Curtains have the power to transform your room. So before making the leap, it’s worth going over some options to ensure you make the right choice.
When you say curtain shopping, you are also looking at some alternatives. Let us address the fine line between these options.
1.Curtains : Curtains are made from lighter fabrics and are generally unlined. They are also generally the cheaper alternative.
2.Drapes : These are floor-length curtain treatments with heavy fabrics and lining to add weight. They are mostly used in more formal spaces like the living or dining room. They also bring about a royal and rich feel to the surroundings.
3.Blinds : Blinds are a pragmatic alternative to curtains and drapes, especially for busy spaces. These are space-saving and attractive hard coverings which are easy to fit and they do not need poles. They are best suited to kitchen and bathrooms as they can withstand moisture. You will come across a list of choices among blinds, such as roller, venetian, roman, vertical blinds and shutters.
The top hem or heading of your curtains will contribute to the overall look and fall of your curtains and window/door dressing. This must be taken well into consideration.
1.Pencil pleats : This is the traditional standard style of curtain heading. Folds are gathered closely together and may offer a range of variety in width from narrow to wide pleats. These curtains are generally hung onto the curtain poles using hooks or rings.
2.Pleated : you may also find a variety of styles in pleats of the curtain headings; namely box pleats, pinch pleats and goblet pleats. These are stylized variations to the conventional pencil pleated.
3.Eyelet hem : In place of a normal header tape rings of metal or plastic are installed on the curtain heading. These rings are easy to remove and attach manually. Eyelet hem is a contemporary take at curtain headings which allow even wider folds, giving a much more casual and relaxed feel.
You might want to measure you curtain or door lengths, inclusive of the additional frame you want covered, before making a buy. Consider whether you want the curtain to hang exactly around the frame or slightly above, whether you want the width to end exactly at the frame or a little further to avoid the light seeping through. See whether you want the curtain to hang only as long as the windowsill or longer. In case of door and balcony window curtains, sometimes a puddle of at the bottom gives a hint of opulence. Moreover, this is all a matter of choice and convenience. However, the standard market length of curtains remain 60 inches (5 ft.) for windows and 84 inches (7 ft.) for doors. The standard width is around 46 inches (3.8 ft.). If your window/door width is wider, you may choose to either have multiple curtains in sets to cover the span or have curtains of your choice custom made.
Choice of the fabric in curtains vastly contributes to their look and feel.
1.Polyester curtains : Polyester is the more widely used fabric among curtains. It is resistant to mildew and require less maintenance. There is a huge variety within polyester fabrics too. Polyester fabrics are often mixed with cotton and wool. They offer opacity in a degree depending on their thread count and GSM (grams per square), from 50% to 100%.
2.Sheer Curtains : These curtains allow most of the light through the fabric. They are translucent covers which keep the room airy and light. These are made using fabrics such as silk, rayon and nylon. Even though they bar you of privacy, to combat the drawback they can be paired with opaque curtains.
3.Jacquard curtains : The term ‘jacquard’ refers to the weave of the fabric. This type of weave produces a textured fabric. As opposed to printed curtains, these curtains have a tactile finish. Jacquards are available in the markets in dozens of patterns and colors to create beautiful window treatments.
4.Plastic : Only in case of shower curtains, plastic is the best material. It keeps the durability very high in shower curtains.
Curtains make up the ambience of a room up to a certain level owing to their light control characteristics.
1.Blackout curtains : These offer utmost darkness. They are curtains made of heavy fabrics to block the light out completely. Typically they also have a blackout lining to add effect.
2.Opaque curtains : These curtains, not as heavy as blackout, also have a lining to filter the light. They cannot offer absolute darkness but will obstruct enough light to create a soft glow.
3.Sheer curtains : These allow most of the sunlight through and provide a bright atmosphere indoors.
If you are looking to curtain a room which is decorated with wall hangings or wall paper you might want to go for solid colors to balance the ornamentation. If your space is plain and simple, experiment with colors, prints and textures. There is more variety in store than you might fathom.
While a dark colored curtain can make a big room look small as it absorbs all the light, a light or neutral colored curtain can do the contrary and make a space look bigger.
Sometimes using contrasting colors plays well.
All others criteria said, the one you will not so easily find or know of is the proportional relation between the seams and the fall of a curtain. When you are shopping for curtains, prefer to buy curtains which have bottom seam at a length of at least 3 to 5 inches and side seams at a length of 1 cm. This directly affects the fall of the curtains. Anything below these measurements and your curtains will keep flying around the windows.
As important as it is to choose the right curtain, some accessories will help add an extra flare with a decorative finish.
1.Curtain poles : If you are hanging a curtain or drape onto your doors and windows, the pole on which they hang can make just the same amount of difference to the look as the choice of the curtain. There is a vast range of these poles available in the market varying in design and material finish.
2.Finials : Exposed curtain poles can be ornamented with decorative finials on each end. While a metallic finial can give a more urban finish, a crystal finial will add plush to the dressing.
3.Tie backs : Tie backs are an easy way to bring the style you need to your curtain dressing, while serving a functional purpose. Through them you can choose to add earthen or contemporary vibe or give a touch of luxury to your curtains.
4.Pelmets : Pelmets cover the top portion of the window dressings and go equally well with curtains, drapes and blinds. They also help to add height. They can be made of simple rectangular panels or made more intricate with pleats or other designs.
Make sure you know the wash care details before you pay the bill on any product. While most curtains are washing machine friendly nowadays, you do not want to ruin a high end curtain fabric because it was not dry cleaned. Take extra care and remove rings, hooks and eyelets before putting the curtains into the machine to avoid damage to either.
Whatever the wash care instructions, the first wash is best done in cold water. It protects the color, fabric and longevity.