How do I Choose the Best Embroidered Curtains?

S. McNesby

The best embroidered curtains for your home will depend on your existing decor, the type and shape of window you wish to cover, and the fabric and quality of the curtains themselves. Measuring the window area will help you choose the best embroidered curtains. Even the best-quality curtains won't look good if they don't fit the window they are covering. As with any curtain, the type of hardware needed plays a role in selecting embroidered curtains as well.

Most curtains with embroidery cannot be machine washed.
Most curtains with embroidery cannot be machine washed.

If the window has existing curtain rods, then choose embroidered curtains that will work with the type of rods that are installed. Measure from the top of the rod to your desired curtain length and record this figure; use it to purchase curtains that are the correct length. If the window in question does not have an installed rod, then the new curtains can be selected first, based on the fabric and color. A new rod will be required before the curtains can be installed.

Measuring the window will help you decide what size curtains to buy.
Measuring the window will help you decide what size curtains to buy.

Curtains with embroidery can be simple cafe-style panels hung on a tension rod in a cheerful kitchen, or they can be elegant silk draperies adorning formal windows in a living room or parlor. The base fabric and the embroidered design will help you determine if the curtain is a good match. Choose fabrics and embroidered designs that go with your established or desired decor for best results.

Embroidered curtains can be sheer or opaque. Both types should have embroidery with a consistent, unbroken design that matches on each panel. The embroidery should be well secured, with no loose threads showing at the front or at the back. If the curtains are sheer, the back side of the embroidery should look as nice as the front; any design flaws will show through the fabric.

Ready-made curtains with embroidery are available from designers, home goods stores, and some big box stores. Fabric stores sell decorator prints embellished with embroidery; these can be used to create handmade curtains if you can't find a pre-made style you like. Embroidered fabrics of other types can be used to make curtains as well; don't overlook tablecloths, saris, or long, embroidered shawls as fabric sources.

Curtains with embroidery may need special care. Most embroidered curtains can't be machine washed because the thread used to create the embroidered design could bleed onto the background fabric. Follow any care instructions or have embroidered curtains dry-cleaned for best results. Even the best-quality designer curtains can be damaged or ruined by improper care.

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