Each room in our home has a defined function. Some are high traffic areas and others are more restful.
In high traffic areas we need to clean more often. The decision to have blinds versus fabric is something to consider. Blinds can be cleaned with a damp cloth and usually takes minimal time. The introduction of fabric can still be used in a simple valence or stationary side panels.
Bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms are lower traffic areas and this is where you can go to town on your drapery fabric choices.
If privacy is not an issue the outdoor view often becomes part of the indoor living space. In this case it is important to allow your view to flow right from the indoor space to the outdoors. Stationary side panels are often used in these rooms to soften the window frame.
Light is one of the most important considerations. Fabric is very fragile and sun damage is a big issue. Good lining is a must in these cases.
Cotton is a fabric that comes in many weights. It is washable. Keep in mind that it also shrinks and fades with washing. If you are doing a small project that does not require a lot of fabric you may want to wash it before sewing. There are many washing hints online to help you ensure less fading.
Linen is a very popular fabric for a less formal and often more contemporary look. Lined has a larger weave and can be a dust collector. Simply shaking the panels outdoors each season will solve this. It is important to use a good lining with linen fabrics to ensure they hang nicely. Linen tends to wrinkle easy so it is best to make simple style draperies, such as grommet tops of inverted pleats.
Silk is one of the most popular fabric choices in home decor. There is nothing more luxurious than the look of silk. The cast of different shadows of colour make it a great dining and living room choice. Along with its beauty comes careful cleaning. Dry cleaning is recommended. In most cases, simply shaking or gently vacuuming the panels is all you need to keep your silk drapery looking its best. If the panels draw across the whole window in the evenings the use of a pull rod will stop any moisture on your hands from settling into the side of your panels.
Taffeta is similar to silk but it is has a stiffer feel. Not as fragile as silk and gives a beautiful full look to your drapery panels. Taffeta also makes nice bed skirts. Whether they are box pleated or gathered, the look is luxury. Again, dry cleaning is recommended.
Velvet is another popular fabric used in drapery, upholstery and accessories. It is a heavier weight fabric with beautiful shadows of colour on display with lighting. Dry cleaning is recommended with this fabric. The backing on velvet is often much thicker and can be used to darken a room. A good lining is still recommended to stop sun damage.
Fabric Blends are harder and harder to tell from their real counter parts. Blends such as poly-cotton are good choices in high traffic areas because they wash nicely and tend to keep their colour. Linen blends are great for the true linen look without the wrinkling. Faux silks are a less expensive and often achieve the same look as a real silk.
Take a minute to research your choices and open your mind to the possibility of something even more spectacular than you had imagined.
Speaking from experience with a fabric stash to prove it, fabrics make our homes happy!
Donna Robichaud – January 2012Donna Robichaud
Custom Draperies and Design
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
At Ottawa Custom Draperies and Design we specialize in Custom Draperies, Curtains and Drapery Design serving the Ottawa Valley from , Perth, Smiths Falls, Carleton Place, Almonte, Arnprior, Stittsville and Kanata.