Fabrics for soft window treatment
Updated: Dec 22, 2020
In the last blog, “Soft Window Treatments”, you got the information on different types of soft window treatments available in today’s market and which soft treatment is best according to the space’s needs.
To get the best look for soft window treatments there are many factors to consider including measurement, fabrics, colors, etc. But the most important aspect is fabric selection. Let us understand what fabrics are and how the right choice of fabrics for the soft window treatment plays an important role in getting a classy look for your interiors.
Fabric is an artificial material made from natural fibers (cotton, silk) or animal sources (wool and fur). They are formed by weaving or knitting fibers. Since 20th century fabrics are also made from artificial sources such as polyester, nylon and many more. They are dyed to be available in a variety of colors. Colored designs in the fabric can be created by weaving strands of different colors known as plaid and adding colored stitches to the finished fabrics known as embroidery. Various printing processes are also used to get a designer fabric. Fabrics can be made in various strengths and durability.
Different procedures are used during the manufacturing of fabric, so it is important to know the quality standard of the finished fabric. STANDARD 100 by OEKO TEX® is considered the best label for fabrics throughout the world. This standard is updated yearly and expanded with new scientific knowledge and statutory requirements. STANDARD 100 by OEKO TEX® means that it is tested for any harmful substances and therefore makes this fabric harmless to human health. Aadiaum offers fabrics which meet OEKO TEX® standards for soft window treatment.
Fabrics mostly used for soft window treatment are linen, velvet, cotton, silk, brocade, lace, polyester, chiffon, muslin, chintz, sateen, voile, damask, tartan, taffeta, chenille, organdy and more. With such a broad selection available it is hard to choose which one is the best for your space. Let’s get an overview of the best fabrics available and their uses.
Polyester fabric is easy to clean and when coated with acrylic and vinyl, it provides insulation and stain resistance. It is wrinkle free and holds shape in most conditions, which makes it the best fabric for drapes. It is anti-bacterial and mold-resistant, which is ideal for use in hospitals. The only drawback of polyester fabric is that it has a tendency to absorb odors. This is the reason it is used less for kitchens and smoking permitted rooms.
Linen and linen blends are one of the best fabrics for drapes as they are easy to take care of and absorbs less odor. This property makes linen fabric best for kitchen and dining areas. Linen and linen blends are durable and hold shape for a long time. They do not fade on extended exposure to sunlight and thus are the best for the windows mostly in south and west directions of the space. It is lighter compared to velvet and can provide insulation without the curtain being weighed down. These qualities make linen the best choice for the traditional as well as contemporary soft window treatments.
Cotton is another good fabric to get a flowy and elegant look for the curtains. It is a natural fiber and biodegradable which holds shape, and is easy to take care of. It absorbs less odor compared to the polyester, but it is less durable than linen or polyester and thus is prone to wear and tear. They also fade off easily. Thus, curtains stitched from cotton fabric need replacements every few years.
Velvet fabrics are best known for blocking sunlight and in turn provide insulation for the area. They are in great demand because they reduce energy bills. They bring elegance and a royal look to the interiors. The only drawback of velvet fabric is that it is a very heavy fabric and thus the curtain does not hold shape for a long period. Velvet fabrics are mostly used in bedrooms, commercial studios, and theaters.
Silk fabric is a beautiful and luxury fabric. It is durable, resistant to bacteria and mold, hypoallergenic, non-toxic, attracts less dust and is resistant to static. These properties make the fabric best for children’s rooms. But silk, when used by itself, can spoil and lose its lush finish. Thus, lining and interlining is necessary to get the desired fall for the curtain. Silk is an expensive and beautiful fabric which can be used in living rooms, family rooms, yoga studios and hotel reception areas.
Brocade fabrics are known for their elegance. They are heavy and great at blocking light. They are also great for sound resistance. Brocade fabric is the best fabric for making drapes than curtains as it provides the best insulation and gathering required for drapes. They are best recommended for living rooms and kitchens in a residential area for drapes and upholstery.
Voile fabric is a sheer variety and is lighter in weight giving a beautiful fall to the drapery. The light filtering property of this fabric is in high demand because it compliments your décor by keeping your room bright and cheerful. It is used along with heavier drapes or just to give a privacy illusion to the glass doors. This fabric is mostly used commercially.
Blackout fabrics are widely used due to their durability and insulative property. They are perfect for anyone needing to reduce the energy bills and keep noise out. The thermal lining gives a cooling effect in warm weather and keep you warm during the colder seasons. Blackout fabrics are available in two pass and three pass variety.
Three pass means a layer of white foam is applied at the back of the curtain, topped with a black layer and again a white layer. Even an acrylic coating is applied in some three pass varieties, which results in an insulated and noise proof fabric with beautiful colors.
In two pass varieties, a white foam is applied at the back of the curtain and a black foam is applied on top of it.
Blackout fabrics are mostly used in hotels, motels, and resorts.
Acrylic fabrics are mostly used for outdoor curtains and upholstery. It is mold and mildew resistant, holds against rubbing and tearing, retains color longer, water resistant thus easy to clean, and are cooler in hot temperature. Sunbrella® is one type of acrylic fabric.
Vinyl Coated and Nonwoven Polyester
These are a variety of fabric that are easy to wipe clean and are hypoallergenic. Vinyl coating makes it easy to wipe clean which is ideal for the hospital daily hygiene routine. The hypoallergenic property makes it ideal for patient rooms and operation theaters.
While deciding which fabric is ideal for the soft window treatments, following points needs to be considered:
linen fabric is best for kitchen
silk fabric is best for children’s room
blackout fabric is best for hotel rooms
sheer fabric is best for backyard glass door or living room
like polyester for residential curtains as it is durable and easy to take care of
nonwoven polyester or vinyl coated fabrics for hospitals as they are easy to clean
cotton or linen for kitchens as they absorb less odor
3. Wear and tear
linen or polyester fabrics for windows open to the south as they fade off less
interlined fabric curtains for living room or reception area for insulation
4. Plain or design fabric
use blackout fabrics with sheer variety for kitchens, family and living rooms or hotel rooms
brocade or damask for kitchen and dining
very heavy fabric like velvet can lose shape and hang poorly if used for a long time
it is best to use medium to light weight fabrics like linen and polyester to achieve an elegant fall for curtains