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Wool : Can be dyed Excellent insulation Very resilient Prolonged exposure to sun can cause fading Cotton: Highly durable and strong Dyed cotton can fade when exposed to sun Silk: Fair to good durability Often blended with other fibres for added strength and reduce cost Will yellow in sunlight Drapes well Linen: Smooth fabric Wrinkles and creases Highly durable Good resistance to sunlight Blends well with synthetics Often synthetic materials perform best when mixed with a synthetic material resulting in the best of both worlds – marrying natural components such as texture and insulation with crease free and increased durability
Acetate: Soft to handle Drapes well Resists sunlight Poor durability Make good curtains Rayon Poor durability “plastic” nature Good for curtains Acrylics Highly durable Soft to handle Resistance to sun Sensitive to heat (iron) Good for curtaining Polyester Highly Durable Retains whiteness Highly wrinkle resistant Difficult to dye Good for curtains Fibre blends are best: Cotton/nylon = durable, easy to handely, wrinkle resistant Cotton polyester -= greater durability, wrinkle resistant, less static Cotton/acrylic = wrinkle resistance, more stable Wool/nylon – more durable and stable, looks and feels like wool Nylon/acetate = cheaper, sot, more stable Viscose/acetate –lower cost, good texture, luxurious appearance
Warp and weft make up the properties and appearance of fabric – define the WEAVE of the fabric The arrangement of these threads can create an infininte number of patterns and textures. These variations are created by different: Spacing – loose or close Thickness – fibres of warp and weft may vary Texture – combination of yarn fibres vary to create different surface
CLOSE plain weave does not drape well and tends to wrinkle. It is very durable. OPEN plan weave has good drape ability and poor durability
Does not drape well and Does not wrinkle extensively Is durable
Good drapeabilityy Relatively poor durability
Good drapeability Poor durability
Durability and drapeability will depend on which fibres are used.
Most fabrics with special finishes need more care than natural fibres. They work best in decorative rathe than practical situations. They are not suitable for a roller blind due to the stiffening of the fabric. Moiré is a watermark effect applied to fabrics in a technical process involving heat and pressure. Any contact with water removes the watermark and causes staining, even dry cleaning will eventually cause the watermark to fade. It is ideal for bedspreads.
Consider the size of the pattern on the fabric – in proportion to the size or scale of the item being upholstered or furnished. The larger and bolder the pattern the more attention it will draw to itself. Consider the proportion of the pattern to the space around it . Very small patterns look lost on a large surface – colours merge and appear as texture.
Good choices for upholstery and heavy duty drapes – more durable than printed. 3 dimensional texture. Depth and substance.
A backing attached or separate from the curtain. Helps the hang of the curtain and protects it from sun damage. Assists insulation. 2 types of linings: Pure cotton which comes in a variety of tones and textures and weights. Coated fabrics made from particles of alumnium. These come in a variety of weights. Also a total blockout which is two layers of fabric with particles of aluminium sandwiched between the fabric layers.
Curtains provide 3 main purposes: A screen for privacy A form of insulation Aesthetically enhance the space
Poles are intended to be seen so consider their length and impact on the room. Usually made or wood or a variety of metals. Curtain tracks consist of a rail and sliding runners which hooks are slotted into. Discreet and can be hidden behind a pelmet or a valance. They can be fitted with a corded pulley system to enable ease of closing and opening. The can be bent to create a return. Industry Standards for the installation of a standard track is 100mm or 10cm above the reveal or the window opening. Decorative or wooden tracks are usually installed 150mm or 15cm above the reveal or the window opening. Poles are fixed on the wall with support brackets – one at each end and depending on the length, one may be required in the middle.
Heading determines the effect of the curtain. Heading tape is a strip of durable fabric in varying width with drawstrings which are pulled up to produce a pleated effect at the top of the curtain. Pockets along the tape are designed to hold the curtain hooks for hanging. A large range which can produce gathers, pleats or a smocked effect.
Refer to your handout for representations of each style. Consider which would be most suited to your window treatment.
Considerations: one you have determined the fabric, colour and pattern determine what type of heading will suit? Also: Will you require a pelmet pg 140 Will you require tie backs? Where will they be located? What will they be made from? Pg 150. Will you require a pulley chord? Will the curtain be centre opening? Or drawn to one side? Why?
WHAT ARE SOFT FURNISHINGS?
• According to Wikipedia, soft furnishing “ is
the art and science of beautifying a space
to enhance both the aesthetic and
functional uses of that space”.
• Interior decoration would not be complete
without soft furnishing as the space would
be unappealing, hard and noisy –
consider that fabrics absorb noise and
make it easy for us to live in our homes.
• Soft furnishing does for a house
what clothes do for our bodies. It
adds colour, texture, softness and
elegance to an individual spaces,
often camouflaging any design
flaws and enhancing the unique
features of the structure as well.
WHAT ARE SOFT FURNISHINGS?
WOVEN FABRICS are produced by weaving both
Warp and Weft Yarns
↓↓ Warp →→→ Weft
• 1 UP, 1 DOWN
• REFERRED TO AS A 1/1 WEAVE
• PLAIN WEAVE FABRICS ARE
• E.G.. MUSLIN, PERCALE,
• This is frequently used in very
fine meshes and it is less rigid
than plain weave.
• Each fibre is passed alternately
over two and then under the
next two cross fibres.
• A type of decorative weave in which a
pile is formed by additional warp or
filling yarns interlaced in such a way that
loops are formed on the surface or face
of the fabric. The loops may be left
uncut, or they may be cut to expose yarn
ends and produce cut pile fabric.
• Velvets & Terry-pile fabrics are examples
of pile weaving.
• A basic weave,
yarns which are
weaved in such a
way that there is no
pattern, which gives
the fabric a smooth
• A Weave that has more yarn
surface on the face of the cloth
than other basic weaves giving
a softer hand and more
lustrous, shiny look.
• Good for soft furnishings, not
suitable for upholstery
• Fabrics of this type are
costly because of the time
and skill involved in
making the Jacquard
cards, preparing the loom
to produce a new pattern,
and the slowness of the
• The Jacquard weave
usually combines two or
more basic weaves, with
different weaves used for
the design and the
• Fabrics such as
brocades, tapestries, and
SUEDED AND FLOCKED FABRIC
It is important to know the difference
between a Sueded / Brushed fabric
and Flocked fabric.
• Sueded / Brushed finish: To achieve
either, the fabric is treated after
weaving. The face of the fabric is
mechanically “brushed” with bristles or
“sanded” to achieve the desired
• A Flocked fabric: When very small
natural or synthetic fibres are
essentially glued to the fabric surface
in a particular design.
FABRIC WITH A SPECIAL FINISH
Fabric, such as
silk or rayon,
finished so as to
have a wavy or
• Design “sits” on the
right side of the fabric
• Lack the depth on the
reverse that a woven
• Surface must be as
possible to depict the
details of the motifs
• Created when warp and weft
threads of different colours are
grouped in specified
• Geometrical strips and checks are
the most basic.
• Woven patterns diffuse the colour
throughout the design and have
depth and richness. They are
more muted than printed patterns
as the background and motifs are
• The are easy to identify because
the colour shows on both sides of
A Lined fabric has the following
• The lining gives added strength and
durability to the fabric;
• The lining also improves abrasion
resistance, and stability;
• The lined backing also increases slip
WINDOW TREATMENT –
CHOOSING THE RIGHT FABRIC
When selecting fabric for your
window treatment consider the
3 main criteria:
• Practicality – is the fabric easy
to maintain? Can it be
laundered? Will it fade in
• Suitability – will it be
appropriate for the type of
window treatment? Will it
achieve the required privacy?
• Aesthetic appeal – will it
enhance the space & desired
treatment? Will it reinforce the
scheme? Is it beautiful?
WINDOW TREATMENTS & THE EFFECT
A major consideration when choosing
the fabric for your window treatment is
the window location and general aspect
of the space - its orientation and
availability of light.
•Determine whether you wish to
capitalize on the availability of light or
restrict it - this will depend on the use
of the space.
•Determine whether you wish to
capitalize on the warmth or coolness
available through the window treatment
– note, a dark, heavy drape will insulate
the space – retaining heat and
coolness and transfering it into the
room – a light sheer curtain will be less
effective in its insulative qualities.
WINDOW TREATMENT –
TRACKS & POLES
Tracks and poles play an
important part in the overall
look of window treatments.
A pole is often chosen
because it can be seen and
thus it can add a valuable
feature to the window
treatment and complement
the rooms scheme.
Alternatively a track is
completely hidden when the
curtains are drawn and
consequently is a discreet
hanging system which
showcases the window
WINDOW TREATMENT – HEADINGS
When designing your
window treatment you
need to determine the
desired fullness of the
This fullness is achieved
by the appropriate
quantity of fabric, AND
the type of gather or