Curtains are fairly common in many homes across the world and are especially popular in colder climates. Like blinds, curtains are used to protect privacy and block light, unlike blinds however curtains can help repel the cold and retain heat within the room. If fitted with a thermal blackout curtain liner, curtains are even more effective at retaining heat and blocking light. Curtains can be used all over the home, from the bathroom, kitchen to the living room.
So how do you pick the right curtain material for your living space?
Well firstly, what kind of style of curtain are looking for? Are you looking for a more traditional style of curtain or a minimalist contemporary curtain style? Perhaps you have an original idea?
Whatever the reason, the material you choose will have a major impact on how the curtains will drape, how much light will emit through the fabric and the texture.
Cotton and linen are generally good choices for creating curtains. Cotton is light, durable, inexpensive and easy to maintain. Cotton does sadly crease quite easily, so be careful when you hang cotton curtains. Linen is similar to cotton, however it’s slightly heavier than cotton.
Mix fabrics are great alternatives to consider. Cotton/linen mixes are great, natural choices. The additional thickness of the linen helps give the cotton more body.
Polycotton is way too often snubbed due the polyester not being a natural fibre, which is quite frankly a rather silly view. The polyester in the mix actually helps reduce the likelihood of creasing.
The variety of different prints available ensures there’s a design to suit every taste, but if it’s the natural look you crave, consider searching for natural scoured cotton fabrics.
The heavier weight fabrics, some of which have their patterns woven into the fabric make great curtains too. These will however require far more maintenance than the lightweight materials above, Jacquard woven curtain fabrics will have their patterns woven into the fabric and are far more impressive than print fabrics. Chenille and velvet are also good choices, but these are often the most expensive.
These materials will all require regular vacuuming to keep fresh and dry cleaning should they become dirty. As a rule, you will not be able to put these into the washing machine.
Colour & Contrast
Colour and contrast to the rest of the room is vital when choosing your material, as this can have a negative impact if done incorrectly. The pattern is of equal importance and you want to ensure that the pattern of the fabric ties in with the rest of room. Also consider having various scatter cushions created from the same fabric of the curtains, as this will help tie the curtains in with the rest of the room.
A common contemporary theme is to use one very highly contrasting colour, such as aqua, light green or orange, with darker, more subdued colours such as mocha. In light coloured rooms this creates a lot of contrast and combined with minimalist curtain designs, it certainly creates a bold statement.
For a traditional look, the curtains will need be far more elegant and complex designs. These work extremely well with period decor and bay windows. The fabric designs should remain both traditional and subtle. Jacquard, Chenille and velvet are the perfect choice.
Remember the quality of the Curtain material and the right colour scheme and pattern is essential in creating the perfect look for your room. The quality of the material will not only dictate how long your curtains will last but a higher quality of curtain material will look much better than a low quality material so always try to buy the very best quality curtain material you can.