how to stop curtains fading in the sun

How To Stop Curtains Fading In The Sun

After a heartbreaking experience with the first new curtains I bought, I’ve become briefly fascinated with how to stop curtains fading in the sun. It turns out curtains fade when UV rays break down the dye pigments used to color them. But some fabrics and colors are more resistant to fading, and some simple installation tips can slow down how quickly curtains fade. Now I’m ready to help you make some smarter choices than I did first time round!


How to Stop Curtains Fading in the Sun

Curtains can transform the look and feel of any room in your home. The warm, cozy feeling they give is so satisfying. But did you know that if they are continuously in sunlight, eventually they will fade? You can stop your curtains from fading in the sun by buying accessories that reduce UV rays or purchasing your curtains in high-quality UV-protected fabric.

In this article, I will explain why your curtains are fading in the sunlight and explain ways to prevent this from happening to you. Keep reading to find out more.

how to stop curtains fading in the sun

What Causes Curtains to Fade?

Curtains fade in the sun mainly because the ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight causes the dyes used to color them to break down. Solar heat and humidity play a minor role in the problem, but whether your curtains fade or not is primarily relative to their time spent in direct sunlight. You might even notice your window treatments fade unevenly – the areas of fabric which are still exposed to the light when the curtains are open will fade fastest.

Curtains can be faded by sunlight coming in from another window in the same room, but lightweight curtains can even be affected by sunlight penetrating their lining and fading the fabric from behind.

I Wish I Had This Information When I Bought My Own Curtains

I have been living in an old house I bought a few years ago. Renovating was a big challenge while living there, but I was enormously proud when I finally added my curtains as the finishing touch. I chose my curtains mainly based on matching room colors, and while I was happy with the quality of the material, I had no idea that they would fade over the following few years.

During the summer months, my living room and dining area spend hours of the day with harsh sunshine beating down through the windows. I could have taken measures to protect my curtains, but honestly, I wasn’t aware that fading would happen. Large areas of my curtain material slowly changed color in these rooms, leaving me with no choice but to change them for new, better-quality curtains with UV/sun-resistant fabric.

What You Should Know Before You Buy Your Curtains or Curtain Fabric

You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to fabric and color for your curtains. There are enough choices to suit everyone’s taste. But if you are about to buy curtains for an area where sunshine is a problem, here’s what you need to know.

Fabric Colors That Fade the Least in Sunlight

Earth tones, including browns and beiges, along with white and lighter neutrals, are the colors that will keep their vibrancy the longest. The most light-sensitive colors are dark ones. Black and blue are high on that list, but red, especially bright red, tends to fade first when exposed to sunlight. Interestingly, purple, commonly known as a dark color, fades relatively slowly.

What Are the Best Fabrics to Use When Exposed to the Sun?

All fabrics eventually fade, but modern textile technology is providing increasing numbers of fabrics hat can stand up to the effects of UV radiation. Fabrics made from acrylic, polyester, and nylon are the best at resisting fading. There are also viable options in natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, and wool blends. However, the longevity of these fabrics in direct sunlight will vary. The most light-sensitive fabrics are silk and linen. They have the shortest life span when it comes to keeping curtains looking vibrant for as long as possible.

Tips for How to Stop Curtains Fading in the Sun

While we can’t do anything about the sun itself, you can take measures to protect your curtains so they will last longer. Here are some ways to slow down the effects of harsh sunshine.

  • Use wider curtain rods
  • Instal light filtering shades
  • Embrace tie backs
  • Put solar film on your window
  • Line your curtains
  • Apply sunblock

Some Extra Space Will Make All the Difference

If you can install a wider curtain rod or track that extends beyond both sides of the window, you can then pull your curtains back far enough to be protected from the sun by the walls of your home. This has the added benefit of maximizing how much light comes into the room, and making the windows look as big as possible.

Light-Filtering Sheer Shades

With sheer and light-filtering fabric combined, these shades look amazing while taking the sun’s intensity away from your curtains. They will also offer your home a warm, soothing glow at any time of the day, and give you privacy from passers by.

Turn To Tie-Backs

Put a curtain tie-back in place to hold your curtains away from the sun’s glaring rays. A tie-back can be stylish and add a tidy look to any room.

Solar Film Can Be the Solution

Solar window films can block up to 99 percent of UV rays and reduce glare from a window, while maintaining visibility. This is a great option for west facing windows which get a lot of afternoon sun in summer.

Line Your Curtains for Great Results

High-quality thermal-backed curtain lining is a great way to help protect your curtain fabric from behind. While it reduces the effects of solar damage, it will also keep a room darker when you draw the curtains. Perfect for sleeping conditions.

Apply Sunblock – Yes Really!

Just like applying sunblock to our skin protects us from sunburn, you can apply purpose made sunblocks to fabric to protect them from UV fading. NOTE: sunblock for fabric and sunblock for people are two different products! UV sunblocks for fabrics are widely available online – check that you have found one suitable for indoor use before you buy, and test it on a discreet corner of your curtain first.

Summary: How to Stop Curtains Fading In The Sun

Over time all curtains eventually fade in the sun. However, you can slow the fading process down and add years to the life of your curtains by following the guidelines in this article. Knowing that fading can happen is the first and most important step to avoiding the problem, and it will save you time, money, and disappointment in the long run. Prevention is far better than the cure.

If you have tips on stopping curtains from fading in the sun, please share them with us in the comments section below!

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