Good foundations what Is it that I'm referring to? Interior design product knowledge by Jayne Triggs

Good foundations, what is it that I’m referring too? In this case our choice of lining or interlining for our curtains, or Roman blinds. Your choice will determine the overall finished look and drape. This is where our decision makes a difference, and can actually influence the clients budget. 

Use the best lining at all times, it gives you depth, strength and drape.

If you have to compromise on your budget do it on the main clot. Your interlining and lining makes a huge difference to how the drapes reacts. On a cheap product it can be lightweight but also stiff and pull the main fabric in the wrong direction. 

It can also affect the most expensive fabric, so even if you’ve paid over £100 per metre for your main cloth. You will still not get the benefit of the luxury drape. That has gone into the technical side of the main cloth.  You have a tension and it’s pulling at the main fabric so you have the drape going in all directions. 

Remember a client comes to an interior designer for the best. I know they all have different budgets but you’re still not talking of the lower end. Leave the lower end to do-it-yourselfers or off-the-peg clients, example ready mades.

Let’s look at the different linings: Good foundations what am I referring to?


Good Foundations the purpose of an interlining is to give you weight, stability and a luxury curve and padded look to your curtains. The lining will also give you a higher thermal property to the curtains. And sound proofing as well as help with diffusing light through the curtains.

1:  Sarille 

Sarille is the starting of your interlining, and of course the cheapest. It does have more problems with it. As it is much stiffer and very springy. And instead of getting a full beautiful drape of your curtains, your curtains will tend to stick out . The construction of the cloth is medium weight and synthetic.This is one type I personally do not use at any time.

2:  Domett

Domett this is your medium weight natural cotton cloth, has a brushed appearance it looks like a flannel type fabric finish. This has the ability to give a light soft drape but giving you a soft padded look to the curtains. This will also help with the thermal property and diffuse of light

I use this for all curtains that do not want the very heavy padded look.

3:  Aratex 

Aratex the construction of the cloth is cotton and mixed fibres, more cotton than mixed. It is a heavier weight interlining, the benefit is it doesn’t hold as much moisture in the atmosphere as the traditional bump. You will get the ultimate padded luxury look to your curtains by using this interlining.

It also has another benefit its 285 gsm, which means the overall weight of the curtains finished, is much lighter. You have to consider weight of your finished product to put on either a pole or a rail.  

When I need a heavy padded luxury look, I use it more than I do bump.

4:  Bump

Bump this is your heavy interlining constructed of cotton the ultimate in interlining. With 400gsm  ideally used for very tall large windows, example stately home or a castle. It has such a heavyweight and very padded that you will need. To have very strong secure fixings, the rails for these to go onto. It will help the cloth especially on the very long drops that are normally over 3.5mtrs. 

NB: you will have difficulty with some poles taking the weight off bump.

I always use interlining on all Roman blinds. The density I choose depends on how padded finish the client would like. With using interlining you get much more luxury on the appearance and the folded edge has a soft look.

Standard lining:

Good Foundations the use of standard lining, all curtains really should be lined of some sort. This lining normally has a satin finish and can be 100% cotton or a mixture of poly cotton. But It’s a high density weave and helps with diffusing light going through the cloth. It helps with the deterioration of the main fabric.

Also gives stability to the main fabric, so if you use a very good standard lining you will get a beautifully hanging curtain but it will not have a padded look.

My recommendation:

Is that you go for a very high dense, very thick standard lining the best you can buy. You can use 100% cotton or a mix poly cotton. It must have a feeling like the quality and thickness of a good curtain fabric but is lining instead. 

Also choose a company that they have a very good colour fast dye to the lining. And their batches are very close to each other, each time you order. We always have some over from each role that we order. It can be very wasteful if you cannot use it to complete other jobs.

Plus a client will do a room at a time, they would like the lining to look the same from the outside. I use white, almond and cream these do not deteriorate with the sunlight so much as using a beige colour.

Thermal lining:

Good Foundations thermal lining was produced quite a number of years back and we were so pleased to actually get something that would help retain the heat within the room but also keep the heat out.

The construction of the facecloth can be 100% cotton or poly cotton and the back of the fabric is coated with a synthetic spray. It would help with light diffusion it gives a dim out, not a complete block out of light. 

The weight of the fabric is still much lighter than most blackout fabrics. Which can be a plus if you have a limitation on the choice rail or pole. With the fitments you are using so that your curtains will be able to be hung. 

I very rarely use a thermal lining today, as the development of blackout has preceded the thermal lining.

Blackout lining:

Good Foundations now over the years the technology into the blackout lining has progressed vastly. The construction of the cloth is called 3 pass blackout. And what this means is it has three procedures you have the main weave the cotton cloth. Then it is in coated with a white colour the next layer is a spray of black synthetic. The last layer is the coating of synthetic with a pigment of colour this can be white or cream.

You choose which of the two colours you prefer to see from the back of the curtains. And that’s the one that’s shown to the outside world through your window.

Benefit of blackout lining:

Is it blocks the light out completely, so you will not get any deterioration of cloth as no sunlight can get to it. Plus it has the highest thermal property in the construction of the cloth, a higher ratio than thermal lining. So the benefit it will keep when closed the room cool or warm and toasty.

Another benefit is it helps with 3% sound diffusion. And as with a lot of modern properties today they do not have carpeting so can help with that echoing in a room.

Things To Remember:

Remember on any penetration of the cloth with the needle light will come through and the cotton that you used to sew. Your article with, will not always fill the hole that you have made with the needle.

There are different types out there in different weights, some of the cheaper ones are very stiff. Not manoeuvrable and the weight of it is extremely heavy. So of course you have two problems one being that it alters the drape of your curtains. The second one, one’s made up your curtains. You have a very heavy curtain to find again the right rail or pole with the correct fitments to hold the weight.

There is available a blackout that is ultra flexible to give an ultimate drape. The weight is a third most companies supply of the standard blackout. ( H676 ) 

Use Interlining with the ultimate blackout that is the natural medium weight or the Aratex. Not the bump as everything is too bulky and you impede the drape of the curtains.

Bonded lining:

Good Foundations the construction of the bonded lining is two different textile laminated together, to perform as one. You have your cotton satin fabric, fused together with an interlining synthetic normally Sarille.

The benefit :

Is it will be much cheaper you do not purchase two different products. Plus the cost you have to pay to your out worker to make by hand, is only one cost instead of two. It’s great on the big commercial projects and the standard of product on finish, its not of the highest standard.

The downside is they do not drape very well they tend to make your curtain stick out and very springy. They will never drop in and give you that beautiful drape. Even when we strap and dress your curtains on fitting. Then leave them for three weeks to settle in. After doing this procedure they will still not do as required.

I do not use bonded lining is even on a contract job, they give so much problem on dressing. Your clients are disappointed with the finished result.

Interior Design Tips:

Good foundations what am I referring to? Remember things must be fireproofed if it’s a commercial job, hospitals or care and nursing homes. The law covers the accessories as well, it is something that is so easy to forget. It makes a difference to your profit margin if you forgotten to add this in. Once you’ve accepted the order it’s your responsibility to make sure that it covers all its liabilities.

Coloured linings, please remember even though they will be dye fast they are not guaranteed to fading. Your client must understand and be informed. That within six months they could have fading on the edges that will be noticeable from the outside of the property. 

Soft furnishing curtain drapes: 

1: Always use interlining on silk fabric or linen fabric.

2: Always use a lining to back velvet fabric.

I do not make unlined curtains to me they do not look professionally finished. The only exception is voiles.


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