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The ultimate guide to choosing the right curtains for your home

Both decorative and practical, the perfect curtains can transform a room. Linwood’s marketing team shares its expert advice…

The ultimate guide to choosing  the right curtains for your home

From sustainable wooden Venetian blinds to smart home-controlled fabric screens, window coverings are now available in an exciting plethora of styles and solutions. Yet none of them quite carry the special quality that well-tailored, undulating curtains deliver. Perhaps it is the nod to a classical design history or the sensuality of the fabric, but their ability to change the mood in a room is still unparalleled. If adding their brand of decorating romance appeals to you, read our guide to help you find the perfect curtain material to deliver dream drapes. 


Discover our vast range of designer fabrics suitable for curtains


Size matters


The scale of your chosen pattern influences everything, from the rooms focal point to its sense of proportions. A vivid, large-scale design such as Louis from our Belleville collection transforms this window into a show-stopping focus, offering a sense of drama. This look is ideal for large windows where the repeat can be appreciated in all its glory.


Chesil Beach/Omega Prints/Linwood


For a smaller window, a neater pattern is a better option, unless you desire a more painterly, abstract effect. A smaller pattern repeat, such as our printed velvet Chesil Beach will create a more refined look, even in bright or contrasting colours, as the colours blend and unify to the eye.

Into the blue



A limited palette scheme is an ideal way to create a study in colour. Here, using the 100% cotton Delta range for both upholstery and curtains, the designer can explore the tonal range of this single shade. Although a plain, the stain-resistant finish keeps the material looking crisp for years to come. The deepest tone here is at the window, and the dominance of this vertical stripe increases the sense of height in the room.


A minimal tonal scheme also lends itself beautifully to some refined detailing, such as minimal brass curtain rings or rigid, sleek tie backs. It’s an effective way of keeping the look low key glamorous but also modern.

 Double down 



Drawing upon the bucolic appeal of the English Country garden, the linen viscose mix of our Arcadia collection is suitable for both curtains and upholstery. This is a confident, slick way of decorating that works very well in small spaces that, due to limited room, are best clutter free. There is a playfulness in using pattern in this way, but make sure to pull out details with elements such as this bright piping to create contrast and form to ensure it doesn’t become a bland wall of similarity.


Kitty/English Garden/Linwood


And if you choose a paler fabric, consider a blackout curtain liner so your floral bedroom curtains in your chic boudoir don’t also bring the dawn chorus. 

Measure, measure, and measure again


It’s easy to forget that the height of the windows it not the true measurement. How will they be hung? A pole with suspended curtain rings versus a track fitting that runs flush to the wall will require different lengths. And essentially, do you want the sumptuous pool of fabric that can make a curtain seem so luxuriant and sensuous? Ensure these measurements are folded into the overall length. Also consider the width when choosing fixings. If you want to enjoy an uninterrupted view, ensure the curtain rod is wide enough to allow the curtain fabric, when opened, to hang against the wall.


Heavenly body


How a fabric will hang depends on several variables. Too thick, and you may not get the crisp folds you desire. Too stiff, and it will flare out rather than pleat. A lighter weight fabric can be given extra heft with a curtain liner and inter liner. A curtain pole paired with curtain hooks attached to the fabric gives a modern look and very deep fold. This airy scheme features mid-tone Carnival fabric as curtains, which stops the space being one note. Curtains, more than any window treatment, are made to create a focal point in a room.

Quiet strength



Lined, fine quality handmade curtains are an investment that can transform any room. A more neutral scheme could give your drapes a longer design life. Create interest with a delicate, textural weave, in a timeless tone. These Kitsune navy curtains are a strong design pillar in this elegant, bold design but they could easily work in an all-white scheme with other contrasting tones. This approach is worth considering when planning budget across any renovation, but also ensure you splash out on something a little bold to draw the eye, such as this chair upholstered in Uhura fabric. That way your design can combine both longevity and wit. The ideal design combination.



How do you choose fabric for curtains? Curtains can be a big investment, so you need to think about your choices carefully. Consider how the chosen curtain fabric works with your existing soft furnishings. Also, do you want the curtains to block out light, or are you after something more ethereal? Don’t rush things, Linwood offers up to six free fabric samples, so you can live with the fabrics before choosing your curtain material. We can also supply returnable samples if you need a larger piece of fabric.


What fabric is commonly used for curtains? The most popular curtain materials are cotton, linen, velvet, and weaves; all these fabrics are durable and will drape beautifully when hung. Kilim fabrics can also look rather beautiful too.


How do I choose fabric for window treatments? This will depend on the look of your home… informal rooms suit breezy linens, particularly stripes and checks, whereas more formal schemes favour rich, opulent velvets or classic patterned fabrics such as damasks. 


What is the most luxurious fabric for curtains? Linen is eternally popular; it always feels smart and elegant – is available in a palette ranging from bright colours to calm neutrals – and works in both traditional and contemporary homes. However, our all-time favourite fabric for curtains is velvet – and we have a fantastic range available. It just adds a little bit of drama to a scheme and feels wonderfully indulgent. Read our blog: Choosing Velvet for Curtains to discover why more people are opting for this stunning window treatment.


How do you estimate fabric for curtains? To estimate fabric for curtains, measure the window width and add extra for fullness (1.5 to 3 times the width). Measure the length from the rod to the desired curtain end, adding extra for the hem and header. Consider the pattern repeated if using patterned fabric. Click here for extra information on drops.