A guide to choosing fabrics and styles for fabric blinds

When choosing window treatments for your home, blinds are a safe and stylish option. But with so many options in the marketplace, it can be hard to know how to even begin when picking out blinds. If you are scared that installing blinds in your home will make it feel too much like a corporate workspace, veer away from the harder lines of aluminium, plastic, and wooden blinds, and opt for the softer choice of fabric. But even with fabric blinds, you have many choices to make. Here's a guide to help you make a purchase.

Which style of fabric blind is best for you?

Fabric blinds are by no means one size fits all. If softness is what you are after, roman blinds are a stellar choice. When the fabric is pulled up, soft pleats emerge in the fabric. Because of the way that roman blinds bunch the fabric, it's important to choose a material that won't crease.

With roller blinds you won't have this problem as the blinds will roll upwards into a soft cylinder, and the effect of this is somewhat sleeker and more refined – ideal if you are after a contemporary look.

Another sleek choice would be panel glide blinds. This is a take on vertical blinds, in which large panels of fabric stack on top of one another at the side of a window when they are open, and then fold out to form a sheet of fabric when they are closed. These suit large sliding doors particularly well.

What are your fabric choices?

One of the main considerations for fabric is how much light you want to let in. This will depend upon your personal preference, your interior décor, and the room in question. Fabrics can range from transparent to total blackout.

Blackout fabric blinds are a good choice in a bedroom, because when they are shut at night, you will be immersed in total darkness for a deep and peaceful sleep. However, in a room like the kitchen you should opt for something more transparent. With so many appliances and cabinets in a kitchen, it is easy for the space to feel small, and so opting for a transparent fabric will make the space feel lighter, brighter, and more spacious, but still offer you the privacy you desire when the blinds are drawn.

Also consider the ways that fabrics hold their shape. A heavy cotton fabric will create beautiful pleats in a roman blind, but something very lightweight would be too soft to form any kind of pleat at all.