Curtains, Drapes, Shades and Blinds: What are the differences between them?

Curtains, Drapes, Shades and Blinds: Confused and don't know how different these window treatments are from each other, then read on our lowdown on the same.
Curtains,Shades,blinds Curtains, Drapes, Shades and Blinds: What are the differences between them?
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There are different types of window treatments and it can be a task to choose the right one for your home. Today we are talking about the four most common ones i.e. curtains, drapes, shades and blinds. Many people use the terms curtains and drapes interchangeably and even mix shades and blinds. These four different types of window treatments can be used as per your choice considering their characteristics. 

Out of the four, the most common ones you will find in many homes are curtains and drapes. While you will find curtains in areas such as halls, doorways, partitions, bay windows, balcony, family living rooms, drapes are mostly used in huge halls, home theatres, bedrooms, formal dining and living. So, read on to know what are the differences between them so that you are aware while buying and selecting one for your home or room.

1. Curtains

Curtains are fabric panels and there are tonnes of options for you with varying widths, lengths, material, colours, and patterns. They are very versatile and popular choice. You can even use them in bathrooms and kitchens.

There are again several types in it like cafe curtains, valance, window scarf, liner and single panel among others. Curtains are mostly light weights and made of sheer fabrics (without lining). This means if you choose curtains then expect some light in the room as they won't filter out all.

And you will find curtains hanging from a rod. Common materials used are: silks, organza, linens, cotton, poly-cotton, acetates or nets and are used to have an informal look. 

2. Drapes

Drapes or draperies too are fabric panels but the main difference is that drapes are lined and sometimes with fabric heavy enough to block out all outside light. And that's why they preferred in bedrooms. Basically, they are heavier than the curtains and give a more sophisticated and formal look. Most of the time they are long enough to cover the top of the window to the floor and stiff fabrics are mostly used for draperies. 

Many are made from luxury materials such as velvets, silks, damask or jacquards. Again there is a huge range of styles and colours to choose from. Mostly they are in solid colours than patterned ones. And many people like to go for the blackout style.

3. Shades

A shade is a soft fabric panel that is attached to the frame at the upper edge. There are several varieties and styles available, however, they are made as per the size of the window frame. To see outside or to let the light come in, you need to raise the shade with the help of either a cord, roller, or any other lifting mechanism. As the shade lifts, it either bunches or rolls around a rod, depending on the style and mechanism. 

Speaking of types there are simple roller shades, roman shades,  balloon shades, tie-up shades, you can choose shades as per your home decor theme. You can use them on their own or team them up with sheer curtains or valance. Coming to cleaning, most of them can be dry cleaned or delicate machine wash or even vacuuming. You can clean the roller with a vacuum machine or soft soap cleaning.

4. Blinds

Blinds are drastically different from the above three types and you must have seen them often in offices and study rooms. The blinds usually made up of wood, bamboo, aluminum, or vinyl slats, also called louvers and to lift them up and down you need a cord or lifting mechanism like shades have. The length and width of them are made as per the window frame.

They are available in several tones and colours and not usually patterned. They are most effective to block light so can be used in bedrooms. You can team it with sheer curtains or a valance to soften its rigid and bland appearance. The horizontal louvers are most common but there are vertical ones available as well.

Speaking of maintenance, the blinds can be wiped with the cinch of furniture polish and a soft cloth. You can also use dusters. But if there is a serious stain or grime then it may require professional cleaning.