Fabrics come in three basic types: natural, synthetic (man-made) and blends. Natural fabrics tend to be more breathable, while synthetic fabrics tend to be more durable. The fabric you choose for your new window treatments can impact a lot more than just the look of your home. All drapery fabrics have advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to know what those are before you make your choice. Here are the pros and cons of some of the most common drapery fabrics.
Cotton – The strongest of the natural fabrics. Cotton is very commonly used as drapery fabric because of its versatility. It dyes well, comes in a wide range of color choices and allows air to pass through it. Unfortunately, because cotton is a natural fabric, it is not very durable. It is best to use a cotton-synthetic blend to get the “breath ability” cotton, but with the durability of a synthetic fabric.
Silk – Silk is a beautiful fabric for window drapes. It comes in a variety of weights and is long wearing and durable. Some of the finest oriental rugs that have lasted for several hundreds of years are made of silk. Considering rugs are constantly walked on, silk draperies should last for even longer. However, silk is generally expensive, damaged easily by the sun and prone to water spots. Linen – Linen is light, casual and has a fine luster. It is also a very strong fabric and is stain-resistant. But, linen also wrinkles easily so it is best to use some sort of lining material when using this type of fabric for draperies. Linen can also be stiff and prone to shrinking unless treated. And, like silk, linen can also be expensive. So, if you’re on a tight budget this may not be the best route to go for your draperies.
Acrylic – This is a great synthetic fabric to blend with a natural fabric like cotton to increase durability. It is also colorfast (color will not run or fade with washing or wear), stain-resistant and has sun-resistant qualities not found in natural fabrics like cotton and linen. The main negative aspect of acrylic is that it tends to pill (come off in flakes or scales) if rubbed up against. However, window drapes are not rubbed against as much as other furniture like couches and chairs, so this shouldn’t cause too much of a problem. These are just a few of the many fabrics you can choose for your new window treatments.
Generally, it is best to blend natural and synthetic fabrics to reap the benefits of both types, but depending on the window’s location, it may be best to go 100% one way or the other. More often than not, if you are shopping for custom treatments, your dealer will be able to help in figuring out your best fabric option. But, with this information, you have a head start on deciding which fabric is ideal for your new curtains.
Guest Blogger:Richard Moyle
Horizon Window Treatments