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Choosing the Right Curtain Fabric

Fabric is a key consideration when choosing a window dressing. Your choice of fabric will determine the overall look as well as the durability of your window coverings over time.

You may think of window dressings as primarily decorative; however, they can also serve a purpose. It is important to think about the function of your window coverings when selecting the fabric.


White chair with black seat and table with tea set infront of window with white curtains
White chair with black seat and table with tea set infront of window with white curtains

Light Control

Curtains and drapes allow you to regulate the amount of light in a space. Sheer curtains give you the warm glow of filtered sunlight and work well in areas such as kitchens. Drapes with heavier fabrics, such as wool-blend or corduroy, block the most light, making them perfect for bedrooms. You can even hang curtains with blackout linings to completely block the outside light.

Noise Control

Curtains and Drapes made from heavier fabrics like velvet and wool can help block outside noise. This is especially useful if you live on a busy street. Window dressings with thick folds and pleats also do an excellent job of absorbing unwanted noise. As a general rule, any fabric that will absorb water will also absorb sound.


Curtains and drapes can make your home more energy efficient. Window dressings made from thick material, such as suede, tapestry, or velvet, can block drafts in older homes and are a great option to use as a door curtain. To get the maximum benefit, you want to select a window covering that extends all the way to the floor. Your drapes will provide even more insulation if you add additional layers such as a thermal or flannel lining. In even colder climates, you may want to add an interlining. This is essentially a blanket sewn between the curtain and lining to provide even more noise and heat insulation.