Lining curtains is an important step in creating homemade window treatments. Curtain liners act as insulation and keep homes warmer during the winter months--an important consideration in drafty homes. They also make the curtains more durable and protect the outer fabric from sun damage.
What to Look For
If you're lining curtains to hang in the home, you should look for liner material made from 100 percent cotton, polyester, or a combination of the two. Curtain liners designed for use in the home are created to repel water, resist stains, provide insulation and prevent ultraviolet rays from entering the home. If you're creating curtains for a commercial business, you'll need liner material that has been treated with fire retardant to meet fire codes.
If the curtains will be hung in a bedroom or a living area that receives too much afternoon sun, you may be interested in specialty blackout linings. These linings are created to prevent light from entering the room through a construction of a poly/cotton base cloth and acrylic foam that is attached to the window-facing side of the draperies. The thickness of blackout linings gives them the added benefits of both temperature and noise insulation.
Well-insulated curtains can go a long way in creating an energy-efficient home. All draperies provide a certain level of insulation, but if your goal is to increase your home's insulation, you'll want to choose a thicker liner fabric. Adding insulated curtains can more than double the efficiency of the windows in your home and significantly reduce your heating and cooling costs.
Before you decide on a liner fabric, make sure that the fabric is similar to your face fabric in construction and care instructions. When hung together, you want your curtains to have a unified look and hang correctly. Care instructions are important so that both the curtain and the liner can be cleaned the same way without ruining either of the fabrics. If one fabric needs to be drycleaned, make sure the other can be drycleaned, too.
Other factors to consider depend on where the curtains will be hung, as draperies in different rooms will have their own needs. While noise and light control might be your first priority in the bedrooms, you'll want stain-resistant and easy-to-clean fabrics in the kitchen area, where spills and splatters are common. Protection from ultraviolet lights will be important in rooms that receive full sunlight or for curtains that are made from light-sensitive materials.