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What is the best fabric for curtains?

Designer Curtain Fabric In The Living Room (1)

Here at Plumbs, we know what it takes to bring home décor to life. From eye-catching rugs to perfectly placed ambient lighting, the small details can make all the difference.

The same goes for picking out the perfect pair of curtains. Whether you’re in need of material to usher the light in or keep it out, shopping for a new pair of curtains means more than just thinking about your favourite fabric: you also need to consider style and practicality.

To find the best curtain fabric for your space, take a look at our expert tips, below.

Firstly, where will your curtains go?

Thick Curtain Fabric Hung Up In The Dining Room

No, this isn’t a trick question. While it’s easy to think curtains can be hung wherever sunlight lives, you may be surprised to learn that many curtain fabrics come with a list of provisions.

For example, polyester is a popular choice for curtains as it is a durable, long-lasting fabric. However, it also absorbs odours and is extremely flammable. As such, polyester curtains shouldn’t be hung in kitchen areas, or anywhere that you could find lingering bad smells or open flames. A stylish pair of polyester curtains do, however, look fantastic bordering dining rooms and lounges.

Likewise, cotton fabrics and bathrooms are a stinky combination. This is because cotton has thick fibres, meaning it holds on to moisture in the atmosphere (such as condensation after showering). This can cause mould and bad smells later down the line. If cotton curtains do appeal, however, you can always prevent mould by making sure your bathroom is well ventilated.

How much will they cost to clean?

While it’s easy to forget about them, curtains need cleaning just as often as your other soft furnishings. For certain fabrics, however, it isn’t as simple as just sticking them in the washing machine.

For instance, high-quality curtain fabrics, such as our Echo range, are usually made with fine materials and, therefore, are only suitable for dry cleaning. On the other hand, if you’d rather wash your curtains at home, you’re in luck - many man-made fabrics, such as polyester and nylon, as well as some cotton-based materials, are machine-washable.

For an idea of how often you need to clean your curtains, just look at the colour and thickness of your fabric. Thick, dark curtains, such as our Shanghai Black and Perdita Pewter hide stains and retain their luxurious drop easily. Thin, lightly-coloured materials, like our Pietta Ivory fabric, however, should be cleaned more frequently.

TOP TIP: Can’t find your curtain’s cleaning instructions? Just run your fingers either along the bottom edge of the fabric or down its sides to locate it.

What's the style of your home?

Appledore (2)

Practicality aside, curtains should frame a room without detracting from its existing décor.

For instance, if you favour a minimalist aesthetic, a brightly-patterned material, such as our Emilia Onyx curtains, or a splash of colour from our Cardinal range, draws the eye.

Those following an eclectic theme, on the other hand, should pair curtains with their furniture’s most striking undertones. For instance, if your sofa has been upholstered in a beautiful Eleanor Wedgwood fabric, plain blue curtains, such as our Savannah Mist, makes the sofa’s sky blue shades pop.   

TOP TIP: Make sure your curtain fabric contrasts with your wall colour; dark curtains set against dark walls can look gloomy and oppressive, while light colours and pale walls make spaces appear dull and washed out.

Now you know what to look for when buying new curtains, it’s time to take a look at our fantastic range of curtain fabrics. Alternatively, organise a home visit with one of our Plumbs consultants. They will help you pick the perfect colours and patterns for your home, free of charge.

Sally is the Digital Marketing Manager at Plumbs. Prior to Plumbs, she ran the digital marketing strategy for Johnson’s Cleaners UK. Her interests include home interiors and upcycling, and her favourite show to watch after work is Homes Under the Hammer. Some of the topics she covers on the Plumbs blog include sofa reupholstery and furniture protection.

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