How to Replace Hunter Douglas Silhouette Cords

The raising and lowering of a Hunter Douglas Silhouette shade is masterful in its simplicity; one continuous cord controls the raising and lowering of the shade. A homeowner can replace the cord by first understanding how the shade lift mechanism works and by following a few easy steps. The cord rotates around a clutch, which turns a lift rod, which raises and lowers the shade.

Without the cord, the blind doesn't function.

Step 1

Lay the shade on the work surface. Rotate the headrail so the underside is oriented up and you can see the mechanisms inside the headrail.

Step 2

Locate the clutch end of the headrail. The clutch is the mechanism that controls the cord system. Insert a flat-head screwdriver into the opening that runs across the bottom of the headrail. Gently tap on the end of the screwdriver with a mallet, forcing the headrail's end cap off. The cap snaps onto the roller inside the shade and, with a few gentle taps, it will pop off.

The end cap houses the cord clutch mechanism. The roller stays intact inside the shade. The continuous cord runs around the perimeter of the clutch, between the end cap and the housing. The cord is visible through openings cut into the housing. The cord exits the housing through one end of the mechanism; this exit section has a double-wide opening.

Step 3

Remove the old cord from the clutch. Cut the cord. Pull on one end to force the clutch to rotate and release the cord.

Step 4

Attach the new continuous cord by inserting one end of the looped cord up through the housing's exit. The cord will be hanging in one long, continuous loop out of the bottom of the housing, away from the clutch and end cap. It forms a smaller loop above the exit opening, on the outside of the housing, close to the clutch.

Step 5

Insert the cord of the smaller loop into the first space between the housing and the end cap, closest to the exit opening. The cord drives the clutch; it cannot be turned by hand. Tuck the cord into the space, using a small screwdriver to push it into place, and gently tug the remaining exposed cord -- of the small loop -- up toward the top of the clutch. The cord will slip into the spaces between the housing and the end cap. When the cord has slipped into the first two slots, gently pull on the long section of cord to continue. The clutch will turn and the cord will thread itself all the way around the clutch.

Step 6

Insert the clutch mechanism back into the shade's roller. Ensure that the raised sections on the clutch fit into the corresponding slots on the inside of the roller.

Step 7

Gently tap the outside of the end cap to re-seat the clutch. Replace the blind in its brackets and the job is done.

Things You Will Need

  • Long flat-head screwdriver
  • Mallet
  • Continuous shade cord


  • Purchase continuous cords from a drapery or blind supplier.


  • Never hang corded window coverings where a child can access the cords.
  • Ensure that the continuous loop is fastened to the wall with the manufacturer- supplied wall tension device.

About the Author

Linda Erlam started writing educational manuals in 1979. She also writes a biweekly newspaper column, "Design Dilemmas," in the "Lakeshore News" and has been published in "Design and Drapery Pro" magazine. Erlam is a graduate of the Sheffield School of Interior Design and is a practicing interior decorator and drapery workroom operator.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images