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Which fabrics are best for curtains?

In our experience the following fabrics work best:

  • Linen
  • Velvet
  • Synthetic fabric
  • Damask
  • Cotton
  • Silk
  • Voile

We introduce each in more detail below:

Linen

Traditionally linen is made from the fibres of the flax plant, but is now more widely made using cotton, hemp and other natural fibres either separately or as blends.

Reasons to choose linen curtains:

  • Renowned for being luxurious and exuding comfort and elegance, both in its appearance and texture
  • Highly durable
  • Fantastic insulation properties
  • Eco-friendly: requires less energy and fewer chemicals than synthetic fabrics to produce

Velvet

Velvet is produced from both natural fibres such as silk, mohair, wool and cotton, or from synthetic fibres such as polyester, nylon or viscose meaning there is a velvet to suit all budgets. Most collections are available in a wide range of colours to suit any taste or decor.

Reasons to choose velvet curtains:

  • Distinctive look and feel
  • Its soft, short dense pile catches the light in a way no other fabric does
  • Drapes very well
  • Can be maintained by dry cleaning without compromising its visual properties
  • Available in a wide variety of textured patterns such as pile on pile, heat embossed or crushed

Synthetic fabric

Synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, rayon and acrylic provide a wide and varied choice of curtain finishes.

Reasons to choose synthetic fabric curtains:

  • Can emulate natural fabrics like cotton, linen, silk and more, but with the durability of a man-made fibre
  • Alternatively, they can provide a striking fabric design or finish that would not be possible with natural fabrics
  • Additives can be included to make the fabric flame resistant, crease proof, stain resistant or water repellent
  • Often more tolerant of changing temperature and humidity

Damask

Damask is woven in such a way that the fabric is reversible showing a sort of colour and texture mirror image on the back of the fabric. Damask is usually produced in a weave of a single colour and is made from natural fibres such as silk, wool, linen and cotton or synthetic fibres.

Reasons to choose Damask curtains:

  • It is a heavier fabric, meaning it hangs well
  • Does not require lining due to the reversible weave
  • Timeless look
  • Mixes well with other patterns and textures

Cotton

Cotton is one of the most widely used natural fibre fabrics used in soft furnishings and curtains. It is often used on its own or in a fibre-mix.

Reasons to choose cotton curtains:

  • Soft and breathable, and can be produced in a variety of weights making it a versatile choice
  • Can be dyed before weaving, or have a design printed on afterwards, meaning the choice of designs and colours is virtually limitless
  • Less flammable than man-made fabrics
  • A good insulator

Silk

Silk is made from silkworm cocoon fibres and has been a symbol of luxury and opulence for thousands of years. There are many types of silk, from sheer fabrics such as chiffon, habotai and crepe de chine through to the heavier damask, embroidered varieties, dupion silk with its distinctive irregular slub and fuji silk, with its soft suede like appearance. It is recommended that silk be lined to protect the reverse from strong sunlight to prevent damage, except damask, which holds its beauty in the pattern on both sides.

Reasons to choose silk curtains:

  • Associated with luxury for millenia
  • Available in a wide variety of textures and weights meaning there will be a fabric suitable for all your needs
  • The strongest natural fibre

Voile

Voile is made from either from pure cotton or cotton and polyester blends. Available in a wide range of patterned and plain designs and unlike cheaper ‘net’ curtains, voile is available in in a wide range of colours to complement the room scheme.

Reasons to choose Voile curtains:

  • Incredibly lightweight and floaty making it perfect for providing privacy without blocking light
  • Can be made in panels to provide a flat curtain, much like a blind in appearance but without the mechanism
  • Can be made as fuller longer curtains with an abundance of fabric tumbling in pools on the floor
  • Easy to maintain as it is both machine washable on a gentle cycle or washable by hand.

Jacquard

Jacquard fabric is usually made from cotton or silk and has a raised design woven in during manufacture, designs include floral, geometric and traditional styles.

Reasons to choose Jacquard curtains:

  • Beautiful tactile qualities that make it perfect for formal rooms and creating an elegant design statement
  • Heavier fabrics with varying drape qualities depending on the fibre blends used
  • Extremely durable and long lasting
  • Easy to maintain.