Purpose of a curtain or drape and the client brief


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  • 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

    1. 1.  Get inside your client's head, (find out if they are allergic to patterns!)  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!
    2. 2.  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.
    3. 3.  Get the budget sorted early, so as to avoid any problem. Fabric is usually the most expensive part of the whole equation.
    4. 4. Working out Budget Requirements for Curtain Selection  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 curtains.
    5. 5. 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 track.
    6. 6.  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.
    7. 7.  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 lining.  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.
    8. 8.  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!
    9. 9. 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!
    10. 10.  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.
    11. 11. Why do you need Curtain Linings for your Curtains? 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.
    12. 12.  Black out lining can block out unwanted light entering a room.  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.
    13. 13. Note: 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!
    14. 14. Inside Outside
    15. 15. 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.
    16. 16. 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.
    17. 17. 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.
    18. 18.  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 curtains.  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.
    19. 19.  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.
    20. 20.  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.
    21. 21. There are many different ways to manufacture curtain linings.  Tube Lining This is creating seams with the curtain and lining fabrics.  Locked In Lining These are sewn to the curtain vertically across the width.  Detachable Linings These hang by a special heading tape from the same hooks as the curtain but they are not actually stitched to the curtain fabric.
    22. 22.  Interlining 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 or Bumph. 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.