As a kid, believing that there could be more to curtains than using them as a cloak of invisibility during hide and seek or twirling around in them, was an absolute impossibility. Though primarily a form of window treatment today, curtains still hold a special place in interior designing.
Long before central heating and air conditioning, people didn’t always get to choose light over warmth and privacy. The first curtains were made from animal hides that were placed over the doorways and affixed by hooks. But hide, being rather stiff, does not drape well. With advancements in textile production, weaving and dyeing, the evolution of household textiles moved along with clothing. Linen and flax were the earliest textiles, first spun in ancient Egypt, followed by wool, and later cotton and silk. The excavation sites at Olynthus, Pompeii and Herculaneum revealed evidence of the existence of curtains.
Although the civilizations in Persia, India and China had long-produced textiles and used them to cover openings and separate rooms, these ideas took many years to reach the European and American homes. Chintz or stained calico (derived from Calicut) was a popular fabric, imported from India by Portuguese and Dutch traders in small quantities during the early 1600s. By 1680, a million pieces of chintz were being imported to England, France and the Dutch Republic every year. These were mainly used for curtains, furnishing fabrics, bed hangings and covers. Over the years, curtains have become an integral part of interior designing styles. Lace curtains, which became ‘net’ curtains, became staples in every home, and the more elaborate and fussier they were, the better!
World War II brought a significant change in designs of upholstery, as it did in everything else. Bigger houses were broken down to create smaller apartments for the teeming masses and hence, curtains became an integral part of preserving privacy and maintaining boundaries over a small area. Most modern homes had simple, efficient, straight draperies much like the dresses of those days.
Today, designer curtains and draperies, or portieres as the French would call it, offer their user a plethora of options ranging from functionality to decorative. Emphasis on architectural details has brought forth important points in the benefit of curtain usage. For example, the higher the curtain is hung, the taller the room will appear or that they are a great way to provide colour and softness to a space. Contemporary curtains have a processed rubber coat at the back that can absorb from 50% to 80% of direct sunlight.
Curtains can be bunched or pleated to give a fuller and plusher look or can be drawn straight, for those who believe in simplistic décor. Drawing them back and tying them with fancy tie-backs, usually tasselled is not only convenient, but also preserves the aesthetics you have been aiming for. Many house owners also invest in and customize their curtain rods to give their homes a unique look. Though hanging draperies all around a bed might not be in vogue anymore, you can always give yourself the fairy tale bed you have dreamt of! Monsoons are the perfect weather to hang up beautiful curtains that characterize your home. Be it at windows or doorways, curtains in the rains definitely add a bit of magic. Our monsoon collection of curtains will be a beautiful complement to your homes.
Explore different fabrics and customize your curtains to give your home the look you desire. Choose from the wide range of curtains available online and at stores to find your pick. Those designer curtains online are definitely drool worthy. So, do we hear the Curtain Call?