What Is a Good Fabric Material for Curtains?

Written by elizabeth mcnelis
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What Is a Good Fabric Material for Curtains?
Curtains affect how much or how little natural light enters the room. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Curtains, drapes and other window treatments impact a room's decor From light cotton kitchen curtains to heavy wool formal living room drapes, different fabrics make different statements and set the stage for the whole room. Knowing what types of fabric are available for curtains and how they impact the room makes choosing the right curtains for your room much simpler.

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Cotton is one of the most popular fabrics for curtains. It's generally inexpensive, easy to care for, versatile and durable. It washes well and resists fading. Colourful gingham cafe curtains brighten the kitchen while long velvet drapes add old-world richness to a study or bedroom. Cotton organdie is ideal for the translucent under curtains or alone to create and airy feel.


Although expensive and high maintenance, silk adds a luxurious shimmer to a space. Silk organza curtains allow plenty of natural light to filter into the room. Ornate silk brocade is a heavy but elegant fabric for formal drapes. However, besides the big price tag, silk attracts dirt easily and is difficult to clean at home. If you must indulge in silk organza sheers or silk brocade drapes then indulge in a quiet room away from heavy traffic, children or pets.


Wool is about as versatile and durable as cotton but with a much higher price tag. Wool curtains and drapes add warmth to a room not just because of their appearance but also because of their ability to block cold air from entering a room around the edges of the window. Wool needs special care when cleaning. Usually wool is dry clean only. Be sure to check the labels before washing.


Synthetic fabrics like polyester and rayon can be used for curtains to simulate the look of silk without the high cost and the difficult care. Polyester lays well, resists creasing, dries quickly and stays beautiful with minimum care. Rayon has a natural lustre resembling silk and feels pleasant to the touch. It drapes well and is able to be dyed easily.

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