When looking for a way to take advantage of the insulation benefits of lined curtains, the question often arises: Should I choose thermal-lined or Blackout Curtains?
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Home Guides section provides some clues as to which choice might be best for you:
Blackout curtains, as the name suggests, prevent most light from passing through a window when the drapes are properly installed and fully closed. This allows for maximum privacy. The blackout aspect is typically woven into the fabric, which makes for only one layer – albeit one that is thicker and heavier than normal. Blackout curtains also prevent light from fading your upholstery or floors.
Due to the polyester content, on the other hand, the blackout fabric can be prone to static. However there are ways of countering this effect so that corners do not tend to be drawn toward one another.
Thermal curtains are typically composed of two layers, which means that you’ll have to shop for extra-strong Curtain Hardware for installation purposes. Properly installed thermal drapes can reduce energy leaks through and around windows by as much as 25%. Some thermal drapes use a black liner so as to double as blackout curtains—again, this increases the overall weight of the window treatment.
Trying to add a thermal liner to an existing set of drapes can prove problematic, as the sheer weight of the two layers of fabric can make them difficult to sew together. Also, lined draperies aren’t easily dry cleaned. To clean them without causing damage, you have to choose fabrics that are tolerant of cleaning materials as well as of each other; what works for one layer of the combination might not be so kind to the other layer. And the extra layer needed for thermal curtains adds anywhere from 15% to 30% more bulk to the curtain mass when the drapes are in a fully opened position.