In 1910 many existing styles in home decor, and therefore curtain styles, changed. It was the year Edward VII died; his ascent to the throne had coincided with the transition from Victorian heaviness to the lightness of art nouveau and the simplicity of the arts and crafts movement. Mass production and mechanisation made the manufacture of curtains and window coverings simpler and more affordable for everyone.
Edwardian Era Home Fashions, 1901 to 1910
After the formality and darkness of Victorian styles, the emerging middle class wanted affordable and efficient homes. There was a welcome change to less formality and lighter colours and fabrics. Window treatments reflected this. Lace curtains were still popular, but the curtains over them became light in colour and fabric, with floral patterns or simple stripes. Letting in the light was now considered a good thing.
Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts Movement, 1865 to 1910
The arts and crafts movement favoured simplicity and handmade items over all. For most, though, expensive handmade items such as brass and hand-turned wooden curtain rods were inaccessible. Art nouveau, while still simple, was more nature; fabrics had African, Egyptian and floral motifs in light natural colours like cream, light violet and green. Fabrics and curtain rods were mass produced, which made them more accessible for everyone.
Art Deco, 1908 to 1935
Emerging in 1908, art deco was influenced by art nouveau and arts and crafts, but became noticeably more modern, with geometric patterns and less influence from nature. Fabrics were still light and window treatments simple, but the stylised motifs and lightning bolt patterns were quite a change from florals. This style was just taking hold in 1910, and continued for another 25 years, influencing the styles that came after, such as Bauhaus and Modernism.
Making Curtains 1910
In reality these styles were adopted as a blend by most homemakers. Curtains were often made by the ladies of the house, and lighter fabrics and simpler styles were welcomed. The sewing machine had been invented in the mid 18th century, but was now mass produced, which made home sewing much simpler. The ability to buy a simple mass-produced curtain rod, and inexpensive fabric for homemade curtains, made fashionable home decor more accessible for the average home.