Shopping for curtains for your home is no longer a simple task that you can do in a jiffy. The variety in curtain materials available these days is mind boggling. Mumbai is a major centre from where top quality curtain materials come to Kerala. Most of the top brands in furnishing is based out of Mumbai. The budget-friendly versions of these material come from Delhi, Surat and Panipat. The difference in quality is pretty much evident when you opt for the cheaper kinds. When it gets too cheap, the colours run and the ends fray.
Once stitched, the pleats of different curtain materials lie in different styles. It could be stiff, or flair like in gowns. You need to choose materials according to the styles that you prefer. Inform the shopkeepers of what exactly you have in mind and they can guide you to select the right kind of material, to suit your requirements.
Nowadays most of the furnishing shops not only just sell the materials, they also stitch and do the complete curtain fittings. Some will also help in modifying the existing curtains.
The top branded curtain shops stock catalogue books or albums that help you select materials effortlessly. Imported materials are available in the market too. The cost of these come up to Rs 1000 per metre. For branded materials, the cost comes up to Rs 500 to Rs 6000 per metre.
Crush, Munnar Silk, Thanjavur Silk, Corduroy (prices start at Rs.200 per metre), Khadi (the branded Khadi is a mix of polyester & viscose texture and the price is around Rs.530 per metre), Leather (Rs.1690 per metre), are some of the various finishes and textures available in the market. The base material of all this is polyester.
A current trend these days is to have curtain materials that complement the sofa set, cushions, bed spreads, or other furnishings in a room. For this, the curtain catalogue books display various ranges or styles for the inner curtain or main curtains. You can also choose from the options of sofa upholstery to go with the colour theme of the dcor.
Curtains made of 100 per cent jute fabric tend to be very heavy. And so this material is more suitable for upholstery. Polyester materials that come with a Jute finish is apt for curtains. The prices start at Rs.160 per metre. Branded Jute materials that combine polyester & acrylic will cost as much as Rs.3000 to Rs.4000 per metre.
Polyester is no doubt the star when it comes to curtain materials. It is easy to wash, light-weight and the pleats turn out pretty in these materials. This is the reason why most material finishes come with a polyester mix. The material is comparatively cheaper. The silk, satin or linen finishes all have polyester mix. The cost depends on the percentage of polyester mixed. Expensive branded curtains have a lesser percentage of polyester and there is a certain difference in the quality. Price comes up to Rs 50 per metre.
Curtains with a satin finish are also made with some polyester content. The quality and price varies depending on the percentage of polyester in the materials. The cost is around Rs 115 per metre.
The fans of pure cotton will go for 100 per cent cotton curtain materials. Issues like wrinkles, or the need to press, or that these materials get heavy with washing could deter a few from selecting cotton curtains. But versions like the Kannur handlooms don’t have these problems, says the salesperson in the Fabric India shop at Focus Mall in Calicut. The colour of such cotton materials will not fade or the cloth won’t shrink unlike their counterparts. The rates are around Rs 280 per metre. Polycotton curtains that combine cotton and polyester are also popular choices as they are easy to maintain. Price starts at Rs.120 per metre.
The velvet finish curtain are made by mixing polyester. These are available in a variety of designs like plain, printed or crushed. Prices are at Rs.125 per metre.
Jacquard weaves are produced on a special loom and are characterized by complex woven-in designs. These weaves are done on polyester materials. They are also available in matte or satin finishes. You can choose the style that best suits the interiors of your home. Rates can come up to Rs.85 to Rs.500 per metre.
Viscose is a material that is used to stitch curtains. Viscose is made by mixing cotton & polyester. You can get this in a variety of finishes.
These are a kind of polyester curtain that do not let in any light. They are in demand for the hotel industry and in homes too. These cost around Rs.200 per metre. The imported versions of black-out materials cost as high as Rs 5795 for a metre.
Water repellent curtains as the name suggests repel water and are most ideal in the bathrooms as shower curtains. The material of this curtain is polyester and the cost is Rs 158 per metre.
Though these are known as silk curtains, the actual material is polyester with a silk finish. 100% silk is hard to wash or iron and the pleats won’t have a perfect feel to it. Instead, it is materials like Munnar Silk or Thanjavur silk that are used along with polyester in silk finish curtains. The cost is Rs.140 for a metre. The branded Munnar silk will cost around Rs.290 onwards for a metre. The Thanjavur silk costs Rs.580 per metre. The 100% pure silk varieties will cost up to Rs.4000 for a metre.
Linen (Main & Sheer)
Like silk, the 100% pure linen curtain materials are tough to maintain. So the linen materials that we get are a mix of polyester. The beauty, quality and price of these curtains depends on the percentage of linen in these materials. Embroidered linen materials can cost around Rs.500 per metre. Sheer or inner curtains of linen material is also available for Rs.500 per metre. Low cost linen materials can be obtained for Rs.300 per metre. Linen curtains are ideal for places where privacy is not of utmost importance. It can partially let light into the rooms too.
Curtains that come with a self-print are called trend. The crush finish is in high demand as these are easy to handle and light-weight. Crush finish materials cost up to Rs.60 for a metre. Matte finish is quite popular too.
Washing curtains now and then is a hassle for many. So the earlier practice of buying 2 sets of curtains for use, when one goes into the wash, is not prevalent these days. A better alternative is buying new curtains when they get bored of the old look. Instead of using just a single type of material, it is more pleasing to creatively play with contrasting materials, shades, finishes or patterns or even bringing variety in the borders.
Having a thick main curtain and a sheer inner curtain used to be a stylish trend. When it calls for privacy the main curtain could be drawn and otherwise the sheer curtain does the deed. But now, this is seen as an unnecessary expense. The net curtains cost Rs 65 onwards for a metre, Organza costs around Rs 300 for a metre, the linen or polyester comes up to Rs.100 per metre. Except for linen, the rest of the materials could be washed. Another trend is to buy a sheer curta in material and to use it by stitching a lining for it. The branded sheer materials which are a mix of silk & cotton will cost Rs 1195 per metre.
Panelling / Highlighter
Applique embroidery works done in velvet or satin can be used as panelling to beautify the curtains, say the shop owners at Art Legends in Calicut. These are also called highlighter. This can be used as borders on top, at the bottom or in the middle. For a band of 3 metre length and 140 cm width, the cost is Rs 3000 to Rs 4000.
The variety is not just in finishes, but in designs and prints too. Printed embroidery, digital prints (polyester + cotton mix - Rs 1400 per metre, polyester + linen mix – Rs 1095 per metre, Floral print, Bubble print, brush print, stripes print, check designs are a few among those in the market. Arabic design, Ikkat print for 100% polyester material, the cost is Rs 800 per metre. North Indian designs for polyester & linen mix, the cost is Rs 1095 per metre. For the 3D effect prints that come in polyester and linen finish, the cost is Rs 1795 per metre. Sequence patterns that cost up to Rs 690 per metre is a fast moving design, says the owner of Sketch Interiors, NH Bypass, Calicut.
Special designs that are perfect for children’s bedrooms are also available. For the boys, there are sporty or car motifs. For the girls, pastel shades with Barbie, flowers or butterfly motifs can be found. Curtains that have different designs on both sides are also available. They can be stitched out to create plenty of patterns. The rates start at Rs 445 per metre.
(Courtesy of Pictures & Information: Sunoj K Balan & Associates, Deshabhimani Junction, Kaloor, Kochi Chakolas Decorette, Shanmugham Road, Kochi Royal Furnishings, T D Road, Kochi Luxrays, Panampilly Nagar, Kochi Art Legends, Calicut Sketch Interiors, Calicut Metro Furnishing, S M Street, Calicut Fabric India, Focus Mall, Calicut)