Custom Drapery Linings

Just as high fashion clothes need proper undergarments for support and coverage, so too, do high quality window treatments.  Custom drapery linings are the undergarments of window treatments and perform many functions.

Drapery linings can:

  • Protect the face fabric from sun damage
  • Provide insulation from summer heat and winter cold
  • Enhance noise reduction
  • Provide privacy and light control
  • Improve body and hand of the fabric
  • Provide uniform appearance from the outside
custom drapery lining
With white sateen With ivory sateen

Sateen Drapery Lining

The most basic drapery lining is a good quality sateen.  A satin weave is more pliable than a plain weave.  My go-to lining is a 100% cotton sateen in pale ivory.  This is the equivalent of wearing a slip under your dress (fellas–use your imagination!).  The lining protects the face fabric and gives body to the treatment. 

If the face fabric is white or has a white background, it is important to choose a white colored drapery lining so there is no yellowing of the face fabric.  Sateens are also available in tan or putty.  Colored drapery linings differentiate custom window treatments from ready-mades and also have nice curb appeal on dark colored or brick homes.

Drapery Interlining

Interlining is a lining that is sandwiched between the face fabric and the drapery lining. Interlining is primarily used to add body and give a rich elegant look, particularly when used with silk. 

The interlining layer can be heavy flannel, English bump, or a 3-layer woven blackout.  If you have budget or space constraints and can’t use multiple width panels, consider adding a layer of interlining to help plump up single width panels. 

Another option for the budget conscious client is to use a napped sateen lining with silk. Napped sateen is a sateen lining that has undergone additional processing to brush and raise the fibers on one side.  Silk with napped sateen looks much better than silk with only a basic sateen. However, it is NOT a replacement for interlined silk draperies!

custom drapery lining

Blackout Drapery Lining

Traditional blackout linings contain several layers of acrylic foam.  The layers block light and provide excellent thermal insulation.  In recent years, there have been several advances in blackout linings. They are more fluid and better draping, but they still have a drawback when used in roman shades. 

Pin holes are formed when rings are sewn on the shades.  One option to overcome this is to use the technique known as French blackout. This is a design where there are four layers in the window treatment: face fabric, interlining, black sateen, ivory (or white) sateen.

As a custom workroom to the trade, I stock many different drapery linings and special order as needed. I discuss lining choices with my designer clients and quote the best fit for each project/end customer.  But I have been known to switch linings (after talking to the designer) during the fabrication process. After seeing and touching the face fabric, I just can’t let a window treatment experience a wardrobe malfunction!

Parkway Window Works is an award-winning workroom.  Our fabrication expertise and attention to detail are what truly sets us apart.  If you want recommendations for proper lining on your next drapery project and a workroom that will ensure proper scale in your drapery panels when fabricating, contact us to get started.

Comments (4 )
  • Georgina Mckenzy
    | 8 December 2022

    The sun comes inside our living room every morning, making us uncomfortable because, aside from hurting our skin and irritating our eyes, it also hurts our skin when we sit on the couch. I plan to get custom draperies to protect us whenever the sun enters the room. As you said, the most basic drapery lining is a good-quality sateen, which is suitable for our window.

    • Peggy
      | 8 December 2022

      You are right Georgina! Custom draperies should really make a difference for you.

  • Lily Bridgers
    | 29 November 2023

    Every morning the sun enters our living room, causing us discomfort not only from skin irritation and eye strain but also from skin irritation when we sit on the couch. I’m going to get tailored drapes to shield us from the light whenever it enters the space. A high-quality custom drapery would work well for our window and is the most basic type of curtain lining, as you mentioned.

    • Peggy
      | 29 November 2023

      Best of luck with your project Lily!

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