Custom Roman Shades|Sew Lovely By Kelly Sew Lovely By Kelly-Etsy|Sew Lovely By Kelly

Liner... Why It's Needed & Why We Don't Recommend Light Weight Fabrics for Shades


I was just emailing a customer and I realized it sounded like pretty good information so I figured I’d post it in a blog! :) So a customer just emailed me to ask if I can make flat/classic roman shades (the same kind I make 99% of the time) using a light weight fabric and possibly use NO liner. She wanted the airy look for the shades. She sent me a photo of the fabric. Here it is on the right.

As you can see, it’s pretty sheer and looks almost like a linen and there is no stiffness to it. Certain fabrics like might be listed as “drapery” fabrics on websites. While they might work very well for curtains, they don’t usually work as well for our roman shades for a few reasons.

  1. This type of fabric does not sew well and it’s harder to sew a perfect rectangle. With curtains, it is not as obvious if a side seam is slightly off so this fabric might still be ok. But for roman shades, the rectangle (or square) has to be perfectly on point or it is obvious when it hangs in the window. There would be crooked areas of light shining through on the sides etc. So we like to use fabric that is easier to sew. Even the best experienced seamstresses may have this issue bc the fabric moves a lot in the sewing machine and also shifts when hung. The weave is very loose. Drapes are meant to flow and the fabric is sometimes nicer if not so stiff. For our roman shades, we like the fabric to be a little more sturdy.

  2. Classic roman shades look best when the folds are straight across and do not droop. When using this thin fabric, the fabric tends to hang a bit in the folds, so it’s almost comparable to a relaxed roman shade. So if a customer is looking for those nice defined folds, we recommend a different type of fabric.

After explaining this, I wanted to also answer my customer’s question regarding liner, and if it is necessary on roman shades. I recommend liner on all roman shades for a few reasons.

  1. Liner protects the main fabric from sun damage.

  2. The rod pockets are glued/sewn onto the backside so we use liner so the glue dots do not ever bleed through to the face fabric and it won’t look bumpy where glue is.

  3. The liner gives the shade a bit more sturdiness and helps guide the folds into place nicely.

I hope this helps a little to explain why we like to use liner always and why we don’t recommend using a thinner fabric with a loose weave. :)