The popularity of linen has grown at a manic pace over the past few years, with more and more client asking us for linen curtains and blinds for their home. Most of the time, these clients have been watching The Block and other home renovation shows, though often they are being advised by their Interior Designer to use 100% linen on their windows.
We agree that linen can look absolutely stunning on window coverings! Linen has thousands of years of history behind it (going back to Ancient Egypt) and as such has many great properties. It’s extremely strong and becomes stronger when wet. It doesn’t actually retain moisture, but it dries very quickly. Linen doesn’t pill, it’s non-allergenic, repellent to insects and UV resistant. The organic fibres in linen can be recycled and are biodegradable. Little wonder that modern consumers are seeking out pure linens in response to a greener outlook in the home.
But there are a few reasons we will try to talk you out of 100% linen for curtains and blinds every time.
Pure linen is expensive! They usually retail upwards of $100 per metre, and if you have large windows… that can mean thousands of dollars spent on the fabric alone. Linen-look fabrics made from polyester, or poly-linen combinations are a much more cost-effective option. And with such fabulous fabric technology, most people can’t tell the difference!
Linen is notorious for moving with the humidity. This means your gorgeous curtains that were the perfect length when installed, could be too short one day and too long the next. This movement makes linen a no-go for Roman blinds, as the fabric can pucker and sag in all the wrong places. Linen can also attract mould and mildew, which will eventually rot the fabric.
People generally accept the crushability of linen as part of its inherent charm… but very few people actually consider this when choosing window coverings. Yes your linen curtains will probably arrive with creases… yes they will annoy you. Steaming creases out of linen will stretch the fabric (sometimes irreversibly!) and doesn’t always remove the creases effectively anyway. If you really want 100% linen, you’ll need to make peace with the crease!
One of the best benefits of linen is that it is stain resistant and therefore doesn’t require lots of cleaning. But when it does come time to clean… you must move carefully. When you’ve spent large amounts of money on pure linen, you certainly don’t want to throw the curtains into your washing machine… the washing process will cause so many wrinkles and creases in the fabric that will drive most people to the point of madness. Dry cleaning can be just as difficult… mostly because of the transportation of the curtains after cleaning. Polyester content can eliminate these woes, making your curtains much easier to care for.