How to Choose and Care for Curtains
Nothing transforms your room quite like new curtains. As well as adding the finishing touch to any decor, they also serve a practical function, giving you privacy and comfort. At Scotts of Stow we stock a wide range of curtains designed for every room in your home, from vibrant floral patterned curtains to rich, elegant and simple plain curtains. With a wide choice of widths and drop lengths, most are ready to hang right away and come with matching tie backs and coordinating scatter cushions to complete the looks you desire.
Curtain Styles - Plains or Patterns?
Do you want your curtains to blend in with your decor or pop out and make a real style statement? A bold colour or print will create a focal point while single-toned damasks will add textural interest. If you have patterned furniture or bedding, it's best to keep your curtains simple. A paisley pattern or stripe in soft, neutral tones will add the perception of texture.
Almost all of our curtains come with traditional pencil pleat headings - neat, stylish and traditional. These are made with a 3” taped top section of closely gathered folds resembling a row of pencils. The folds are created by pulling cords threaded through the length of the heading tape. Pencil pleat curtains can be hung on curtain poles or tracks. For a more delicate finish, we offer a range of voile curtains if you prefer a lighter and airier look. Whilst still maintaining privacy, they give a softer, diffused light.
How to Measure for Curtains
We have created an easy-to-follow guide on How to Measure for Curtains so that you can order with confidence, knowing that what you order will fit.
Fitting Pencil Pleat Curtains
Pencil pleat curtains have three rows of holes in the heading tape, allowing you to adjust the height setting. When hanging on a track, insert the hooks into the lower row of holes so the heading tape covers the track. When hanging on a pole, insert the hooks into the top row of holes so the curtains hang below the pole. Ensure you have the same number of hooks in each curtain as there are gliders in the track or rings on the pole. When hanging on tracks, you must include the fixed end stop.
To fix the width of pencil pleat curtains, tie the strings in the heading tape at one end of the curtain and draw to the required width. Tie the surplus strings loosely and don't be tempted to cut the ends as you may need to make minor adjustments if the curtains are removed for cleaning.
Lined Curtains Look Better
For living rooms and for bedrooms especially, it's wise to choose fully lined curtains. Not only will they increase opacity and block out light more effectively, they'll also help retain heat in a room during the cold winter months. Linings enhance the look of colours and patterns, protect against fading in strong sunlight and help the curtains to drape better. We sell curtain linings and accessories separately to marry up with curtains you may already have.
Thermal Blackout Curtains
Studies show, that during the winter months, up to 80% of heat can be lost through windows and doors. This can lead to uncomfortable draughts and costlier energy bills. Our three-layer, thermal-blackout curtains are an effective way to keep chills at bay and to keep warmth inside, offering the following benefits:
- Low-cost heat retention and draught exclusion
- Block out light to improve sleeping environment
- Prevent glaring sunlight and fading of carpets and furnishings
- Help mask outside noise
We offer four exclusive designs of thermal curtains and nine sizes to fit any window in your home.
Thermal Door Curtains
Working much like a thermal window curtain, our heavyweight door curtain with portiere rising rod, is the perfect answer to prevent chilly draughts blowing through outside doors. It can be fitted to existing tracks or poles but works better with our portiere rising rod. The rod fits to the door itself and its lift and rise mechanism moves the curtain up whenever the door is opened to prevent the fabric snagging between the door and floor.
Our curtains are sold in pairs. Some sets include matching tie backs. The dimensions on the product page refer to the size of each individual curtain. We offer a wide range of widths and drop lengths up to 90" to fit tall picture windows or patio doors.
Caring for Your Curtains
Remember, all curtains, especially lined curtains, need time to settle before any creases drop out. This is especially true for heavy velvet drapes where the lustrous pile may show pressure marks from being folded. These will gradually disappear. Velvet is delicate by nature, however, and can easily mark when handled, so it's better to close such curtains using rods or tracks with a side pulley system.
Cleaning Your Curtains
In the main, most of our curtains can be safely machine washed following manufacturer's recommendations. Here are a few hints and tips to ensure your curtains will always look their best:
- Before cleaning pencil pleat curtains, loosen the draw strings
- Wash by hand when recommended and rinse thoroughly
- When using powder detergent, ensure it is fully dissolved before washing to avoid marking
- Use colour care detergents to avoid fading caused by optical brightening agents
- Wash by squeezing rather than rubbing
- Never spin machine washable curtains excessively
- After spin drying, the fabric should still retain some moisture to smooth itself out, regain shape and minimise shrinkage
- Hand wash voile curtains in lukewarm water - do not use bleach
- Net curtain whitener will help restore original brightness
- Rinse voile fabrics thoroughly and leave to drip dry
Use a vacuum for regular cleaning and fit the edge tool for working in between the pleats. Some curtains may be gently steam cleaned using a hand-held machine.