Choosing Fabrics for Custom Drapery

Drapery plays a vital role in decorating home interiors. It dresses up the windows, offers light and privacy control and makes a space warm and inviting.

Fabric selection for drapery is exciting but it could be daunting. Selecting right fabric is an art as well as science and the infinite choices could make this process overwhelming and time consuming. The process can be simplified by taking into consideration these important factors:

1. Color Scheme:

  • Select colors, it could be tone on tone (different shades of a color) or contrasting (2 or more colors)
  • This could be your favorite color or depending on the design idea or items that you already have
  • Explore yourself, find out what colors makes you happy and comfortable
  • Custom Drapery is a significant investment. Keeping that in mind, think for long term, strive for a drapery color that is neutral (shades of white, beige, gray and taupe). It’s important to feel confident that your drapery colors will complement your interior year-round, or in future if you chose to make changes in your decor.

2. Design Theme:

  • Start with an existing design theme of the room or think of a design idea that you would like to achieve. This idea may come from an item that inspires you e.g. a piece of antique furniture or an art work that you love.
  • For instance french pleated drapes would look beautiful in a traditional style décor or ripplefold style adds modern flair to city inspired design theme.

3. Fabric Texture:

  • Texture adds depth and interest in fabrics
  • Natural fibers have unique natural textures e.g. linen or cotton has woven casual elegance that could adorn patio doors, kitchen or country inspired designs. Woolen fabrics can be added as a thermal layer to bring warmth. Silk can make a rich statement in a formal living or dining room
  • There is also a huge variety of synthetic fabrics e.g. polyester, nylon, rayon, acrylic.
  • Synthetics fabrics are becoming more in demand for drapery because It can  imitate the look of natural fiber and provide better durability at a much reasonable cost.
  • Light weight fabrics such as Voile, Lace are good for light filtering and better airflow and good for areas with minimum day light.

4. Solid or Patterned Fabrics and Sheers:

  • Drapery fabrics offer a huge selection of solid as well as pattern and prints including: geometrical, floral, stripes, plaids, damask, paisley, chintz etc.
  • Select a drapery fabric that would coordinate well with existing pattern or prints (on rugs, wall paper, artwork & furniture) in the room to achieve proper balance.
  • Solids and prints can be combined, although thoughtfully, to make sure the end result is pleasant and appealing. For example solid drapery with patterned upholstery or wall paper balances the overall appearance of the room decor.
  • Dressing windows with beautiful prints and embroidered fabrics can make a rich design statement in the room.

5. Functional Needs:

  • Drapery can be highly functional to achieve light and privacy control. It also provides sun control and UV protection .
  • Sheer or light weight fabrics keep the room airy. It allows maximum light while offering some level of privacy.
  • Velvet is a heavy fabric and is good for light blocking and provides better insulation to the windows as well.
  • Black out lining can be used with any fabric for higher level of light block.
  • Lined draperies are specially recommended for rooms that has constant sun exposure. The lining protects the drapery fabric from sun damage. It also keeps furniture, flooring and art works from fading.
  • Fire retardant or fire resistant fabrics are generally recommended for commercial facilities like hospitals, hotels etc. for safety purpose.

6. Size of the Space:

  • Avoid using heavy fabrics for smaller spaces or smaller windows unless it is needed.
  • Adding height to the drapery, possibly close to the ceiling adds visual height in smaller rooms
  • Larger rooms or lofty areas calls for drapery to make it cozy and inviting
  • Chose similar style and fabrics for draperies in different areas in an open space interior concepts, for better flow and consistency.

7. Budget Idea:

  • Drapery fabric price varies and it is very important to have a budget in mind.
  • Fabrics made of natural fibers like cotton, linen, silk, wool are higher in price then synthetic fabrics.
  • Polyester and Nylon fabrics are very popular and commonly used synthetic fabric for drapery. The reason is, almost any type of natural texture can be imitated using these fibers at a reasonable price.
  • There is a huge selection of blended fabrics as well for example cotton-poly, cotton-poly-linen, cotton-rayon etc. each priced differently.
  • When shopping for custom drapery, try to get a budget idea, if you are doing it for the first time, ask from a professional decorator or a window covering specialist to give you an estimate and different price options.
  • It is very important to understand that custom drapery pricing is a lot higher than readymade panels as both are totally different categories.

Proper planning could help avoid a costly mistake and these tips could be very helpful in designing your new custom draperies. You can also ask for a free design consultation appointment from our professional decorator