Silk is a luxurious fabric with a beautiful sheen that makes it a favorite choice for drapes.
Here are some pro tips to make sure your silk drapes are as fabulous.
1. It's all about Linings
The number one error made with silk drapery is the failure to chose the correct lining. It's a shame to see silk drapes made with inferior linings. It almost begs the question, why bother? Silk NEEDS a thick lining to give the thin fabric, body and structure. Traditionally this was achieved with two linings. A felt interlining and a cotton/poly lining to cover the back. This is still a great way but you can also replace the two linings with a thick interblack or sun out fabric if you need more light coverage.
Without a thick lining, silk drapes look pokey and tends to pucker and looks unkempt. When silk clings to a thicker lining, the drape becomes fuller and ultimately more luxurious.
Silk is in fact a strong natural fiber but it is also delicate since it is susceptible to light damage and will fade and even disintegrate The linings listed above will help protect your drape from the sun at the back. However you must not to let the front of your silk drapes burn in the sun. If your room receives a lot of sun, keeping them closed is best to extend the longevity of your investment.
If you can't control the light and the sun is going to beat down on the front of the drapes from other windows all day, it may be best to choose a synthetic silk or alternate fabric instead.
The choice of drapery header not only determines style but also a drape's fullness and stack back. In my opinion, silk needs structure. Many decorators and readymade drapery collections seem to favor a very loose look sometimes with no header at all. Using a pocket, tabs or rings with clips to hang a piece of gorgeous silk does nothing to showcase it's beauty. Without a tailored header, drapes can look like an inexpensive readymade. And that makes me think why bother?
Any french pleat, inverted pleat and pinch top pleat are great choices of headers since they all give the silk structure. If a more contemporary look is needed with a small stack back and less fullness, a grommet header on a silk drape works wonderfully. The juxtaposition of the structured modern grommet with the traditional sheen of silk works beautifully.
A slubby silk has a lot of texture running through it whereas a silk taffeta is a flatter, consistently woven silk. There are also more raw, matte, loosely woven silks available that look like linens. Slubs or no, it's a matter of personal preference. However, if you are looking for a white or cream silk, I highly recommend a slubby texture. Unfortunately silk drapes done in a white or cream colour taffeta can't be easy distinguish as silk without touching them since they don't have much sheen. Choosing a slubbier silk will show off its texture by giving needed visual interest and amping up the luxury!