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Energy-Saving Curtains Combine Comfort And Control

Are you looking to save some of your hard-earned cash on energy costs? Exploring ways to become environmentally-friendly without being blah? Hunting for the perfect room-darkening solution for your new home theater setup? Well, search no further: stylish window treatments that marry fashion and function are just a mouse-click away here at Curtainworks!

Today’s new energy-efficient fabrics make it easy and affordable for you to freshen up your home décor and save money on your heating bills at the same time. These energy-efficient panels also have numerous other functional advantages, including benefits such as noise reduction, light filtration and room darkening. Depending on the type of fabric and the construction, these window treatments filter or block out harmful UV rays that can fade furniture and carpets, providing another important benefit to your home.

Curtainworks offers a variety of options in these innovative energy-saving window treatments. Today’s energy-efficient and room-darkening window panels are constructed of attractive and trendy fabrics combined with special linings to create products with superior insulating properties.

In order to choose the best energy-saving window treatments for your individual home decorating needs, there are several definitions with which you should become familiar: The term “blackout draperies,” for instance, refers to heavyweight fabric window panels that are either lined, interlined or coated with insulating foam. In order to be called blackout draperies, the panels must block 99% of exterior light; these panels typically are up to 25% more energy-efficient than standard panels and reduce exterior noise by up to 40%. Window treatments that do not block out quite as much light are referred to as “room darkening” or “light filtration” panels.

Blackout draperies usually are the best choice for media rooms, home theaters and children’s bedrooms, where maximum light- and noise-reduction are desired. By installing these types of heavyweight window panels, your family and friends can enjoy movie nights or “the big game” without worrying about outside light reflecting off your screen or exterior noise disrupting your sound system.

Energy-efficient panels are available in a wide range of styles and colors, and are usually constructed of heavyweight fabrics such as velvet, suede and chenille. Our Messina tailored panel, for example, is constructed of a luxurious, 100% cotton velvet fabric with a special lining, while our Lexington tailored panel is constructed from a soft brushed suede fabric that is opaque and room darkening.

The terms “lining,” “interlining” and “thermal lined” all refer to extra layers of fabric that are used to add thickness and energy-efficient properties to lighter weight, contemporary or casual fabrics such as satins or jacquards. Linings and interlinings generally are constructed of a cotton, polyester or cotton/polyester blend fabric; interlined panels feature an additional layer of lining material sandwiched in between the standard lining and the outer drapery fabric. Thermal-lined draperies feature a separate, insulated fabric used as a lining. Some blackout linings are constructed of vinyl or heavyweight polyester fabric; these types of linings generally are sold separately and often are used in institutional settings such as hotels or hospitals.

Some good examples of lined window fashions include Curtainworks’ Soiree, Chelsea and Austin styles. The Soiree pattern, for instance, is constructed from a lustrous, iridescent taffeta fabric and features a tri-level construction with both lining and interlining to maximize energy savings. Our Chelsea design highlights a shimmering satin polyester fabric that is lined in blend of 85% cotton and 15% rayon to create a room-darkening effect. The Austin tailored panel features a woven fabric in a trendy tone-on-tone crosshatch design lined with a cotton/rayon blend fabric to enhance energy-efficiency.

A few other, technical phrases are important to understand before choosing your window treatments. The terms “foam backed” and “thermal backed” refer to drapery fabrics that have been coated on the back with an insulating layer of foam or other thermal material. This foam layer is applied wet and then dried in a special manufacturing process so that the backing becomes permanently attached to the face fabric. Foam backed and thermal backed drapery panels are extremely energy-efficient and also help reduce exterior noise and light; many blackout draperies are constructed in this manner.

Virtually any type of medium- to heavy-weight fabric—from contemporary or casual to floral or formal—can be used to construct a foam backed window panel. Curtainworks’ City Square pattern, for example, is constructed using an upscale, contemporary woven fabric featuring an all over retro-inspired design of rounded concentric squares accented by a diagonal ribbed texture and backed in an opaque, room darkening foam. Our Helena pattern, on the other hand, highlights a lovely, traditional all over floral scroll design overprinted on a narrow vertical stripe texture; the face fabric is backed in energy-efficient acrylic foam.

Regardless of which energy-efficient style you decide is best for your room, you will need to decide whether you want stationary or moveable window treatments. Drapery panels usually are offered in several constructions, including rod pocket configurations and traditional pinch pleated styles. Curtainworks also presents a variety of innovative “back tab” constructions, where the rod pocket is actually hidden behind the panel, presenting a more tailored silhouette. Rod pocket and back tab draperies are hung by sliding the panels onto drapery rods or decorative poles, while pinch pleated draperies typically are hung on traverse rods, which open and close using a cord. If you wish to pull back and hold the drapery panels away from the window, you will need to purchase coordinating fabric tiebacks or fixed decorative drapery holdbacks mounted on the sides of the windows.

Draperies almost always are sold as individual panels, and measured width by length, with the width stated first. You will need to purchase enough curtain or drapery panels to give your window treatments “fullness,” generally one-and-a half to three times the final measured width of the window. Drapery panels typically are sold as individual panels, but should be purchased in pairs; wider windows will require more panels to achieve the desired look.

You also may want to use multiple layers, adding sheer under-treatments as a decorative element. Sheers are lightweight, airy curtains made of finely woven fabrics. Sheers allow a good deal of outside light to enter a room, yet still offer an element of privacy and light filtering properties. Sheers almost always feature a rod pocket construction that slides onto a drapery rod or pole, and can be either stationary or moveable. Various types of blinds or shades also can be used as under-treatments, especially in areas where greater privacy and light control are desired. Layered window treatments allow you to mix and match several styles and colors to maximize visual impact and create a truly decorative look.

The bottom line is, it’s never been easier to “go green” with your window decorating choices. Curtainworks offers myriad fabric, style and color options in energy-efficient, room darkening window treatments that allow you to be both environmentally friendly and fashionable…proving that you can save energy, save money and have chic, stylish home décor, all at the same time.

(Please see our “How To Measure & Install” section for more information on selecting the appropriate window coverings to fit your individual needs.)

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