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The best way to tell if you're looking at pleated shades is by looking at it from the side. The fold of the material is very similar to that of an accordion. When the cord that runs through the shades vertically is pulled, the zigzags fold up compactly to the desired height. (Unless choosing a style of cordless pleated shade; then the shades are raised by hand.) Pleated shades work best in rooms where a good amount of privacy is desired but the total loss of natural light is not. Most pleated shades are comprised of a light filtering fabric that helps create an environment of soft diffuse light. This keeps the room from feeling too dark or ‘shut off from the world'.