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30-Minutes with Workroom Tech: Episode Four / Linings and Interlinings

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

Linings play an important part in window treatments. A basic cotton or polyester/cotton sateen lining can be found in most window treatments; from ready-made to custom.

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lining materials for custom window treatments

Don’t substitute another fabric for lining window treatments. Drapery lining materials are manufactured and sold specifically for home décor and have been pre-shrunk and treated for stain and moisture resistance, so that they can be used at the window. At Workroom Tech, we use only lining materials from Hanes Fabrics.

Problem Solving with Linings

Linings help to protect the face fabric from wear and sun exposure; increase privacy; provide light control and insulate the window. That's a lot of value! Read more...

Dim-out and blackout linings are used to diffuse or completely block light. Most of these linings have been manufactured with a product applied to a base cloth. This will block light... but holes can be made where the sewing needle pierces the layers applied to the fabric. This will cause pinholes of light shining through when hung at a sunny window. Substituting fusible tapes for stitching is one way to avoid this pesky problem. Students at Workroom Tech learn sewing and construction methods to avoid this problem.

Linings can be used to insulate the window, keeping your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, especially when an interlining is layered between the face fabric and lining. The most common interlining is cotton flannel. Flannel is a soft, napped fabric available in white, natural and in different weights. When a layer of flannel interlining is added between the main fabric and outer lining, it creates a softer look, and improved insulation.

Adding flannel interlining does not block light, but it does help to diffuse light. If the main fabric is a light color, a white flannel interlining is recommended so that the light shining through the linings will not discolor the main fabric facing into the room. Combine interlining with blackout lining for the ultimate in insulation and light control.

The heaviest of interlinings is known as “bump cloth” and adds a blanket-like layer which is especially popular for silk draperies. Adding a layer of bump cloth creates a drapery with rounded, soft edges and deep folds. It is more sculptural, elegant and makes a statement.

bump interlined drapery

Another interlining similar to bump, but not as heavy is Domette, a mid-weight twill interlining with a very soft hand.

Interlining to create Blackout

Flannel and bump are not the only materials added in-between the face and lining fabric. Blackout lining can be used as an interlining to prevent colors from showing through to the face fabric, and it also adds structure. You will see a 3-pass blackout used in soft cornices and other top treatments, and draperies with color lining.

One of my favorite interlining techniques is the French blackout method, which layers face fabric, flannel or bump, black sateen lining and finally the outer sateen lining in white, ivory or khaki. This creates a blackout window treatment that is soft and luxurious. Pinholes of light are less noticeable with French blackout because the weave of the fabrics is more forgiving than the acrylic foam coating used on typical blackout linings.

Layering fabrics for French blackout

Stock Linings for Workrooms

Most workrooms stock basic linings that can be used for most projects. This will include a white or ivory sateen lining (either cotton or poly/cotton blend), white or ivory 3-pass blackout and heavy flannel interlining. White interlining can pair with any face fabric but the natural is also very popular. If you commonly use French blackout, you will also want to keep a bolt of black sateen on hand.

A rack for storing bolts of lining is a must for workrooms. The rack can be installed on the wall, on the worktable, or if you have the space, a rolling rack is extremely efficient because it can be moved around the workroom as needed.

Stock linings in the workroom

Lining Sheer

Lined sheer is a popular trend. Often you can line sheer fabrics with another sheer such as a white batiste. But you have to be careful to not create a moire effect so test first. If using a drapery lining, I like a color matched thinner lining like Hanes Ruby Plus. Ruby Plus is made with a very fine yarn, but has a high thread count so it’s great quality but somewhat lighter and finer than Classic Sateen. The sheer balloon shade below was made by Janice Arias in the Custom Shades class at Workroom Tech. Janice added a layer of cotton sateen for added body and to diffuse the light. It worked up perfectly!

Sheer balloon shade with lining.

For more detailed information about linings and interlinings, there is a three-part series on this topic at the Home Dec Gal blog using the links below:

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