Like any design project if you do not get the correct client brief, you cannot possibly hope to achieve your desired goal in the eyes of your client as you both have differing visions of the outcome.Therefore quality time spent at the beginning of your curtains project actually finding out what your client’s needs and wants are will definitely help you achieve the desired outcome for everyone. Or spend quality time with your client working out their wants and needs; this will ensure a better result for everyone.
It is important in any decision making process to be aware of your curtain budget.Whether you are redecorating an entire home or just a single room.
Purpose of a curtain or drape and the client brief
Get inside your client's head, (find out if they are allergic
Look at the environment that you have to work with, i.e.
existing floor coverings, furniture, walls (will simply
changing the curtains be enough?)
Look at how the client uses the spaces - you don't want to
have to fiddle with elaborate draperies in the children's
bedrooms, as they are curtains that are drawn frequently
and will probably be played with by the children, better off
to have a roman blind that is out of reach for example!
Practical issues - assess the type of window, is there
space above, beside the window for curtains and fitting
tracks, are the windows high, can the curtains be
reached to be drawn, are the windows accessible, do
they need a permanent window covering, are the
windows wide, how will you manage the weight of the
fabric on the tracks?
Inform the client early in the process of any practical
issues to avoid disappointment.
Get the budget sorted early, so as to avoid any problem.
Fabric is usually the most expensive part of the whole
Working out Budget Requirements for Curtain
A budget is required for all items so that you keep
within your monetary limits.
The type of curtain or drape, the style, the fabric, the
track, the heading selection, the size and the lining,
the installation, all influence the cost of your
For example – you select a beautiful silk fabric for your
bedroom, it is expensive and you have to forgo the lining
and use a simple gathered heading tape on a hand drawn
The result is disappointing as the heading tape does not
allow for nice even gathers and the fabric does not drape as
well as it should because it would have been better with a
larger fullness (more fabric) and the use of a cheaper
pleated header tape.
By drawing them by hand everyday the front edges soil
quickly from the natural oils on your hands which the dirt
is the attracted to. Quickly the fabric breaks down from the
sunlight as it is not lined and natural fibres are more
susceptible to UV damage. Therefore you end up with
faded shabby looking curtains that you wish weren’t yours.
If you had used the correct accessories the price would have been
too much for your budget. Sometimes we are better to select a
less expensive fabric and use more of it to get the fullness and be
able to purchase the appropriate tracks, header tapes and use a
Often the little bits and pieces can add up to more than what we
think will be the major expense. So investigate how you are going
to hang the curtains – with tracks or poles, how you will hold
them back if you need to, what type of lining and the type of
heading as well as the obvious fabric selection and making costs
and who is going to install them? From this investigation make a
curtain budget first, then you have a good idea of what
expenses you will be expecting.
You may find it more cost effective to buy “ready made
panels ” or standard curtains from the store rather than
having your curtains custom made. This does work well if
you have standard sized windows, but does limit your
fabric selection options.
Tab Top Curtains are now a modern popular form of ready
made curtains that you can by in most department stores
or online decorating stores. They are fun and usually in
trendy colors and designs, they are inexpensive as they
don’t have much fullness and are basically designed as a
decorative curtain and are ideal if you want to jazz up an
area for a small amount of money and you can then afford
to change it with the seasons!
The Purpose of a Curtain or Drape
If you want to make a good client brief, then you
will need to know the purpose of a curtain or drape:
Insulation - curtains and linings provide insulation from
the cold and drafts of the window, they also reduce the heat
loss from the room.
Noise Reduction - curtains and linings help reduce noise
coming from outside the window.
Keeping Light Out - Curtains keep out the light in the
mornings allowing you to sleep in!
Privacy - Curtains allow you to keep unwanted people
from looking through your windows.
Disguising - curtains are great for distraction, they
allow you to block out poor views from windows, or
balance uneven windows in a room.
Decoration - curtains are wonderful for dressing up
an interior, for helping create themes and styles, for
adding color, pattern and texture, adding softness and
intimacy to a space.
Why do you need Curtain Linings for your
Curtain linings are mostly an after thought when
selecting your curtain fabrics.
Surprisingly curtain lining is equally as important as the
aesthetic factor of the main fabric, as it is required to perform
many different functions.
Curtain linings provide fullness in a curtain, they protect the
fabric from the dirt and grime entering from the window side.
They act as an insulator, trapping heat between the curtain
lining and the curtain fabric, they help reduce street noise, they
protect the fabric from any moisture that may arise on the
window i.e. condensation which over time could cause mould.
Black out lining can block out unwanted light entering
Curtain linings can often be made on a separate tape so
that they can be removed from the main curtain and
washed or replaced. So to conclude, it is a wise choice
to line your curtains.
Remember that others will be able to see your curtain linings, ensure that you
use the same lining throughout the house if you can especially if your windows
are very visible to others!
Thermal Curtains – Curtain Lining for Insulation
or Noise Reduction
Noise reduction can be achieved by using a heavy
fabric with bumph lining covering all of the window
and overlapping at the sides. It will reduce the noise
but not eliminate it; this can be achieved by using
double-glazing in the windows. Insulation can be
achieved by using a medium to heavy fabric or a tightly
woven fabric, lining this, covering the entire window
overlapping the sides. It is also useful if you have some
form of blind as well on the window.
Curtain Linings for Keeping Light Out and Privacy
Keeping the light out at night can be achieved by using
a black out lining. This is extremely useful in
bedrooms. Privacy can be achieved in many ways – by
the use of nets, blinds or curtains, it depends if it is a
24-hour a day requirement or just for the evenings. A
simple sheer draped over the window with a hold back
(for when you don’t require the privacy) and released
when you do. You could use a curtain in a similar
fashion for increased privacy or any form of curtain
that can be drawn.
Types of Curtain Linings
Curtain lining is often taken for granted. There are
many types and they perform many different
functions, but to keep it simple.
They provide fullness in a curtain, they protect the
fabric from the dirt and grime entering from the
window side, they act as an insulator, trapping heat
between the lining and the curtain fabric, they protect
the main fabric from sunlight, they protect the main
fabric from any moisture that may arise on the window
i.e. condensation which over time could cause mould.
Often linings are on a separate tape and can be removed
and washed or replaced. They can block out unwanted
light and reduce street noise. They provide a professional
finish to window treatments, concealing the hems and raw
edges. So to conclude, it is a wise choice to line your
There are many types of linings; polycotton, calico,
blackout. They are usually a sateen fabric which is a strong
tightly woven fabric.
Insulating and blackout linings are laminated with vinyl or
layered with foam acrylic.
Blackout linings work well in bedrooms, as they completely
block out any light from entering the room.
The most common colors for linings are white, off white,
and ecru. Colored linings are available but ensure that they
are fade resistant as they will look dreadful from outside as
they fade in the sun.
Interlining is a soft and loosely woven fabric that gets
placed between the fabric and the lining for extra body and
insulation value. Pay attention to how the curtain is hung
and ensure you have a strong track, as it is a lot heavier
when interlining is used.
Most curtains require linings but sheers and nets
don’t, they look fabulous on their own, they can sometimes
be classed as a curtain lining in a round about way as they
provide some similar properties, providing privacy and
some insulation properties.
There are many different ways to
manufacture curtain linings.
This is creating seams with the curtain and lining fabrics.
Locked In Lining
These are sewn to the curtain vertically across the width.
These hang by a special heading tape from the same hooks
as the curtain but they are not actually stitched to the
Interlining can be placed between two fabrics acting as
a layer of insulation whilst bulking out curtains
increasing their draping properties. It is a white or
offwhite soft thick fabric which is often called Domette
Thermal linings can be used for any of the above
methods of manufacture. Some fabrics are coated with a
thermal coating and generally don’t use a lining.