When Sunlight Strikes!

That title sounds like this article should be a rip-roaring adventure, doesn’t it? Something from John Grisham or Paramount Pictures. Well, while there are no gun battles, car chases or last second wire cutting. There is a lot of top advice on how to keep your curtains looking as good as new though – even in the sunniest-facing of windows!

If you’ve got yourself some top quality curtains – and the chances are that you have if you’re reading this – then you expect them to last a long time. You expect them to look as good in five years as they did on the day they went up. There are a lot of different factors that might affect your curtains’ life-expectancy, such as cleaning procedure, indoor smoking regulation, if they’re on the mad cat dash racecourse and sunlight as mentioned previously. Now we’re not going to focus on the what, why and wherefore of whether or not to use certain detergents or to stick to steam only techniques. I will advise you to stop smoking – at least in the house. And you’re on your own with any cat issues! If you have any red hot tips that you can’t wait to share though, please feel free to comment down below

There are three main methods to protect your curtains from the ministrations of strong sunlight; direct window treatment, blinds & shades and drapery lining. We’ve all seen the effect of sunshine in the window displays of tired seaside gift shops. Once red, but now pink plastic buckets and spades. A box depicting a previously bright yellow paddling pool – now faded to a sad pale blue shade, uniform with the covers of all other adjacent boxes. This cannot happen to your curtains! It must not happen to your curtains!

Some of the aforementioned souvenir shops have got the drop on the sun by applying a treatment directly to their windows. Often this gives off an unpleasant yellow coloured cellophane effect, which I’m fairly certain you wouldn’t really want to affect your front room vista. And whereas the technology has moved on greatly from crinkly plastic, the end result still leaves a lot to be desired, even if just from the point of view of cleaning the glass.

Inches Curtain Showroom Full Interior Design ServicesA blackout or drapery lining on the curtain itself offers a fourfold benefit. It’s important to note that the term ‘blackout’ in no way refers to the colour of the fabric used to line the curtain. At Inches, we tend to use neutral cream colours. What it does imply though is that it’s of such a dense weave, as to completely block out any light that might otherwise bleed through. The first of the quad of benefits is that the lining physically protects the curtain from sun bleaching (and various other potential dangers). Secondly, as already mentioned, a heavier fabric may be used that blocks out excess light. The third benefit offers a uniformity of aesthetic for the house from outside, as any onlooker (inlooker?) will be greeted with a host of windows that all sing from the same hymn sheet. And lastly, it adds a weight to the curtain that screams quality. Tick, tick, tick, tick!

If you prefer to have the ability to temper the levels of sunlight that enter a room, then you may want to consider blinds or shades. They’re available in both horizontal and vertical varieties and make it possible to regulate the light’s intensity without the need to draw the curtains. Of course, there’s no reason why you couldn’t combine this method together with curtain linings. Double the protection, double the quality and maximum control.

I’m personally more a fan of the blind approach, to be honest. I like the control it offers, and now that I’m in control of my own windows, I like that. When I was young in the early 70s, my parents bought and hung some particularly garish orange and purple curtains. As a quick note to those of you who never experienced the 1970s, they were at the time the height of good taste. When people finally came to their senses as we exited that decade and began admiring shell suits and grey slip-on shoes, these types of furnishings were hastily replaced by something more contemporary – and generally more beige. We moved out of that house and that area before the lust for gaudy had passed, and so left the curtains in situ. When I revisited the town in the mid-90s, I decided to drive past my old house to spark old memories. Astonishingly, those same offending items were still hanging proudly in the front room window. I’ve just checked on Google Street View, and you’ll be as relieved as I am that they’re now nowhere in evidence.

Testament to the quality of those 1970s curtains though that they still hurt the eyes as much twenty years later as they did on the day they were first attached to the rail. We may not be able to get hold of that precise design at Inches Curtains and Furnishings, but we do have a fantastic range, and we guarantee that the quality is top class.