Installing curtains is an effortless way to add elegance to an outdoor living space. But outdoor curtains are more prone to fading compared to indoor curtains. So, how do you keep your curtains from fading so that they stay appealing? We have researched answers for you.
Sun exposure inevitably fades outdoor curtains, but you can make the vibrant color last longer by simply positioning the curtains away from direct sunlight. You can also recolor polyester blend curtains with fabric dye to brighten already faded colors.
A soft curtain encircling your seating area completes an outdoor oasis. Outdoor curtains look chic but need effort to maintain. Keep reading below to learn more about how to take care of outdoor curtains as well as how to choose the right ones for your outdoor space.
How to Dye Outdoor Curtains
Regardless of how long it will take, outdoor curtains can fade especially if they can't avoid the sun. Fortunately, there's a way you can remedy this if you want your outdoor curtains to retain vibrant color.
Repainting them will give you the opportunity to spruce up your curtain and add your own personal twist to it. You can dye them with a plain color, or you can apply the ombre method for a more whimsical look.
Here is how you can recolor your curtain fabric:
- Lay down newspapers or cardboard sheets to prepare for painting.
- Pour hot water into a bucket. After that, add 1/4 cup of salt, then add the fabric dye. Mix all these thoroughly.
- Roll the curtain fabric.
- With a gloved hand, slowly put the curtain fabric into the bucket. Slide the curtain onto a horizontal position -not standing up -so you can dye every section thoroughly.
- Push the fabric down using a stick. Make sure it's fully submerged.
- Slowly pull the fabric out section-by-section every 5-10 minutes. You should see the fabric swathed in color.
- Place the dyed fabric into a separate bucket.
- Wait 45 minutes before rinsing the fabric. You can use a washing machine's rinse cycle.
- Hang and let dry.
What type of curtains should you install outdoors?
If you don't want your curtains to fade easily, you need to purchase curtains made with UV-resistant material. Durable outdoor curtains have particular qualities that won't be easily replicated by curtains made with poor material.
Choosing durable fabric curtains may be pricier than those made with cheap materials, but you'll be saving more costs in the long run since you won't have to replace them often. You'll also be able to relax since high-quality curtains can hold their own in various weather conditions.
Here are the ideal curtains you can place outdoors.
UV rays can damage your skin, so investing in UV-resistant curtains can protect you while lounging during the afternoon.
Curtains made with polypropylene materials won't easily fade since they can block out the UV rays that can strip off their color. So they can retain their visual appeal after much exposure to the sun.
Most UV-resistant curtains are lightweight, so you won't lose that soft and flowing look when you place them on your patio.
Aside from UV resistance, these curtains also dry easily, so you can use them already a few hours after washing.
Acrylic curtains are one of the most durable curtains you can purchase. They are weatherproof as they can repel water, mold, and mildew, and they are also resistant to staining.
Acrylic fabric is ideal if you have children who tend to spill their drinks and you need something that won't easily be smudged.
These curtains are also UV-resistant, so they don't fade easily. However, a drawback of this material is that they tend to have a static charge, so they tend to attract hair strands and even pet hair.
Polyester curtains are a more affordable alternative if you can't have acrylic or polypropylene-made fabric. They tend to have a sharper color, and they have an elegant appeal that can blend into any outdoor space.
These curtains are also easier to repaint if you want to do some DIY project or if you simply want to spruce them up when they fade.
The curtains have a certain degree of UV resistance, making them last longer. Just make sure you don't place it under direct sunlight for too long since they can fade in two years if not well-maintained.
Cotton and Canvas Curtains
Cotton and canvas curtain materials are slightly less durable, but they can be considered if you're only planning to hang curtains occasionally. They are softer and wispier, so they can have that soft and light effect on your outdoor patios.
However, they are not ideal to use long-term since they are not weatherproof. They can potentially collect mold and mildew especially if they're not immediately washed after each use.
Things to Consider When Choosing Outdoor Curtains
Before choosing outdoor curtains for their visual appeal, consider first the qualities they could provide. You'd want your outdoor space to be a stress-free zone, especially if you want to turn it into an oasis. Here are things you need to consider before purchasing an outdoor curtain.
To make the curtains truly functional as well as aesthetically pleasing, measure the size of the area you're planning to install your outdoor curtains on. They shouldn't be too big as they can brush the ground or bunch up on the sides, which will make them dirty and less appealing.
Of course, they also shouldn't be too small since they won't be able to block out harsh sunlight or protect you from gusts of wind or pests.
Make sure that you measure the area accurately so the curtains will fit just right. For tips on this, check out "How Long and Wide Should Outdoor Curtains Be."
UV and Weather-Resistance
UV and weather resistance are essential if you are planning to hang outdoor curtains long-term. You don't want to walk into the patio planning to relax, then notice mold or mildew forming along the surface--that will ruin your time!
You also want a level of UV resistance from the fabric not only so that their vibrant color will last longer, but also so your skin won't get sun-damaged.
Ideally, your outdoor curtains should be able to withstand the elements, although, of course, you need to be wise about when to take them down to clean or protect them.
Keeping your outdoor curtains from fading can be challenging since you can't predict the weather patterns in your area accurately. Sometimes the sun will be too strong, and sometimes your curtains will need thorough washing.
Having the best curtain material in the first place will make your curtains retain their color longer, and it will save you the cost and hassle of repainting or buying another one.