The functional role that curtains play in the interior of a home is obvious. Besides providing privacy, they also serve as a means of insulation regulation. Like every facet of interior design, curtains play an essential role in the overall aesthetics of a room. Door curtains offer the right ambience in a room by controlling the amount of light entering it.
Modern and traditional are two classic interior curtain designs that have many applications in a home. A room can completely transform by using custom window treatments in a chosen style while remaining unique to the décor theme of the space. Modern window treatments emphasise the style in the late 20th century. These contemporary window treatment designs incorporate lighting, open spaces, crisp lines and use natural materials. Traditional window coverings are easily differentiated from modern styles and are identified by their ornately detailed fabric, elegant look with hanging draperies and use of earth-toned hardware. Customarily, traditional window treatments are layered with decorative valances to create a luxurious look.
There is a wide array of choice when it comes to fabric selection for the curtains—from cotton, silk, linen, to lace, each of which comes with drawbacks of its own. Performance fabrics such as Sunbrella combine the best of all these to give rise to a bright, vibrant, mildew-resistant, stain-resistant, bleach cleanable and fade-resistant fabrics. Colour is a primary feature of Sunbrella fabrics as most other fabric manufacturers dye fabric using a topcoat, which means that the colour only coats the surface instead of penetrating all the way through. The fibers used in Sunbrella fabric are saturated with UV-stabilised dyes before they are spun into yarn. Due to this, the colour goes all the way through the material, ensuring that it stays vibrant for years.
There is no dearth of choice when it comes to curtain material selection in Indian homes. The most commonly used materials for curtains are:
Cotton: It is a versatile fabric that is used to achieve a range of styles. It offers a crisp, clean feel that is suited to traditional or modern designs. Tight weave cotton curtains are ideal for blocking sunlight in a bright room. Cotton curtains, however, need to be adequately lined so that they hang and fall as desired owning to it being a light fabric.
Silk: The material is most commonly chosen for its aesthetic appeal rather than its functionality. It is a heavy fabric that drapes well and is ideal for bedrooms or formal dining rooms. Silk can only be dry cleaned, making it high maintenance, and it is very susceptible to sun damage.
Lace: Curtains made from lace are traditional and romantic and are best used to provide privacy and diffuse natural light. They come in neutral shades and can be paired well with any other colour in the room. The fabric is extremely delicate and prone to damage from dust and regular wear and tear.
Window curtains, as well as drapes, are a great way to add personality, style, and colour to the living room. Before selecting curtains for the living room, it is essential to consider the following points:
1. Curtain style: Drapes and curtains come in various styles and should be in sync with the overall theme of the room and the window design. Double panels are classic and create symmetry, whereas single panel curtains are great for smaller spaces. Panels with a fabric valence are romantic and traditional while panels with a pelmet or cornice board framing the top edge are structured and formal. Pencil pleats, grommets, French pleats, and pole pockets are some of the most common styles used. In modern homes, window blinds are also popular.
2. Window treatment: Curtains come in a wide array of fabric, but some are better suited to particular rooms than others.
Silk: Curtains in silk are classic and traditional adding formality to the room, especially if they are pleated. However, they are see-through, so if privacy is an issue, then consider having them lined.
Cotton: The material is one of the most versatile curtain fabrics and is the easiest to clean. It is available in almost every imaginable colour and style and can be formal or casual depending on the requirement. However, it tends to be stiffer than other fabrics.
Linen: As a curtain fabric, linen is light and often sheer and is used in more casual rooms.
Sheers: They refer to fabrics that allow light to pass through, and are best avoided if you are looking for privacy.
Velvet: Its heaviness and luxuriousness make velvet best suited for formal settings.
Performance fabrics: Curtains made from performance fabrics such as Sunbrella come in bright versatile colours and textures. Additionally, they are resistant to the harsh effects of the sun, stain-resistant and durable.
Curtains for bedrooms are usually made from silk and velvet fabric. Lined curtains are essential if you want to limit the amount of light entering the room. Blackout curtains are also an option as they block light and sound to an extent, creating a quiet haven. The choice of fabrics can be either elegant and romantic or even trendy patterns, depending on the décor theme. Common patterns include plaids, stripes, florals, and in some cases geometric prints to help maintain the balance in the room.
Sheer curtains come in different fabrics such as silk, net, lace or plain patterned. The sheerness of the curtains can be controlled by choosing thicker fabrics or deeper hues. Blackout curtains are made from foam-backed opaque materials and can serve as insulators in winters while keeping light out in summers. Flat-panel curtains are usually unlined and made of cotton, linen or similar lightweight fabrics.
Curtains can make a room, but only when chosen correctly. Several factors go into choosing the right curtain:
1. Length: Designers often prefer to hang curtains about six inches above the window frame as it gives the illusion of height. Before finalising the length of the curtain, it is essential to measure the height from the top of the window (adding the required height at the top from where the curtains will hang) to the floor.
2. Lining: If the sole purpose of the curtain is to block light, then it is best to opt for lined curtains or blackout curtains which serve the dual functionality of keeping light as well as sound out of the room.
3. Colour and fabric: Deciding on the fabric is an essential part of choosing curtains as the material determines how the curtains function and hold up over time. If they are too heavy, they might not crisply fold when drawn, and if they are too light, they may not fall well. Sunlight fades regular fabrics over time, so if a room gets too much light it is best to avoid bright colours unless you are using performance fabrics. Linen, silk, faux silk, and velvet are the most popular choices for window treatments as they tend to hang the best, and curtains made from Sunbrella fabric do the same.
Sunbrella fabric possesses several features that make it an excellent choice for curtain designs. It's fade-resistant, stain-resistant, mildew resistant and bleach cleanable. The material is durable, which makes it an excellent choice for living rooms as well as bedrooms. Sunbrella window and shade treatments work well in any room, even one that has ample sunlight as there is no risk of the fabric fading due to continuous exposure to the harsh light. These fabrics are water-resistant, making them ideal for curtains even in outdoor areas such as the terrace, garden, balcony or patio.