Lining your curtains
Ok so you have made the difficult decisions and chosen the face fabric, the heading style and your pole/track – now what is the best lining to use? At this point we tend to find that a lot of eyes start to glaze over as the process is all starting to take a bit longer than anticipated. Please stick with it just a little longer! Lining is not complicated but selecting the right one will ensure that your finished curtains not only look fabulous but also serve any practical purpose they were intended for.
Curtain linings can make an impact on light penetration, noise reduction and even the amount of heat that enters a room.
To line or not to line?
Except for voile curtains we line every pair of curtains unless there is a specific reason not to (for example a voile). Lining helps to improve the way the curtains hang and can extend their lifespan by offering some protection from sunlight. Lining also ensures the curtains can be finished beautifully with neat, invisible side and bottom hems.
At County Fabrics we like to use a luxury poly/cotton satin as our standard (yet excellent!) house lining. This lining has been carefully selected to combine the softness and handle of cotton with the inherent easy care, crease resistant and durability of polyester. Our lining is a higher density satin for greater opacity and protection. It also benefits from needing minimal ironing, low residual shrinkage and can be washed at 40. We offer this lining in a choice of chalk, white, pearl or stone colours.
Blackout linings are used to limit the amount of light that can enter a room. As we all know, waking up with the sun can have a detrimental impact on our sleeping patterns. If you have an office facing the sun too, for example, you might be distracted from important work tasks. Blackout curtains or blinds are great solutions for these issues.
Blackout lining is densely woven. This means that light cannot penetrate through the fibres so easily. When the curtains are open, you’ll experience the full extent of natural lighting, of course. But when they’re closed, you’re given the option to choose your own lighting atmosphere.
Remember though that light may still come into the room round the sides and tops of your curtains. If you are particularly sensitive to light consider combining a blind and curtains, using a pelmet and a track (instead of a pole) to keep curtains closer to the wall.
TIP: You may also want to consider a blackout lining when using a woven fabric to prevent light highlighting any of the threads used on the reverse of the fabric.
Should I interline my curtains?
Curtain interlining is not visible when looking at the external curtains. Our wonderfully soft domette interlining is made of cotton and it sits in between the actual curtain fabric itself, and the lining that is visible from the outside of your window. Curtain interlining is used to improve the drape of fabric, while also enhancing the quality and feel of the curtains too.
Curtain interlining means curtains are thicker and therefore help to reduce sound pollution within a room. This is great for areas where people need a lot of rest, or where you need to reduce traffic noise from the outdoors. We would highly recommend interlining if using a silk fabric.
Of course, being based in Scotland, interlining also adds a layer of warmth. It is like wrapping a blanket around the inside of your windows! If you want maximum thermal performance, consider interlining together with our blackout lining. For particularly chilly doors we often upgrade to our heavy weight interlining. Using a track (rather than a pole) will also keep curtains closer to the wall and avoid gaps for the draughts to escape through! Consider a pelmet as well to hide the track!
Brushed lining (otherwise known as raised lining)
One of our personal favourites is our brushed lining that is made from 52% Polyester / 48% Cotton. This wonderfully soft lining is raised on one side to add body to curtains. It is considered a step between lining and interlining so is a great option where time or budget does not justify the extra work and materials involved in interlining.