Choosing the right fabric for your curtains

Choosing the colour and style of your curtains can be difficult; there’s so many options! But before you start looking at colours and patterns, you should decide on a type of fabric.

We have a huge range of curtain fabrics available, and each type has its own benefits and best uses based on weight, texture, light blocking or exposing qualities, durability and sun-fade resistance.

The most common types of curtain fabric are cotton, linen, polyester, velvet, acrylic, rayon, and voile. We also have a recycled fabric option which is a cotton polyester blend made with recycled plastic bottles.


Cotton is a versatile and affordable fabric that can be used to achieve a range of styles. It offers a crisp, clean feel that suits traditional or modern styles and is available in plenty of colours and patterns. As it is a lightweight material, we recommend lining cotton curtains to help them hang as desired. If you’re looking to block sunlight in a bright room, choose cotton with a tight weave or add a blockout lining.


Linen is a natural fibre with a slightly textured, billowy look that creates an airy, relaxed environment. Linen curtains have a shorter lifespan than other more durable fabrics and they are notorious for creasing and difficult cleaning, so if you’re looking for a low maintenance option, you might be better off with a linen blend or linen-look curtain instead.


This is a very common choice. Polyester is durable, affordable, easy to care for, and doesn’t really wrinkle, stretch or shrink. However, polyester curtains are a bit more flammable than other choices and they absorb odours so they’re great for bedrooms and living areas, but not in the kitchen.


Made of either natural or synthetic fibres, if you want glamour and richness in a room, velvet curtains will definitely do the trick. They’re thick and heavy, great for blocking out cold air, light and sound. And it drapes well, giving rooms a regal look.


With a similar texture to wool, acrylic is a lightweight fabric that drapes nicely and provides great insulation. Acrylic curtains attract and disperse moisture effortlessly, they’re hypoallergenic and resistant to mould and mildew, making them a great choice throughout your home.


Rayon can be woven with natural fibres to achieve a variety of textures. It’s soft, strong and breathable, making it an economical alternative to silk.


Voile is a crisp, open weave fabric that is best utilised for sheers. It gathers and drapes wonderfully, creating a light, airy ambience while maintaining a high level of privacy.


Recycled fabrics are usually a cotton/polyester blend and incorporate the plastic from recycled bottles to give the fabric strength and durability while also reusing an item that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Great for those considering their environmental impact, recycled fabrics are very versatile with great durability and easy to clean.

Not sure what fabric you’ll like?

It can be tough to imagine what a fabric will feel like or how it will hang. That’s why we offer free samples. You can order a few different options and see how they work in your home before deciding what to order.

TIP: hold the fabric sample up to a window to see how it filters light and try pleating it at the top to see how it drapes.

Some things to consider when choosing your fabric:

  • What’s the mood of the room? More formal rooms can do well with thick heavy curtains, while airy, casual rooms are better with natural looking fabrics and sheers.
  • Darker colours are great for higher traffic areas as they don’t get as noticeably dirty.
  • Choose lighter colours for rooms that get lots of light as darker colours will fade faster.
  • Make sure you pay attention to what kind of rod you have - plain fabrics can be dressed up with decorative rods.
  • Don’t forget about pattern repeat - make sure patterns have enough space to repeat nicely.