Some individuals who have jobs where they work overnight and want to sleep during the daylight hours have difficulties because of sun shining through their windows. They need the type of curtain that blocks outside light – often called “block out curtains”. Many people like these curtains because they block street lights from entering the bedroom as well. Those who have fine upholstered furniture also look for light-blocking curtains to use during the day near the furniture so they can keep the sun from fading the fabric or even treasured paintings and artwork. When looking for the best curtains to block out light you need to consider fabric, sizing and implementation.
As far as fabrics go you have several choices. The first type is a lining that would be sewn to the fabric you have chosen to complement the color scheme of your room or furniture. When you are searching for ready-made curtains, the manufacturer will specify that your choice has this particular lining. The material is extra-thick and it is best that your curtains are made by a professional who knows how to sew this fabric. While it is an excellent fabric for lining the best curtains to block out light, any pin pricks or other unnecessary cuts will allow light to come through. Care is urged both in sewing and hanging these curtains.
If you do not like how these curtains will appear on the exterior of your home or room, there is a second option and that is a special lining that is placed between your curtain fabric and standard curtain lining. This gives you the security of blocking out light while having a curtain that is aesthetically pleasing both on the interior and exterior of your home. In both of these instances, your curtains are going to be heavier than an “every day” curtain. Keep this in mind when you go to hang your curtains because you may need a second pair of arms and hands available.
If you have decided that you definitely do not want the heavy curtain look and feel, there are special light blocking fabrics that are available in many colors and patterns to suit your taste. However, like the heavier liners, they are susceptible to light showing through any pin pricks and abrasions. If you have a new kitten with claws or an older cat who likes to climb into the window to look out, you want to be aware that their claws can make inadvertent holes through which light peek in.
Standard curtain hanging will not work, even with the heaviest of fabric. And this stands to reason. Generally, you hang your curtains about two inches above your window. Sun can still stream upwards from this view. You want to hang your curtain a good 24 inches above the top of your window for full protection. May decorators will use a special cornice or valance that actually ‘hits’ the wall above the window in order to hang curtains in the normal length. This protects light from shining in above the curtains.
You also want to pay careful attention to the sides of your window. Again, a normal width will allow sun to bleed in on either side. You want your curtains to be hung so they block the side light. There is a special hook and loop tape available so that you can make your curtain adhere to the wall for a perfect black-out. If you open and close your curtains from the center make sure you have enough overlap so that light doesn’t enter from a center gap.
When choosing the ideal light-blocking curtains the length is as important as the width and height. If you have selected curtains that end just below the window sill, sun is going to come in from underneath the edge. It is much better to have floor length – if not a decorating “puddle” length – so you keep all light from entering from the bottom.