Matchstick Shades (Bamboo Shades)

“Matchstick” shades are made from thin bamboo or reed sticks woven into a sheet. They have a natural, earthy look and feel.

They come in various shapes and sizes to fit almost any window. Some have a fabric backing for extra privacy and light control.

Whether you’re looking for an arch-topped shade or wide horizontal top panel, we have the matchstick shades for you.

Matchstick shades on arched windows overlooking a cityscape.

What Are Matchstick Shades?

Matchstick shades feature thin bamboo sticks or reeds woven together. These are some of their characteristics and benefits:

  1. Natural Materials: Matchstick shades are crafted from durable, renewable, and sustainable materials like bamboo and reeds. Some variations incorporate jute or seagrass for added texture.
  2. Slat Size: Their sticks or slats are usually narrow — less than an inch. This creates alternating light and dark lines when the shades are closed.
  3. Durability: Bamboo and reeds are known for their longevity, even outdoors. Applied finishes extend their lifespan.
  4. Light Filtering: Matchstick shades filter natural light, creating a soft and dappled effect in the room. They allow some sunlight to enter while reducing glare and providing privacy.
  5. Privacy: Matchstick shades offer a moderate level of privacy. While they obscure the view from the outside, they still allow diffused light to pass through. Thicker, closely woven variations provide better privacy.
  6. Ventilation: You can partially open matchstick shades to allow for fresh air circulation while maintaining shade and privacy, making them suitable for spaces where ventilation matters.
  7. Eco-Friendly: Matchstick shades are made from bamboo, reeds, jute, and seagrass. These are all highly sustainable plant species — some bamboo can grow more than one meter per day.
  8. Aesthetics: Matchstick shades bring an organic element to interior decor. They complement various design styles, from coastal and tropical themes to contemporary and rustic interiors.
  9. Customization: Choose from various natural wood tones and finishes, colors, weave styles, sizes, shapes, and operating mechanisms.
  10. Easy Maintenance: Regular dusting or vacuuming with a brush attachment keeps them clean. They’re stain-resistant, too.
  11. Versatility: Matchstick shades work well in living rooms, bedrooms, offices, dining areas, and even covered outdoor spaces like patios or porches.
  12. Layering: Many homeowners layer matchstick shades with curtains or drapes for enhanced privacy and style.

In short, matchstick shades offer a unique blend of natural beauty, light filtering, and privacy.

A close up of a window with matchstick shades.

Our Matchstick Shade Gallery

Not All Matchstick Shades Are Created Equal

The difference between low-quality and high-quality matchstick shades lies in materials, craftsmanship, durability, and performance. Here’s a breakdown:

Material

  • Low-quality matchstick shades may use inexpensive or inferior bamboo or reed materials prone to splintering, warping, or fading.
  • High-quality matchstick shades use premium, carefully sourced bamboo or reed materials selected for their durability, consistency, and resistance to wear and tear.

Craftsmanship

  • Low-quality matchstick shades are mass-produced with little attention to detail. This results in uneven weaving, loose or unevenly spaced sticks, and less consistent quality.
  • High-quality matchstick shades are handcrafted with attention to detail. Expert craftsmanship ensures uniform weaving, tightly spaced sticks, and consistent quality throughout the shade.

Durability

  • Due to subpar materials and craftsmanship, low-quality matchstick shades may be more susceptible to breakage, splitting, and unraveling.
  • High-quality matchstick shades can withstand wear and tear. They’re less prone to damage and can maintain their appearance and functionality longer.

Finish & Protective Coatings

  • Some low-quality matchstick shades lack protective coatings, making them vulnerable to moisture damage, fading from sunlight, or insect infestations.
  • High-quality matchstick shades often have protective finishes that enhance their durability and provide resistance to moisture, UV rays, and pests.

Light Control & Privacy

  • Low-quality matchstick shades may have inconsistencies in the weave or uneven gaps between sticks.
  • The tight and uniform weave of high-quality matchstick shades reduces light leakage and enhances privacy.

Ease of Use

  • Low-quality matchstick shades may have inferior operating mechanisms, making them more difficult to raise or lower.
  • High-quality matchstick shades come with reliable and well-designed lift systems, ensuring ease of use and convenience. They can even be motorized.

Customization

  • Low-quality shades offer limited customization options in size, color, and features.
  • High-quality matchstick shades offer a range of customization options, allowing you to choose the perfect shade to match your decor and window specifications.

Investing in high-quality matchstick shades ensures superior materials, craftsmanship, durability, and performance. Low-quality shades are cheaper but less reliable and may require more frequent replacement. Plus, they don’t look as nice!

Double matchstick shades hung within a white frame.

Customizing Your Matchstick Shades

We can tailor your matchstick shades to your design preferences and functional needs. Here are some of your options:

  • Material: Common choices include bamboo, reeds, jute, or seagrass. Each material has its unique texture and appearance.
  • Color & Finish: Matchstick shades come in various natural wood tones and finishes to complement your interior decor.
  • Weave: Styles range from tightly woven to more open weaves. The weave style affects the amount of light and privacy the shades provide.
  • Lining: We can add privacy, blackout, or thermal liners to improve insulation and light control.
  • Edge Binding: Edge binding gives your shades a polished look and increased durability.
  • Top-Down/Bottom-Up Feature: Some matchstick shades have a top-down/bottom-up feature, allowing you to raise them from the bottom or lower them from the top for better light control and privacy.
  • Operating Mechanism: Options include corded, cordless, or motorized mechanisms. Cordless and motorized shades are popular for their clean and child-safe operation.
  • Valance Styles: Valances can be simple wooden headers or decorative fabric valances, adding a personal touch to your window treatment.
  • Specialty Shapes: We sell matchstick shades in specialty shapes, such as arches, trapezoids, or circles, ensuring a perfect fit for unusual windows.
  • Monogramming and Embellishments: Monograms and decorative embellishments make your matchstick shades one-of-a-kind.
  • Mounting: Choose between inside and outside mount installation, depending on your window frame and design preferences.
  • Layering: We can layer matchstick shades with curtains or drapes to enhance functionality, add depth, and provide extra privacy or light control.
A matchstick shade providing complete coverage.

Installation & Follow-up: What to Expect

  • Our sales staff will make an appointment to install your blinds.
  • Our installers will install your shades to the highest standards and show you how to operate and maintain them.
  • We view our relationship with you as permanent. If ever you experience a problem with your blinds, we’ll do our utmost to repair them.
A man measuring window blinds with a tape measure.

Why Choose Aero Shade?

  • We specialize in window treatments and can deliver the best possible results for your home or office.
  • We've been in business since 1947.
  • We're family-owned and 100% committed to customer satisfaction.
  • Our window treatments for luxury homes have been featured in lifestyle and design magazines.
  • We've installed blinds and shades for USC, UCLA, the Long Beach and Los Angeles Unified School Districts, and several Fortune 500 corporations.
  • Our prices are reasonable. All estimates are free.
  • We're an authorized dealer of the high-quality Hunter Douglas and Lutron brands.
  • Our customer relationship continues after the installation. If you ever have a problem with an Aero Shade window treatment, we'll do our best to fix it.