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Keeping Warm with Curtains

Curtains fulfill many uses in your home. As well as being decorative they also help to reduce echoes, making your room more welcoming. At this time of the year most importantly they can really help with heat retention which saves you money on heating. Even a double glazed window will feel like a big expanse of cold in your room once the sun goes down. So, what should you take into consideration when choosing curtains for warmth?

  1. Fabric choice. Heavier fabrics will keep in more heat, although all woven fabrics will allow in some drafts. An example is our range of tapestry fabrics, which are all suitable to make heavy curtains. Some heavy fabrics are not suitable, however, especially if they are upholstery fabrics with a back coating as these are too stiff. Ask our staff if you are unsure which of our fabrics can be made into curtains.
  2. Interlining. This is a layer with thermal properties which is inserted between the main curtain fabric and the lining, and is also known as curtain bump. It feels a little like a blanket and makes the curtains more luxurious. It can even be used with very lightweight fabrics such as faux silk and makes your curtains feel like a million dollars. Interlining can be cotton or polyester and comes in both light and heavy weights. There is an additional charge on the making up because the interlining has to be tacked into the main fabric before adding the lining. If you do not have much room to pull the curtains back off the window or door, interlining will affect this as it makes the curtains considerably thicker.
  3. Thermal or blackout lining. If you don’t want to add interlining to your curtains you could use the option of thermal lining. This is an ivory coloured coated polycotton lining which prevents air getting through the lining, thereby stopping drafts. This creates a colder pocket of air next to the window whilst retaining the heat in the room. This lining is lightweight and will not add to the bulk of the curtains. Thermal lining will not stop light coming through completely, though it is referred to as ‘dimout’ so it will reduce light to some extent. However if light is also a problem (from street lights or the sun in the summer) the good news is that blackout lining also has exactly the same thermal properties as thermal lining, it is just a little heavier and also blocks all light. Some light may come around the edges of the curtain (or through the stitching lines for a roman blind) but none will penetrate through the fabric itself.
  4. Length of curtains. If you are trying to cut out drafts with a full length curtain, you can choose to have your curtain come right down to the floor to ensure that air cannot get underneath it. You could also consider making a shorter curtain long enough to tuck behind a radiator to stop heat going up behind the curtain.

If heat retention is a priority, do mention it to us when you consult about your curtain project. Many of the same factors can also be applied to roman blinds as well. We are happy to make up curtains and blinds for you with all of these options considered, or you can consult our guide to choosing a lining to see all the options. If you already have curtains but want to make things more cosy, you could always consider adding a loose lining with loose lining tape. This is really easy to do, as the thermal lining does not even need hemming as it does not fray when cut. You can find instructions on how to add a loose lining here.

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