Shedding Light on Blackout Window Treatments

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Once spring turns to summer and the evenings get longer, do you find it hard to sleep?  Is it harder to settle your children down at their usual time when the sun is still finding its’ way through their curtains?  You may find that blackout window treatments are the answer to these problems.  They can even save you money.  To find out how, read on…

blackout liningWhat are Blackout Window Treatments?

These are simply regular blinds or curtains which are made from, or lined with, blackout material.  This is a heavy, tightly woven fabric or a fabric with a bonding on the back which allows no light to penetrate through.  Some blackout fabric manufacturers claim that the light reduction is up to 99.9%.

How can they Save Me Money?

Because they are so heavy and thick, blackout curtains or blinds will not only cut out the light, they will help to insulate your home from heat loss.  Blackout curtains can reduce heat loss by up to 25% which is a substantial saving – so the curtains will pay for themselves in a very short time and after that, it’s all clear profit!  Also, they are also very hard wearing and will last for many years.

…and They’re Eco-Friendly!

If you’re saving energy, that reduces the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the production of energy, so they’re good for the planet too!

Cut Down on Noise

Blackout curtains and blinds can also help with cutting down noise.  It won’t give you total silence but it can muffle sound enough to help you relax and drop off.

How Much Blackout Window Treatments Cost?

This depends on many factors.  Blinds and curtains differ in price.  It depends on the size of the window treatment and also on the thickness of your blackout fabric as it can be of a lighter or heavier grade.  It’s best to do an internet search to optimize your chances of finding just what you’re looking for, at the best possible price.

Can I Make them Myself?

Absolutely – and this is probably the least expensive choice.  If you are a confident stitcher, then you could line existing blinds or curtains with blackout fabric, which can be bought from a fabric store or online.  Just be aware that quality can vary so if you’re buying in a ‘real’ shop, hold the fabric up towards a strong light source to see how it performs.  If you’re buying online, try to check out customer feedback or reviews before buying – or see if you can buy a sample first to be sure it’s what you want. 

Handy Tips

With blackout curtains, be sure that the gathered heading tape is high enough over the top of your window to prevent light from coming in at the top. Also make sure the curtain rod or pole –or the blind – extends far enough out from each side of the window, for the same reason.

To minimize heat loss, try not to open your blackout curtains or blinds during cold spells, unless the sun is shining right into the room or it’s warmer outdoors than indoors.

If you’re sewing your own curtains or inserting your own linings, it’s really worth basting / tacking (after pinning) the linings in place before sewing. Then be sure to remove all of the pins.  The blackout material is heavy and when you’re trying to haul a heavy length of fabric up to your machine, you don’t want a run of pins to scrape right up your leg.  And yes, I do speak from personal experience.  It hurt – a lot!  But it was worth it!

Blackout window treatments are a good idea for so many reasons.  If you get some, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.

 

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