Curtains & Drapes: All-Time Favorites
In present times, choosing a window treatment for your house is equivalent to selecting color shades for your rooms. Bombarded with innumerable options of window coverings it is a daunting task deciding which treatment works best for your rooms and goes with your décor. But even a few years back the task was not as tricky as the default choice for our window coverings were curtains and draperies. They were our go-to solution for all our window needs. And the best part is, even after being flooded with shades and blinds, curtains and draperies have continued to occupy a special place in our hearts and haven’t lost any of its sheen. They are classy, stylish, and elegant and infuse a degree of sophistication to your rooms, irrespective of the décor. They can be traditional and contemporary, just the way you want it. This accounts for their continuing appeal.
Curtains give presence to a room which is perhaps their biggest draw. They set the mood the way you want: casual, dramatic, chic, bold anything. And hence, utmost care must be given while selecting curtains and draperies for your rooms. The things to look out for are material and style. They can make a huge difference to your rooms and mood.
Dressing Your Curtains: Choice of Fabric
When you are choosing curtains and draperies for your windows, the fabric is undoubtedly the key element, and caring for those fabrics is equally important.
Cotton curtains are great to have. They are easy to maintain, have a casual appearance, allow lots of light to filter in and make rooms cheerful. If you want a denser look for more privacy control, then you can opt for lined cotton curtains.
Care: Caring for cotton curtains is easy and low cost. You can vacuum to prevent dust from accumulating between the folds and pleats and keep them looking crisp. Dry cleaning is recommended to preserve glow.
Linen drapes have a textured weave that has a classy feel about them. It gives a flowing look and brilliant for diffusing light. They are perfect for airy bedrooms and casual and contemporary dining and living rooms.
Care: Linen curtains need good care. Dry cleaning is always preferred and should be hung immediately post drying to prevent wrinkles. Light, relaxed wrinkles look good but for the more stubborn ones you can use iron on low on dampened curtains. For other times, use a vacuum for removing dust from in between the folds.
Linen-silk blends look sophisticated and elegant. The blend of relaxed feel of linen and the shiny, lustrous feel of silk account for their appeal.
Care: While this fabric is an excellent choice for your windows, they are easily affected by sunlight. The harsh rays can fade them out easily and make them lose their sheen. Go for lined curtains so that they protect the fabric from direct sun rays. Once again, dry cleaning is recommended. Use vacuum for removing dust and iron inside out on low to prevent damaging the delicate fabric.
Silk curtains are romantic and luxurious to look at. They add grandeur and a chic look to your rooms. They are great for formal dining rooms and bedrooms.
Care: Dry cleaning is definitely preferred, but it is ironing that takes a lot of care and time. Like linen-silk blends, silk too is susceptible to harsh rays of the sun. To prevent damage, opt for light-colored linens.
Velvet curtains apart from looking classy and luxurious, they have a lot of benefits. For cold climates, they are good to have as they are heavy and offer additional insulation to the windows. They also provide substantial privacy and help to absorb noise.
Care: Given their thickness, velvet curtains drape well and have a great fall. They have a formal and traditional look that goes well with traditional and regal décor.
Lace curtains are always pleasing to the eyes and lend an airy and chic feel to the rooms. The sheer fabric helps to diffuse natural light. With their elegance and softness, it gives a lot of warmth to the rooms.
Care: Lace curtains are mostly available in nude shades like white, off-white, or ivory. Proper care should be taken to prevent damage to color. Dry cleaning is highly recommended with strict laundering instructions. Too much heat could spoil the fabric irreparably.
Polyester is a durable fabric for curtains. They are low maintenance and require little to prevent wrinkles and shrinkage. Polyester is a common curtain material and great for first-time users.
Care: You can machine wash polyester curtains, and if you hang them out immediately, you can do away with the need for ironing. While they are perfect for bedrooms and living rooms, avoid using them in the kitchen as they are highly flammable and difficult to remove stains from.
Styling Your Curtains
Now that you know about the different fabrics available in the market and which suits you best, it is important to know the different styles you can opt for.
Solid curtains are amazing and complement any existing home décor that you have. Before choosing solid curtains, you need to understand the feel of the room and what you want the curtains to do for you. Do you want them in the forefront as the focal point in the room or do you want them in the backdrop? If you want curtains to blend into the décor, you can opt for colors like white, ivory and other neutral shades that are light and airy.
If you want your curtains to be prominent and make a bolder statement choose shades like blue and grey and for rooms where you want more light opt for sheer curtains.
Printed curtains have immense appeal and the ability to transform the look and feel of a room completely. The patterns can range from subtle designs to ones making bold statements. Patterns, florals, digital prints, etc., each of them impart a different look and character to the room. A mix of solid and printed curtains has an aesthetic appeal that lends a unique feel to the rooms.
Caring for Your Curtains
Choosing the right fabric and style for your rooms is important to enhance the beauty of your home. But the most critical task is caring for your curtains.
Protecting your Curtains from Sunlight & Regular Maintenance
Curtains are made of fabrics which are made of fiber. No matter how durable and sturdy, prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays of the sun can considerably reduce their life-span. It causes fading or streaking of colors and eventually leads to dry rotting of the fabric. Adding drapery lining, solar tinting film or shades and blinds and make a huge difference in preserving these curtains.
You do not need to send curtains for wash regularly. Periodical vacuuming is desirable to keep curtains dust free. Frequency depends upon local construction, dust conditions, and cooking habits.
Once or twice a year, your curtains must be sent for thorough cleaning and laundry. Only if they are labeled ‘washable’ should you subject your curtains to machine wash? Things to remember:
• Select gentle mode, cool water, and mild detergent.
• Do not overload your machine.
• Tumble dry on low setting or simply hand them out to dry.
• Press on the wrong side always.
• Take care to remove all metal hooks, rings and related hardware before putting curtains in the machine.
Do not wash draperies at home if:
• Either drapes or lining is not washable.
• If drapery and lining are made of two different fabrics. It may cause one to shrink spoiling the entire curtain.
• If you have pleated curtains, washing may damage their shape.
• If your curtains have embellishments that are not washable or is not colorfast.
Professional dry-cleaning is recommended for most fabrics.
• It prevents color from fading out fast from repeated washing with water.
• If the fabric is not colorfast and hence runs the danger of dark colors spreading all over the curtains.
• Have embellishments which need care while washing.
• Curtains are voluminous need thorough cleaning.
• If the fabric is delicate like lace or sheer, they may get damaged during machine wash.
It is not enough to select the right fabric and style to increase to the fashion quotient of your rooms. It is more important to provide good aftercare to ensure that the fabrics last long and lose none of their sheen and shine and are more than worth the money you invested in them.