When you decide to have a new pair of curtains or a roman blind made, how do you know which lining to choose?  In this month’s blog, I explain the differences between linings and how to choose the best one for you.

It used to be really simple choosing linings – there were really only about 3 to choose from – standard cotton or polycotton; blackout (which can be misleading as it is usually white or cream in colour!) and interlining.

But as with everything we select these days, there is just TOO MUCH CHOICE!

Let’s start with the basics and the ones we use the most in our workroom:

Cotton Sateen

The most common lining that we use to make curtains is a cotton sateen which can be in ivory, white or cream coloured, though ivory is the most popular.  This has what we call a ‘soft handle’ meaning that it drapes well and It has a ‘solprufe’ coating which prevents fading and sun damage.

Blackout lining

We use two different types of blackout lining, both are classed as a ‘3 pass’ lining which means that no light will pass through the fabric itself.   How does it work?  The lining fabric has a coating applied which blocks up all of the tiny pores in the weave which would usually allow the light to pass through.    The standard blackout lining can be a little stiff to drape and depending on the fabric being used for the curtains or blinds, we also use a ‘supersoft’ blackout lining which as the name suggests, is a much softer lining.

Blackout lining also has thermal qualities, helping to prevent draughts and minimising the loss of heat, in the same way that thermal lining works and also keeps the room cooler in summer months by blocking the heat from the sun entering the room.

 (Please be aware that blackout lining, by itself, will not black a room out completely. Some light will seep in around the edges of the curtains or blind)

Bonded Blackout

We use this for nearly all our roman blinds because it gives a beautiful soft and luxurious finish to the blinds.  This is a great lining that combines the effect of a blackout lining and an interlining that are bonded together and give extra insulation and total protection against sunlight.


This should really be called ‘in-between lining’ as it involves having an additional layer, a little like a soft blanket, in-between the lining and face fabric.  This is the gold standard if you are looking for your curtains or blinds to have the best thermal properties to minimise draughts and heat loss. We nearly always use interlining on fabrics such as silk or satin to give that extra fullness and a luxurious finish.

Soft Thermal

This is a heavy sateen lining that is raised on one side to increase its thermal properties and is ideal for use with curtains made with lighter fabrics to help improve the draping qualities.  Not as effective as Interlining for keeping draughts out, but a good option if you want to have a slightly heavier lining than normal without the additional cost of interlining and the additional labour needed to make interlined curtains.

If you want more advice or samples of any of the linings mentioned in this blog, please get in touch by calling us on 01784-252900 or emailing at enquiries@in2interiors.co.uk .