Need advice: Best fabric for white cafe curtains.

rosieJuly 3, 2008

They're not that common these days, and well made are shockingly expensive for someone with 10 windows in the kitchen and another 6 in the adjacent sitting room. So I want to make my own for the first time in a quarter century and really need advice on what fabric to use.

White, of course. Durable, long-lasting, easy care, and very (re)washable (some will be near the stove). Hangs prettily. Just thick enough to provide some privacy but still allow a nice diffused light through. And not expensive. A magazine article with cafes made of handkerchief-quality linen definitely got my attention briefly (they were nice!), but it's not to be.

A good source would also be very helpful. Thanks very much for any help you can give.

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Palencia,a poly cotton blend.It's 1.87 a yard at walmart if your WM still sells fabric.Or you could use the perma press muslin in white,available at Joanns,Wal mart and most fabric stores.It also comes in different widths.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 9:24PM
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If you give them a nice touch with spray starch, Palencia should hang nicely and have that "crisp" look. JMHO.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 10:42AM
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I'm so glad I thought to come here and ask what to use. I hadn't heard of Palencia but I've just checked it out on the web. Tomorrow I'll go fondle it in person and also perma press muslin. I'd forgotten after all this time, but I always used to iron my curtains with spray starch and loved the way they looked after putting them back up. Happy Independence Day, and thank you guys very much! Rosie

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 3:16PM
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Yesterday I pulled the wrong bin from my sewing closet looking for something. It was filled with heirloom linens and doilies from my mother's trousseau and grandmother's projects.

There was also a white cafe curtain with yellow flowers and green leaves embroidered along the hem that I don't recall ever seeing before. All the sewing is done by hand. I don't know what the fabric is but know all the items in the bin are from 1950's Spain.

What a coincidence that I stumbled across that panel yesterday and today I read this post.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 6:59AM
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The advantage to using the muslin sheeting is the different widths, they have it at JoAnn's or Hancock and most fabric stores.

The hems at the bottom and side of panels double them use 3 to 5 inch hems at bottom, the weight makes them hang well and look more professional.

Spray starch on the hems and the top, adds a crisp finish.

They will last for years launder easy.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 10:21PM
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Dian, it is funny your pulling that nice old curtain out just as I posted. Especially as, when I went looking for fabric right before posting, the clerks in two fabric stores had no idea what cafe curtains were. Literally. One of the stores actually specializes in curtain and upholstery fabrics. They've been out of style for a LONG time.

In any case, yesterday I found Palencia fairly nearby and came home with about half what I'll need just as a start (it's a lot of fabric for someone who hasn't sewn a sofa pillow in years!). Pattio, thanks very much for the tips. I'll do them just that way. And thanks again, Donna and Kathi.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 8:47PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I just popped in today to ask for information, and it looks like I am doing the same thing --- almost. Our Recreation Room is off the kitchen and used to be a garage. We need to cover the windows that go across the front of the two car garage, but we do not want people to see in. There are no valances that will fit, so I am going to take your fabric idea and go with it.

Should I line the fabric? Could you tell me how much to get? Do I double the width? We will have a number of curtains together gathered at the top running through a rod -- at least that is what we have now.

I would appreciate any advice you can give me. (I am not trying to hyjack your thread, but it is a real coincidence that I am doing the same thing. I, too, have not sewn much for quite awhile, but I have made most of our curtains, and even slip covers. Slip covers are the hardest things I have ever made, and will not do that again, but curtains aren't bad.

I like tab tops, but are there any modern ways to do the tabs other than to make them, and turn them?


    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 4:05PM
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Check this site out free instructions for tab curtains.

Lining depends on the degree of sun exposure, for blocking cold or to give a better exterior look instead of a dark

When using tabs you should double the width of windows for pleating.

Hope this helps


Here is a link that might be useful: how to make tab curtains, free instructions

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 8:40PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Pattiohio, thank you so much for your help. You are a true angel. You have written exactly what I needed. I checked your profile to write you individually in case you did not come back to this thread, and I see we share the same birthday and you are new.

If you are ever in need of a rose question, come on over to one of the Rose Forums, and look me up.

Thank you again,

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 10:22PM
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Thank you Sammy and If you need me I check in ever couple days.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 11:10PM
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