Can successful lined draperies be made at home?

If you've never made any drapes, you may be wondering if it's possible to make lined draperies. No-sew solutions without lining are pumped out of every diy website you've ever looked at.

Can you really make lined drapes successfully?

The short answer is, "Yes, you can!" But let's deal with one other question first.

Are linings always necessary?

No. There are situations where you may not wish or need to use them.

You may have a window in a very light room where you just want some fabric at the window to soften it. By using a light cotton print without lining, you can let the daylight light up the fabric from behind to give a light and airy feel to the room.

Or you may want to use a sheer fabric such as voile or lace. These generally look better when they don't have any lining, because you then get the full effect of the light through them.

Why you should use lining

The main reason for having lined draperies is to protect the fabric.

If your window gets direct sunlight, your fabric will deteriorate over the years. Even if you don't get direct sunlight you'll still notice a certain a degree of damage.

What sort of damage?

Your fabrics will fade. And if they get direct sunlight, they'll fade quickly. In time the fabric structure will break down. This depends on the fabric components, whether it's made from natural or artificial fibres, or a combination of both. The fabric will eventually become 'ripe' - you'll be able to easily tear it.

Another reason is that lining helps the drapes hang better. Just having that bit of extra material makes quite a difference.

What's the best lining to use?

The best you can afford. Good quality linings are normally made from cotton. The least expensive linings can have a proportion of polyester or some other man-made fibre.

Quality linings will look better for longer, and will last longer without deteriorating. They are also less prone to shrinkage.

So to repeat, go for the best you can afford.

What color should you use?

The normal color for linings is a natural, which is sometimes described as beige, or ecru. You can get linings in many colors, and they have their uses.

But be careful if you have a number of windows on the same side of your house. Often some of the lining is visible from outside. If you use different colored lining in your lined draperies, remember that from outside you'll see all those colors.

Are lined drapes very difficult to make?

Obviously there's more work involved than making unlined draperies.

But it isn't difficult. In fact, it's quite straightforward. Once you've make one lined drape, you'll realize there's not that much to it. And the results are so much better!

Use lining for top quality drapes

If you don't have a good reason for not using lining, I'd recommend you use it whenever possible. It really does make your lined draperies hang better, and look much more professional.

  1. Home
  2.  ›
  3. drapery basics
  4.  ›
  5. lined draperies