Voile curtains or panels are the contemporary equivalent of net curtains, they are incredibly popular and make a fantastic style statement as well as giving you privacy without blocking the light coming into your room. The choices available are huge, there really is something to suit every taste and budget. Voile curtains are also surprisingly easy to fit too, just refer to my notes below.
Voile is a soft, sheer, elegant fabric; the word itself is of French origin and means veil. The difference between net curtains and voiles is that nets are generally manufactured using a knitting technique, often with a course yarn and the colour choice is usually limited to white or cream.
Voiles on the other hand are woven giving a finer but more robust fabric and because of this will take a lot of embellishment, often with different coloured yarns. So whilst net curtains have largely gone out of favour due to their limited colour range and limited designs, voiles have become an incredibly popular and stylish way to add privacy an originality to any room.
One of the reasons that voiles have become so popular, is that whilst they can be plain, they are also a great way to introduce another layer of colour or pattern. A simple stripe or a nautical motif like the one below enables you to make a more interesting feature of your window.
Voiles can be used as a stand alone curtain dressing, or layered with curtains which can be closed in the evening, then pulled back during the day leaving the voile in place across the window, allowing the light to flood in but still maintaining a level of privacy.
Fitting Voile Curtains & Panels
If you are looking to use both a voile and a heavier curtain, you have two options:
- Your voile can be fitted on a simple wire or lightweight pole, recessed into your window, with your heavier curtain operating on a separate track which would usually sit to the front of the window.
- Alternatively, for added flexibility and especially if your window isn’t recessed you can use a double pole, like the one below, where the poles are joined at the ends but also allow both the voile and the curtain to operate independently.
This also makes it especially easy for the voile to be pulled back on days when you want the benefit of full light, and particularly on patio or French windows, allowing easy access.
If you simply want to hang voiles at your window, without additional curtains, then you just require a curtain pole of your choice and attach your voiles to that.
Different Headings for Voiles
There are a number of ways of attaching your voile to your pole from a simple slot at the top heading like this, where you slide the pole through the deep channel in the top of the fabric:
To an eyelet heading like this:
To a more decorative tab top option, like this one:
Note: If you are going to be using the double pole method of hanging your voiles, and you want to use the runners provided, you will need to buy voiles with a heading tape attached, similar to conventional curtains, that will look like this on the reverse:
Then use curtain hooks to attach them to the inner pole and finally attach your outer curtains in the same way.
The Difference Between Voile Panels and Voile Curtains
Panels are usually ready made in a series of standard sizes, and are designed to be bought in multiples, if necessary, to hang side by side.
Voile curtains are generally made to measure to fit any size and shape of window. An advantage of this option is that you can ask for lightweight curtain header tape to be sewn onto your voiles to enable you to attach them to double poles as referred to above.
I hope this post has given you a good insight into the different types of voiles available and don’t forget to pop back as I’ll be taking a look at a number of alternative window treatments very soon including plantation shutters and decorative window film, together with the lowdown on contemporary curtains.
Feature Image Source: Curtainscurtainscurtains