What Are Blackout Curtains?
Blackout is a term very commonly associated in the world of window blinds and shades. It refers to a fabric that blocks out all outside light, thus creating a dark effect in a room. People prefer these types of materials in shades when they want to enjoy an unperturbed sleep or want to just enjoy their privacy after a hard day’s work. More on the benefits later, but we must first find out the materials that constitute a blackout fabric.
A blackout fabric consists of tightly woven materials made from cotton and polyester blends, or from raw/real silk, velvet, foam as well as fiberglass. The expensive materials like silk and velvet are known to drown out noises completely, and these luxurious fabrics are harder to take care of compared to softer materials like cotton and linen. They are also comparatively expensive, but they offer you the best of both worlds. At times they can be used in combination with other light filtering fabrics to customize on the light filtering. At other times, you can have a blackout or insulated fabric inserted in a sheer or a semi-sheer fabric to create an overall room darkening effect in the room. This is often done to save money on heavy-duty and expensive drapery.
The Advantages Of Blackout Curtains
Most people among my friends circle have resorted to purchasing modern and motorized window coverings for every window of their house. However, I still have years’ old blackout curtains in various designs in every room of the house. There are several reasons why I am apprehensive about switching over to other window shades, and why my love for blackout curtains will never fade.
1. Privacy: Trust my good old curtains to lend the necessary privacy in my room to just let me be. Spending time with myself without being distracted by outside activities is very important to me. The bedroom is, of course, a cozy place, and that is what it should remain. Mind you, my bedroom overlooks a very busy street, where an outsider can easily get a peek inside the home. I make it a point to always keep my windows covered with my blackout curtains made from a polyester blend. This gives me a feeling of security at all times, whether I’m sleeping or awake.
2. Noise Cancellation: So whether I am in the bedroom enjoying a nap or out there in the living room sipping on my teacup, I need to enjoy a good deal of silence. It also helps me concentrate on my work assignments, as I am a stay-at-home worker who needs to function without any sounds distracting me.
3. Lower AC and Heater Bills: When temperatures outside go beyond 30, these curtains prevent the hot air from entering the home. Similarly, they prevent the hot air from escaping the windows during the winter months. Thus, they lower your electricity bills by as much as 30%. The only times I deem the use of an AC/heater necessary is when I mistakenly keep the windows open and the curtains aside after cleaning the window spaces in the morning.
4. A Home Theater Atmosphere: We all know the benefits of sunlight exposure. You get a good and healthy dosage of Vitamin D to boost your mood and make you feel vibrant and excited all day long. But along with it comes the glare and heat, which can be a major irritant when you are watching television. It can affect your experience in a not-so-good way. With blackout curtains, you may well create a room darkening atmosphere and call your friends to enjoy a movie that you wanted to watch for a long time.
5. A Comfortable Sleep: This benefit may apply to all those who are working night shifts and need absolute privacy and darkness in the room during the day time. Other window treatments allow some degree of light to filter through the room, which may not lead to a satisfactory sleep and thus impact your work when you go out during the evenings. The blackout fabric of the curtains, meanwhile, creates just the right night-like atmosphere for you to get enough rest so you could be energized in the latter part of your day.
6. As An Additional Window Treatment: Unlike other window treatments, blackout curtains can be easily mixed and matched with shutters, vinyl blinds or cellular shades on the same window. In fact, they serve as charming add-ons which allow you to customize your requirements when you want some light in your room. You can set these curtains aside and let the light filtering qualities of single-cell honeycomb shades or the adjusted slats of shutters come in handy. They also provide depth and versatility to any room and can be a major style statement when used in combination with other shades.
7. The Variety: The sheer versatility in color, design and fabrics of blackout curtains is unparalleled, and there is a lot of scope for experimenting. You can go for curtains in floral, ethnic and Aztec patterns; or self-designed, striped and geometric designs. For flamboyant designs in kids and teenagers’ bedrooms, you can choose graphic and comic print designs on them, or choose one styled in pop culture themes. Besides, they are available in different attachment styles (tab top, eyelet and rod pocket curtains).
Without a doubt, blackout curtains have been in use for centuries and will continue to stay relevant because of their many advantages such as privacy, energy efficiency, comfort and a wide range of designs and patterns. You will never run out of options in choosing the correct one. So decide your budget and the purpose of purchasing one, and then shop accordingly.