Lining 101

Aside from the fabric itself, the second most important component of any drapery is the lining. There are two major types of lining I prefer for drapes: 100% cotton and a synthetic coated cotton/poly blend for blackout curtains.

A majority of the time I use medium weight, plain weave, white or ivory fabric to line drapes. Using 100% cotton lining has many benefits such as, it protects the face fabric from sun fading, and most importantly, it absorbs and dries any moisture that may accumulate on your windows during the winter months.

The only time I use polyester lining is in bathrooms and that is only because it wicks moisture and, when wiped regularly, keeps mold from forming in the folds of the fabric. For bathrooms, you want the opposite of what 100% cotton does, you want a fabric that doesn’t absorb any moisture but completely repels it like 100% polyester.

In rooms that may call for darkness during the day like a bedroom or TV room I use blackout lining. This type of lining is usually a plain weave cotton or cotton blend with a thick synthetic coating. It is the synthetic coating that actually makes the drapes block out light. Also, blackout  lining is best used for vertical draperies or traditional flat roman shades because the lining makes it difficult to drape swags, or other round shapes that require fabric flexibility. Excellent quality blackout drapes will block out about 90% of natural light. 

Lastly, there are interlinings. Interlinings are flannel like fabrics that are used for draperies that have a very lightweight fabric for a face, like Dupioni silk. Interlinings are necessary to giving lightweight fabrics more body in addition to a standard cotton lining.

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