Maybe you recently moved into a new location and the naked windows don’t feel right, or maybe you’re in the middle of a major redesigning project and want to transform the look of your entire home. In any case, you’re looking for the perfect curtains that fit your budget, match your furnishings, and reflect your vision of a home! So, what is the greatest curtain fabric?
The perfect curtain fabric reflects your unique style’s atmosphere and design while also complementing your furnishings and walls. Good curtain fabrics also have the functions you require, such as limiting light, providing privacy, and making your home energy efficient by reducing drafts.
In this post, you’ll learn how to choose curtain fabric that complements your home and analyze the benefits and drawbacks of each popular curtain material.
Curtain Fabric Types
You can manufacture lovely curtains out of almost any sort of fabric, but each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages when used as a window decoration. Whether you plan to manufacture your own drapes or purchase ready-made drapes for your home, you’ll want to know which types of fabric are appropriate for different applications.
Some synthetic materials are UV resistant, which means they will survive longer in a sun-drenched environment such as a sunroom or enclosed porch.
The world is your oyster once you’ve mastered the qualities of each sort of material. You can compare prices at different stores or even look for non-traditional savings to create a one-of-a-kind curtain style.
You may construct window curtains out of old bedsheets, silk scarves, or even tea towels if you prefer repurposing things to reduce waste and express yourself artistically.
If money is your primary priority, rather than style, you might find cost-effective solutions to obtain the type of cloth you desire. People make curtains out of clearance tablecloths, thrift shop things such as flat bedsheets, a pair of kitchen towels sewed together, burlap sacking, or lovely saris!
Before you start looking for fabric, here’s a quick rundown of the many varieties of curtain textiles.
Voile, lace, and gauze are examples of sheer fabrics. The main feature of these materials is that they are so thin that they can be seen through. As a result, sheers don’t block much light and don’t do much to keep cold drafts out of your home.
While sheers may conjure up images of your grandmother’s formal dining room, today’s stuffy is tomorrow’s vintage! Today, many individuals employ translucent curtains and lace panels in fashionable new ways.
Sheer panels are traditionally paired with a heavier set of draperies, usually composed of damask or velvet. Although not everyone finds the stiff formality appropriate for their home, this layered style remains stylish and expensive-looking.
Some individuals overlay many sheers in different colors to create a rich, shimmering design, or loop a single, heavy lace panel to the side with a string of pearls for a trendier look. Of course, as you’ll see, there’s no limit to how you can decorate your windows! You may arrange your draperies in literally hundreds of different ways once you know what kind of cloth you prefer.
Any textile with a high enough thread count that you can’t see through it falls under this umbrella term. This category includes everything from cotton to velvet. While opaque materials come in a wide range of weights and thicknesses, many of them create a good barrier against outdoor factors like wind and sunlight.
From the super-formal drapes you may find in a ballroom to the informal gingham valance you can use to brighten up your kitchen, this type of cloth works well in a variety of designs.
These textiles, sometimes known as curtain fabrics, have a thicker weave than cotton and may have a visible, almost canvas-like weave. They resemble the type of fabric used to upholster a chair, but drapery textiles are lighter in weight to allow them to hang gracefully.
These fabric make wonderful formal drapes due to their weight. When properly linings are used, they can also be used as blackout curtains.
Garment and Quilting Fabrics
Fabrics for garments and quilting cover a wide range of materials, from brightly patterned cotton to batiks to knits and silks. Consider any fabric you’d use to make a garment.
The great thing about utilizing non-traditional fabrics is that you can create a totally distinctive and unique look. However, there is a risk that the printed designs on some of these materials will fade after prolonged exposure to sunshine.
Linings and Interlinings
Cotton and polycotton have traditionally been the best lining materials. This extra layer acts as a buffer between the glass and the curtain’s outside cloth. The lining gives a layer of protection to the external material, insulating it from UV radiation and adding extra thickness to prevent drafts.
An additional middle layer–or interlining–is sometimes layered between the lining and the curtain materials, especially in stiff drapes that require more volume or must maintain a specific shape. This provides excellent insulation while still allowing for lovely draping!
What is the Best Fabric for Curtains?
The ideal curtain fabric combines your personal taste with the practicality you require in your house. The thickness, look, and texture of each type of fabric differs. Let’s have a look at the properties of some of the most prevalent curtain materials.
Cotton conjures you images of basic white bedsheets with a beautiful, silky weave. Cotton, on the other hand, comes in a wide range of styles, from batik to corduroy.
This natural fabric’s adaptability makes it an excellent choice for a wide range of curtain styles.
The majority of cotton kinds have a high enough thread count and a thick enough weave to keep their shape without the use of a curtain lining.
Linen is a natural and traditional curtain material made from flax fibers. The weight of this cloth is usually a little heavier than that of many varieties of cotton. It also has smooth bobbles in the weave known as “slubs,” which give it a beautiful and textured appearance.
Linen is a wonderful choice for draperies because of its unique texture and weight. It does not, however, block light as effectively as more opaque textiles, and it wrinkles readily.
Muslin, which is technically a kind of cotton, has a very light, almost airy weave. It can become transparent depending on its weight, and some people prefer to use it instead of a more traditional sheer fabric like voile or lace.
Muslin is a good option if you want flowy, billowy curtains. It’s also very inexpensive, to the point where individuals buy it to build dummies of the outfits they plan to sew!
Do your windows appear to be wearing sweaters when you use wool curtains? Certainly not! Wool has a tight, thick weave that makes it a great insulator.
If you reside in a chilly climate, this material is something you should really consider. Wool has the disadvantage of being difficult to launder and can be quite heavy, giving it a bulky appearance.
Silk is one of the oldest and most beautiful natural textiles, and it has its unique attraction. The colors on this cloth are vibrant and sparkly. You may create a flowing effect with unlined panels or a more structured look with lined silk panels.
Silk, on the other hand, is frequently expensive and requires dry cleaning. It also fades quickly when exposed to direct sunshine.
6. Chiffon & Voile
The names “voile” and “chiffon” are sometimes interchanged to describe any sheer, lightweight fabric. Voile is a thin, transparent fabric made of either cotton or polyester. Silk is typically used to make chiffon.
When coupled with a heavier type of outside curtain material, these sheer materials seem classy. They can, however, shine on their own! These materials let a lot of light in, which lends itself to a light-filled design concept.
Taffeta is traditionally made of silk, but nowadays it’s more likely to be made of polyester. It has a shiny appearance and a crisp, almost crinkly texture. Because of its distinctive texture, this cloth makes eye-catching and opulent curtains. Dry cleaning is required for silk taffeta, but not for synthetic equivalents.
Satin is the princess-dress fabric of choice because of its super-smooth surface, which is achieved by a specific method known as twill weave. Satin is traditionally made of silk, however it is now more commonly composed of synthetics such as polyester.
The dense weave of this cloth allows it to effectively screen sunlight. Satin’s sleekness appeals to many people, but it may be too regal for a more modern setting.
Damask is a word, not a fabric kind. It describes how the cloth is woven, with a specific jacquard loom that forms a pattern on the surface with a contrasting shine. Cotton, silk, wool, or any other material can be used to make this cloth! Damask fabrics produce heavy, slightly stiff drapes with intricate, sophisticated patterning.
Brocade’s textured surface resembles damask in appearance, but brocade is made up of numerous layers of different-colored threads that form a silky, patterned surface.
For a formal design concept, brocade can create stunning, highly textured panels. It does, however, fray readily and would benefit from a liner to protect it.
Few people aren’t enamored by velvet’s silky, rich pile! This lovely fabric used to be made of silk, but it may now be manufactured from a blend of silk and rayon or a variety of polyester blends. It’s made by weaving two double-thickness pieces of cloth together and then slicing them apart to make the pile.
Velvet creates rich, magnificent curtains with jeweled tones that go well with both a sophisticated and a boho flair. Regrettably, even the synthetic forms of velvet are rather expensive.
Lace comes in a variety of designs, from flowers and butterflies to castles and dragons, and is produced in an open, weblike pattern. Lace can be constructed out of a variety of materials. Synthetics, such as polyester, are the least expensive.
Lace was traditionally used as a sheer panel beneath the main drapes as a sidekick. Many people nowadays appreciate the elegance of a lace pane on its own. Lace doesn’t offer much in the way of privacy, but it does add a nice, soft texture to any cottage setting!
Gauze appears to be transparent and sheer. It’s commonly manufactured using a technique known as leno weave, which gives it a very open texture with gaps between the threads visible.
The open weave of this fabric can give a stunning contrast to the texture of another type of cloth, yet it is rarely used on its own.
Polyester is the great pretender of the fabric world in certain aspects. It’s a synthetic material that’s primarily composed of plastic, but depending on how it’s created, it can look like silk, cotton, or even velvet.
The majority of pre-made curtains have a high percentage of polyester. This material is easy to clean and far less expensive than many natural materials. Polyester is also flame-retardant and UV-resistant, making it an extra-safe option for your house.
15. Sheer Polyester
You generally image sheer curtains as plain white panels hidden under “real” curtains when you think of sheer curtains. Polyester sheers are available in a wide range of vibrantly dyed colors and patterns!
This fabric, like all sheer fabrics, does not provide much privacy or insulation. Polyester sheers, on the other hand, are popular because of their vibrancy and low price.
Rayon is created from wood pulp that has been thoroughly processed. Despite its woody roots, it has the gloss and smoothness of silk.
Rayon is more expensive than other types of cloth since it requires dry washing.
17. Nylon Net
Another synthetic fabric is nylon, which is woven into a looser, more open texture by nylon net. As a result, a sheer and transparent cloth is created.
Some people believe that nylon net gathers dust and becomes filthy over time. With proper maintenance, though, this material may offer your home a light and airy aspect.
18. Cotton Blends
Today, many garments and household products are created from fibers from many types of cloth. Cotton works particularly well with other fibers like polyester. These blends take advantage of each fiber’s finest attributes. Blended fabrics come in a variety of styles and looks. If you plan to buy fabric and build your own curtains, check the manufacturer’s name on pre-made curtains or the end of the fabric bolt. These particulars will reveal which fibers make up the mixed material.
Thermal curtains are frequently constructed of flannel, but they always have an acrylic foam layer between the layers of fabric. This allows them to act as an extra layer of insulation in front of your windows, keeping the cold out! Because of their unique features, thermal curtains normally cost a little more.
You need blackout curtains if you work the night shift and need to sleep during the day or if you want to protect valuable furnishings from the sun.
Blackout curtains come in a variety of styles, but they all incorporate “blackout fabric,” which is a special cloth backed with foam that is completely opaque and blocks out all light.
Most Popular Curtain Fabrics By Room
Let’s evaluate which fabric works best in each space of your home now that you’re an expert on the most common varieties of cloth!
The styles of living rooms differ drastically from one home to the next. As a result, many people believe cotton curtains to be the greatest option for your living room. Cotton with a dense weave might hang heavy, while cotton with a lesser thread count and a lighter weave can float. It also comes in a variety of patterns and colors!
Velvet is undoubtedly the secondary fabric of choice for a more formal living room. Velvet gives any window a deep, rich framing and can gracefully complement your lovely furniture. Velvet also gives any area a warm, jeweled tone, which you would like in a room where you spend a lot of time!
Kitchens are a place of warmth, joy, and a lot of activity! Many people choose valances or swags as kitchen window treatments because they don’t cover the entire window.
Cotton or gingham will look great in a traditional or farmhouse kitchen because of its warm, woven texture. You can select a ruffled voile cafe style or perhaps striped silk if you have a more bohemian kitchen. Consider a simple lace panel for a cottage-style kitchen to bring a touch of sweetness to your kitchen!
Not every home nowadays has a designated dining room. Many individuals like to use highly exquisite and structured draperies to set off their fancy table and chairs in these areas, which lean toward the formal end of design.
Weighty fabrics with a silky sheen, such as silk, taffeta, brocade, and damask, are the most common materials for dining room drapes.
Bedrooms are the most personal of all the rooms in the house. You might wish to use a bold, vibrant material like printed polyester to make this space reflect your individuality.
Some people, on the other hand, utilize the bedroom as a quiet sanctuary and hang sheer muslin or gauze that allows plenty of natural light in.
How to Choose Curtain Fabric
Before assessing how well a cloth blends with your personal style, you should think about its feel, color, texture, and weight. However, there are four crucial criteria to examine in addition to that basic advice:
- How it matches your home.
- How it meets your needs.
- How it fits your budget.
- How trendy it looks.
First and foremost, you want your curtains to blend in with the rest of your decor. You don’t want your window treatments to blend in with the woodwork; you want them to stand out. They can be used as a nice furniture backsplash and work well with your carpet or rugs.
Another important consideration is that the curtains should complement your personal style. For example, if your entire house is furnished in an industrial-chic style with exposed brick and bookcases constructed of rusty pipes, pink polka-dotted polyester drapes will most likely clash.
Second, make certain that the curtains you select are appropriate for your needs. Consider thermal curtains if you live in a chilly climate. Try translucent fabrics if you require sunshine to flood into your artist’s studio windows, and have a convenient way to loop them aside when needed!
Next, and possibly most crucially, examine the price of each type of material. Velvet is more expensive than muslin. If you’re on a tight budget, you may need to match your decorating style to low-cost fabrics.
Finally, keep in mind that fashion trends change frequently. Blinds are the biggest thing one year, then everyone thinks they’re out of style the next, and reused saris are all the rage. If you prefer to stay on top of the newest trends, check out Pinterest, magazines like Southern Living, or any home-decorating site.
How to Choose the Color of Your Curtains
What about color, last but not least? When matching your curtains to the style of each room, you would have thought about color. Here are a few short pointers on curtain color selection:
- The hue should either complement or contrast with the rest of the room’s design.
- Choose a hue that is a shade or two darker than the walls for a minimalistic or serene look.
- The color has the ability to lighten or darken the space. Many people choose a darker tint in their bedrooms to block out light.
- Vibrant colors in kitchens contribute to the space’s overall warmth and friendliness.
- In living rooms and dining rooms, many individuals choose formal hues and heavier draperies.
Do you feel like you’ve gained a large amount of curtain knowledge and are ready to go out and buy the perfect fabric for your home? Hopefully, you’re confident in your ability to pin down the attributes and functioning of each type of material, and you’re ready to choose the one that best suits your home.
Leave a comment below to tell us what kinds of fabrics you’re thinking about and what you enjoy best about your current curtains!