the atelier

Fabric Guide

Fabric guide - Interior Outfitters carries an edited range of semi-plain, plain and textured drapery and upholstery fabrics to create endless combinations in your home. We have long-standing relationships with our mills and work together with them to understand the weave, production process, and expected performance of each of our fabrics. The decision to include a new fabric in our range is a considered process, involving thorough testing. Our stock fabrics are made up in both blinds and drapes and hung to assess drape suitability. We commit to only providing high-quality fabrics with excellent performance. Below is a guide to help you understand our fabrics, how they are used, and how they should be cared for. Fabric specific info can be found in our Studio, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask one of our studio team who can advise you in relation to your own project.

Wide Width Fabrics - Traditionally a standard width fabric will be 137cm to 140cm wide with multiple drops at a set length, stitched together to create a curtain. Wide width or double width fabrics, 280cm to 310cm, maybe sufficiently wide for the width of the fabric to be used as the length. In this case, the fabric is turned or 'railroaded'' to avoid vertical seems. This is of interest for voile and blackouts curtains where seams would be more visible. All our stock voiles and many of our blackouts and solids are manufactured in wide width and also finished with a lead band Wide width fabric may have to be folded for transport and storage so there may be a crease on the width which may take some time to disappear and, in some cases, a small faint line will be apparent in some lights. 

Linings - Interior Outfitters has a vast selection of linings, easy-care, cotton satin, thermal, and blackout. Our studio team will be more than happy to help to recommend the appropriate linings for your drapes. 

Light Fastness - It is impossible to give a guarantee against color fading, regardless of the fabric composition. To best protect your curtains and blinds, we always recommend the use of a lining. For additional protection, we use voiles to filter the incoming sun. Our linings provide UV protection and many of our roller blinds have specific UV protection properties in varying percentages. Please enquire for further information. 

Movement - Fabric is woven material and regardless of the composition as such is subject to relaxing and contracting. We consider this in the making of your curtains and blinds. However, each fabric, room temperature, aspect, and humidity combinations are different, therefore it is advisable to expect changes over the course of time, especially in the first few weeks. Industry stands between 3-5% allowance. Natural fibres may be more prone to this movement, to increase stability consider an interlining. Alternatively consider a curtain length that breaks on the floor to better disguise these changes. Similarly, Roman blinds can be lined/interlined to help stabilize the fabrics which we strongly recommend for fabrics with a high linen content. Movement of curtains in-situ should not be seen as a fault in either fabric or the make-up and any alterations may be chargeable. 

General Care - To prolong the beauty of your bespoke curtains, blinds, and upholstery. Soft furnishings will become dirty as they accumulate dust, dirt, smoke, and grease from the air, as well as accidental staining. Never wait till there are visible signs of dirt before washing or cleaning. We recommend regular, light vacuuming with the appropriate attachment, ideally once a week. In the event of an accidental stain, please consult a specialist cleaner. Ensure that your chosen specialist is aware of the fabric composition and appropriate process to minimise agitation and specific solvents with may damage the fabric. Please note that dry cleaning is not a dry process and may result in shrinkage. Be sure to address this point with your specialist cleaner, prior to any cleaning treatment. It is important that larger items, such as full-length curtains, are not washed in a domestic washing machine. The drum will be too small and cause the fabric to crease, wear, and potentially lose color as well as shrink. Spot washing or handwashing may be appropriate for smaller items, such as cushion covers. Never use bleach when washing, this includes washing detergents that may contain optical brighteners, but opt for mild liquid detergents. Do not allow fabrics to sit in water for long periods of time. Dry on a flat, ventilated surface. For example, a stretched net. As a reminder, do not wash velvets in water as this may cause permanent marking. Our roller blind fabrics can be safely wiped with a dry cloth to remove dust. Before using any type of cleaning product, be sure to test it in an inconspicuous area to avoid staining or bleaching the fabric. Roller blinds should not be immersed in water. 

Fabric Choices - The composition and weave of fabric will affect its suitability to a particular look and product. For example, a high linen content fabric will crease, contract, and relax in relation to changes in the ambient temperature and humidity, and therefore is more suited to a relaxed look. 

Silks - The delicate look of silk, stems from its fine and delicate fibres. Silk requires more care in their makeup and in their ongoing maintenance. We recommend interlining and lining silk curtains; blackout lining will also help preserve your curtains and blinds for longer. Consider using silk only on windows, which do not receive direct, string sunlight; use a voile panel or sheer to filter light and potentially use a stronger fabric on the edge border. Roman blinds should be made with a slight under hang to protect folds from sunlight, use a stronger fabric on the leading-edge border. Roman blinds should be made with a slight under hang to protect folds from sunlight, again, consider a stronger fabric as a bottom border. 

Velvets - The pile of velvet confers its shine and texture, caring for the pile will keep your velvet looking at its best. Velvets should always be stored horizontally to avoid permanent creasing. When re-rolling, be sure to roll the pile on the inside. Marking and/or pile distortion are normal characteristics of velvet and are not an indication of poor quality or wear. It is not possible to protect curtains, blinds, and upholstered items from pressure marks when being handled and transported from the workrooms, through the checking process, and during transportation to your home. Our fitters dress your curtains at fitting but will not steam them. During use, shading and pressure marks should diminish or disappear altogether. Pile of the product will continue to improve over several months due to weight and atmospheric conditions The 'bruising' of velvets may be improved with the use of a soft brush. Do not spill liquids onto velvet as it may stain or show watermarks, which are difficult to remove. 

Linens (cottons) - The creases in linen curtains and blinds should be viewed as an integral part of their 'look', expected to increase overtime with use. Natural fibres, such as linens and cottons, are more prone to movement in line with changes of room temperature and humidity. For this reason, we recommend linen-rich and natural fibre fabrics and are either interlined to add stability or used in a relaxed look, such as curtains that break on the floor.