Keep the cold out, the cool in, and protect your floors, too, with lined thermal drapes.

How to Reline Thermal Drapes

by Linda Erlam

Get more protection from your drapes by replacing the worn or ineffective thermal lining with a new one. The lining in your drapes protects your furniture and floors. It also stops sun-bleach on the drapes and reduces heat gain or loss through the window. Replacing the lining is a task you can accomplish with a no-sew method, with a sew-a-bit method, or with a curtain-remake method. As a busy Mom, you can choose the method that best suits your skills and needs, and get the result you want.

Know Your Options

Various types of lining provide various coverage levels; decide what you want from your thermal drapes and choose the lining that best suits your needs. Relining the drapes is the perfect time to increase the protection. A dim-out lining allows some light to pass through. Its main purpose is light control, although it does offer minimal thermal value. A blackout lining does not allow light to pass through and offers protection against heat loss. This is the lining you will typically see in lined thermal drapes. An interlining is a layer of flannelette between the lining and the decorator fabric and this combination substantially increases the thermal value of your drapes. It is the heat trapping, and cold-repelling, layers that increase the level of thermal value more than the thickness of the fabric.

Sew-in Lining

If you choose to remove the old lining and sew in a new one, you have two options. You can either remove all the pleats from the drapes, open the side and top seams and insert a new lining. Re-pleating and re-sewing the side seams require an intermediate level of sewing skills. An alternative, or if your drapes are grommet-topped, is to cut the lining off 4 inches below the pleats or grommets, open the side seams and sew a lining piece to the edge of the 4-inch section and resew the side seams. This can create a shadow across the drapes at the seam unless the old and new fabrics are the same weight.

No-Sew Solution

Pleated drapes typically attach to the rod with drapery pins. A removable liner can be hung on the same drapery pins, eliminating the need to alter the old drapes. Pre-made liners are available online or in decor retail stores; or you can sew your own. Make small button holes along the double-folded top edge of your new lining fabric and slip the pin through the button holes. For a no-sew alternative, insert small grommets; or use safety pins in a pinch. If your drapes attach by clips, just clip the lining and drape together.

Removable Solution

Consider adding a second, just thermal, curtain between the existing drape and the window. An advantage to hanging a second curtain is that it can be removed in the summer. Choose a pre-made liner, or make your own and attach it to the rod rings and clips -- which makes for easy movement of the curtains and easy removal.

About the Author

Linda Erlam started writing educational manuals in 1979. She also writes a biweekly newspaper column, "Design Dilemmas," in the "Lakeshore News" and has been published in "Design and Drapery Pro" magazine. Erlam is a graduate of the Sheffield School of Interior Design and is a practicing interior decorator and drapery workroom operator.

Photo Credits

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