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The Best Curtains & Drapes to Keep Sun & UV Heat Out of a House

Updated February 21, 2017

Curtains and drapes constructed from heavy fabrics, and even lighter-weight fabrics that are insulated and lined, provide the best protection from the damaging effects of sun and heat. They also protect from ultraviolet rays that can fade and weaken fabric and from winter's cold. A lining is a practical solution for insulation, but it also adds body, improves the way a curtain hangs and presents a uniform look from outside the home.

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Lined Drapes

Curtains or drapes backed with insulated lining provide the best protection from sunlight, heat and cold. The lining even muffles noise. Blackout lining, used in bedrooms to block out sunlight, also protects from heat, cold and UV rays. This lining can be sewn onto the back of the drapes or curtains. Insulated interlining, a blanket-like layer of material between the lining and curtain fabric, further reduces cold penetration and sun glare.

Wool or Velvet Drapes

Heavy draperies made of wool or velvet are also good options for blocking sun and heat. Hard-wearing wool hangs in full, loose folds, blocking both heat and cold with its substantial heft. Likewise, plush velvet blocks both drafts and light. Velvet and wool are expensive options for drapes but are usually considered an investment because of their durability.

Canvas Fabrics

In an outdoor room, sunroom or screened porch, natural light is appealing but often needs to be blocked during the brightest part of the day. In these situations, full-length panels made of canvas or other outdoor fabrics can be utilised. The panels are pulled to protect from the sun's rays during the hottest part of the day and then opened again in the evening as the sun sets. Outdoor acrylic fabrics, such as Sunbrella, are water- and mildew-resistant and provide sun protection.

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