Curtains are manufactured from a variety of fabrics, each with a different degree of light absorption and heat / insulating qualities. For maximum temperature control, the curtain gap to the window should be small, with minimum convection drafts below or above the curtain.
Various architectural structures around the curtain can minimise these air drafts, but usually they are just used for decoration and make rooms feel more comfortable.
A sheer curtain is one that is made from translucent fabric, such as a loosely woven polyester voile. Sheer curtains allow a majority of light to be transmitted through the fabric, with the fabric weave providing a basic level of UV protection while retaining maximum visibility outward through the curtain. Sheer curtains are sometimes referred to as “privacy curtains” in reference to their screening abilities; during the day most sheer fabrics will allow people inside the home to see the outside view while preventing people outside the home from seeing directly into the home. Due to the loose weave in sheer fabrics, these types of curtains offer very little in the way of heat insulation or privacy during the night
Uncoated fabrics provide the next level of heat insulation and light absorption. Uncoated fabrics constitute the vast majority of fabrics used in curtains, and are composed of a tightly woven fabric, most typically a cotton/polyester blend, which is mostly opaque when viewed in ambient light. Uncoated fabrics provide a reasonable level of heat insulation due to the tight weave of the fabric. However, the fabric itself is typically not thick enough to completely absorb strong light sources. As a result, when curtains made from uncoated fabrics are closed in an attempt to block out direct sunlight, light will still be visible through the curtain.
Coated fabrics consist of a standard uncoated fabric with an opaque rubber backing applied to the rear of the fabric to provide improved light absorption. To create a coated fabric, a liquefied rubber polymer is applied in a single coat to an uncoated fabric and subsequently fused dry by means of a heated roller. A fabric that has been through the coating process once is considered a “1-pass-coated” fabric, referred to as a blockout because of the fabric’s ability to absorb approximately 50-70% of a direct light source.
Maximum light absorption and heat insulation in a curtain is created through a lined curtain, which typically consists of an uncoated fabric at the front to provide the look and feel of the curtain, with a separate coated fabric attached at the rear to provide the insulated qualities. The coated fabric is typically referred to as a lining, which simply refers to a coated fabric that does not have any particular colour or pattern.
Doors Blinds & Shutters range is our locally manufactured curtain range available to all customers. We are proud to be able to offer the highest quality manufacturing and curtain fabrics in the industry today. The options available to us in this range will help you to achieve any curtain application your customer requires. Tie-backs, Pelmets, Curved/Corner Windows including motorisation are all just the start. Stay tuned for any announcements about this exciting new and growing range.
Caring for your Curtains
Curtains should be hung at least 10cm from the glass to enable air to circulate. This assists in preventing mildew and reduces heat build up, both of which can adversely affect your fabric. To maintain and preserve the life of your soft furnishings, regular dusting and vacuuming should be undertaken, however, frequent laundering is not usually required.
Should washing be required, always refer your fabric’s care code, as some fabrics require specific washing instructions.
Curtains may be held back with tie-backs (a loop of cloth or cord), placed around a curtain to hold it open to one side, typically attached to the wall with a hook (brassware – which can be supplied by us). Alternatively the curtain may be closed and opened with sticks called flick-sticks (rods made of PVC plastic, or metal that can be twisted and/or pulled – not supplied by Sunlight). On some curtain tracks, there is a pulley system for opening and closing called a “cord drawn curtain track”. Soft and Padded pelmets also add a finished look to your window dressing.