Guidelines for choosing the perfect curtain/drape
Colour and Pattern
Curtain fabrics come in many colours and patterns, and some even feature glamorous embellishments such as sequins and pearls, so you’re sure to find fabric that co-ordinates with your decor.
When buying curtain fabrics online, it’s a good idea to request fabric samples first, as the colours may not display accurately on your monitor.
Type of Fabric
Fabric texture is important to the finished look of your curtains. Luxurious velvets and silks give an opulent touch, whereas cotton and linen are lighter and more casual. There are also more unusual fabrics such as faux-leather, PVC and metallic mesh, as well as flame-retardant and water-resistant options.
If you’re making your own curtains, ensure that your sewing machine can handle your chosen fabric.
Also, consider how much light you want to let in. A bedroom will benefit from thick, heavy curtains (which also minimise drafts and noise), whereas you might prefer lighter fabrics elsewhere.
You can also opt for very light voile or net fabrics - these don’t block light, but they look attractive, and may be used in conjunction with heavier curtains or blinds.
For total light blockage, you can buy blackout fabrics.
You may wish to purchase curtain lining material.
Linings help to protect curtains against sunlight, provide better insulation, and give a more finished look with a smoother hang. However, curtains that require frequent washing (such as those in kitchens and bathrooms) may be better left unlined, or you could opt for a removable lining.
Blackout linings are also available.
Many curtain fabrics are washable, either by hand or machine. In either case, they should be treated with care, and delicate fabrics may need to be placed in a laundry bag.
Some fabrics, and all curtains with fixed linings, should be dry cleaned.
Familiarise yourself with the care instructions for your new fabric, and your curtains should last for a long time.
The amount of fabric required depends on your window size, your preferred curtain style, and whether you want ‘extras’ such as matching pelmet, ties or cushion covers.
Curtain fabric retailers generally provide guidelines for measuring your windows correctly.
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