About Roman Shades Pt. 4: Fabric and Lining

Roman shades offer an attractive and elegant alternative to standard blinds or drapes. Whereas standard blinds draw up into a compressed stack when opened, Roman shades fold over on themselves as they are drawn open. The folds hang down below the headrail and over the top portion of the window. Many people find Roman shades to be preferable to other types of blinds because of the way that they hang when they are drawn.

Others prefer Roman shades for their appearance as they hang while fully extended. Unlike standard blinds and drapes, which may appear to be separated into distinct sections, a Roman shade is a single piece of fabric that hangs over the window. Read on for some ideas for selecting the perfect fabric for your Roman shades.

When selecting fabric for your shades, consider how the fabric will look both as it is draped over the window and when it is drawn up in folds at the top of the window. If you prefer to have your Roman shades completely obstruct the view through the window in order to ensure complete privacy while they are closed, you may want to select a fabric that is darker or slightly heavier. If you would prefer for a small amount of light to be able to penetrate the shades, consider a lighter color and a transparent type of fabric.

Appropriate Fabric Types

Certain fabrics work better than others when designing your Roman shades. Fabrics that fold easily without creasing are preferable to heavier types. For instance, 100 percent cotton fabrics and cotton-polyester blended fabrics tend to work the best. These fabrics hang well when fully extended and fold over well without leaving wrinkles or other creases.

Additionally, cotton and cotton-polyester blends are available in a wide variety of textures, colors, designs and thicknesses. To best protect these types of fabric against stains, water damage and other types of wear and tear, it is best to treat them with Scotchgard or another fabric protector. This will help to ensure that the fabric retains its initial quality and color over time.

Linens and silks are excellent choices for Roman shades as well. They are lighter fabrics that deliver less stress to the headrail and lifting mechanisms of the shades. Additionally, these fabrics tend to be more transparent, allowing for added light to enter into the room.

Linens and silks tend to work best when they are doubled over before being installed as a Roman shade. These fabrics may receive sun damage if placed in direct sunlight, and it may be best to avoid placing silk or linen shades in areas with high sun exposure levels.

Fabric Types to Avoid

Wool and other heavy fabric types are generally not ideal for Roman shades. Loose fabrics and stretchy fabrics are also not the best, as they tend to fold poorly or damage easily. To avoid putting undue stress on your Roman shades and their component parts, select other types of fabrics instead of these.