If you’re trying to put together a beautiful living room or bedroom, then the right set of curtains is an essential purchase. One of the hardest parts of choosing curtains, after picking the colour and pattern, is picking the right fabric.
Do you want something light, bright, and airy, or something thicker and heavier? How will you take care of those curtains? What room will they be in, and how important are insulation and light blocking? These are all things that you should consider before you make your purchase.
Read on to find out more on which is the best fabric for curtains…
What are curtains made of?
Curtains can be made of many different materials, however, the most popular materials tend to be polyester and polycotton.
What to look for in your curtains
When you’re choosing curtains, you need to think about the weight, texture, and light filtering properties of the fabric, as well as how durable it is and how easy it is to clean.
There are two things that will have a significant impact on those factors – the thread count and weave. Fabrics with a lower thread count tend to be less durable and more likely to deteriorate when exposed to the sun.
Fabrics with a higher thread count are more durable but may need to be dry-cleaned. Silks are luxurious looking but are quite likely to fade and decay in direct sunlight. Fabrics with a thick weave will work to block out sunlight.
The most common weaves seen in curtains are plain, twill, and jacquard. Plain and twill weaves are often used for fabrics that have patterns printed on them. The jacquard weave is often used in fabrics to provide texture.
Which fabric is best for curtains?
The truth is, there's no right or wrong when it comes to which is the best fabric for curtains. It will all depend on your personal preference!
Wool curtains are popular in rooms where you’re aiming for a luxurious feel. They are thick and heavy, and they tend to suit solid colours or blocky patterns such as Highland check. A great option if you're looking for the perfect pair of living room curtains!
They are also great for rooms where insulation is important, and they are very effective at blocking out light. The downside of wool curtains is that they are very heavy, and they are hard to wash - but we have a solution for you!
At The Mill Shop, we offer a wide range of polyester faux wool, which allows for the best of both worlds - the luxurious look and feel of wool curtains, whilst also being easy to care due to the polyester fabric.
Materials such as linen and cotton are popular because they are light and breathable.They are also comparatively easy to care for (especially when blended with an easy care material, such as polyester) and are versatile in style.
If you want to protect linen or cotton curtains from fading, then you will need to get a lining fitted to them – which offsets some of the benefits of the fabric – such as how lightweight it is!
Silk curtains are incredibly luxurious. They are thinner than the other materials, and they tend to let more light through, but they have an airy, vibrant appearance. You can get lined silk curtains that have a lovely, glossy look to them, but that still offer good light insulation.
Unlined silk curtains will fade rapidly, but when lined they can be quite hardwearing. They are, however, also quite expensive and they are hard to care for because silk does not tolerate detergents well.
It’s not recommended to use silk curtains in the kitchen, bathroom, or anywhere else where accidental splashes and stains could likely occur.
Many curtains aimed at children’s bedrooms are made of polyester, however, and have cartoon characters or bright patterns on them. These curtains can work well with blackout curtains behind them!
Polyester is a good compromise between nylon and thicker natural fabrics. Polyester blends can have tight weaves and the fabric can be woven to varying degrees of weight for purpose.
Polyester curtains do not tend to fade the way that other natural fabrics do, and they tend to be machine washable. They can be lined to make them heavier and to block out even more light, and they are generally quite stain resistant too.
However, should you find a stain on your polyester curtains, worry not. This fabric is also tolerant of detergents, should you need help with removing a stain or clearing up any accidental spills.
Choosing the right curtains
Picking out the perfect curtains for a particular room is often a matter of compromise. Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’re likely going to have to consider price, as well as thickness, weight, ease of cleaning, and other practical issues.
Curtains made using polyester are highly durable and strong, and they are also particularly easy to clean! Polyester is also a great curtain fabric because of its versatility - with many different styles of curtains made using Polyester.
For example, did you know that polyester can be used to make a gorgeous light and airy curtain, such as a voile? And on the other end of the spectrum, this fabric can also be used to make beautiful heavy and luxuriously thick curtains, such as a blackout style. The possibilities are endless!
At The Mill Shop, we offer a variety of curtains made from 100% polyester. Browse our curtain selection here.
Wool, on the other hand, is a great choice for the master bedroom, but may not be a good choice for a den or the bathroom, because of the thickness of the fabric and the way that it responds to moisture. Silk curtains will fade in the sun and are difficult to wash. Cotton and linen curtains are easier to take care of (and less likely to fade) but must be cleaned with care.
Most curtains are either dyed or woven, but you can get some rather stylish embroidered curtains too. If you’re going to buy an embroidered curtain make sure that you pick one with embroidery that uses the same kind of material as the curtain itself, or that uses silk threads. This is because some fabrics tend to shrink, and this could cause unsightly wrinkles in the curtains.
What's the difference between blackout and thermal curtains?
The short answer is - the type of fabric. Blackout curtains are typically made from a tightly woven fabric which helps block out unwanted sunlight. Blackout curtains are often lined to help effectively keep out the light.
Thermal curtains on the other hand, usually feature a padded lining between the fabric layers to provide insulation.
Are you looking for new curtains? Here at The Mill Shop, we offer an extensive range of premium curtains and more - in styles to suit all interiors. We guarantee to deliver excellent quality at great prices.