Now that you’ve decided on curtains as a window furnishing for your home, it’s time to choose the right curtain fabric. With a huge array of design, colour and textures available, customers have more choice than ever to add individual personality to their curtains. Each fabric has different properties, and consideration of the function, durability and aesthetic appearance are all crucial to identifying the right fabric.
The choice of fabric will affect the way the curtain hangs and looks. Each fabric falls differently from an elevation and will therefore look different when installed and drawn back. With so many fabrics to choose from, one of the quickest ways to narrow down the options is to decide between a natural or synthetic fabric.
Natural fabrics like linen and cotton offer a beautiful soft finish, look stunning and hang superbly. However they are both susceptible to shrinkage and will deteriorate over time, especially if exposed to excessive sunight or if not properly maintained.
Fabrics such as polyester, viscose and acrylic have become increasing popular as the quality and range have improved. They offer a similar look to natural fabrics but without the drawbacks of shrinkage and deterioration. They are durable, easy to clean, fade resistance and offer a cost effective altenative to natural fabrics.
The fabric you choose obviously has to be visually appealing, after all your investment in professionally made custom curtains will last you for many years to come.
Some of the other aesthetic considerations relate to the style of the room, and the existing interior decor and funishing in the space. The choice of fabric can also impact on the spacial appearance of the room.
Having a curtain fabric expert help you with these decisions can make the process much easier and help you to avoid potential pitfalls where certain fabrics are concerned.
Printed fabrics and solid colours
Printed fabrics and solid colour fabrics can bring the ‘wow’ factor to any room when carefully selected and co-ordinated with the existing room decor. If you have a minimalist room and you want to add contrast or a splash of colour, opting for printed or solid colour fabrics can transform the space, adding emphasis and flair to the interior.
If the room is already filled with patterned soft furnishings, opt for solid colours which will co-ordinate more easily withour clashing. Likewise the reverse is true, a room with furnishings in solid neutral tones can be lifted with the introduction of a printed or patterned fabric.
Function of the curtain
Now you have to think about the functionality of the curtain fabric you are choosing. The range of fabrics is endless, however some fabrics are better suited than others to certain functional requirements.
What are the priorities for your curtains?
Is it to protect your furnishings from the harsh daytime sunlight and UV, or is your focus on night time privacy? Maybe you want a curtain fabric with excellent insulation qualities to keep the room cool in summer and warm in winter.
Sheer fabrics are great for aesthetic purposes and allow a level of diffused light into the room. They often blend into the interior of the room, creating an ambient and luxurious feel. Hanging sheer curtains from the ceiling or high up the wall can make the room look larger and more welcoming.
If the aim of the sheer curtain is to block out harmful UV rays, you will need to choose a sheer fabric that will be resistant to sunlight all day long.
Blockout curtains provide excellent night time privacy and light blockout. They are made using either a standalone blockout fabric, or by creating a fully lined curtain.
A standalone fabric has a coating applied to the back of it when it is made.
A fully lined blockout curtain consists of two fabrics which are attached to each other during the curtain making process. The rear fabric is a pure blockout lining fabric, and the front is the feature fabric.
The aesthetics and functionality of your curtain fabric are very important, but what is of equal importance when choosing a curtain fabric, is its durability.
When thinking about the durability of your curtain fabric, you need to think about where the curtains are going to be located, how the space is used, and the daily activities your custom made curtains will be exposed to.
Children and pets
As much as we love them, children and pets can be quite destructive given the wrong fabric in the wrong location. Sheer fabrics look stunning, but if you have young children playing in the same room they could easily be damaged by a stray toy or a spilled drink. Look for fabrics that are more resilient, or simply choose an alternative window covering for that space.
Cats love to climb curtains – unfortunately we have first hand experience of this ourselves. All fabrics can be damaged this way, however sheer fabrics are particularly susceptible.
Different fabrics have different cleaning requirements to ensure their longevity, and to keep them looking their best.
Low maintenance fabrics like synthetics can generally be machine washed providing they are not lined. This is great for people with allergies or pets who need to clean their curtains more regularly. High maintenance fabrics, or any curtains which are pleated, are best dry cleaned so tha they maintain their colour and shape.
All fabrics benefit from regular vacuuming to remove surface dust, which if left can lead to deterioration of the fabric.
Need more help ?
Selecting the right curtain fabric for your interior is the key to getting your window furnishings right. At Evans Curtains and Blinds we know how important this decision is. With years of experience we can guide you through each of the above important factors, to find a curtain fabric that suits your style, functional requirements and budget.
Wondering what the best window furnishing options are for specific rooms in your home? See our comprehensive window furnishing room guides:
Get in touch with us today and move one step closer to bringing the perfect custom made curtain to your home.