Is there a difference in the way that fabrics hang and are they an important consideration in the window treatments I am considering?
Yes there is indeed a difference in the way different fabrics hang when used as a component of your window treatments.
Your choice of fabric composition will need to take into account a number of considerations which is most easily explored by dividing fabrics into three fundamental types.
- Natural fibre fabrics such as cotton, silk, wool and linen
- Blended fabrics.
Polyester is a man-made fiber, a product of the petroleum industry. Polyester drapery fabric is fade resistant, does not absorb water readily and, depending on the weight, may drape well. It is less expensive than most man-made fiber fabrics and can be dyed to any color. Polyester fabric can be made to look and feel like silk, rayon or cotton, but it will retain its own properties. Polyester is wrinkle resistant, but should it wrinkle, removing the crease may be difficult. Because it is a man-made fiber, it is also prone to pilling and static. Generally a curtain made from 100% polyester is prone to flairing and static buildup. Polyester fabrics tend to be cheaper than natural fibre fabrics which offers advantages if budget constraints are an issue in the selection of a window treatment.
Natural Fibre Fabrics
Generally natural fibres such as cotton, silk, linen and wool 'breathe' which is something that synthetic polyester fabrics do not. They are not affected to the same degree by the effects of staic build-up and tend to hold their shape better than synthetic fabrics. Natural fabrics, however, are more prone to creasing and are less stain-reistant. They also tend to be less durable than synthetic fabrics, which is an important consideration when considering window treatments in high traffic areas, or which will operated frequently thoughout their lifetime. Natural fibre fabrics are typically more expensive than their synthetic counterparts, an important consideration given a substantive percentage of the total cost of a curtain window treatment, attributed to the fabric selected and used.
Polyester is often blended with other fibers for qualities that will make the fabric more suitable for specific applications. Cotton is added for softness, absorbency and breathability. In drapery fabric, the addition of cotton enhances what drapers refer to as the “memory” of the fabric. Pleats will stay in place better, for example, if the fabric contains some natural fibers. Polyester is most often blended with cotton but may be blended with rayon, silk, nylon or elastine.
Blended fabrics offer a good compromise when it comes to the selection of fabrics for curtain window treatments, allowing for treatment solutions that are both durable, while at the same time holding their shape and allowing the purchase of a treatment that is less expensive and easier to maintain than wholly natural fibre solutions.