How to Customise the Perfect Curtains
If you’re on the road to having new curtains installed at your home, office, or commercial space, you might be considering having them custom made. With custom made curtains, you can trust that they’re going to look, fit, and feel much better off-the-shelf curtains.
Like with anything made to order, you should have an idea of what it is that you’re wanting from the final product. To ensure that your new custom curtains are going to tick all the boxes, these are a few things that you should consider before placing an order.
Where will your curtains hang?
The first thing to consider is the space that you’re planning to hang your curtains, and what purpose you want the curtains to serve. Are the curtains going to be functional, or more simply ornate? Are you wanting the curtains to provide absolute privacy when drawn? Will they be exposed to high amounts of light? The answer to these questions will help you in your decision making when it comes to choosing the right fabric, colour, and length for your custom curtains.
Curtains could be made of nearly any fabric you could think of, and that’s why it’s so important to consider your options carefully. Curtain fabrics all have different textures, hang at different weights, have differing durability, light blocking ability, and there’s also variation when it comes to sun-fade resistance and ease of maintenance.
The most commonly used fabrics are polyester, linen, cotton, and voile.
- Polyester curtains are known for being durable, easy to clean, and not to mention very affordable. It’s a good fabric to use for rooms needing temperature control, as the material is not as breathable as linen or cotton. Polyester is a flammable fabric, however, so they’re not suitable for kitchen curtains.
- Linen is often used for lightweight, quality living room or bedroom curtains. Being a very breathable, natural fabric, it’s a good choice for filtering light without blocking the sunshine completely. It is an absorbent fabric, so it’s not recommended for areas that may be exposed to a lot of condensation or odours.
- Cotton is an extremely versatile natural fabric. Depending on the tightness of the weave, they can be quite lightweight or they can hang heavy. Compared with linen, cotton is great to use for light-blocking and is softer to the touch, however it is more vulnerable to thinning over time.
- Voile is a sheer, opaque fabric that holds more weight than other sheer fabrics, which means that it hangs beautifully. Voile has an almost silky texture, so it gives a luxurious feel while still providing practical benefits, such as privacy and light filtering. Voile is a kind of blended fabric, and can be made primarily of either cotton and linen or synthetic fibres, so the ease of maintenance varies depending on the blend.
If you’re unsure about what fabric is going to be the best for your space, it’s a good idea to sample the fabrics. Try to obtain bigger samples, rather than patches, so that you can hold the fabric up against the window and see how it drapes. Another benefit of sampling in this way is that you can then test the opacity, and see how much light-blocking ability the fabric has.
Patterns and colours
Once you’ve chosen your fabric, you can then move on to deciding the colour, or pattern, of your curtains. This is typically the easiest part, as you likely already have an idea of what you want your curtains to look like. An important thing to consider is the colour palette that exists in the space that you’ll be hanging the curtains – do you want the curtains to match those colours, or do you want an accent colour?
Light coloured fabrics are ideal for curtains that don’t completely block light, but rather filter it, and they add a softness to the aesthetic of your space. On the opposite side of the spectrum, your darker fabrics are going to be better at light-blocking and temperature control.
If you’re going for a patterned fabric, consider the size of the window or door that the curtains will hang over. Fabrics with a larger motif should be used for larger space, to ensure that the pattern on the curtain has its intended effect. Smaller patterns, by the same token, are best for smaller windows.
Curtains can be hung in a variety of ways, and each method has its own unique visual effect (this is something to consider when sampling your fabrics). Common draping styles for curtains are pleated, tab-top, grommet, and rod pocket.
- Pleated curtains need little description – this draping style takes your chosen fabric and creates a pleated pattern at the top for a little extra visual impact. Curtains can be pencil pleated, box pleated, pinch pleated, or goblet pleated, and each kind of pleat will drape your curtain in different ways. Consider the texture and weight of your fabric when choosing the pleat, as this will impact the effect of the draping.
- Tab-top curtains have a more of a casual feel than pleated curtains. A tab-top curtain is created when the top of the curtain panels are cut into segments, or tabs, resulting in loops that a curtain rod can easily slide through.
- Grommet curtains are perhaps the easiest to slide back and forth along the rod, so are great for kids bedrooms or any room where the curtains will be moved frequently. This draping style uses grommets, or eyelets, in the top segment of the curtain panel, and the curtain rod sits inside these eyelets to hold up the curtains.
- Rod pocket, or pole pocket, is a draping style similar to tab-tops in the way that the design allows a rod to slide through the top of the curtain panel. The difference is that a rod pocket curtain is a complete piece of fabric,and is not cut into segments like the tab-top. This draping style bunches a lot when the curtains are drawn open, so it’s typically used for lighter, thinner fabrics.
The length of your curtains is an important factor in the overall visual impact. To choose the right length, consider if anything will be sitting underneath the window or door once they’re hung. Do you want the curtains to hang above the windowsill, or would you prefer a more dramatic impact and have the panels down to the floor? There are four commonly used lengths, and they’re referred to as floating curtains, apron curtains, kiss curtains, or puddle curtains.
- Floating curtains, otherwise known as sill curtains, sit either just above the top of the windowsill or just below the windowsill. This is a good length to choose if you have any furniture placed below the window.
- Apron curtains are a little bit longer than floating curtains, but they’re not so long that they reach the floor. An apron length curtain will typically sit halfway between the windowsill and the floor.
- Kiss curtains are at a length where they reach the floor, being just long enough that they “kiss” the bottom of the room. This length is a good option for glass doors, or for frequently used windows where you still want the visual effect of a long curtain.
- Puddle curtains do exactly that – they puddle, or gather, at the floor. The length of the curtain panels are longer than the wall or door that they hang in front of, which lets the fabric gather at the bottom. The visual impact of a puddle length curtain will depend on the choice of fabric.
Customising curtains requires some thought about both aesthetics and practicality, and the handful of factors that make up the final product, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult process! If you’re needing some help with your customisation and would like to chat about your options, contact us at Turnerarc. Our friendly professionals will get you on your way to hanging the perfect curtains for whatever space and purpose you need!