ECO-FRIENDLY WINDOW TREATMENTS
It goes without saying that a well-finished décor depends on a successful eco-friendly window treatment. How do you identify fabrics or fibers that will dress up your windows and help preserve the environment?
I am going to share some great ideas and tricks of the trade that I am sure will help you make or install your window treatments in keeping with a more eco-friendly environment for you and your family.
The first question you must ask yourself is what will the room be used for? Is it a home theatre? A baby’s bedroom or for a parent who works the night shift and must sleep during the day? Is there a close neighbor who can see into the house? Do you like the sun coming in or overheating the room? This evaluation of the room’s needs will influence your choice.
Next, you should prepare a little file containing the following information which will help in your window treatment research:
• the style of the room’s furnishings;
• a little sketch of your window or French/patio doors which include the dimensions (openings without frames); or even better, tak a photo of them and note the dimensions directly on the picture;
• dimensions of frames and moldings;
• if relevant, include wall and ceiling colours as well as woods and furnishings;
• fabric coverings, cushions or such, if this applies
• include some decor magazine cutouts that represent your tastes;
• establish a budget and when shopping, inform the
Personally, I work with the fabrics used in a room when choosing paint colour and other decorative elements. If the room has already been painted, it restricts your choice of fabrics.
Window treatments are also a reflection of your personality. Do not be influenced by a product because it is trendy or this month’s sales special. Window treatments can turn out to be expensive and are usually installed for quite a while so be sure to choose wisely taking time to think about how it will look when finished and if it will meet with your taste, needs and expectations.
Let’s look at a few plants whose natural fibers are transformed into fabrics which can be used in making our window treatments. These plants must also be certified to have been cultivated without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. You can refer to the site from
for 10 good reasons to go organic.
Linen (flax) is an annual plant cultivated mainly for its fibers and oil-rich seeds. Rope, fabric and now construction material insulation can be made from its fibers. The fibers are found in the stem, between the bark and the wood. Flax has a rapid growth
cycle of around only one hundred days and so can often be harvested more than once a year.
This plant also known as deccan hemp resembles cotton. It is found mainly in humid tropical zones such as Southeast Asia, Central America or tropical regions of Africa.
In tropical regions this plant is cultivated for its fibers. It is a 2 to 4 cm high bush whose rigid, fibrous stems were often used for making sacks and ropes. We now find it used in upholstery fabrics because of its coarse nap.
This textile plant is from the nettle family and one of the oldest in use. It can be harvested up to 6 times a year and originates in the Far East. Its shiny fibers are long and very solid resulting in a material which resembles silk.
When it comes to natural fibers from animals, we get wool from sheep and alpacas, mohair and cashmere from a type of goat and angora from rabbits and goats.Silk, from cultivated silkworms, as well as wild silk or Tussah silk, from worms in their natural habitat, are certainly high-end natural fibers which provide a luxurious décor.
The possibility of installing bamboo shades is a very interesting alternative. Many motifs and colours are available and can be adapted to multiple decors. They can be installed under sheers or curtains to create a little more intimacy and block excess light from the room.