Should window curtains in a theatrical setting be lined?

Posted by on Aug 7, 2014 in Curtain Options, Fabric Options

Common in school, church, or gymnatorium-type theatres, outside windows can pose a real problem when it comes to the enjoyment of a show. You may be wondering how to best handle this situation. What fabric should the curtains be made of? Should the curtains be lined? Lined with what? The decision on whether or not to line window curtains in a theatrical setting depends on several factors, including the fabric type used and the color of the curtain. Here are some major factors to consider when deciding whether or not to line your curtains:

FADING
Any colored fabric will fade and all will deteriorate over time. However, compared to most natural fiber materials such as cotton, knitted synthetic fabrics such as Encore, Prospect, and Prism are pretty darn stable. It will take years for these fabrics to fade in most situations. Woven synthetics such as Charisma, Crescent, etc. are less stable than knitted fabrics, but still have an excellent life.

COSMETIC CONCERNS
The purpose of lining a curtain can be purely cosmetic, because lining allows a uniform neutral color (white, beige or black) to be seen in the window when looking at it from the outside. Generally, people find a stronger color in this type of setting off-putting.

LIGHT BLEED-THROUGH
Knitted fabrics: Lining will certainly prevent the audience from seeing any tiny pinpricks of light bleeding through the fabric in direct sunlight, but since knitted synthetics generally don’t show much light bleed anyway, this concern is really only an issue when using woven fabrics.

Woven fabrics: Woven fabrics (Crescent, Charisma, Prestige, etc.) within the BellaTEX fabric line are generally less opaque than knitted fabrics such as Encore. Lightweight woven fabrics like Plateau will show significant pin pricks of light if unlined. So it is recommended that window curtains made of woven fabrics be lined to prevent light bleed-through.

FABRIC DURABILITY
Lining will extend the life of the drape, but since synthetics, especially knitted synthetics, are very durable this is not a big concern. If the curtain gets direct sun for a large portion of the day or the curtain is made of cotton fabric, lining would probably be a good idea just to be safe. If the curtains get minimal or no sun, curtain life is not really a factor.

RECOMMENDATIONS
We recommend that you use a knitted synthetic fabric for the curtain such as Encore for maximum opacity and durability. We recommend “Apollo” for use a curtain lining. Apollo is an excellent lining fabric specifically designed for this application, and in addition it is not very expensive, which can be a welcome factor in your budget.

Contact us at 1-800-372-3373 for more information about curtain linings!

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