Why choose cotton and linen furnishing fabrics for your curtains and synthetic fabrics for upholstery.
Natural fabrics—such as cotton, silk and wool—are made of plant-based fibres
which include cotton, flax, hemp, bamboo, sisal, jute and animal fleece.
Linen: Linen is best suited for formal living rooms or adult areas because it soils and wrinkles easily. And, it won't withstand heavy wear. ... Wool: Sturdy and durable, wool and wool blends offer good resistance to pilling, fading, wrinkling, and soil.
Linen naturally resists pilling and soiling, but it can wrinkle easily, making it better suited for casual than formal spaces. It's often used in in a blend with cotton for greater elasticity.
Linen is a lighter material that still provides a tailored look, one that which suits casual dining rooms, airy bedrooms or modern living rooms. It also allows some natural light to pass through due to the sheer fabric. Note that linen should be dry cleaned only, and hung immediately to avoid forming wrinkles.
Cotton: This natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. Surface treatments and blending with other fibers often atone for these weaknesses. Durability and use depend on the weave and finish.Cotton is soft and durable, but it's also susceptible to wrinkling and can be easily soiled. Damask weaves are formal; canvas (duck and sailcloth) is more casual and more durable.
Wool: Sturdy and durable, wool and wool blends offer good resistance to pilling, fading, wrinkling, and soil. Generally, wool is blended with a synthetic fiber to make it easier to clean and to reduce the possibility of felting the fibers (causing them to bond together until they resemble felt). Blends can be spot-cleaned when necessary.
Cotton Blend: Depending on the weave, cotton blends can be sturdy, family-friendly fabrics. A stain-resistant finish should be applied for everyday use.
Wool curtains are popular in rooms where you’re aiming for a “period” feel. They are thick and heavy, and they tend to suit solid colours or blocky patterns such as Highland check. They are good for rooms where insulation is important, and they are effective at blocking out light. The downside of wool curtains is that they are very heavy, and they are hard to wash.
Silk: This delicate fabric is only suitable for adult areas, such as formal living rooms. It must be professionally cleaned if soiled.
Silk curtains are incredibly luxurious. They are thinner than the other materials, and they tend to let more light through, but they have an airy, vibrant appearance. You can get lined silk curtains that have a lovely, glossy look to them, but that still offer good light insulation. Silk curtains that are unlined will fade rapidly, but when lined they can be quite hard wearing. They are, however, also quite expensive and they are hard to care for because silk does not tolerate detergents well. You should not use silk in the kitchen, bathroom, or anywhere else where accidental splashes and stains are likely. However, silk is expensive and can only be cleaned by dry cleaning, so it is recommended to engage a curtain cleaning professional.
Note that silk is susceptible to sunlight damage, so either use window shades or tinted windows to protect the curtains.
Choose Curtains or Drapes for Your Living Room
Curtains made of cotton or a cotton blend are versatile options, as they offer a crisp, clean feel that suits traditional or modern decorating styles.
Cotton curtains cast gently filtered light in any space and are easy to care for, making them a great choice for your little ones' rooms.
On the other hand, a sheer cotton curtain will give the interior a light, an airy feel.
This fabric also drapes well, and is a great option for formal dining rooms or ballrooms.
Functionality Comes First
Designing modern curtains is all about choices — and identifying what you want for your living room is the best place to start! Would you like your curtains or drapery to make this space more private? Does the window face east or west, where you’ll need to block light from outside during certain hours of the day? Or were you hoping that natural light would shine through your custom window treatments all day long? Do you like to change your decor in the early spring or mid-fall? Or, are you looking for better insulation in the winter? As you can see there are a few choices to consider, so we recommend making a quick list of functionality that you’d prefer to get from your new modern curtains.
Now that you know your preferences for your living room curtains; let’s consider how to choose colors from your curtains or custom drapes. When selecting a fabric color, consider whether you want your curtains to blend in with the decor or be a focal point for the room. If you elect to have them play a more muted role, select curtains that are similar to the wall color or add trims matching the color of the space. In contrast, if you want your custom drapes to make a statement, then selecting a bold color will be your option. Just a word of caution, lighter color drapes will illuminate more with natural light and feel breezy. By comparison, darker tones will appear heavy, grounded, and can dominate the space. As it is your choice, pick a color that you love, reflects the character of the space as your custom curtains will play a key role in the overall aesthetic of your living room.
You could never go wrong with a neutral shades in a classic, functional style like euro pleat drapes or ripple fold. Optic White, Oyster, Grays, and natural shades work fabulous with different furniture colors, and are easy to apply to other styles.
Avoid 100% synthetic fabrics for curtains as tend to have static cling.
Polyester Curtains although easy to wash (cold wash preferably) and good in color fastness (color does not fade easily), the fabric attracts stains, lint, wrinkles and static electricity. Static electricity clings to many fabrics, polyester in particular. The static is due to an imbalance of electrons on fabrics.
A common fabric used in curtains, polyester is durable, easy to clean, resistant to wrinkles, and affordable. This is a good option for living rooms or bedrooms, but avoid using them in kitchens - polyester is flammable, susceptible to keeping odours, and hinders air flow. Take note that it can
Polyester curtains come in a variety of styles and designs, but since stains are hard to remove on this fabric, homes with children should choose darker colours.
For the best balance between price and luxury, consider polyester curtains that have been blended with cotton or silk. This is usually quite affordable, and has a texture and appearance that is closer to that of a more expensive fabric. The blend also increases the durability of the curtains. Many readymade curtains in standard sizes are made of a silk or cotton and polyester blend, so if you have standard sized curtains and want a common pattern, it’s easy to find great looking and affordable curtains online.
Picking the Perfect Upholstery Fabric
When choosing upholstery, you should be aware of its durability, cleanability, and resistance to soil and fading.
These are common fibers used in upholstery fabrics for their durability.
These are common fibers used in upholstery fabrics. They can be 100% or blended with other fibers to join characteristics. These fibers can be made up into a variety of fabric types, which also have an effect on their performance:
Your color choice is also dependent upon the type of use your furniture will see. A natural beige color is a popular choice for hiding dirt as well as being a neutral that can go with many different décor styles.
Consider lighter solid colors to create an airy, inviting mood in a space. Darker colors or patterns are better for hiding dirt and wear. Or you can always select a bright color or a fun, bold pattern to make a statement in your space!
These common, upholstery fabrics come in a variety of weights, colors, fibers, and treatments to ensure you get the fabric you need for your project.
If you are planning to upholster something that will experience everyday wear and tear, durability is important to consider. Upholstery fabric’s durability is determined by how it rates on the manufacturer-administered double rub test, which is a back and forth motion that mimics the wear and tear of someone sitting on an upholstered seat over time.
A 15,000 to 25,000 double rubs is a great place to start for residential upholstery, while commercial projects generally require fabrics to be at least 50,000 and ideally 100,000 double rubs. Double rubs are found through a mechanized test called the Wyzenbeek Test (sometimes called the Wyzenbeek Method). A standard used in North America.
In addition to higher double rubs, look for upholstery fabrics treated for performance, like stain resistance, water repellant, or UV resistance.
The Martindale is a common unit for quantifying the abrasion resistance of textiles, especially when used for upholstery. The Martindale method, also known as the figure-8 rub test. , simulates natural wear of a seat cover, in which the textile sample is rubbed against a standard abrasive surface with a specified force. A standard used more in the U.K. and Europe.
The Wyzenbeek and Martindale tests are the two methods commonly used to predict wear-ability.
Double Rubs for Residential Applications:
Double Rubs for Commercial Applications:
When purchasing upholstery fabric or upholstered furniture, be aware that the higher the thread count, the more tightly woven the fabric is, and the better it will wear. Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric.
Upholstery fabric is often not suitable for traditional washing or dry cleaning once applied to furniture; therefore, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions and look for stain repellent fabrics for heavier-use pieces. Our recommendation for dry-cleaning is intended prior to upholstering, if cleaning before use is desired. Once upholstered, use spot cleaners intended for upholstery fabric, or upholstery cleaning services. Using a fabric protectant spray over your finished furniture is highly recommended.
Take note :
Synthetic fabrics include nylon, polyester, rayon, acrylic, etc. Leather, synthetic and even natural fabrics are heavily treated with toxic chemicals and they can have chemical residues on a final product. These chemical residues can cause negative health effects.
To avoid this look out for fabrics with the Oeko-Tex label. Oeko-Tex is a registered trade mark, representing the product labels and company certifications issued and other services provided by the International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology (which also calls itself Oeko-Tex for short).
Articles posted are from various established sources within the industry and the owner of this site. Providing useful information to contribute to keeping the high industry standards.