A frequent Designer Dilemma is how to be sure that delicate and expensive fabrics are protected from the damaging UV Rays of the Sun. We are frequently asked by our Clients if their new custom silk drapes are going to be potentially damaged or faded in if exposed to direct sunlight. The answer is, yes, they will. We have Clients who purchase luxurious blue silk drapes, yellow silk drapes or our deep red silk drapes and are understandably concerned about fading of the rich colors in the fabrics. The best way to protect you drapery fabrics from fading is by using a very high-quality lining and interlining to protect them from direct sunlight. If possible we always suggest “blackout” lining as the blackout material is comprised of a sythetic membrane that is almost 100% inpenatrable from the sun. Blackout lining is the best way to protect you silk drapes, or any drapery fabrics from fading. In addition, using a high-quality lining or blackout lining will also help protect your upholstery fabrics and carpets from fading as well. Most drapery retailers will charge you a bit more to upgrade your draperies to blackout lining but over the long-term they will provide lasting benefits and will certainly pay for themselves. Most of the better Interior Decorators will almost always suggest a quality interlining and blackout lining for their Clients. They know that it is better to invest a little more on your custom drapes with quality linings and blackout linings than to get a call a year down the road from an upset Client complaining that their drapery fabrics have faded.
We did a little informal demonstration to better illustrate how much light blackout lined custom curtains and drapery eliminate. The following photo is shot on a single window with two linen drapery panels. One of the curtains was made with blackout lining and one was made with standard privacy lining. The photo was shot on a hot and sunny afternoon. The difference between the two curtain panels is quite dramatic. When you see how much of the light is blocked by the blackout lining (95%) you really get a better understanding how using quality blackout lined curtains, drapery or roman shades would significantly lower you homes energy bills and save your interior upholstery fabrics from sun damage. At DrapeStyle we encourage the use of blackout lining whenever the application is appropriate. It certainly adds weight to the drapery but if you are using quality drapery hardware blackout is really the way to go when buying your next pair of custom drapery or curtains.