Curtain wire can be a good alternative to a traditional curtain rod, though it is important to choose the right type for each application. In order to select the right curtain wire, you need to pay attention to the fabric your curtains are made of, and the length the wire needs to be. Thin gauge curtain wire can be attractive since it tends to not stand out, but it is only suitable for very light fabrics. Heavier fabric and long spans require heavier gauge wire, and in some cases thick cable may even be needed.
One common way of hanging curtains utilizes a stiff metal rod, which is suspended between the sides of a window casement, two walls, or receptacles on a wall. This method of hanging curtains can be used as a window treatment, wall cover, or even a way to separate a large space into smaller spaces. Curtain rods can be expensive though, and one lower cost option is to use wire instead. Any type of wire can be used to hang curtains, but it is important to choose one with a heavy enough gauge that will also allow the curtains to open and close smoothly.
The first step to choose the best curtain wire is to consider the fabric you are using. Very light fabric can be paired with high gauge wire, which is thinner than low gauge wire. Light-filtering curtains that are very sheer and do not have much weight can typically be paired with a 30 gauge wire, which can be easily cut with normal scissors. This type of wire is typically not very strong, and thin enough that it will not stand out like a thick rod would.
Heavier fabrics and long spans typically require lower gauge wire. Curtains made from fabrics such as cotton and rayon should be matched with a wire that is 26 gauge or less, in order to avoid the wire breaking. Heavier fabrics like silk typically require a gauge of 23 or less, and it is always safer to use a lower gauge and thicker wire. You will typically want to choose the thickest wire that you are comfortable with.
The other factor to consider when looking for the best curtain wire is that it needs to be smooth. Wire is typically available in round, square and other various cross-section shapes, and round is usually the best for hanging curtains. Aircraft cable and certain other wires are coated in substances such as plastic. This type of coating can make it easier to slide curtains along the wire when opening or closing them, and also help prevent snags.