What is the Best Fabric for Curtains

A short guide to curtain fabrics

collection of fabric for curtains

You probably don’t think about the window treatments on your home too much until it is time to replace them or you are buying them for a new home. And when you finally do it, it might seem very overwhelming.

Don’t worry though. With the right information, you can get exactly what you envision for your home. One of the biggest choices you will have to make is the fabric of your curtains. Here is what you need to know about choosing the best fabric for curtains.

Sheer Curtains

Sheer fabric for curtains can be very aesthetically-pleasing, but keep in mind that they don’t offer much protection from the sunlight or very much privacy. If you just want to just partially filter out the light or just want to give the illusion of privacy like behind glass doors, however, they can be a beautiful addition.

  • Voile Fabric. Voile is a woven fabric that is usually made of cotton or polyester. It is made of fine details and has a good drape to it.
  • Lace Fabric. The open weave of lace makes it perfect for sheer curtains, but it can be more expensive though.
  • Nylon Net. Nylon can be an inexpensive option for sheer curtains, but it is not as fine and detailed as voile or lace.
  • Eyelet cotton fabric. This fabric has small eyelets all over it creating an open weave look.
  • Muslin is not as sheer as other sheer curtains. It is made of a thin cotton fabric and is a less expensive option for sheer curtains.
  • For a super sheer look, a gauze fabric is best. A special weave called the leno weave is used.

Opaque Curtains

If you want curtains that don’t let in as much light then you will prefer a type of opaque fabric for curtains. These curtains will have a higher thread count. Look for fabrics that have a great drape so it falls gracefully.

  • Cotton Fabric. Cotton is a very popular fabric for curtains because a lining isn’t necessary to keep its form and durability. Madras cotton which is a chequered cotton with bright colors are a great choice when you want to cheer up a space. Gingham cotton is a subtler chequered cotton that is often used for kitchen curtains.
  • Synthetic Fabric. Buying curtains of synthetic fabric is a more inexpensive option and you can still get good quality curtains. Synthetic fabrics also don’t wrinkle easily and have simple washing instructions. With some synthetic curtains you can also get UV blocking.
  • Linen Fabric. Linen is a thicker fabric so it can withstand a lot of wear and tear more easily, but it also has a sophisticated feel so will bring elegance to any room. The only down side is that linen wrinkles easily and needs to be dry cleaned.
  • Blend Fabric. When you choose curtains made of blended fabrics, you can get the best qualities of different fabrics and minimize some of the drawbacks.
  • Silk Fabrics. Silk, of course, always brings a luxurious look and feel to any room. Keep in mind though that with silk you will need extra lining and the curtains will need to be dry cleaned.
  • Velvet Fabrics. Velvet is also considered a luxury material, but it is a thicker material.
  • Synthetic Blends. A blend of a synthetic fabric with a combination of cotton, linen or silk fabrics is also popular for curtains. They don’t wrinkle easily either though. Don’t use these blends in the kitchen or near a fireplace though because they can easily catch fire.
  • Bamboo Fabric. Bamboo fabric is rising in popularity because of it is practical and better for the environment. They are machine washable and resist wrinkling without the need for the addition of extra finishes. In addition, the growth and manufacturing of bamboo is a lot easier on the environment. There is less need for pesticides and fertilizers which reduces pollution.

For many of these fabrics, a lining is recommended. If the fabric is thin or sheer and you need better UV ray protection and more privacy, a lining is a smart choice. The best fabrics to use are black-out, thermal and poly-cotton.

Interior design experts recommend choosing linen, silk, faux silk and velvet for your curtain fabric. Faux silk is great is you want the look of luxury, but you need your curtains to be more durable. If you live in areas with more extreme temperatures, they recommend using heavier fabrics like a suede, velvet or tweed to better block out the light and keep the heat in.

Deciding on a lining material and color are also important. Silk, especially needs to be lined because otherwise it can rot in the sunlight. And when it comes to colors, it is all depends on your preference. Some homeowners prefer the lining to be a similar color as the curtain itself while other enjoy a more contrasting look.

Experts also recommend that when you are shopping for curtain fabric that you do it on a sunny day so you have the best light to look at all the fabrics. They also encourage that you spend a good amount of time touching the different type of fabrics.

Keep in mind that the texture of the fabric, transparency and the way it falls and gathers will all impact the overall look of your windows.

That is why it so important to get the right measurements. The rule of thumb is to hang the curtains at least six inches above the window frame to make the room seem taller. If you like the more classical look where the curtains puddle on the floor, then you will also want to add at least two or three more inches to your length.

For more fullness, you should also add about four to eight inches to the width on both sides. These extra inches will also make it easier to block out the sun and gain more privacy.

Interior design experts also recommend that you take fabric swatches home so you can see what they would look like in your home.

Emma Custom can help you create the perfect custom curtains for any room in your home. Their experts will work closely with you to make sure your vision for your home comes to life at a cost you can afford. Start designing your custom curtains today.

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