Outdoor curtains

freedeeJune 3, 2007

I am having a screen porch built. I would like to drape some fabric by the verticle columns to look like curtains. They don't have to really work. I don't see closing them. I just want to soften the look.

My question is about fabric. They sell fabric that is especially made for the outdoors, but they are expensive, and I'll need a lot of it. Do I have to use outdoor fabric? I'm not expecting it to last forever. I'll probably replace it every 3-5 years. What is it that makes outdoor fabrics different?

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I think you will need something that is water resistant. If it rains your fabric will get wet and moldy. Colleen

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 3:39PM
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Rip stop nylon comes to mind.That's the stuff some of those outdoor flags are made from.

How much do you want to spend per yard??
I've also seen them on hgtv use just plain old muslin and sheer fabrics.Those are both good if all you want to do is soften the look.They both would also dry fast if rained on and are machine washable.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 5:18PM
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freedee...I made curtains for a porch several times...and I used bed sheets that were on sale. If the curtains needed to be longer, I bought sheets of a second color and added a band of color (to top or bottom) to lengthen them. I put grommets in the top hem, then put large cup hooks into the porch edge, and used pliars to just "tighten" up the gap on the hooks...then I could take them down and wash them as needed, and hang them right back up. no muss, no fuss.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 7:15PM
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The rip-stop sounds like a good idea. The texture and weight would be just right. Woodsy, the sheets sounds like it would need to be replaced pretty often. I can't imagine it wearing very well. How did it work out?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 2:17PM
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What would happen if I used just plain nylon sheers? I'm thinking of the fabric that they make for curtains normaly. If it's all synthetic, not absorbant, what could be the problem?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 2:21PM
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The sheers would work if you don't have a problem with the glaring sun,but if you are trying to diffuse the sun,then they may not be the bst choice.JMO

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 4:58PM
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I don't intend for these curtains to be operational at all. My yard is heavily wooded. I have no problem with glaring sun. I do have a problem with mold and mildew.

My reason for using the curtains is to soften the look and to cover retractable mosquito screens.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 5:29PM
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Do a HGTV search for Design on a Dime. They did an episode last week where they make faux curtains to cover the post on a lanai(sp) porch. It was done with outdoor fabrics but the only used about a foot of the width for each panel.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 6:33PM
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I would think color choice would be important even in a long lasting fabric. Get something that won't be ruined by fading. Sometimes you can find ripstop nylon or outdoor fabric at Walmart on their cheap tables.........Yes. there are a few Walmart's that still have fabric.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 10:57PM
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the curtains I made from sheets lasted 2 summers. (they did get rained on)I took them down in the winter. At the end of the second summer, they were a bit faded and tired looking. My mother made valances for her enclosed porch using sheets, and they have been up for 5 years now, and they look great. (they don't get wet being inside)

If you have a problem with mold because of the shade, perhaps you could use a scotchguard spray on them.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 10:57PM
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I use shower curtains for my screened porch. Last year I did a tropical theme and found some with palm trees on them. I really didn't need them for function so I cut them in half. I hung them with sheshell curtain rings. All you need to do is wipe them down. hope this helps.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 8:54AM
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We are also having a screened in porch built and would like "drapes". I like the idea of softening the space and being able to pull the drapes (or perhaps sheers) open and closed. We have one side where we'd like privacy from time to time.
I love the ideas mentioned here. I especially like the idea of making my own to save the cost of what I've seen on line.
Any thoughts on how to add grommets and hardware. What was used for the rod across the top?
Any other thoughts on the use of fabric (I like the idea of using sheets but don't want a messy look on the outside... suggestions?)... What sort of pull-backs can be used?

Thanks for starting this post.

I've seen sheers and outdoor drapes with outdoor fabric. They are beautiful and a bit pricey... and I'd like a little flair to them as well.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 8:36PM
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Perhaps you should look at nylon or polyester sheers with an open weave that would dry quickly if caught in a rain shower? I think that polyester lace-type curtains might work - not in a traditional lace pattern but a mesh or woven stripe design.

My first thought was "mosquito netting" so I Googled and found this web site. They do sell the raw netting also. There are lots of images that are lovely applications. The netting comes in black, ivory, and white.


Here is a link that might be useful: Mosquito Curtains

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 9:44AM
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Drop clothes (the kind used by painters to cover flooring) make great curtains...they are water repellant, cheap and come in different sizes.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 2:42PM
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Use Sunbrella It's a canvas like fabric for outdoors. I used it on my screened in porch to make little valance's across the top. Joann's usually has it... I bought mine on ebay. They have different colors, stripes... etc.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 3:27PM
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I'm willing to bet, that 4 years later, she's gotten something already and no longer needs suggestions. :)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 5:09PM
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