Not all window coverings are the same. In fact, different fabrics can mean the difference between a window treatment that can withstand sun damage and one that fades quickly with time. The same goes for damage caused by water and heat. Fabrics also use different textures to create varying aesthetics. Looking for the best fabric for roman blinds? We can help.

Here, you’ll find tips on how to choose the best fabric for your elegant window treatment. You’ll discover the six most popular fabrics and learn about the pros and cons of each. Plus, you’ll find tips on when and where to use each fabric, plus where you can buy high-quality roman blinds.

How To Choose Blind Fabric

Cotton, linen and voile fabrics are among the most popular fabrics for roman blinds. In addition, you’ll find less-used options like upholstery fabrics and faux leather. These aren’t as common because the thick, heavy fabrics make it difficult for the blind to layer and create seamless pleats that are characteristic of roman blinds. Roman blinds also often feature the addition of a blackout lining for fabrics that are thinner or more translucent.

There isn’t one ideal fabric for roman blinds. In fact, different fabrics offer various benefits and drawbacks. Some are better suited to wet rooms while others are better for temperature control. Choosing the right fabric for roman blinds means knowing what your priorities are.

If you want blinds that are low maintenance and long-lasting, you’ll want fabrics that are hardy and durable. If your main focus is on style, you may need to spend more time cleaning and caring for more delicate fabric. Perhaps your main focus when it comes to window treatments is finding a fabric that blocks out heat or light and increases privacy. 

Identify what you want out of your blind. Then you can examine the different fabric choices that are available to find the best options.

The 6 Most Common Fabrics for Roman Blinds

Roman blinds can be made of dozens of different fabrics including options from famous manufacturers like Fryetts, Abraham Moon, Ashley Wilde, Ian Mankin and Orla Kiely. However, most roman blinds are made of a handful of staple fabrics. These include natural elements like cotton and linen as well as synthetic fabrics like polyester. 

Here are the most common fabrics for roman blinds and a brief breakdown of their benefits. Plus, you’ll find tips on where to use each blind and which options are best suited for different uses.

1. Cotton and Cotton Blends

Manufacturers typically use medium-weight cotton for roman blinds. The weight adds durability to the blind and also decreases maintenance associated with other blind fabrics like silk that are more delicate. Cotton blinds can easily be washed or vacuumed, making them a popular choice for people who want functionality without high care requirements.

Cotton blends are another popular fabric for roman blinds. The cotton is typically combined with polyester, nylon or other synthetic fabrics. That’s because these materials offer water-resistant properties. These materials are also fire-safe and can prevent colour fading due to sunlight.

Cotton blend roman blinds are ideal for bathrooms and kitchen windows that are subject to water and humidity. Cotton roman blinds offer a natural aesthetic, making them ideal in boho-chic designs, cabin decor and coastal looks.

2. Linen

Like cotton, linen is a naturally sourced fabric. Linen blinds come in neutral shades including white and beige, making them useful in contemporary decor and beach-inspired designs. They offer an airy aesthetic and can be used in spaces that are humid and wet. In fact, linen is naturally antimicrobial and resistant to mould and mildew. Use these blinds in bathrooms and kitchens or even in indoor-outdoor spaces such as conservatories, entryways and porches.

Linen fabrics feature a loose weave so they are well-ventilated and ideal for letting light filter through the fabric into the room. Because of this, they’re not ideal if you’re looking for thermal blinds. However, they're a great choice for people who want blinds that let air move through the room and brighten up a home.

In addition, linen roman blinds don’t pill and they are incredibly durable. They’re often used in children’s rooms since the fabric is tough and not susceptible to tearing.

3. Voile 

Voile fabrics are sheer, lightweight and breathable. This fabric is king when it comes to letting light and air in while offering a modest degree of privacy. Voile roman blinds are best in spaces that don’t face the street or rooms where privacy isn’t a top concern. 

Since the fabric is lightweight, it won’t look chunky or overwhelm smaller rooms. On the other hand, the thinner fabric is more prone to tears and damage compared to cotton and linen fabrics. That means these blinds are better suited for adult spaces and areas where the blinds won’t catch on sharp edges. Choose voile blinds if your main focus is allowing light to flood into a room.

4. Chenille

The word ‘chenille’ is derived from the French term meaning ‘caterpillar’. This textile features yarn that mimics the look of a furry caterpillar, hence the name. The fabric is made from short pieces of cotton, rayon or olefin that are twisted together. This design means that fabric can look different from different angles, creating a sort of iridescent effect.

The sheen adds a touch of elegance and the fabric weave is incredibly soft. Since it’s made of twisted fibres, it’s more durable and hard-wearing compared to other fabrics. It also retains heat, making it an excellent option for people interested in thermal blinds or energy-saving styles. This fabric is also commonly used for blackout blinds.

While it offers a gorgeous look, this fabric is harder to care for compared to other roman blinds. Many chenille fabrics need to be professionally dry cleaned or hand-washed. The fabric is prone to stretching so cleaning chenille roman blinds often involves removing the fabric and laying it flat to dry. If you choose a chenille roman blind, be prepared for more maintenance.

5. Faux Silk

For centuries, silk has been a popular fabric for those looking for sophistication and elegance. Today, real and faux silk are among the most common roman blind materials. Real silk is made from the cocoons of silkworms. The fabric is shimmery and silky smooth. It’s also bright and airy with a soft silhouette.

Faux silk is typically made of polyester. It is stronger than silk fabrics and is more durable, meaning these window dressings last longer than real silk styles. Polyester is also fade-resistant. If durability and longevity are your focus, opt for faux silk roman blinds rather than real silk options.

Both real and faux silk roman blinds are popular among those looking for a modern and elegant design. These blinds are ideal for formal living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms. These blinds pair best with soft furnishings and decor featuring elegant lines.

They are luxurious — and thus more expensive than other fabrics. Avoid using silk blinds in wet spaces like bathrooms and be careful hanging these blinds near anything that can catch or tear the delicate fabric. It’s also important to exercise caution when opening and closing the silk blinds to ensure they don’t get caught in the headrail or snag on any other mechanisms like child safety cleats.

6. Patterned Fabric

While roman blinds come in a range of colours, you’ll also find hundreds of different patterns and prints. From mauve and duck egg flowers to teal stripes, the options are endless. These blinds can be made of printed designs on cotton and polyester. Others are made of woven fabrics like damask and jacquard.

Patterned Roman blinds are perfect for people who want bolder blinds that can make a bigger statement than a plain fabric in one colour. They’re ideal for larger windows like bay windows. They can also be used in bathrooms and small spaces that may benefit from a pop of colour.

In terms of benefits, patterned fabrics are really all about style. Choose these blinds if you’re looking for window treatments that make a statement. These blinds also tend to be more durable since they’re often made of woven, twisted or blended fabrics.

But of course, Roman blinds might not be the best option for every space in your home. For times you're looking for something a little bit sturdier, you might want to opt for wooden blinds, shutters, or Venetian blinds.