Fabrics and Garments

The 7 Best Materials/Fabrics for Drapes and Curtains

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Living rooms or bedrooms without curtains can look strangely empty and plain. If you’re interested in creating a stylish look for your space, it’s pretty much essential to install a great set of drapes. Choosing the best curtains for the design of the room poses multiple challenges. Aside from picking the right color and design to match the aesthetic of the space, you also need to take into account the type of fabric. Drapes can be crafted from a wide range of materials. Some of them can feel light and airy while others appear thick and heavy.

There’s an important reason why you should pay attention to the type of fabric when shopping for brand new curtains. The material has a strong influence on the way window dressings function and last in the long term. Depending on the more specific purpose of the curtains, you will have to look for an appropriate material type that suits it. For example, decorative curtains made from a sheer type of fabric won’t be very useful to block out sunlight if you need that function.

Regardless of the window treatment style you prefer, check out the best fabric types for drapes and curtains.

1. Cotton

Cotton Curtains

When it comes to curtains construction, few materials can be considered as versatile as cotton. The fabric is ideal for either modern or traditional interior styles thanks to offering a sleek look and soft feel. There are multiple types of cotton available in the drapery manufacturing industry. Most cotton styles are thick and sturdy enough that you won’t need to get a curtain lining.

Tighter cotton weaves are recommended if you’re interested in curtains that are able to block sunlight in very bright rooms. The material can provide decent privacy as well. Alternatively, you can choose more delicate sheer curtains made from cotton. This fabric type is very often used to create an attractive look through beautiful patterns and designs. The only notable disadvantage of cotton is that it can be more susceptible to shrinking.

2. Silk

Silk Drapes

With a touch of elegant luxury and a distinctive feel, silk curtains can be considered a brilliant addition to any windows. Silk fabrics are expensive and not very easy to maintain clean. However, the appeal of this material could make it worth trying for your draperies. Silk curtains work ideally for areas that don’t get an excessive amount of sunlight because the material is somewhat susceptible to fading.

Another aspect worth mentioning is the reduced privacy of silk drapes unless you make use of curtain lining. If you enjoy a flowing look with a unique allure, silk is the material of choice for a luxurious window treatment. Curtain panels made from this natural fabric will typically provide rich and shimmery colors to compensate for the relative lack of structure.

3. Linen

Linen Curtains

Linen is a great curtain material if you prefer a traditional vibe. The fabric relies on flax fibers that give it a heavier weight compared to other natural materials such as cotton. Thanks to the presence of smooth bobbles in the weaves, linen has some charming textural appeal that set it apart from other choices. Drapes made from linen can be very stylish, but not very reliable when it comes to preventing sunlight from entering the room.

Both medium weight and heavy weight linen fabric types work flawlessly as curtain materials. The maintenance process can be a little difficult due to a susceptibility to wrinkling. Linen drapes usually require dry cleaning to prevent any alteration to their original look. The good news is that the material doesn’t hang as stiffly after a few washes. You can try a linen blend if you like the aesthetic, but want to remove the wrinkling weakness.

4. Velvet

Velvet Curtains

If you’re trying to bring a luxurious touch to the room, velvet curtains can make a bold statement. This thick fabric offers a heavy weight, which means you will need to put in some extra effort to hang them properly without worrying about stability issues. The thickness of velvet comes with the great advantage of isolating the room from the cold. Drapes made from this material are also capable of keeping your living space private.

The exquisite softness of velvet complements the beauty of the material making it a truly premium choice for curtains. Although traditionally velvet is made with natural silk, it’s now popularly crafted using synthetic materials such as rayon and polyester. Heavy velvet drapes provide a touch of sophistication to any interior design style, but you need to be ready for a considerable expense. Even the most affordable synthetics-based velvet is still very costly.

5. Satin

Satin Curtains

Through the advanced twill weave technique, you can create a gorgeous curtain fabric that features an impressively smooth surface. This material is called satin and is usually made from polyester despite the fact that it’s traditionally created from silk. If you want an affordable set of drapes that provide a similar style to silk, it’s safe to say that satin could be your best bet.

Satin curtains are capable of reducing the impact of strong sunlight coming through the windows. The thick weave is responsible for efficiently insulating your home against UV rays while offering some better privacy. Satin drapes can feel very majestic and regal. While that’s usually a good thing, it could be more challenging to integrate this material into modern interior décor styles.

6. Brocade

Brocade Curtains

Some drape fabrics can be more suitable than others in terms of decorative purposes. Brocade is the perfect example because it brings a unique mixture of colors and patterns through its characteristic weave. Based on either cotton or silk fibers, brocade fabrics stand out anywhere thanks to the rich, ornate patterns on their surface. Brocade curtains required to be lined because of the material’s heavy construction.

Brocade fabrics blend together different-colored threads that result in a silky design with plenty of textural appeal. Drapes made from brocade are best suited for a formal interior look considering the majestic style and gorgeous patterns used. Damask is another specialty fabric similar to brocade that’s used for similar purposes. It features sophisticated patterning that looks stunning on heavy drapes.

7. Lace

Lace Curtains

The weblike pattern of lace makes this fabric type difficult to confuse with others. Lace materials feature an assortment of designs and patterns that offer some great vintage vibes. Whether it’s based on synthetics like polyester or natural materials like cotton, lace is a great curtain style to consider. Drapes made in lace weaves weren’t typically used as main panels in the past. Homeowners liked to put lace curtains as sidekicks to the main drapes.

Cottage décor or various vintage-inspired design styles can make use of lace panes on their own. There’s something truly charming about using this beautiful type of fabric thanks to the lovely texture and delicate patterns. It’s worth noting that lace is mainly used for sheer, decorative curtains. While you may not get a lot of privacy with these drapes, the resulting airy feel from diffused natural light can provide a romantic vibe to traditional interior styles.

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