Voile is a thin, lightweight cotton or cotton blend material that is sheer and hangs well—this quality makes it popular for use as curtains. Voile curtains create a diffused light in a room, rather than block the light altogether, and are often the backing curtain in a set of heavy and light curtains. Wash voile curtains every six months or so, to cleanse them of the dust that inevitably settles into the fabric. Because of its delicate nature, voile should be hand washed.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Washing tub
- Mild washing powder
Remove any hardware, such as curtain rings, from the voile curtains.
Fill the washing tub with a warm water and detergent solution, about a 30:1 ratio of water to detergent.
Place the voile curtains in the tub, and press them down into the solution, so they become fully wet. Soak for 15 minutes, then agitate the curtains in the bucket—you can use your hands, or you can very gently stamp in the bucket with clean feet—much like pressing grapes. The foot method works best if you are washing many curtains at once.
Empty out the detergent water solution, then refill the tub with fresh, cool water. Agitate the curtains again, then empty out the water. Repeat this until the water runs clean.
Wring out the voile curtains gently. Lay out a towel, then place a wrung curtain on one end, and roll up the curtain in the towel. Press the towel and curtain roll gently to remove excess water.
Hang the cleaned voile curtain on the clothesline. If possible, hang the curtain as if it were in place on the curtain rail—this will help the curtains dry wrinkle-free. Re-hang the curtains when they are dry.
Tips and warnings
- Dry white voile in full sun, which will help naturally and gently bleach the curtains. Dry coloured voile in the shade, otherwise the sun will lighten the colour.
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