Shopping For Window Treatments? Read Here About the Best Types of Fabric You Can (and Should) Buy For Your New Drapes

When choosing window treatments for your home, there are many factors to consider, including color, pattern, style, length, and fabric. The fabric you choose affects how a curtain hangs and drapes, as well as the texture, coverage, durability, and ease of laundering. Explore the various curtain fabrics available to choose the window treatments that best satisfy your decor and needs.

Polyester Curtains
Polyester is a common fabric for curtains, as it is durable, sturdy, and affordable. Polyester curtains are easy to care for, resisting wrinkling, shrinking, and stretching. This fabric makes a good option for bedroom or living room curtains; however, you should avoid outfitting your kitchen with polyester curtains, as the material is flammable, absorbs odors, and doesn’t allow for good air circulation. They are available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and styles. Consider choosing a darker curtain color for homes with children or high-traffic areas, as it is more difficult to remove stains from polyester fabric. 

Cotton Curtains
Curtains constructed of cotton or a cotton blend are a versatile option, as they offer a crisp, clean feel that suits traditional or modern decorating styles. Cotton curtains drape well, making them a great option for formal dining rooms. If you’re looking to block sunlight in a bright bedroom or provide privacy in your living room, choose cotton curtains with a tight weave, or opt for a cotton panel with lining. If you prefer your room to have a light, airy feel, go for sheer cotton curtains.

Silk Curtains
Silk curtains are heavier and drape well, offering a romantic look that’s ideal for bedrooms or formal dining rooms. Keep in mind that silk fabrics are dry clean only, making this material a more time-consuming option when it comes to laundering. If you’re hanging silk curtains in rooms that receive a lot of natural light, protect your investment by using window shades or a lighter-colored panel for lining, as silk is very susceptible to sun damage. Faux silk curtain options are available that offer easier laundering and more durability. 

Linen Curtains
Linen tends to be a billowier fabric that still provides a tailored look, making curtains constructed of this material perfect for a casual dining area, airy bedroom, or contemporary living room. Linen drapes nicely, and the sheer fabric doesn’t block the sun, which allows for natural light to fill your living space. Linen curtains are typically dry clean only, and they should be hung immediately to avoid wrinkling.

Velvet Curtains
Velvet is a heavy fabric that keeps out the cold, making these window treatments ideal insulators for homes with drafty windows. Velvet curtains drape well, so they offer a polished look that dresses up formal dining rooms, traditionally styled living rooms, or regal master bedrooms. Thanks to their thickness, velvet curtains provide extra privacy and help to block sounds and light. 

Lace Curtains
Lace is a very sheer fabric, allowing curtains of this material to diffuse natural light and offer an open, airy feel. Use lace curtains to add a romantic touch in your traditionally styled dining room, or hang them over French doors to provide some privacy while still letting you enjoy the outdoor sunlight. Lace curtains are typically available in neutral shades, such as white, ivory, and ecru, so they’re easy to coordinate with any color scheme in your room. Depending on the construction of the lace curtains, they may be dry clean only or machine-washable.


  1. Be very careful where you put silk curtains. While they do look very gorgeous and tasteful in a dining room, its a great way to get them dirty. You can’t spot-clean silk either, you’ve got to take it to the cleaners. And, depending on what you splattered onto them, it may not come out at all.

  2. There is nothing worse than having to take huge silk curtains down, bring them to the cleaners, bring them home, and then put them back up…I can attest 🙁

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