A Brief History of Curtains and Drapes

20 Aug 2018 20:49

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A curtain, occasionally known as a curtain, is traditionally a bit of cloth intended to block or vague light and drafts from a window. A curtain can be known commonly as a moveable screen or drape in a theatre which separates the stage from the auditorium and functions as a background.

Linings can also be employed to (dim-out or blackout) external light from entering a room, which is really where the word Blackout Curtains is often used. Linings also supply an instantaneous aesthetic purpose by adding into the drapeability of this cloth; added weight helps to anchor the curtains and creates a more complete and luxurious window treatment.

Carpets have a history nearly as long as fabrics, but there is much hesitation about where and how to hang them. From evidence found in excavation sites at Olynthus, Pompeii and Herculaneum, portieres appear to have been used as space dividers in classic antiquity. Mosaics from the 2nd to 6th century series drapes suspended from rods spanning arches.

Before central heating and air conditioning, most people didn't always get to choose light over heat. Curtains of one form or another have been used to define space and create privacy.

Early textiles were linen and flax, first spun in ancient Egypt, followed by wool and cotton and silk.

Until Bedroom curtains of this 16th century especially in England, window drapes were almost non-existent. Rather, internal wooden shutters were used to maintain cold and light. When curtains did finally make an appearance, they were made from one piece of cloth wrapped on an iron rod with iron rings sewn onto the fabric, and drawn from one side of the window.

Window drapes were still uncommon in 17th century England, normally seen only in important rooms in grand homes. In late 18th century England, simple, straight curtains were still widely used, often tacked directly onto the window frame. By the 19th century thinner draped drapes were utilized in pairs normally hung from poles that were often decorative with ornaments such as laurel wreaths and rosettes. The Regency and Empire style usually consisted of complete length drapes monitoring on the floor and pinned back by curtain hooks to keep them out of their way through the day. Under curtains were extremely popular by now and were more often than not a considerably lighter fabric such as silk or muslin.

By the 1900's techniques, fibres and dyes revolutionised the textile business and curtains and window and window dressings became prevalent in both wealthy and working class homes.

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