Top Fabrics for Sewing Curtains

Posted on July 15, 2021 by Stephanie Triplett

The way an area of a room looks is important, and every detail counts from the foundation to the finishing touches of decor. Curtains determine the look of a room. Choosing the type of curtains for any space takes time and consideration. While no curtain fabric is one-size-fits-all, there are certainly a few that cover the spectrum of needs involved with curtains. 

You must decide if you want light, bright and airy curtains or something thicker and heavier. When selecting certain fabrics, there are a few general factors to consider: texture, weight, light-filtering abilities, and drapes.

Drapery Linings: Blackout vs. Thermal Curtains

Curtains need a layer of protection to protect items from UV ray damage. Blackout curtains are typically lined and made from a tightly woven fabric that keeps light out. Thermal curtains feature a layer of acrylic foam between the fabric for added insulation. Natural fibers like cotton and wool are often used for thermal curtains and provide a good amount of insulation.

Sheer Curtains

When drapery is used for decorative touches or other things, sheer curtains are an excellent choice. Sheer fabrics partially filter out light while giving the illusion of privacy. They also work behind glass doors, over beds, or inside wardrobes.

  • Voile curtains are soft, lightweight, and sheer. They drape nicely and filter out enough light to offer privacy. Voile alone is sheer and perfect for kitchen or bathrooms where light is often encouraged or can be lined with blackout curtains.
  • Lace adds a soft and feminine touch to any space. Like voile, it is a great option for kitchens and bathrooms.

Opaque Curtains

The amount of opacity depends on the fabric chosen and the layers of fabrics used for lining (if desired/needed). Durable fabric, with a high thread count and a good amount of drape, is usually labeled under decorator/drapery weight fabrics. 

  • Cotton curtains used for drapery are popular for their look and functionality. A lining is optional, depending on the level of opacity desired.
  • Linen curtains provide the most opacity when made in a medium to heavyweight. It’s a strong, stable, and durable fabric with an unmatched offering of elegance. Linen starts on the stiffer side but will soften each time it’s laundered. A linen blend will combine the good qualities of linen while decreasing the effects of the bad, like fading and moisture absorption. 
  • Synthetic curtains (like polyester) vary, but high-quality ones have a shiny appearance and drape nicely. Synthetic curtains resist wrinkles and are easy to care for. Some synthetic curtains have UV blocking properties which is a huge bonus. 
  • Silk curtains add a touch of luxury to a space, with a shiny appearance and buttery smooth feel. A lining is recommended for complete privacy. Caring for silk curtains is a bit tricky, and the sun's exposure will cause the color to fade over time, but a lining will extend the life of silk curtains. Choose a silk blend for the most cost-efficient choice.
  • Velvet curtains create a luxe and royal feeling while working well in formal and informal areas. While Velvet speaks of grandeur, it is quite heavy. Not only will the fabric keep light out, but it’s a great sound and heat insulator.
  • Damask, Brocade, & Jacquard curtains are different, but they possess a lot of the same characteristics. Both are created on a jacquard loom, creating a luxurious look in any room. The fabrics look similar and are easily confused. Damask and jacquards are reversible, while brocade uses several different thread colors on a plain background to create a raised texture. Both fabrics work in bedrooms or living spaces and add a touch of glamour.
  • Synthetic blends offer a balance between cost and quality, polyester fabric with a cotton or silk blend will appear luxurious while being durable, all without breaking the bank.

Remember that curtains are an important touch to any room. Select the fabric that's best for the needs of each window and area that you're working with, and take time to sew curtains with high-quality fabric and care. 

What kind of curtains do you prefer? Leave a comment below!

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