Best Fabric for Making Curtains (Blackout, Outdoor, Kitchen)

The curtains are wonderful. They may not be soundproof but they do add a little privacy to your life no matter where you are. In the hospital or at home, drawing the curtains helps you retain some dignity as well as let you live without fear of being watched. You just need the right fabric for the right task.

The best fabric depends on the purpose of the curtains. You do not want to use canvas in the kitchen when a nice linen lace will do the same job and look better. Outdoor curtains should be made of water-resistant or proof materials and on it goes.

To learn more about the right fabric for different curtains just continue to read our article. In its contents, you will find almost all the information you need to know about which fabric is best for which task.

Can You Use Any Fabric for Curtains?

It would seem so but the guiding words of wisdom, ‘just because you can doesn’t mean you should’ help you see the role of curtains in a different light. The purpose of the curtains will determine what type of fabric you will use.

While you can use silk or chiffon for some windows, those fabrics do not work for blackout duties. And when you are trying to make a good impression on your elite guest, the canvas will not outperform silk, cotton, or even polyester fabrics.

Just because you can hang canvas curtains in your living room does not mean that you should, unless you have something to hide. Just use some common sense in this category to make sure you get the right fabric that does its job well.

How to Choose Fabric for Curtains

As we have alluded to earlier, the purpose of the curtain will determine which fabric you go to and put up in your home. Some of the questions you need to consider when looking for fabric are:

  • Is it for a formal setting?
  • Are they for a casual setting?
  • Will they be used for energy efficiency?
  • Are they to be used to keep the light out or enhance natural light?

Then next, you need to look at the durability and strength of the fabric. Keep in mind if the curtains will be used in a high use area like french or sliding doors. Or if they are just going to make the kitchen look nicer.

Color and design play a role though this may be the last factor you should consider. Cleaning the curtains will be a more important factor here. If they are hard to clean you may want to go with an easier to clean material.

What Type of Fabric for Curtains


There are lots of options here and each fabric and their sub-varieties all have their own special characteristics that make them ideal for being used as curtains. For example, cotton. This is a fabric that holds its own and doe snot need a lining. Then both Madras and Gingham cotton drapes have checkered designs that brighten a room.

Synthetic fabrics are cheaper and especially good when you are on a tight budget. They also do not wrinkle and clean up easily. Then if you want a luxurious look you turn to silk or velvet fabrics to do that job.

Basically, the fabric you use for your curtains will be up to your personal preference and the type of task you have in mind for it. Bamboo fabric is a great replacement for both cotton and synthetic fabrics.

What Weight Fabric for Curtains

This topic also depends a lot on the purpose of the curtains. A lightweight fabric may work well in the kitchen and bathroom but not so well in the family or living room. To understand the weight of a fabric you need to understand the terms associated with the weight.

GSM or grams per square meter and OZ or ounces per square yard will tell you if the fabric is light, medium or heavyweight material. Lightweight equals 30 to 150 GSM; medium is pegged at 150 to 350 GSM and heavyweight is listed at 350+ GSM.

The heavier the weight the thicker the fabric so you want heavyweight if you are making blackout curtains. Or if you are designing a good bedroom curtain, you should use light to medium weight.

One thing to remember, weight does not determine quality. Getting the right weight will help the curtains drape properly.

Can You Use Upholstery Fabric for Curtains?

Yes, it is possible and the recommended styles of curtains upholstery is good for are pinch pleat, tab top, or simple panel curtains. The drawback to using this type of fabric is that it may be too bulky for some applications.

One positive about upholstery fabric for curtains is that that material can bring a more tailored and formal look to any room you use it in. Also, this material works well with blackout lining.

As to design and colors, that will be up to you to decide ion. Upholstery fabric should come in different colors and designs to meet your home decor requirements.

Can I Use Quilting Fabric for Curtains?


When it comes to curtains, just about anything is possible. You can be creative or stay inside the box even when using quilting fabric. The key when using this material for curtains will be in the type of weave used to create this fabric.

A loose weave will ravel more and not wear as well. Then a loose weave is associated with lower quality material and sometimes comes with a crunchy feel to it that doesn’t wash out.

Then when using quilting fabric for specific curtains, you want to avoid using the polyester versions. These may be cheaper and have a lot of nice colors to them, but they rarely meet the standards for slow-burning for flammable materials.

Can I Use Apparel Fabric for Curtains?

Like we said earlier, you can use just about any fabric you want to make your curtains. The only drawback is that the fabric may not be strong or durable enough or look as good as other fabrics in the same position.

In other words, if you use a low-quality apparel fabric in a high traffic area, sliding doors, do not expect those curtains to last along time. With apparel fabric, you may be able to extend your color and design options.

The criteria given earlier in what to look for in fabric for curtains certainly apply to apparel fabric as well. You want a material that will hold up, look good, and last a long time. Keep in mind that the sun may be hitting those curtains so match them up with a good lining to protect against fading.

Can You Use Outdoor Fabric for Curtains?

Yes, this is a very trendy fad happening right now and outdoor curtains have been upgraded, redesigned, and made better than they were 50 to 60 years ago. They make a good choice when you want to think outside the box a little and they protect against the sun and the rain.

In fact, the most recent versions of outdoor curtain fabrics make it very hard to tell if they are made from indoor or outdoor materials. That is what you want in a fabric. It will keep your secrets from your guests and unless you tell your friends what fabric it is, they may never know.

The unique quality that outdoor fabrics have is that they are made with the color going all the way through the fibers. Those colors are not just one side only and then white on the inside.

Best Fabric for Acoustic Curtains


The measurement you need to use to find the best fabric for acoustic curtains is called the sound absorption coefficient. This is done on a scale of 0 to 100% and if the fabric has a coefficient of .40 or 40% that means it absorbs only 40% of the sound and 60% is still being transmitted or reflected.

For sound absorbing or acoustic curtains, not soundproofing, the best fabric is a velour or velveteen weave style. The fabric is usually made from recycled polyester fiber. The quality of the material should be thick and porous. Then the weight of the fabric should be 32 ounces per square yard.

Fire Retardant Fabric for Curtains

These are very good fabrics you can put up in your home in the form of curtains. They are not dull, boring material that only has one color or design to them. Instead, they are attractive and can do wonders for a room color and design-wise.

The key to using these fabrics is that they should meet the fire prevention standards your state or region has set. For Britain, it is the country’s standard that is used. Using this fabric is not mandatory.

When they make this fabric, the fibers are woven into the fabric allowing the protection they bring to last a lifetime.

Fabric for Bathroom Curtains

The right fabric for the task and room are the key guiding words. For the bathroom, you will want something that will be able to endure steam and high and low temperatures while resisting bacteria. In addition to looking good at the same time.

If we had to name a couple of good fabrics to choose between, we would say voile and plisse fabrics. The reason for these selections is that they provide you with privacy coverage as well as let some light into the room.

Getting enough light will help you save some energy and keep you from turning the light on when you are using the room during the day.

Best Fabric for Bedroom Curtains


For this room in your home, you have a lot more selection to choose from. You want privacy and a little light but most of all you want color, design, and drape. That leaves you with a variety of polyester fabrics.

The reason for that choice is that they are low maintenance and resist wrinkling, shrinking, and stretching. But you can use various cotton or linen fabrics as well. In fact, you probably have the most leeway in selecting fabric for bedroom curtains than you do for any other room in the house.

Fabric for Camper Curtains

RVs and campers are a little different and finding the right curtains for these vehicles can be a bit tough. That is because campers, etc., are not as climate controlled as your home is. The temperatures change much more frequently in your RV than it will in your home.

Plus, your camper curtains will see more sun. That means you should go with a synthetic fabric to have them last longer. Polyester, polypropylene, or acrylic are the ideal synthetic fabrics for your camper.

It is also possible to use blackout fabric when you want to sleep late in the day.

Fabric for Cafe Curtains

When it comes to this type of curtain style you are looking at the lightweight, almost sheer fabrics that you can find just about anywhere. In this category, you have a large selection to choose from.

You can go with a voile, muslin, lace, eyelet cotton, lace, nylon, or even gauze to make your cafe curtains. That selection provides you with ample design and color options so you are not stuck with just white or off white.

It is said that even a beginner can make cafe curtains in no time. That is how easy they are to make.

Best Fabric for Flowy Curtains


This is a difficult choice to make as you are free to use just about any fabric to make flowy curtains. There seems to be no limit on the types of fabric you can use but it may be best to stay away from the heavyweight options.

Linen has been mentioned as a perfect fabric for this type of curtain but you can obtain the same look using cotton, bamboo, and similar light to medium weight materials.

If you are still in doubt, just talk to your local home decor expert and get their advice as they would know which fabric will work best with your home interior coloring and other details.

Fabric for Classroom Curtains

If you are showing movies, using the overhead projector, or other activities that require less light, you should use blackout fabric for your classrooms. This material is durable, thick, and helps make sure the light does not enter the room when it is not wanted.

Generally, if you want some light to enter in, you can go to other heavyweight fabrics like canvas, thick cotton but stay away from velvet, velveteen, and similar materials. Bamboo is good as that material cuts down on bacteria and germs that creep inside a schoolroom.

You want function, practicality, and basic colors when putting curtains in a classroom.

Best Fabric for Nursery Curtains

This is going to up to your preference as different parents want different atmospheres for their babies. You can use blackout fabric if the baby’s room gets too much sunlight or you can go to a nice frilly lace or voile fabric to give you some privacy and let light in as well.

Cotton fabrics work as that fabric has many child colors and designs. If you want low maintenance then go with the fine selection of polyester materials. The key will be if a baby’s room requires flame retardant curtains or not.

Fabric for Dollhouse Curtains


This are usually lightweight materials boarding on the sheer look or lace design. Muslin, voile, plisse, linen, and lace are all good fabrics to use. The key will be in the pattern and not so much in the color.

In making dollhouse curtains, you want light without sacrificing cuteness. The pattern is going to be a vital factor in choosing the best fabric. Other factors will be in how the curtains drape if the material stains or not and so on.

Stay away from medium and heavyweight fabrics as they do not really lend a good look to the design you are trying to achieve.

Fabric for Room Darkening Curtains

If you want no light or very little light to enter your room, then you want to go to blackout fabric to get the job done. This fabric, even used as a lining will cut the light out and keep your room nice and dark.

Other heavyweight fabrics will also do the trick and allow you to control the amount of light that enters your home. Opaque fabrics, like cotton, linen, velvet, and more, also do a great job in keeping the light out but you want them to be thick, not thin.

Best Fabric for Luxury Curtains

Off the top of our heads, the two that come to mind the fastest would be silk and velvet materials. These fabrics add a level of luxury to any room they are placed in. Plus, they drape well and have lots of colors to choose from.

Also, you could consider some fabric blends if your budget is not that high. Or you could turn to faux silk to achieve the look of the real thing without paying the real price for the material.

The look of luxury will also depend a lot on the color of the fabric as well as the quality of its drape.

Best Fabric for Porch Curtains


If there are going to be a lot of open windows or doors then you may want to consider the many different outdoor fabrics. These fabrics look so good that most people can’t tell the difference between them and indoor curtain material.

This material is also designed to handle a lot of the sun’s rays and should not fade as fast as indoor curtains will. If your porch is just a place where you change your shoes, then even canvas or other heavyweight material would be good in this room.

Inexpensive Fabric for Curtains

First on the list would be your synthetic fabrics. Polyester and other man-made materials are usually cheaper than those fabrics made from natural fibers. Some heavyweight fabrics may not be that expensive to buy either.

Then you may not have to sacrifice quality to save a few pennies. There are lots of discount fabric outlets that let you maintain your high-quality standards while letting you save a few dollars.

Check those stores out, either in traditional outlets or online. They may be able to help you achieve both goals in one purchase.

Finding Fabric for Curtains by The Yard

We do not want to bore you at this late stage of the article but the many outlets we have talked about before in other articles will be found in this section as well. If you do not like shopping online, then start with your local fabric outlets. These small business people are ready and willing to meet your needs.

After that you can try the national chains like Hobby Lobby, etc., to see what fabrics by the yard they have on sale. Sometimes you can get some pretty good deals through them or the big box stores that dot the nation.

If all of that fails, go to Amazon and other online outlets to see if you can get the fabric you want at the price you can afford.

Some Final Words

Curtains certainly come in handy. They help keep your private life, private. Also, they can boost the value of your home if you choose the right fabrics, colors, and designs. Having the best looking decor makes your home more attractive to potential buyers or guests and that boosts your reputation as well as your standing in the community.

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