Your household curtains serve a variety of purposes. They keep heat in during the winter, and help to keep your home cool during the summer, not to mention adding style and depth to your decor. However, your curtains are subjected to the sun’s rays day in and day out so it’s bound to take its toll eventually. You may have noticed that your hair gets lighter in the summer thanks to the suns natural bleaching ability; well this sun bleaching effect can also happen to your curtains!
Why does the sun bleach fabrics?
It’s all down to science. There is water present in all fabrics, and the ultraviolet light from the sun catalyses a reaction between the water and the oxygen in the atmosphere, which produces hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent which works by breaking down the chemical bonds that give dyes their colour – aka photodegradation. As well as breaking down the colour of the dye, the sun’s rays can also cause the fabric to become brittle and more prone to breakage.
How can fabric fade be prevented?
All fabrics will eventually fade, but there are steps you can take in order to slow the process down:
- Tinted windows can block around 99% of harmful ultraviolet rays
- Ensure the curtain track is wide enough so that your curtains can be pulled back from the window during the day
- Use curtains with a good quality lining; this provides better insulation and helps to protect them from sun damage
- Use sheer curtains during the day to keep the sun out and allow you some privacy in your home, closing your main curtains in the evenings only