Interior Design Tips & Tricks  

Oct 29

How to Choose the Right Fabric Type for Drapes

Posted by essentia development on Tuesday, October 29, 2019

How to Choose the Right Fabric Type for Drapes

It can be a challenge to create a beautiful room, with a design that seamlessly addresses both function and form. In the case of drapes, curtains, and sheers, you’ll want to choose fabric that meets your needs for privacy, lighting, and insulation. The fabric you select should also fit the scale of the window, drape or hang well, and convey your style through fiber, color, pattern, and hardware. Here’s a quick introduction to choosing drapery fabrics.


Sheers are semi transparent fabrics made with thin threads and a loose weave. They filter daylight and provide a little privacy during daylight hours. Sheers do not provide provide privacy when it’s lighter inside than outside, nor do they insulate. Sheers give a light, airy, feeling to a space. This makes them a wonderful complement to a heavier curtain, when a more formal style is desired or a heavier impact is needed.

Casual Curtains

Linens and cottons generally add a casual, relaxed feeling to a space. The fabrics are woven tightly enough to offer privacy and keep out a lot of light. They’re not as heavy as other fabrics making them easier to care for, but also somewhat insulating. They don’t require elaborate hardware to pleat and drape well. Perhaps the most versatile fabrics for curtains and drapes, linens and cottons are great choice for nearly any style, and for use alongside blinds and shades. 

Formal Drapery

Drapes are generally thought to be formal window treatments, made from heavy, tightly woven fabrics. Fabrics such as damask, silk, and velvet give a sense of luxury and richness to a space because of the unique weaving techniques used to manufacture them. They drape well with lots of pleats and folds, but do require substantial hardware accessories. They typically offer more privacy and insulation, but often require special care.

No matter which fabric feels right to you, be sure to add enough weight to create a finished feeling, but not so much that the room feels dreary. Know that you can add a layer of lining to some curtains or use blinds or sheers to complement your curtains or drapes. Stop by our showroom to explore the options. Whether it’s debating between blinds and drapes, choosing a color for curtains or drapes, or even designing custom window treatments, we are ready to help.