The technical side of curtains and blinds

Jul 17, 09:28 PM
This week we talk to The Birch House curtain manufacturer and expert Carolyn Peyman about the technicalities of curtain rail or pole installation  and the various technical choices which might influence your curtain & blind choice.

Carolyn talks about when to use a curtain pole and when to choose a track and the difference between hand drawn, corded and electric.  She also tells you what you are likely to get for your money 

Preparing for your curtains and blinds might be an activity you didn’t plan or budget for! A good handyman or curtain installer will come and check where fixings can be made although be prepared to add some support if you are going into a ceiling for a track, especially if you are going to have heavy weight curtains.  

If you have a new window in an extension, your lintel may prevent your pole being fitted in the exact location you want.  There are ways of adding a pattress to allow the support with a more shallow fixing but this all needs to be planned in.  Ideally do this preparation while the plasterers are still in as any modifications and making good can be done at the same time without the mess of repairing new plasterwork.

We discuss electric curtains and Abigail talks about the ease of future proofing your renovation or extension so even if you don’t want electric curtains now, the option is there for the future.  And she recommends have a control for the curtains rather than a remote control, just because we are all getting to the point of too many remotes in our houses

Carolyn covers off how curtain fabric quantities are calculated and the ideal length for them.  She also discusses when to use weights and how many of them.  (Link here to the curtain weights Carolyn is referring to.) Abi gets sidetracked by a Baz Luhrmann film, The Great Gatsby, where there are lots of billowing curtains which she thinks needed weights!

When considering privacy Carolyn advises that there are multiple options which she goes through including sheer single privacy panels, curtains and roller blinds.

The discussion of suitable fabrics leads both Carolyn and Abigail to reminisce about materials they have seen fail including raw silk, which fell apart when exposed to UV for a period of time and high polyester which does hold the pleats well.

We discuss the use of black out curtains and black out blinds and how to achieve the most effective light reduction, which comes through layering and the use of a pelmet.

We briefly cover fire safety and curtains, always emphasising that a curtain should not be able to go near an open flame and even if you have special fire protected fabric, it does not mean they will not burn.  Remember loose fabric and fire don’t go.

To find out more information on Carolyn and The BirchHouse see her Instagram @The.BirchHouse or find her on Facebook under The Birch House.

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Photo credit to Lux holdups - their product can be purchased here