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Perfect Curtains - Mills Vintage Interiors.

May 11, 2014

Curtains are expensive, mistakes can easily be made,  the following will explain a  little of the
mystery regarding bespoke curtain speak.  An important decision on the approach to new curtains is understanding the role of the face fabric, linings and interlinings the way the fabric will hang depending on your choice.

Unlined Curtains hanging simply from a narrow pole are elegant and uncluttered. Simple linen curtains make perfect room dividers. Layering of unlined curtains achieves a lighter,  contemporary  feel compared with heavily interlined curtains which appear and are indeed much more solid. Simple and unlined does not mean easy to make, be generous with the fabric, this helps with the free flowing effect at least 2.5 to 3 x gather overall. Consider using blinds or shutters underneath to help exclude the light if this may be an issue.
Blinds in natural fabrics, bamboo, hessian add interest and texture to your finished window design.

Sheer Curtains often in plain linen, cotton, voile or muslin, shades of white and dove  grey, billowing, floating. No longer just to hide an ugly view or create privacy. Sheer curtains need to be full, too little fabric mean and skimpy - most curtain makers will use a fine taped heading, letting the fabric fall into soft gathers. Tailored pleats and folds can also be used to great effect . Sheer curtains are particularly suited to bed hangings. Coloured Sheer fabrics must be used with caution, soft pinks and reds will warm up the diffused light, greens and blues cool it down. Edging with a contrast fabric will create interest, both sides or along the hem.

Natural Fabrics are more in demand than ever before. Huge choice of Linen and Cotton abound, rough and hand woven, fine light and elegant many organic in origin. Natural Irish Linen, Cotton Lawn, Holland, Jute and Cambric to name just a few. The equivalent of 'the little black dress'.  Made from Flax Linen is perfect in hot weather allowing the skin to breath. Naturally in undyed colours of white, cream, taupe and brown. When made up interlined and lined heavy, warm and solid. If a colour appears in nature then it will always look good. Many weights and textures available,  woven in Italy, Ireland and Belgium.

Silk & Velvet Fabrics create glamour and sophistication in Window Treatments. Silk has a unique whisper when it moves,  an intense depth of colour so unbeatable.  Silk Damask just the most elegant creating the most  Venetian feel to windows. It is inadvisable to use silk unlined it is very prone to damage by the sun and should be protected with a double interlined layer, blackout and then a soft cotton interlining, followed by a sateen lining. Just blackout lining creates a hard crackling finish that spoils the beautiful lines of silk curtains and restricts how they hang.
Velvet so tactile you can not help but touch it, heavy and traditionally considered luxurious, often used in rich jewel colours. The Flemish team richly coloured velvet with heavy plain linen, headings tailored and structured with pleats to hold the weight of the fabrics offering a sumptuous masculine look to the very grey painted interiors favoured in Holland and Belgium at present.

Wool Fabrics comforting, naturally warm and very English  there are many types Plaids, Cashmere, Tweed, Check, Tartans and Pashmina best used in cold climates, rooms that get little sun. Wool makes highly insulating curtains and creates warmth and comfort supremely soft and  fluid hanging beautifully. Looks amazing heavily interlined and lined with contrast edges or  silk and wool trimmings.

Floral Fabrics the mainstay of The English Country House look, many designs originating from  France and Indochina. Chintz arriving from  India in the 17thc creating huge demand for these colourful , vibrant fabrics.
Faded Florals often in linen rather than cotton  are the current must have look  of archive prints give a Vintage authentic lived in look to homes of all styles. Remember the pattern must match across the curtain when calculating the yardage and often more is needed than you think.

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