The choice of fabric for curtains: type, color, design

9 min

Curtains are a mandatory framing of a window opening, but in many respects their appearance depends on the chosen fabric. For each specific room, its own type of fabric is suitable, and the choice should be based not only on its color and pattern, but also on density, composition, size. It is also necessary to take into account the type of room, the amount of natural light in it, and it is even better to decide in advance on the design, which will depend on the interior of the room, the need for lining, drapery, etc. All these factors influence the choice of a particular fabric, of which there is a huge variety on the market today.

choose fabric for curtainsWhen choosing a fabric and looking through samples in a catalog, you need to remember that a huge canvas will look very different from a small piece, so later disappointments may arise. To avoid this, it is better to use the services of a professional designer or take a whole piece of fabric on bail: many stores can provide a similar service. In your room, the fabric may slightly change color (silk is considered especially moody), be too dark or light, etc.

Now let’s consider what type of fabric is suitable for each particular case, depending on a number of factors.

Fabric type

Now on store shelves there are many synthetic and natural fabrics, and each of them boasts its own advantages. So, natural fabrics look very expensive, rich and noble, even after several years of operation, but they are also very expensive. In addition, they are easy to burn out, so they are not recommended for use in sunny rooms. Curtains made of natural silk will bring the owners, in addition to their exquisite appearance, a lot of trouble due to the fact that it only needs to be cleaned and in no case washed. There are natural fabrics with a special treatment, which makes future curtains more resistant to fading, allows you not to sit down when washing, etc.

choose fabric for curtainsSynthetic fabrics are very easy to use, and their appearance sometimes allows them to be confused with natural counterparts. But still the most successful option will be fabrics that consist partly of natural fibers, and partly of synthetic ones. Today, almost all curtain fabrics contain polyester, which makes the product durable and practical.

The most common and popular fabrics today are:

  • 100% polyester or polyester with added cotton is the most practical and durable option. Such curtains can be safely washed even in a washing machine, and from frequent washing they do not deform at all, do not shrink, etc.;
  • viscose is another synthetic material that also shows itself well in use. In addition, viscose has excellent fire-resistant properties, so it will be indispensable in the kitchen;

  • taffeta is an artificial translucent fabric, which, nevertheless, well closes the room from the sun, performs well in washing, looks quite presentable;

  • cotton and silk are excellent natural fabrics that will make the interior cozy and environmentally friendly. But they are very sensitive to sunlight, so even in a room that faces north, curtains made of these fabrics should be lined;

  • flax is a wonderful natural material that is characterized by an excellent appearance, but great demands in care and use. But the addition of synthetic materials to this fabric makes it perfect at all;

  • choose fabric for curtainsvelvet is well suited for bedrooms, as it can protect very well from the sun;

  • tulle is invariably used for sewing light translucent curtains that do not move to the side, but are rather a decorative rather than a shading element;

  • denim of unusual colors fits perfectly into the interior of a child’s room due to its appearance and ease of use;

  • woolen lining on the curtains can make your home warmer, as it will not let the cold outside from the outside. In summer, these curtains can be replaced with lighter and more transparent ones.

There are also a lot of other fabrics, but when choosing, pay attention to how soft the material is and how much it will be draped so that you end up with spectacular folds.

Many people decide to use the same textiles for furniture and curtains. In this case, you need to remember that the furniture fabric is very heavy and it will require a more powerful and durable cornice. Do not forget to also look at the labeling of the fabric for the possibility of its use not only for upholstery. If it only has a highchair icon, it means that it will not drape well and it will not be possible to achieve a good aesthetic effect.

Fabric color and pattern

choose fabric for curtainsAfter the issue has been resolved with the material, it is the turn of the choice of color and pattern. Here your personal preferences go into battle, taking into account the prevailing interior of the room. It is important that the curtains, which differ in a considerable area, harmoniously fit into the space and emphasize all the advantages of the room. Often, designers advise choosing the color of the curtains to match the walls, only a little lighter or darker so that they do not merge. Others say that it is good to choose a color, proceed from the color of furniture or that piece of textiles, decor, etc., which occupies the largest area in the room.

The golden rule when choosing a color and pattern for curtains is that the room should not have a pile of all kinds of ornaments that are difficult to combine with each other. Therefore, if the walls are plain, then feel free to choose a bright fabric for curtains with an interesting pattern, so that the curtains become a highlight of the interior, and if the wallpaper has some kind of pattern, and even in the room there are some elements with a pattern, then in this case the best choice – plain curtains. Naturally, if the fabric is used simultaneously for curtains and other textiles in the room (bedspread, pillows, tablecloths, etc.), then you can achieve an excellent effect that will transform any room and make it look like a magazine cover.

The choice of fabric for curtainsIf, nevertheless, you decide to take fabric for curtains with a pattern, then be extremely careful: if the room already has elements with an ornament, it is necessary that the fabric for curtains also be combined with them and does not cause the feeling that the owners lack a sense of taste. In addition, the drawing should fit the style of the interior: sockets, stripes, etc. are suitable for a classic interior, small flowers for Provence. If your window will be decorated with two canvases of fabric: for example, tulle and curtains, or even if a lambrequin is also present, then there should be only one element with the pattern.

Pay attention to the amount of light in the room as well as the size of the room itself. For small rooms, bright fabrics or fabrics with a huge pattern will be inappropriate, which can make a miniature room even smaller. For such spaces, light pastel shades and vertical or horizontal striped curtains are ideal. In huge rooms, the choice of fabric for curtains is not limited by anything: however, if you want to make the room more comfortable, it is better to choose dark saturated shades, but light curtains will also look harmonious.

For rooms with not very good natural light, curtains in warm shades are suitable: peach, beige, orange, pink, etc. – they are able to give the space more light. And green, blue, blue, gray cool the room more, so they will become indispensable where the windows face south, and where it is very hot in summer. For dark rooms, heavy and dense fabrics will be inappropriate, so pay attention to translucent organza, chintz, veil.

fabric for curtainsIf the fabric is simultaneously selected for both tulle and curtains, then both materials should be either contrasting or in the same tone. Sometimes lambrequins are also used – a detail that decorates the upper part of the curtains and gives them a complete look. Lambrequin will advantageously complement a window in a room with high ceilings and a rather large area. If the ceilings are low, and there is so little space and light in the room, then it is better to refuse lambrequins and other decorative elements: in this case, the simpler the window looks, the better.

Curtain fabric is best appreciated not only in the store, but also at home, in natural light. In addition, it is better to analyze how it is perceived at a distance at which household members usually look at the curtains. It is important that the fabric that you buy for the curtains is cut from one roll: fabrics from different batches may differ slightly from each other, which will be very noticeable on the window.

Curtain fabric and room

fabric for curtainsFor bedrooms and living rooms, it is better to choose a fabric that is as dense as possible so that, if necessary, it can create dim lighting even during the day when the sun is shining brightly. Dense fabrics, moreover, also create additional sound insulation, so they become just an ideal option for the bedroom. You can choose curtains with lining, which not only makes the darkening more pronounced, but also prevents fading of the main fabric. There are also three-layer curtains that block out even the brightest light from the street – ideal for a bedroom located in a busy area of ​​the city.

  • For the living room, in principle, any fabric will do, and the choice of its features depends more on the parameters of the room itself, which were described above. Both light transparent fabrics and heavier options with a lambrequin will perfectly fit here.

  • For a children’s room, you can choose a brighter fabric, with interesting patterns, fairy-tale characters, etc.

  • For the kitchen, the main thing is that the fabric is easy to clean and does not lose its appearance from numerous washings, so pay attention to viscose, nylon, polyester. Please note that there should be few folds in the kitchen curtains, as they accumulate unpleasant odors and dust. It is even better if the fabric is impregnated with special agents that protect it from grease, dirt, and sunlight.

fabric for curtainsPlease note that in some cases it is necessary to provide a lining for the curtains. It is necessary not only to protect the material from fading – with its help, the drawing on the curtains, the texture is seen much better, and the folds become softer. In addition, sound insulation is improved, and for materials such as velvet and silk, lining is a must.

Curtains should harmoniously fit into the prevailing interior, meet the chosen style. Each direction in interior design has its own types of curtains: in most cases, this is not taking into account some bold design ideas.

You can sew any type of curtains from fabric: French, Austrian, Roman, Italian, etc. It is important that the selected fabric and curtain model fit favorably into the interior. So, French curtains will perfectly complement a bedroom or living room in a classic style, Roman curtains or tulle – in a high-tech room.

How much fabric do you need?

fabric for curtainsIt is important from the very beginning to carry out all the necessary measurements in order to know how much fabric is needed for the selected curtain model. First you need to measure the length of the cornice, which is purchased in advance, and then multiply the resulting value by 1.5-3 – the assembly factor, which will be different in each case. So, if curtains with lush drapery are needed, then multiply by 2-2.5, for tulle the coefficient reaches 3, and for curtains that will not move, you can choose a value of 1.2-1.5.

fabric for curtainsNow for the length of the curtains. So, you should measure the estimated length from the eaves to the floor, to the windowsill, etc. – depending on your own idea. 15-20 cm are left for the fold in height.Since the width of the panels is rarely more than 1.5 m, you will have to sew several segments, so keep in mind that if there is a pattern, it must match, and the fabric must be taken with a margin. To the obtained length of the fabric, add a value that is calculated as follows. The length of the rapport (repeating part of the pattern) is multiplied by the number of canvases that need to be sewn, and one is subtracted.

Please note that before cutting and sewing, it is better to wash and iron the fabric: this way you protect yourself from the fact that the already sewn product may shrink or fade.


The choice of fabric for curtains is a very important task, on which the appearance of the finished product and the ease of care for it will depend. That is why it is necessary to approach the solution of this issue with all responsibility, repeat all measurements several times and look through the maximum number of possible options in search of the ideal fabric. if you decide to sew together canvases of different fabrics, then make sure that they do not fade on each other during washing and have a similar way of care. The tips listed above should help with this difficult choice.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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