Blackout curtains help reduce the amount of light entering through windows. Thanks to this, it becomes possible to protect yourself from the bright rays of the sun. Many varieties of curtains are produced with such properties, which helps to choose an option taking into account the interior design, operating comfort.
What is blackout and history of blackout curtains
Blackout means temporary eclipse (or darken). The name was given to the goods due to its meaning.
For the first time, curtains with such characteristics appeared in the northern, in Finland, where are long white nights.
Because of this, sleep problems may occur. As a result, blackout curtains were developed to hide the light source more efficiently than classic ones.
Scope of fabric
The material of such curtains is characterized by high density. Therefore it can be used for different purposes:
Blackout material specifications
To protect from the sun, a compact version of the curtains – blackout is hung on the windows.
Varieties and composition of fabric used
There are four types of fabric:
Advantages and disadvantages of blackout curtains
Before applying light-tight curtains, you need to compare their properties with alternatives.
Options for design and combination in the interior
There are two ways to decorate an apartment window:
Blackout curtains varieties
Such curtains are distinguished by the opening method, design, and the effectiveness of protecting the room from light.
Curtains consist of folds that are fixed and when they rise, the design is preserved – folds are neatly collected at the top. In this position, the curtain will remain until it is straightened. Moreover, the folds are ample.
The design fits into the interiors, decorated in oriental style.
Japanese curtains are an option on a moderately rigid frame on which the panel is stretched.
The advantage of this type of curtains is its tight fit to the walls due to the rigid strips around the perimeter.
Zebra, or day-night
Such blackout of this group work on the same principle as roller blinds. Only instead of plain dense materials, the striped fabric is provided. When the material is shifted, the strips’ position relative to each other changes, which allows you to open or, conversely, close the windows.
According to the device, products of this type are more complicated than others. In the center, they gather in scallops; the rest of the material is fixed on the sides with strings. To protect the room from light, you need to lower the curtain, for which a special mechanism is used.
Such curtains are in many ways similar to Austrian ones, but they have a significant difference – the material is assembled over the entire height, and not just at the bottom. This contributes to the formation of a large number of folds, improves the curtains’ appearance, and gives them solemnity.
Reflective curtains – the main properties and advantages
On the outside, the curtain is light (white, silver). Due to this, the sun’s rays are reflected. The desired effect is ensured by spraying.
Sunscreen for windows
This is a mirror coating of small thickness, which is fixed on a double-glazed window. The effectiveness of protecting the room from light is also ensured by darkening. As a result, the sun’s rays will be reflected from the film’s outer surface, and twilight is created inside the room.
How to protect yourself from excess light
To protect from excess light, they use particular types of curtains, as well as alternative methods of installing them.
Blinds inside a double-glazed window
Thanks to this installation method, the slats are protected from dust and do not need maintenance. However, it is done only in the production of a window unit – it is necessary to establish the possibility of installing blinds in the window glass; otherwise, it can not be inserted after the window’s construction.
These are constructions of a universal type. They protect double-glazed windows from hail, rain, litter, raised by a strong wind. Also, when closing the shutters, the room is protected from sunlight. Such designs are distinguished by 100 percent light transmission.
Mounting features for blackout curtains
There are different types of fastening curtains, dimming curtains:
Blackout curtain guidelines
To maintain the curtains’ attractiveness and to ensure adequate protection of the room from the sun, it is necessary to wash and iron products correctly. For example, it is recommended to dry them in natural conditions, and you can not hang them in the sun.
Adequate water temperature – not more than + 40 ° С. Violation of this rule will damage the structure of the material, looking wrinkled. Machine washable (but select delicate mode), the spin speed should be minimal – no more than 400 rpm (revolutions per minute).
Straightening folds in this way is permissible.
When choosing a temperature regime, the structure and properties of the fabric are taken into account, the sole of the iron should be warm.
It is necessary to constantly monitor the condition of the material so as not to spoil it.
Five tips for taming the sun
1. The density or color of the material is not the main thing; the opacity does not depend on them.
It is not necessary to use dark material to protect rooms from bright sunlight. The amount of light coming from the street not depend on curtains color. The opacity of the product is achieved through particular fabric manufacturing technology.
Conventional curtain fabric traps some of the light. It gives blackout, but not absolute darkness.
Drapery fabric blackout blocks light. With curtains from it, you can achieve darkness even on a sunny day.
2. Complete blocking of light is not always justified
Lightproof curtain fabrics are divided into two types, depending on how much light they transmit. Blackout of 80 and 99% of the light. In everyday life, the name “blackout” is used for both types of material. Therefore, if you are looking for a specific kind of fabric, check before buying. Decide whether you need complete darkness or a sufficiently strong darkening of the room.
Full dimming is not always justified. For example, if the living room is used as a home theater, even a little light is undesirable. If we are talking about a bedroom, it’s more convenient for many to wake up not in pitch darkness, but to understand whether morning has come. In the children’s room, it is preferable to leave a little light so that the baby’s parents can visit the child during sleep and not wake him up.
Also, to completely block the light, it is necessary to choose the right curtain rod and curtain size. Having understood what effect you need to get, you will not be unnecessarily limited in the choice of material.
3. Why opaque curtains may not work
For the curtains to block the light, they must be properly hung. Here are some suggestions: use a ceiling cornice. So the curtains will lie on the ceiling and block the access to the light above. Fix other models of cornices higher. Take into account the location of the window, the proportions of the room, and the interior decor. The cornice should be more extensive than the window by a distance sufficient to block the access of light on the sides. If the room’s configuration allows, make a cornice the full width of the wall with the window.
The outer edge of the curtain should touch the wall. To do this, the panel with the border is turned towards the wall and fixed. If the cornice is the full width of the wall, then you can do without turning, since the panels will fit snugly on the side. The lower edge of the curtains touches the floor. This will block the access of light from below.
These tips do not always succeed. On the contrary, if you wanted blackout curtains, but it became clear that you couldn’t hang them according to all the rules, there would be more fabric options. Blackout and dimout will give approximately the same effect.
4. How to combine design and functionality
The range of opaque fabrics is small. This is due to the features of the manufacturing technology of the material. Few fabrics completely block light. Usually, they are plain, with a smooth texture. There is a blackout pattern, and it costs more.
There are options with an interesting texture, combining threads of different colors and even bilateral. Dim-out, as a rule, is cheaper than a blackout. If you could not find suitable light-permeable material for the interior, go to the trick. Choose a plain fabric, and complement it with a lightproof lining. For light curtains, it is advisable to choose a lining in color so that it does not shine through under the primary layer of fabric.
5. Is it possible to choose high-quality finished curtains
Yes, sometimes, it turns out. The thing is the required length and width of the curtains and the design of the material. If you need plain curtains of neutral white-gray-beige shades, then it is quite possible to find such ones.
If you choose a particular shade or less popular color, the chance of success is minimal. Even if you like the fabric, the length or width is not always suitable.