Choosing fabric is only one element of the design process. Let us guide you through the key decisions that, when made well, will take your curtains and blinds to the next level.
The composition and finish of the fabric you choose can make a significant difference to the overall look of the end product. We always advise ordering a sample to check you are happy with the look and feel of the fabric before proceeding with your order.
Velvet fabrics can vary in weight and texture. Some have a lightweight finish and an excellent drape. Others are more traditional in finish and can be heavyweight and more rigid.
Velvets work well on curtains, roman blinds and cushions. When used on roman blinds, the folds of the blind can be slightly more bulky and protrude further into the room.
More traditional velvets, especially 100% cotton, can be difficult to clean, although there are now many velvet fabrics with a stain resistant finish.
The linen look is both delicate and beautiful. Linen is a natural material and can have a raw unfinished look, sometimes showing inherent irregularities that are part of the manufacturing process.
Linen, by its very nature, is prone to creasing. When choosing linen for curtains it is essential to bear this in mind and be prepared to spend some time tending to the curtains once hung.
Roman blinds made in linen can give a lovely rustic look; the fabric is more relaxed and gives an informal finish in comparison to the crisp folds of a cotton blind.
Another natural product, silk also displays slubs and flaws that are part of the manufacturing process. Dyed silk can also vary from batch to batch so a cutting is highly recommended if matching to a specific colour.
Silk does not do well in full sun – we always use interlining with silk to protect it from UV light. Using a leading edge in a faux silk or adding a voile roller blind in the recess of the window can protect the fabric further.
Synthetic fabric & mixes
Technological advances mean that natural fibres can be strengthened or controlled by mixing different types of natural fibres or adding in a synthetic fibre as a stabiliser.
Cotton/Linen mixes are very popular and provide some rigidity to the linen or softness to the cotton, dependent on the proportion.
Synthetic fibres such as viscose or polyester can add stability to more delicate fibres.
Many traditional fabrics; silk and velvet for example, are now recreated in synthetic fibres which can both improve the performance of the fabric whilst also reducing the price.
We love to use interlining on our curtains for many reasons:
- It adds body to fabrics, creating a truly luxurious look and feel
- An additional layer of insulation helps keep the heat in and energy bills low
- You’re adding an additional layer of protection to your beautiful curtain fabric
- It’s an inexpensive way to make a value fabric look a million dollars
- It’s a must have for delicate fabrics like silk which are easily damaged by UV rays
We use blackout lining as standard on all of our curtains*. This is because:
- It prevents the beautiful patterns and colours of the fabric design being washed out in the sun – you can still see the pattern when the sun streams through.
- It adds protection to the curtains – UV rays can damage and bleach fabrics over time
- It’s great for bedrooms, preventing light leakage and giving you a great nights’ sleep
Blackout linings aren’t black – ivory is our favourite colour, we also have cream and white and match the best lining colour to the fabric or design.
*unless a fabric (e.g. velvet, wool) does not require it
Beautiful curtains can look amazing from the outside as well. Use a coloured lining to compliment the fabric or choose a ticking stripe for some fun. We can advise on the best fabrics to use as a lining.
Embellishments & Features
A leading edge can have a variety of uses. The practical use is to save the leading edge of the curtain from sun damage as it can easily be changed. Otherwise it can add a splash of colour or pattern to a plain curtain.
Want to use an expensive fabric but don’t want to break the bank? Use it as leading edge on a plain curtain to create a feature. Then use the remnants for cushions to make the pattern go further. Contact us for advice.
We love a bit of trim, a braid, some pompoms. A contrast band, diamanté trim, Swarovski crystals or fabric covered buttons on your pinch pleats.
Go to town or add a subtle touch. Either way, those little extras can really finish off the look and make your room that little bit more special.
Tiebacks & Holdbacks
Tiebacks come in all shapes, sizes and styles. From simple ropes to flowing tassels, we’ve selected our favourites to complement the style of each edit. They are useful if you want to pull the curtains back to allow as much light into the room as possible, or if you are going for a truly glamorous look with a big swoosh of fabric and a decadent puddle.
Don’t forget to match your tieback hooks to your pole. If you have a wood pole, match to your window handles, door handles or light fittings.
Holdbacks protrude from the wall and your curtains tuck behind them. They’re a little more rigid than tiebacks and need to be fixed to the wall directly beneath the curtain so don’t tend to work in bay windows.
Cushions are a great way to use up remnant fabric and can help to tie a scheme together. If you’re using a patterned or coloured curtain lining or adding embellishments to your roman blind, use those elements on cushions to continue the flow of the scheme across the room.
Piping the edges of cushions in a contrast fabric can really make them pop. Using a different fabric front and back gives you versatility and can bring colour into the room depending on your mood.
There are many shapes and sizes of cushions to choose from – we can advise when you order.