent to your windows. Use them to complement a natural shade option.

For strength, sustainability, and environmental efficiency, bamboo and woven window shades are the best materials to ensure your home connects you back to the Earth. Bring nature into your most basic everyday surroundings, and you’ll be the better for it.

Katie Laird is the Director of Social Marketing for and a passionate home decorator for her family with a love of all things Mid-Century Modern and blue. To discover more window shades and treatments made of natural materials, visit the website.

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