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Once upon a time curtains were purely practical. Now they’re also part of a personal statement we make about ourselves via our homes’ interior décor. But they still serve a purpose so when choosing curtain fabric you’ll need to consider how you want them to perform as well as how you want them to look. Here are the main things to consider, plus an update on some new fabric releases. 

Different fabric types

Choosing the type fabric is a good place to start as each has its own benefits and best uses.

  • Cotton - versatile, suits traditional or modern styles, must be lined for good drapage
  • Silk - luxurious but not very functional and prone to damage easily
  • Linen - natural fibre, creates an airy, casual, relaxed environment
  • Polyester - a very common choice, durable, affordable, easy to care for, however not good for airflow and it absorbs odours
  • Velvet - great light-blocking and insulating properties, perhaps a tad on the old fashioned and extravagant side
  • Acrylic - similar texture to wool, lightweight, drapes beautifully, good insulation, hypoallergenic and resistant to mould and mildew
  • Voile - best used as sheers, creates a light, airy ambience while still allowing privacy 

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Colour, pattern and weave

When it comes to colour, pattern and weave, ultimately the choice is yours. You will know what is pleasing to your eye and what is not. Even if you can’t decide, that’s where engaging a good consultant will help whittle down your options. If you’re looking for inspiration check out our blogs on curtains for white walls and grey rooms

 If you’re choosing a patterned curtain fabric, the larger the sample the better. You want to be able to see how the pattern repeats, how it looks when the curtains are drawn back/open, and how dominating the pattern is on a large scale when they are closed. 

Lining choices

Not only do you need to choose a fabric for your curtains, you’ll also need to put some thought into the lining. Lining can have a number of effects, dramatically improving heating or cooling efficiency, blocking out light, helping to reduce noise, or affecting the way the fabric drapes.

Sometimes no lining is an option, depending on where you want the curtains and what you need them for. For example, in the kitchen, blocking out light isn’t as important as being able to easily clean the curtains you here you might opt for an unlined fabric.

The room the curtains are going in

Where the curtains will be located plays a part in which fabric is best also, eg. lightweight fabric vs. thick and heavy. Ask yourself what is it you need from your curtains?

  • Privacy
  • Light blocking
  • Be easy to clean
  • Insulation
  • Noise reduction
  • Protecting furniture from UV rays
  • Blocking glare

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New release fabrics

James Dunlop have recently added to their extensive fabric collection  

  • Pegasus Sencha - Pegasus Sencha is a range of popular fabrics for sheer curtains. Four 4 new colours have been added this year: white, linen (soft, warm neutral), dove (soft grey) and soft charcoal.
  • James Dunlop Dream Weaver - With both residential and commercial appeal, James Dunlop Dream Weaver range is among their biggest sellers worldwide. The five new colours in this range of strong neutrals include: onyx (deep black), steel (mid-charcoal), flint and micro (soft greys), and pavement (light neutral).
  • James Dunlop Indent - The Highlands Collection  offers a variety of checks and stripes in a refreshed colour palette. Consisting of five or six designs, this collection has some depth and colour to it but also features strong neutrals. 

We hope you’ve found this info helpful. When it’s time to choose curtain fabric for your home there are lots of other things to consider to ensure you end up with a look you’ll love for years to come. 

Fabric inspiration guide




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