The 411 on Silk Curtain Fabrics

Believe it or not, silk is the ideal fabric for curtains.

Although silk has a delicate appearance, it is a surprisingly long lasting and durable fabric for window treatments if cared for properly. It is a natural textile that comes in a variety of weights and textures making it a versatile choice for any application. Heavier weights are great for privacy and lightweight silks are perfect as wispy sheers. Depending on the type of silk you choose, these classic curtains look right at home in both casual and elegant spaces. 

Once reserved for ball gowns and wedding dresses, taffeta is becoming a popular fabric option for high-end curtains. While this type of silk can either be yarn dyed or piece dyed, most curtain panels are yarn dyed resulting in a full, smooth yet rigid texture. Sumptuous taffeta curtains have a distinctive sheen and hand that can’t be duplicated with a synthetic fabric. Dramatic taffeta curtains often include fancy pleats and decorative headings to turn up the drama

Most of us are more familiar with silk dupion. Unlike fancy taffeta, it has a subtle sheen and a rougher texture. It is woven of double-thread silk produced when two silkworms spin their cocoons together. This makes for a coarser yarn and creates slubs and dark specs giving the finished fabric a more natural appearance. These irregularities inherent in silk dupion and are considered part of the fabric’s intrinsic beauty.


Luxurious silk organza is typically manufactured with pure silk fibers creating a lightweight sheer that’s substantial enough to block light and add a sense of privacy to your rooms. Woven from twisted silk filament, organza has a firm, not stiff hand and an even, smooth texture. Organza curtain panels can be used on their own adding a translucent layer of color or hung in conjunction with heavier panels for a layered look.

Raw Silk

Raw silk is woven from short fibers giving it its trademark nubby, rough texture. Raw silk is an off-white color and is similar in appearance to organic cotton. Curtains made from raw silk hang and drape better than cotton panels and even resist wrinkles. When compared to other silk fabrics, raw silk’s irregular color and texture has a more organic look and lacks the sheen of fancier silks.


Billowy silk chiffon is the perfect choice for window scarves and swag toppers. This plain weave silk contains highly twisted yarns resulting in a soft, gauzy fabric. Its diaphonous nature allows sunlight to pass through but still provide a little privacy during the day. Twist and drape chiffon scarves over and around curtain rods, corbels or medallions for a window treatment full of movement.

Neiman Marcus | Silks Unlimited | Sew 4 Home | Homeagination | Homagination | Homeagination
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