Fabrics are the most versatile, effective, and efficient methods used in introducing color, aesthetics, patterns, and texture into any home’s interior. Traditionally, and even to this day, soft sheer curtain fabrics are mainly textiles woven with the popular standard weave. These fabrics have a ‘smooth flow’ and are lightweight and soft, with many appearing as sheer, gauze-like, or as silky see-through fabrics.
As today’s textile market offers homeowners, designers, and decorators a vast array of types and styles of home decor fabrics, whether classic, ‘mid-way style’, or contemporary, its use, function, and technical aspects have (not surprisingly) become the most important consideration for selection.
Curtain fabrics for glass windows come in both natural fibers and manmade (synthetic) fibers, and fortunately in a wide price range that fits comfortably within anyone’s budget.
Classic Lightweight Curtain Fabrics
Basic to any sheer fabric is the spinning of its yarn and its construction. It is these two elements that give lightweight curtain fabrics their aesthetic personality. Classic curtain fabrics include these unique and prestigious lightweight textiles.
- Fine Net
Lace is an openwork textile traditionally produced by the use of needles, pins, or bobbins and the process of sewing, knitting, tatting (knotting), or crocheting.
Traditionally, real authentic lace was handmade. However, in the late 18th century, machines were invented to replicate the hand production of lace textiles.
Among the prime types used as home décor and curtain fabrics are:
- Filet lace fabric is embroidered on a net material.
- Reticella. This is a type of lace with a combination of drawn and cut works.
- Chantilly, with elaborate bobbin-made patterns that make the ornament and fabric identical
- Irish lace is primarily woven as the crocheted variety.
- Nottingham lace is a general term used for machine-produced lace textiles. It’s a very affordable lace fabric produced by weaving in one continuous piece.
Voile is a light, soft and transparent sheer curtain fabric constructed of the plain weave.
During the weaving process, hard twisted threads are used to make it strong and durable.
Voile can be produced using fibers of wool, cotton, silk, or man-made threads and is generally piece dyed, striped or figured. It makes durable and beautiful window curtains.
Popularly referred to as ‘Swiss’, this beautiful and very fine sheer cotton fabric was first produced in Switzerland, hence it’s being referred to as Swiss lace. Swiss lace fabrics may come plain and simple, elaborately embroidered or patterned with dots or figures which are chemically applied during their weaving process. Though this sheer fabric launders well, a good attribute for curtain materials; it, however, has a tendency to shrink slightly.
This fabric is a sheer cloth with gauze-like characteristics it is woven in a leno weave, where pairs of warp yarns are sort of twisted around each other between picks of filler yarns which results in a net effect weave.
The fibers which are either cotton, rayon, silk, nylon, glass, or wool, are usually twisted hard and tight in order to ensure a fabric with enhanced serviceability. Marquisette fabrics make excellent curtains.
Net fabric is an open-weave textile that comes in various types and styles. Traditionally, the popularly used net fabrics include the following:
- Bobbinet machine-produced nets, constructed with patterns of hexagonal thread meshes.
- Dotted Swiss net, a fine mesh fabric woven with tiny dots at the mesh corners.
- Filet net materials and square mesh netting are used as a base or background for embroidery works. Some classic handmade varieties have knobs at the corners of meshes (synthetic man-made net fabrics have no knots).
- Maline net is constructed as diamond-shaped yarn mesh.
- Novelty nets are produced in a variety of stylish effects and are mainly constructed using synthetic fibers.
- Point d’Esprit nets are a variety of cotton-constructed nets with tiny dots scattered over their surface in a snowflake-like effect.
Pongee is a fabric made of plain weave using wild silk in its natural tan color.
This fabric is very durable with an interesting but unusual texture.
Pongee is mostly used for drawing curtains. Its name is derived from a corruption of Chinese words which simply imply “natural color”.
Choosing the Right Curtain Fabric
Understanding how to choose and specify a textile is essential. Many furnishing fabrics are woven using either natural eco-friendly fibers or manmade synthetic fibers, or a combination of both.
So for sheer curtain fabrics, whether a textile is durable and easy to maintain or not depends on the kind of fiber used, the manner in which it is spun, and its fabric construction.