The Fabulous Evolution of Drapery

The Fabulous Evolution of Drapery

All drapes are curtains. However, not all curtains are drapes. The distinction between the two lies in the fabric’s purpose. Curtain fabric is used to make a window look good. On the other hand, drapery fabric does more than just hang there and look pretty. Draperies add functionality to an interior design.

Drapery folded

This functionality, or purpose, varies based on the needs of the household and the time period. For example, these days draperies are commonly used to block sunlight or reduce noise pollution. That said, this important decorator fabric has evolved with us over the ages to meet our needs. Let’s take a look.

Drapery Fabric’s Humble Beginnings

Being at the mercy of the elements is no fun. Nevertheless, our ancestors did just that. They survived in primitive houses, designed primarily to shelter humans from the rain. Although this made keeping a fire going a bit easier, the shelters were not able to moderate temperature. To get around this dilemma, draperies were used.

Of course, back then drapery fabric was usually comprised of animal hides. Humans hung these insulating materials over windows and doors in an attempt to keep warmth from the fire inside. As time went on, we built upon this basic principle and eventually, we expanded the concept of functional curtains to include plant-based textiles.

These plant-based decorator fabrics were likely used to insulate homes prior to the 13th century. They may have even featured a basic textile design. Once the 13th century rolled around, however, glass making, and thus windows, took over the window insulating role.

Afterward, not much is known or mentioned about drapes until the 16th century when draperies made a come back. During this time period, drapes were used as wall dividers as well as bed canopies in some circles. These furnishing fabrics and textile designs were so adored, they would go on to fuel the interior design projects of today.


From Animal Hide to Curtain Fabric Online

Now that we have a general overview of how we utilized drapes in the past, let’s take an in-depth look at the history of drapery fabric. Namely, the historical jump from animal hide to buying fancy curtain fabric online.

Once the need for drapes was recognized as a profitable way to earn a living, humans opted to find a more efficient way to create textiles. To accomplish this, we turned our attention to plant-based materials. These abundant crops were cultivated in a trial and error fashion to increase textile production options.

Eventually, we were able to add a wide variety of colours, materials, and textile design to our collection. That said, a good portion of these newer colours and textile designs were only available to those who were rich. Although this occurred for multiple reasons, they all align with the same hurdle fashion endured at the time.

Shipping Home Décor Fabric

Leading textile producers were predominantly located in eastern countries. Top textile manufacturers at the time included Persia, India, and China. Their lavish textile designs captivated guests and generated a great deal of hype.

Unfortunately, there was a major downside. No matter how fast home décor fabrics were produced, news of the product did not travel far. To overcome this hurdle, crusaders and merchants stepped in. Thanks to their tireless efforts, precious textiles journeyed thousands of miles to find their way into elite European households.

As a result, France, Belgium, Italy, and the UK got a taste of what high-class interior design was all about. Namely, gorgeous textiles created from silk, linen, cotton, wool, and lace. Needless to say, elite homeowners jumped at the opportunity to explore made to measure curtains, fashionable textile designs, and ready made curtains.

Curtain Designs For Everyone

Undoubtedly, the industrial revolution changed the world. Alongside those global alterations came advancements in textile production. These updates made it possible to produce massive quantities of furnishing fabrics. As a result, ready made curtains and other textile designs became more affordable after 1840.

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Shortly thereafter, households around the world were able to enhance their interior designs in new and exciting ways. Noteworthy examples include decorating interiors with elaborate layers of fabric, such as silk, and equipping curtain fabrics with detailed edges.

Things were starting to look up in the textile industry until the first two World Wars. These global events led to a rocky economy and needless to say, an unstable economy affects interior design. Namely, people took on a bare bones approach to décor. Which meant focusing on simplicity where possible.

The economy having an effect on interior design is not an isolated event. Matter of fact, it continues to be perpetuated in modern times. Most recently, interior design shifted to a minimalistic approach after the economy crash of 2008.

Nevertheless, drapes endure. Their versatile capabilities has undoubtedly made them a must-have throughout history. Even today, drapery fabrics are used to block the sun and reduce noise pollution. Which is a far cry from just being a room divider.

Clearly, the functionality and visual appeal of drapes is likely to keep them a household item for decades to come. Don’t keep it a secret though. Let others know how awesome the drapery evolution is.

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