What Is a Sheer Curtain?

Depending on your privacy, light-control needs and style preferences, a sheer curtain can stand alone or act as a layer under heavier drapery. These featherweight window treatments come in several different materials and serve almost the same purpose as semisheer curtains.

Sheer Materials

Sheer fabrics include very lightweight polyester, gauze, chiffon, silk, lace, cotton, linen and chenille. The see-through materials come in solid colors or with metallic threads for shimmer or embroidered with designs, such as polka dots, stripes, flowers or a chevron print for stylish variety. They're available in seemingly limitless colors and shades, but simple white or off-white sheers won't distort daylight, and they go with almost any palette.

When to Go Sheer Vs. Semisheer

Sheer and semisheer curtain panels differ mainly by weave density, fabric weight or opacity, with the former being more translucent for barely restricted daylight and a better view to the outdoors -- which also means less privacy to the indoors than with the latter. If you opt for sheers on north-facing windows and semisheers, made from crushed voile, for example, on south-facing ones, you can achieve a similar natural-lighting effect throughout the home. All types of sheer panels offer a romantic flowing effect -- whether out of the package or .

Lorna Hordos

Lorna Hordos

Lorna Hordos is a home-flipping business owner and freelance writer. She writes friendly, conversational business, home and lifestyle articles for Bizfluent, azcentral, Daltile, Marazzi, Lowes, Philips Lighting, WordPress.com and numerous other publications.