Quicklist of Types of Curtains
- Panel Pair Curtains
- Single Panel Curtain
- Window Treatment Sets
- Window Tiers
- Window Scarf
- Curtain Liners
- Blackout Curtains
- Rod Pocket Curtains
- Grommet and Eyelet Curtains
- Tab Top
- Hidden Tab Curtains
- Noise Reducing
- Outdoor Curtains
There are many types of curtains for the home because, frankly, millions of people use curtains! While their primary purpose is to block out light (with perhaps the exception of a shower curtain), they have other uses – namely in the form of adding decorative accents to a room.
They can be purely decorative, such as faux silk drapes or a translucent lace curtain – or they can be functional, as in the case of a blackout curtain designed specifically to block all light.
However, you don’t have to choose between function and style; there are plenty of different types of curtains for the home that combine functionality with gorgeous aesthetics. You just need to know what to look for.
That’s why the first thing you should do before going ahead and buying curtains is read up on all the different types. Check out our handy curtain buying guide below.
Related: Window Drape Ideas | Window Blinds Ideas | Types of Roman Shades | Types of Soundproof Curtains | What are Grommet and Eyelet Curtains | Blinds vs. Shades vs. Shutters vs. Curtains
Curtain Buyers Guide
Let’s kick off with a curtain diagram setting out the different parts of a curtain system:
A. Types Of Curtains
When it comes to browsing different types of curtains for purchase, there are many factors you’re going to need to consider. Do you want window curtains, or are you looking for something purely decorative, such as a drapery panel or a valance for the top of your current curtains, or even around the bed as a bed skirt? These do fall into the category of curtains and drapes – so it’s important to be clear what it is you are shopping for, and what look (or function) you are trying to achieve.
You also need to consider how (and where) you will be hanging your curtains. Will you be using a curtain rail, or do you need to purchase a curtain pole. Do you already have a curtain pole, but no curtain rings – in which case you might want a simple eyelet curtain or grommet curtain to hang on what you already have.
These are all important things to consider in order to make sure you choose the right curtains for your needs.
Let’s look at the different types so we can begin to narrow down which style of curtain will be best for you.
1. Panel Pair Curtains
Panel pair curtains feature two separate curtain panels. This type of curtain is popular in classic and contemporary styles. With a panel pair, you place a curtain on either side of the window. To close these curtains, you’d pull each curtain panel together. Panel pair curtains can be tied back to create a symmetrical look for your window treatment.
2. Single Panel Curtain
With a single panel curtain, one panel covers the entire window. The curtain panel can be pulled to either side to open, and it can be tied back to create a modern, asymmetrical look. These types are at once a modern curtain style and equally timeless style – making them great in most decorative settings.
3. Window Treatment Sets
A window treatment set includes everything you’ll need to create a full window treatment. A window treatment set almost always includes one or two curtains and a valance. Some window kits also include accessories like tiebacks and a curtain rod, and in rare cases, they can even include a pelmet.
A valance is a short curtain that hangs at the top of your curtains. These are an optional decorative addition. Valances are a great way to complete a look. These curtains are available separately, or as part of a window treatment set.
You can use a valance without additional curtains in windows with blinds, or to add a decorative flair on windows where full curtains aren’t desired.
5. Window Tiers
Window tiers are commonly used on kitchen windows or any window where you want privacy yet still allow light in. They conceal the lower portion of the window but the top part of the window is uncovered. Here’s an example.
6. Window Scarf
A window scarf is similar to a valance. It’s a long, thin piece of curtain fabric that is hung from the top of the window. Window scarfs are a great way to create a dramatic look with your window treatment.
7. Curtain Liners
Curtain liners are another optional add-on, and they’re used to provide an additional level of versatility to your curtain, effectively turning it into a lined curtain. Adding a liner to a sheer curtain is a popular option, as this gives them more privacy and durability, without detracting from the gorgeous curtain design. Curtain liners often have additional features as well, such as insulation and noise-blocking attributes.
Another major consideration is going to be the opacity of your new curtains. Different opacity curtains suit the needs of different rooms and applications. For example, you might not want light silk curtains or white curtain styles in the bedroom, where you will likely need to block out sunlight.
Opacity is definitely one of the major considerations when determining the right curtains for your needs. To determine which curtains you need, ask yourself some questions.
- Do you want the curtains to let through some sunlight when they’re drawn or none at all?
- How much privacy do you need your curtains to provide?
- Do you need your curtains to provide additional features, besides its decorative function?
- Can you be flexible? For example, could you combine wood blinds with a translucent curtain or to benefit from style while blocking light.
Thin, semi-transparent fabrics are the basis of sheer curtains. These curtains provide the most daylight in a room when the curtain is closed. Sheer curtains also provide the least amount of privacy, and they serve any additional purpose beyond being decorative. This kind of curtain is most popular in living rooms and dining rooms.
Some decorators add a liner to sheer curtains. In doing this, you’re able to enjoy the beauty of your sheer curtains while also being able to benefit from added privacy and additional features.
Semi-Opaque curtains are like a blend between sheer curtains and blackout curtains. They allow some daylight into the room when they’re closed. They also provide more privacy than sheer curtains. These curtains are a popular choice for any application and can be combined with other curtains for greater opacity – by hanging them on a double curtain rod (with another pair of curtains behind)
3. Blackout Curtains
Blackout curtains allow the least amount of light to enter a room when they’re closed. These curtains are made of heavier weight materials and often have built-in linings. Blackout curtains provide the most privacy, and they often have additional features beyond their decorative purpose.
People often use blackout curtains in bedrooms, dens, theaters, or any other area where keeping out natural light is a concern. Sometimes, blackout curtains are used behind sheer curtains to provide additional features and a more polished look than what you can achieve with a simple curtain liner.
C. Attachment Style
You also may want to consider how the curtain attaches to the rod. Depending on the style you’re looking to achieve, certain attachment styles are going to be a better fit for you. This may be especially important to you if you don’t want to include a valance with your curtains.
1. Rod Pocket Curtains
Rod pocket curtains feature a pocket that’s sewn into the top of the curtain. To hang these curtains, you feed the curtain rod through the curtain and out the other side of the pocket. These curtains are popular with a valance. They’re also used without a valance to create a casual look. Usually, a rod pocket curtain will look best in fabrics like cotton or linen. The pocket sometimes features decorative embellishments like embroidery or ruching.
2. Grommet and Eyelet Curtains
Grommet and Eyelet curtains have large eyelets in the top of the fabric that is reinforced with grommets. This style of curtain is especially popular in contemporary or modern styles. Grommet and eyelet curtains allow you to add an additional flourish of style in place of a valance.
3. Tab Top
With tab top curtains, loops of fabric are sewn into the top of the curtain. The curtain rod hangs through the loops. Sometimes, these curtains feature decorative embellishments like buttons. Tab top curtains are most popular in casual styles, and they’re also used in more contemporary country styles as well.
4. Hidden Tab Curtains
Hidden tab curtains are like a cross between rod pocket and tab curtains. With this style, the tabs used to hang the curtain are kept out of view, behind an additional piece of fabric, that’s usually decorative. The fabric on top of a hidden tab curtain is often pinched pleated to add an additional level of style. You can use these curtains with or without a valance. Hidden tab curtains are popular in traditional, country or contemporary styles.
D. Curtain Style
The room you’re decorating and your overall style will help to indicate which types of curtains are going to be best for you.
Aside from the things we have listed below – another element to consider when choosing the right curtains for your needs is the curtain’s pleat style. There are a number of different styles of curtains – dictated by their pleats. Some of the more common pleated curtain varieties are:
- Pinch pleat curtains
- Pencil pleat curtains
- Goblet pleat curtains
- Tailored pleat curtains
Each of these has its own unique style according to how the folds of the fabric are sewn together and how they hang.
If you’re unsure of the best style for you, check out these interior design basics and take a look at some different curtain and drapery ideas.
Casual curtains are a popular choice in bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. Casual curtains will lend themselves to an easy, not-too-serious vibe. These curtains often feature grommet and eyelet or tab top attachments, and they’re rarely used with a valance.
Classic styles are universally popular in any room in the home. Classic curtains are often used with valances and additional accessories to create full window treatments. These curtains feature a classic, timeless appeal and are often seen in design styles like classical, country and bohemian styles.
Contemporary curtains provide a fresh interpretation of classic styles. They’re most commonly available in shades of grey and earthy tones that are inspired by nature. Sometimes, brighter and bolder colors are used to provide a pop of color in an otherwise subdued space. Contemporary curtains often feature rich textures and provide a sophisticated look that isn’t overly styled or pretentious.
Source: Bed Bath and Beyond
4. Modern Curtains
Modern curtains generally reflect modern design in general. Modern designs are usually minimal and often incorporate metal along with eco-friendly materials as well. While solid colors are ever popular with modern curtains, bold patterns with clean lines or abstract elements are also very popular. Depending on the style of the room, modern curtains can create a powerful design statement.
Another important factor when selecting curtains is the materials they’re constructed from. A curtains material serves several purposes beyond being decorative. Thinner materials are used to create sheer or semi-sheer materials while thicker materials are used in semi-opaque and blackout curtains. Depending on the materials, the curtains may also possess additional features as well.
Cotton is a popular choice for many different applications. Cotton is semi-sheer, so it lets in lots of light while still providing a moderate level of privacy. Cotton curtains are often layered with other fabrics to create a complete window treatment. You’ll see cotton curtains in many different styles, and it’s a viable choice for any room in the home. Cotton curtains are also easy to clean, which makes them even more versatile.
Linen curtains are a bit heavier than cotton, while still maintaining an easy, casual vibe. They let in a moderate level of light while providing an additional level of privacy. Linen can be a bit more difficult to clean than cotton. It’s probably not the best choice for dusty environments as the rough texture of linen can act as a magnet for dust.
Velvet curtains are another popular material. This material is best if you’re looking for the most privacy possible. The heavy material also keeps out drafts and reduces outside noise. Velvet is a popular choice for bedrooms with light-sensitive sleepers. It’s also a great fabric to use to create a more dramatic effect on your windows. Velvet is usually cleaned professionally, as it’s a difficult fabric to clean. So, if upkeep is a concern, you may want to steer clear of this fabric.
Source: Pottery Barn
Silk is a beautiful and luxurious fabric that is used to produce a broad range of different types of curtains. It’s semi-sheer and depending on how thick the silk is, it may let in lots of light, or a limited amount of light. Silk is a popular material in classic and contemporary curtain styles. Silk is difficult to clean, and usually, requires professional help for cleaning. So, you may want to consider the upkeep costs before investing in silk curtains.
FYI, many “silk” curtains are really faux silk.
Lace is a sheer fabric, which makes it the best choice if you’re looking to create a light, bright and airy window treatment. Lace provides the least amount of privacy of these materials while letting in the most light. Lace is most popular in kitchens, living rooms, or any other area of the home where you’d like to let in lots of light. Lace curtains can also be paired with heavier fabrics to create a more versatile window treatment.
Burlap has a similar look and texture to linen, but it’s a much heavier weight than linen is. This fabric is casual and plain, and it provides a great deal of privacy while allowing minimal light or no light at all when you close the curtains. Burlap is easy to clean and it looks great in casual applications.
Synthetic materials have become extraordinarily popular for curtain production. Synthetics are cheaper to produce than natural fibers, and they’re usually easy to clean as well. Synthetic fabrics can mirror the look and feel of any of the natural fabrics listed above. They’re usually a cheaper option than natural materials as well. So, if cost is a concern, or if you’re looking for an easy to clean option, synthetic curtains may be the best choice for you.
F. Curtain Pattern
We’re getting closer to drilling down the best curtains for your needs. The next thing you’ll want to consider is the pattern of the curtains.
Patterned curtains are popular in every style of window treatment. Patterns can be a great way to express your personality or achieve a specific look with your curtains. Patterned curtains are typically cotton, lace, or synthetic. But, you’ll also see some patterned curtains in linen or burlap varieties, or embossed velvet curtains as well.
There is a wide range of popular patterns for window treatments. In classic and contemporary curtains, you’re likely to see patterns like floral, stripes, checks and plaid, toile, and paisley.
Casual curtains often feature a more casual take on those classic patterns. They also sometimes employ patterns like chevron, dots, geometric or graphic prints.
Solid curtains are a great way to accent other colors or patterns in your window treatments. They also create a clean and modern look.
Solids are popular in all types of curtains, especially modern and casual styles.
G. Curtain Length
The length of your curtains can be a great way to achieve certain styles, and the size of your windows will help determine the curtain length you need. Keep in mind that not all curtain lengths are equally suited for all applications.
Sill length curtains are perfect for windows that you open all the time. This length is usually a great choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and smaller window sizes. Sill length curtains are hung so that the curtain ends even with the window sill, or just above it.
Apron length curtains are a great way to elongate the look of your windows. These curtains are used on smaller windows, like in kitchens, bathrooms, and some bedrooms. Usually, the rod is hung a bit higher than the actual window and the curtain extends several inches below the window sill. When closed, apron length curtains can make your window area appear larger than it is.
Floor-length curtains are great for floor to ceiling windows and sliding doors. Floor-length curtains traditionally break just above the floor, by less than an inch. Floor-length curtains are also popular for smaller windows that are rarely or never opened to create the illusion of a floor-to-ceiling window.
Puddle length curtains are extra-long floor-length curtains. They’re several inches longer than the size of the window and they break dramatically on the floor, similar to the train of a wedding dress. This style is especially popular if you’re looking to create a dramatic or romantic window treatment.
H. Curtain Width
In addition to the length of a curtain, the width is another small consideration to make. Just as there are standard curtain lengths, they’re also available in a variety of widths. Usually, you should choose a curtain width that’s twice as wide as your window. But, you may want to choose an even wider size if you’re looking to create a more dramatic, heavily bunched look.
I. Curtain Features
Depending on the type of material of the curtain, they can possess additional features that add an additional layer of functionality.
Heavier weight fabrics like burlap, velvet, and synthetics provide an additional layer of insulation for your windows. This feature comes in handy if your windows are drafty, or if you live in a particularly cold or warm environment. Insulating curtains are popular in bedrooms, dining rooms, or any room with drafty windows. Thermal curtains are considered the window treatment that pays for themselves since they can save you up to 25% of the heating or cooling costs for your home.
In addition to fabrics that are naturally insulating, there are other types of insulating curtains available. These curtains use a beautiful decorate exterior fabric to cover a thermal layer which is often made of foam or mylar and is designed to trap warmth in cold environments or keep in the cold in warmer conditions. Many popular insulating curtains are also blackout curtains, but that isn’t always the case. This guide will help you tell them apart.
2. Noise Reducing
Fabrics that can reduce outside noise can be a necessary feature in urban environments, or for anyone who’s a light sleeper. These curtains are popular in bedrooms, or any room you’d like to keep as quiet as possible, like a den, library or theater. The idea of a curtain being able to reduce exterior noise may seem a bit far-fetched, but you’d be surprised just how much noise will get trapped by the noise-reducing curtains. Laboratories are also working to engineer new fabrics with even better noise reduction properties. In fact, Swiss textile designer Annette Douglas has worked in conjunction with an independent laboratory to create curtains that can absorb up to 80% of exterior noise.
Besides curtains that are designed to absorb noise, you also have the option of purchasing regular curtains and adding a curtain liner behind them to increase their ability to reduce noise.
3. Outdoor Curtains
Manufacturers usually make outdoor curtains from heavyweight, water and weather-resistant materials. They also may be sheer if their purpose is only to limit bugs in an outdoor area. These curtains can be a beautiful addition to a patio area, as well as any area where weather or insects are a concern.
J. Choosing the best curtains for specific rooms
There are various types of curtains to choose from for a home. The primary purpose of curtains is to block light and provide privacy. However, they have other uses also, and that is to provide decorative value to a home’s specific rooms, including the living room, bathroom, kitchen, and to provide other uses. For example, to provide better insulation.
In a room, a curtain can be decorative, for example, a translucent lace curtain, or it can be functional, for example, a blackout curtain to block incoming light.
Best Curtains for Living Rooms
When choosing curtains for the living room, function comes first. One of the ideal curtains that promote a living room’s functionality is living room drapes. It controls the amount of light incoming from outside and also provides privacy. The following considerations will determine your choice of drapes.
- If privacy is your top consideration, go for living room drapes that cover the whole window to keep out prying eyes.
- If light control is your preferred consideration, look into the choice of fabric. For example, sheers bring in lots of natural light while preventing harsh direct sunlight from coming in. Medium-weight fabrics let in less natural light.
- To block natural light from coming into the living room, pair a heavier fabric with a lining specially designed to prevent sunlight from coming in.
Besides a shower curtain for functionality, a bathroom curtain can be used to provide décor and to heighten visual interest. To complement shower curtains, add bright or patterned polished cotton.
Shutters give a conventional and compact outlook. It is the best type of curtain for bathrooms because it won’t crack like wood or warp. Besides, shutters are lavish and offer that complete fitting. If you are looking for natural light to flow in your bathroom, shutters are the best, yet provide superior privacy that fabrics don’t offer.
Best Curtains for the Kitchen
You can choose a kitchen curtain that achieves a personalized effect. A curtain that expresses your lifestyle by merging colors, style, and texture. But most importantly, a kitchen curtain should serve functionality. Shade curtains serve functionality well in the kitchen as they are good insulators against heat and cold.
It is made from hard materials such as lace fabrics and polyethylene. Consist of panels that can be pulled up and down using a cord.
Another ideal option is café curtains. It is made with pleats at the top and is usually hung from rings, with rods halfway through the window to cover the lower part.
Best Window Curtains for Bedrooms
Curtains are a very important factor for a bedroom as they add both warmth and sound insulation. Voiles are ideal curtains for bedrooms as they provide privacy without blocking light from coming in. It is not a heavy curtain that limits the quality of light.
Voiles restrict the view from outside but allow the brightness of the light to enter the bedroom. It can be combined with black-out roller blinds for those who prefer more privacy and control over lighting, thus providing more privacy.
Apartment Curtain Ideas
You want your apartment to look as uncluttered and roomy as possible. You can make the smallest living space of an apartment look spacious and stylish by using an ideal curtain. Use classic panel curtains to achieve a spacious outlook. Add height to a small space using sheer, lightweight curtains with vertical stripes.
K. Selecting the right curtains for specific window types
Different window types require different types of curtains. Consider the following examples:
Your room could have a different kind of window that requires a specific curtain selection.
The unique shape of a bay window brings challenges to adding fixtures that hold curtains. Hangers and a rod meant for angling and three window setups are part of the solution. With this, any three curtain sets can be used to fit bay windows.
Sheers are ideal curtains to hang over bay windows. Across the small alcove, an opaque curtain can be used. This setup allows enough lighting to enter a room.
Picture windows draw ample sunlight into living rooms and provide for an unobstructed view. Use valance curtains to achieve a theater-style effect. If you are looking to control some light coming into the room, use sheer drapes. Or use heavy drapes to completely block the light.
In large dormer windows use curtains on ceiling-mounted tacks to provide a creative, practical solution. Small dormer windows require curtains with a slot heading stuck on dormer rods.
Dormer rod curtains open and close in a swing, instead of being drawn. This leaves the back of the curtain exposed during the day. Therefore, take initiative in making sure the back of the curtain is as good-looking as the front.
L. What’s more popular – blinds, curtains, shutters, or no window treatments?
Here are the chart results of our ongoing poll:
M. Top Brands
Window curtains are a fashionable way of keeping your privacy in any room with windows, and they can provide the shade you need when working on your PC during the day. Above all, curtains are the perfect and easiest home décor item that you can use to brighten up your room.
Whether you’re looking for some privacy while letting in a little more light, or if you’re aiming for some style and you want to add a personal touch to your living room, there’s a window curtain out there wanting some space in your home.
Here are a few top brands to keep in mind if you’re on the hunt for curtains:
Gathered Tulle Sheer Curtains
These curtains from Best Home Fashion come as a pair and are all-seasonal curtains for anywhere in the house but will fit perfectly on your bedroom windows.
For enough light and air, you can get these curtains in white and they’re available in three sizes so you don’t have to worry about your window size.
French Country Toile Curtains
Lush Décor is a maker of distinct elegant curtains with playful textures and perfect patterns. The company is renowned for making different types of curtains from sheer to total blackout, and this curtain is available in white and charcoal if you want a pair that can easily blend with your room décor.
These French Country toile curtains are a fashion statement but also practical if you want to keep out 80% of the light and regulate room temperature with an elegant feel.
Peacock Blackout Textured Curtain
Exclusive Fabrics & Furnishings’ single-panel peacock silk curtain is available in 11 colors and offers a soft texture to smooth out the appearance of your room.
It comes with a three-inch pocket pole with back tabs and a hook belt so you don’t have to worry about getting the hang of it. These curtains are also easy to clean and will add a contemporary touch to your home.
Off-White Velvet Curtains
Half Price Drapes is offering a best seller with its Signature Off-White Blackout Velvet Curtain Single Panel, 50 inches x 96 inches at $84 from $250.
These curtains are soft, come with a weighted hem, and will provide a fitting backdrop while shielding off light, heat, or wind from the outside since they have a thermal lining.
The material is polyester and requires dry cleaning only. Half Price Drapes has been creating curtains with style since 2005 and they offer the best designs, style, and fabrics at affordable prices.
Sun Zero Blackout Curtains
Sunny rooms will be protected from overheating while the grommet header makes the process of opening and closing the curtains easy. Made with polyester and different shades of neutral colors these curtains from Sun Zero are also available in different length sizes.
Riviera Stripe Blackout Curtains
If you’re looking for lighter filtration curtains with a chic modern look, the Rivera Stripe Blackout curtain is a blend of practical and casual with its cotton and linen mixture. The patterned look is eye-catching and it’s available at Pottery Barn.
O&O Belgian Linen Curtain Panel
Nothing says “timeless” better than linen curtains and if you can get them for as low as $40, you have struck a good deal. These curtains from O&O are made from 100% linen and they’re available in 84 and 95 inches. They’re a good way to keep out the sun while getting enough light in.
Tulle Overlay Blackout Curtains
Another Best Home Fashion product, the Tulle Overlay Star is a curtain design that even your kids will like. While the curtain is only available in neutral colors it’s not dull. It brings a magical feel to any room while keeping its style.
The curtain is machine washable so you don’t have to worry about cleaning it. A tulle overlay, and eight silver grommets on each panel filter light, providing insulation and enough privacy to keep you feeling safe.
N. Where To Buy Curtains
You’ll be able to find the perfect curtains for your needs, either in a store near you or online. There are dedicated brick-and-mortar stores specializing in curtains and textiles, so it is a good idea to do a search of your local area to see if there are any independent businesses that can help fulfill your needs.
In addition to these options, shopping online is also a popular way to purchase curtains and window treatments. Shopping online will give you seemingly endless options to find the curtains that are perfect for your room. Here are some of the most popular online destinations to shop for curtains.
- World Market
- 3 Day Blinds
- Home Depot
- Pier 1 Imports
- Bed Bath and Beyond
O. Additional Considerations
There are a few other things you may want to consider, as you complete the look of your window treatments. You’ll want to give some thought to how you’re going to hang your curtains, the rod you’re going to use to hang them, and whether or not any additional accessories are required to complete the look, you’re trying to achieve.
1. Curtain Rods & Hardware
Another way to add a personal touch to your window treatment is the curtain rod you choose. Depending on the style of curtain you choose, the curtain rod may not be an important consideration. For example, if you go for a rod pocket or hidden tab curtain, you won’t be able to see the curtain rod once you’ve hung your curtains. However, with eyelet and grommet or tab top curtains, the curtain rod will be partially exposed.
Curtain rods are available in various lengths and thicknesses. Typically curtain rods are made of metal, but there are also many popular wooden options. Depending on the style you’re looking to achieve, you should have no problem locating a finish that’s perfect for your style.
Some curtain rods feature finials, which are decorative flourishes located at the end of some curtain rods. In addition to their decorative purpose, finials prevent curtains from sliding off the curtain rod. Occasionally, curtains sell as a package with the rod included, but they’re usually purchased separately.
2. Hanging Your Curtains
Hanging curtains isn’t rocket science but it can be a little bit confusing if you don’t know what you’re doing. Once you’ve selected your curtains and the hardware necessary to hang them, one of the final things you’ll want to consider is where you’re hanging them. It may seem self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised how many people hang their curtains incorrectly.
The most popular height for your curtains is called trim height. Trim height refers to the height of the top of your window.
If you’re looking to create a more dramatic look, you may opt to hang your curtains at ceiling height. Ceiling height curtains are hung just below the ceiling of a room and create a very dramatic floor to ceiling effect for your window treatments. This style can help elongate the look of your windows. People usually use this look on windows that are nearly ceiling height, to begin with.
Tiebacks allow you to create an additional look with your curtains. Without tiebacks, you’re able to have the curtains either opened or closed. But, with tiebacks, you’re able to draw the curtain over to one side to create a different, partially open look. Tiebacks are a popular addition to any style of curtain, especially classic styles. Sometimes, they come with the purchase of your curtains.
P. Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to commonly asked questions. read these and it’s sure to make purchasing and hanging curtains an absolute breeze!
How do you measure curtains?
It depends on the hanging method and type. Here’s an easy-to-follow infographic explaining how to measure curtains courtesy of HalfPriceDrapes.com.
What are all the different materials curtains can be made from?
Most curtains are fabric-based and are comprised of cotton and polyester. Cellulose (wood and bamboo) or plastic panels are also used. Color varies by fiber and fabric weave, a tight weave making the curtain more resistant to pass-through light. Lining, backing, or color may be added to make the curtained interior of a room “darker,” obscuring interior figures and objects without dimming ambient light.
How long do curtains last?
Curtains, depending on their specific application, have various life expectancies. Sunlight, particularly the ultraviolet component, causes accelerated aging in curtain material, whether fabric or plastic or cellulose.
Curtains hung in front of windows age faster than curtains hung in other interior spaces. Heat registers or radiators often placed near windows cause aging effects, confounding UV-related deterioration.
Open windows allow rain and humidity to penetrate curtains and interior spaces. Bugs enter via windows or other openings to the outside of buildings. Although modern fabrics resist insects, plant-based fibers are susceptible to destruction. ANSI has suggested reasonable life expectancies for curtains and draperies ranging from three to five years. A simple drapery lining improves life expectancy by 25%.
Are curtains sold in pairs?
The short answer is not always. CUrtains are often sold in pairs but it is possible to buy single curtains. It is important to note that curtains are constructed in “panels” and a given panel may be narrow or broad – meaning one panel may be enough to cover a window, without the need for a pair.
The reason for choosing a single panel or multiple panels may relate more to the visual appeal than the size of window opening or space being camouflaged by a curtain. Oversized panels may disguise a narrow opening as a wide opening.
Are curtains included in the sale of a house?
A house’s attached components are generally considered part of the real estate being transferred in a sale. So this means anything that is fixed, which curtains generally aren’t!
Are curtains supposed to touch the floor?
No two homes are ever the same. “Identical” rooms still come with distinct heights, lengths, and widths. Dimensions may be disguised by drapery pattern, color, or fabrics. Panel widths vary. Length to floor may be dictated by aesthetics and not by specific window or object opening.
In a nutshell, standardization does not exist for curtains, but certain lengths are readily available in “stock sizes” or by “style,” i.e., panels designed in lengths of 24, 36, 63, 84, 95, 108, 120 or up to 144 inches. Choice of length in the bedroom, living room, or recreation room may be at floor level or at an aesthetic distance above floor level. The homeowner decides.
Can curtains be recycled?
Curtains may be recycled (depending on their fabric/materials), but it is important to check whether it is possible in your specific area. Fabric fiber, regardless of specifics, is a valuable commodity and may be used in a variety of new products.
Local waste management companies welcome inquiries to manage the disposal of curtain material and Some local charities welcome donations of these kinds of articles for resale. Curtains may also go into a fiber recycling program that raises funds for the charity, so it’s always worth doing your research when you wish to recycle a pair of curtains.
Can curtains be dyed?
The short answer is yes, but it’s not recommended. Fibers and materials vary from curtain to curtain and the minimum expected lifespan of a curtain appears to be less than five years, so when we consider this – it seems that color alteration is not worth the effort.
Dying curtains can be harsh on the fabric, and the color does not always come out well as some colors, dyes and materials just don’t mix well. A darker hew will tend to cover a lighter one, but color management is not so simple.
Dyes are often fiber specific, working on natural fibers but failing on synthetic, or vice versa. Reading dye specifications before use should help – but in short, dying curtains is not always the best idea
Can curtains reduce noise?
Yes. Some curtains are designed to keep out noise or at least minimize the amount of noise that one hears. Depending on the type of curtains purchased, they can absorb and reduce sound. Thermal back curtains are thick and heavy, and they help to keep out the heat and the cold. They also keep heat and cold air inside. The right type of curtains is also great at preserving energy, making them a perfect energy-efficient product.
Curtains can reduce noise by limiting the vibrations created by unwanted sounds. Curtains with high fiber content (e.g., more threads per square inch or multiple layers) or heavy reflective material (e.g., metal foils or threads) reduce ambient noise arising from exterior sources by absorbing or reflecting the sound vibrations.
Can curtains be shortened (hemmed)?
Curtains can be shortened. Shortening curtains using an actual hemming application is limited by curtain length, the hem width, the fold of material within the hem, determination of sewing line, the finesse of the tailor, and materials available, e.g., hem tape, thread, measurement tools, etc.
Can curtains be steam-cleaned?
Some, but not all, curtains are amenable to steam cleaning. (Some steamers may “burn” fabrics.) Curtain product label and manufacturer recommendations may reveal the best cleaning options. The application of steam to hanging draperies and curtains removes folds and creases.
Can curtains go in the washing machine?
Curtains can often go in the washing machine, but you must always read the label and check your washing machine settings. In short, check out the curtain label to fully understand what the cleaning options are.
Generally, the “delicate” cycle, cool water, and slow spin settings will be OK for light cleaning, however, dryers should be avoided.
Can curtains be repaired?
Yes, curtains can be repaired. You can do minor repairs yourself with simple sewing skills – as technical, and spacing issues are potentially repairable. Obviously, if a drape is soiled or stained, the obvious repair is a little strategically applied soap or stain remover. If mounting hardware needs adjustment, a screwdriver and a new screw in the appropriate place is the fix. Wear and tear on curtain rods can be remedied with new parts, sometimes even by replacing a frayed drawstring.
But what about the curtain itself? Compromised hems suffering from tears or loss of stitching require special attention, and in these cases it is best to enlist the help of a tailor or textile company specializing in alterations. That is unless you are an extremely competent sewer, with an industrial level sewing machine.
Are curtains out of style?
According to SFGate, curtains are not outdated, nor will they ever be out of style. Curtains serve several purposes for renters, investors, and homeowners. For renters, they help keep out the cold during the winter months, by trapping heat inside the home.
For investors, different curtain patterns and designs add beauty to the property. For homeowners, curtains allow them to decorate their home with a mixture of solid, weave, or texturize curtain patterns.
Can curtains keep the cold out?
Yes. Curtains with a back liner can get out cold chills and windy drafts. The lining acts as an extra layer of protection. According to the Department of Energy, blackout curtains can reduce heat loss by up to 25%. More heat is lost in winter, due to curtains being improperly installed. This causes heat to escape from open spaces and cold to creep in.
Do white blackout curtains work?
Yes. White blackout curtains work as effectively as black blackout curtains. It does not matter what color blackout curtains are, they all do what is intended. Blackout curtains are made from polyester and polyester blend. Polyester naturally blocks most elements like wind, cold, and heat.
Does IKEA sell curtains?
Yes. Ikea sells a variety of custom-made curtains. The curtains come in different lengths and width sizes, so they can be customized. Ikea curtains make perfect for DIY projects because they can be customized according to a person’s preference. Ikea curtains come in various styles and patterns, from solid colors to textures, to farmhouse designs. Longer lengths can be cut to fit.
Are curtain curtains machine washable?
Yes and No. Curtains come with a care instruction label that provides instruction on how to care for them. If the label says dry clean only, then the answer is no. If the label says to machine wash, then instructions on how to properly wash them are included. Follow the label on the curtains to ensure longevity, and prevent damage. Curtains made with sheer materials and polyester can be washed in gentle cycles, but for heavy materials, it might come out better if they are dry cleaned. Regardless of the intent, always follow the manufacturers’ instructions.
How far off the ground should the curtains hang? Or should they touch the ground?
Curtains should hang about 1/2 off the floor to allow for mopping and cleaning the floors underneath. However, this depends on the desired look and the pre-measured length of the curtain. By the standard rule of thumb, the ideal length is four inches. In some instances, 3/8 of an inch is perfect. Again, this truly depends on the desired look and feel of the installer.
The appropriate length for curtains, if they should touch the floor, is six inches, if a puddling look is desired. This is an old romantic, traditional style. However, it will need some constant upkeep, as the curtains will be dusty from lying on the floor. They especially need to be rearranged after every sweep or vacuum.
Do curtains help save energy?
Yes. Curtains do help save energy, although this depends on the fabric of the curtains. Lightweight curtains like sheers are not great energy savers. They are mainly installed for show or fashion. The best curtains that save energy are the thermal back curtains, since they are thick and heavy, and have a thick lining.
Blackout curtains with a heavy fabric lining are great for preserving energy, as the lining acts as a barrier to reduce or prevent either heat or cold from entering or leaving a room. This depends on what time of the year it is. According to the Department of Energy, plastic curtains can increase energy savings by up to 33 percent.
What are short curtains called?
Very short curtains are called valances. Another type of short curtain is the café curtain. Café curtains cover half a window and are usually featured on windows in the kitchen or bathroom.
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