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Encyclopedia > Curtain
Noren (Japanese curtain) at an onsen
Noren (Japanese curtain) at an onsen

A curtain (in the US, also known as a drape or drapery) is a piece of cloth intended to block or obscure light. Curtains are often hung on the inside of a building's window to block the travel of light, for instance at night to aid sleeping, or to stop light from escaping outside the building (stopping people outside from being able to see inside, often for privacy reasons). In this application they are also known as "draperies." Curtains come in a variety of shapes, materials, sizes, colours and patterns, and they often have their own sections within department stores, while some shops are completely dedicated to selling curtains. An adaptation of the curtain may be a blind or, in warmer countries, such as Spain, wooden shutters that are fixed to the outside of the building to provide privacy and still keep the building cool inside. Veils as articles of clothing, worn almost exclusively by women, are intended to cover some part of the head or face. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1225x1524, 566 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Curtain ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1225x1524, 566 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Curtain ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1250x820, 236 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Curtain Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1250x820, 236 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Curtain Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. ... Outdoor pool, Naruko Outdoor Onsen on Nakanoshima island in Nachikatsuura, Wakayama Prefecture Old onsen in Hakone An private outdoor rotenburo in Gorakadan Guidebook to Hakone from 1811 This rotenburo at Jigokudani Onsen is for Japanese Macaques. ... It has been suggested that Textile be merged into this article or section. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... It has been suggested that window frames be merged into this article or section. ... Melbourne skyline at night Night or nighttime is the period in which the sun is below the horizon. ... Sleep is the state of natural rest observed in humans and throughout the animal kingdom, in all mammals and birds, and in many reptiles, amphibians, and fish. ... The interior of a typical Macys department store. ... A shutter is a movable cover or screen that alternately prevents and permits the passage of some desirable (or undesirable) element: A window shutter is a door for covering a window, or a decoration of similar appearance added for visual appeal. ...

The use of the term drape to describe a curtain is derived from the North American trend for curtains to be made such that the fabric drapes on the floor underneath the window.[citation needed] In many other countries, particular Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe, the preferred length for curtains is to cut the fabric such that it typically sits 15mm (0.6in) above the floor; it's undesirable that the curtain should touch the floor, since this will cause it to become dirty, and will wear the curtain.

Curtains are a form of window treatment, and complete the overall appearance of the house. Window treatment helps control the ambiance and flow of natural light into the room. The effect of drapery or curtains, is best seen in daylight, and with proper indoor light positioning, it can look attractive even at night. In interior decorating, a window treatment may refer to any of the following items placed over or around a window: curtains or drapery, including sheers window blinds, including Venetian blinds a valance tiebacks used to hold curtains It may also include treatments applied to directly to the glass, including: frosted...


Light Absorption & Heat Insulation

Curtains can be made from varying thicknesses of fabric, each with a differing degree of light absorption and heat insulating qualities. A sheer curtain is one that is made from translucent fabric, such as a loosely woven polyester voile or a cotton lace. Sheer curtains allow a majority of light to be transmitted through the fabric, with the fabric weave providing a basic level of UV protection whilst retaining maximum visibility through the curtain. Sheer curtains are sometimes referred to as privacy curtains in reference to their screening abilities; during the day most sheer fabrics will allow people inside the home to see the outside view whilst preventing people outside the home from seeing directly into the home. Due to the loose weave in sheer fabrics, these types of curtains offer very little in the way of heat insulation.

Uncoated fabrics provide the next level of heat insulation and light absorption. Uncoated fabrics consist of the vast majority of fabrics used in curtains, and are composed of a tightly woven fabric, most typically a cotton/polyester blend, which is mostly opaque when viewed in ambient light. Uncoated fabrics provide a reasonable level of heat insulation due to the tight weave of the fabric, however the fabric itself is typically not thick enough to completely absorb strong light sources. As a result, when curtains made from uncoated fabrics are closed in an attempt to block out direct sunlight, light will still be visible through the curtain. Look up absorption in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Coated fabrics consist of a standard uncoated fabric with an opaque rubber backing applied to the rear of the fabric to provide improved light absorption. To create a coated fabric a liquefied rubber polymer is applied in a single coat to an uncoated fabric and subsequently fused dry by means of a heated roller, in much the same way that a laser printer applies toner to a sheet of paper before fusing it dry. A fabric that has been through the coating process once is considered a 1 pass coated fabric, anecdotally referred to as dim-out because of the fabric's ability to absorb approximately 50-70% of a direct light source. To improve the light absorption of a fabric it is possible to re-coat a fabric up to a maximum of 3 pass coated, which is considered sufficient to block out 100% of a direct light source, hence such fabrics are referred to as blockout coated.

Maximum light absorption and heat insulation in a curtain is created through a lined curtain, which typically consists of an uncoated fabric at the front to provide the look and feel of the curtain, with a separate coated fabric attached at the rear to provide the insulative qualities. The coated fabric is typically referred to as a lining, which simply refers to a coated fabric that does not have any particular colour or pattern.[citation needed]

Performing arts

See also: Theater drapes and stage curtains

Curtains also provide visual separation in other situations, such as on a stage, where the actors make final preparations for the show behind a curtain known as the Tabs. The curtain opens when the show begins, it may close for intervals, and it closes at the end of the show. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Tabs in the theatre are the main curtains separating the stage from the auditorium in a proscenium theatre. ...

Commercial curtains

With the increase in single family homes during the last century, the curtain and drapery industries have witnessed simultaneous growth in the demand for their products. Commercial interests also grew during that time as many companies tried to supply institutions, hotels, etc. During the second half of the 20th century, many companies profited while others went bankrupt. Offering good customer service and adapting to change, such as purchasing raw materials from overseas, has kept companies afloat, even during rougher times.


In recent years curtain sales across retail stores has slumped due to the strong increase in curtain sales on the internet. The largest provider of curtains on the internet worldwide is www.curtains2go.co.uk a family based company with a huge turnover.

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