When To Use Blackout Lining

Here are two pics of Abby's Altered Claudine valance.  This valance was already interlined with 100% cotton drapery interlining.  The first is a pic before we added the blackout lining -
Interlined Valance without Blackout Lining
And the second is after we added the French blackout lining.  What a difference.  That's right.  French blackout.  There IS more than just one way to block the light.  And to get the correct results, you need to use the correct product.

Interlined Valance after adding French Blackout Lining


Both shots were done at the same time of day with the same amount of sunlight and with the same camera.  Notice how the sun shines through the bottom of the valance that hangs over the window.  You can see exactly where the window stops and the wall begins.  You will also get the same line appearance if there is a contrast facing on the back of the valance.  The light will penetrate through the fibers and more often than not, if you have a sharp contrast on the back, the colors will bleed through your face fabric as well, therefore, to achieve a high end product, you must use the correct materials for the job.

CLASS IS NOW IN SESSION !!!!!

Photo by janwillemsen on flickr

Everybody THINKS they know what blackout lining is - BUT - there's blackout lining - then there is FRENCH blackout lining.  "What ???", you say.  Oh, you thought blackout lining was just blackout lining.  Nope.  Not at all.

Regular blackout lining is this rubbery/stiff/harsh "fabric" (if you want to call it "fabric").



It's meant to be used mostly in hotel rooms or on windows that get a lot of moisture and heat.  But not for valances that need to be soft and free flowing.  It's just too stiff.

Now don't get me wrong.  Regular blackout lining will, absolutely, prevent the light from penetrating through the window treatment.   It's also nice for some roman shades as long as you are using the heat bonded tapes for your rings and side hems.  If not, during the daytime, light is going to show through those needle holes like they are a bullet holes.



This is a horrible side effect of the regular blackout lining anytime it's penetrated with any type of needle.

So Lesson #1:  Use the FRENCH blackout method to prevent light penetration on everything except hotel curtains !  (which is what I did on this altered Claudine valance pattern).

With the FRENCH blackout method, all you will do is add an additional layer of 100% cotton, drapery lining fabric that is black or putty in color.  So you will have 4 layers instead of three.

Lesson #2:  100% Cotton Drapery Lining comes in 4 colors - Ivory, White, Putty and Black.  Use the black color on everything except white or white background fabrics - then use the Putty.  Click here if you would like to view a step-by-step guide on how to use French black-out.

100% Drapery Lining - White, Ivory, Putty or Black


You might notice the swags on this Claudine are wider.   The bottom of each pattern piece was also scalloped.

Tip:  When shaping the bottom of a valance, cut the pattern pieces out as directed in the pattern.  Draw the scallop edge along the bottom and stitch along the line - THEN - trim along the curved edges.  This keeps your scallops from getting stretched out of shape during sewing.



Abby's window is 48" wide which are a little wider than normal and we always like to go outside the window a few inches so I think her treatment ended up being 54" wide.

I prefer fewer, wider panels or swags on a valance.  Normally this pattern would call for 5 panels and 6 horns on this window.  I liked it better with just the 3 swag portions instead.

I also turned the pattern pieces on an angle so that the stripes/checks run diagonally rather than vertically and horizontally.



I used the Large Regal Floral knobs with our post extenders.  I cut the extenders down and redrilled the holes so that the return is only about 2" instead of the normal 3 3/4".


I did this because the French rod and rings I used on the cafe curtains only has a small return.


And - since the panels were widened, it looked better to have a shallow valance.  Click here if you would like a step by step tutorial on how to make the cafe curtains.


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