Curtains of Plain Nets - English-made Applique Curtains Wear Well - New Designs in Nottingham Lace - Brise Bise Curtains - Short Blinds - Uniformity in Treatment - Muslin Curtains Stencilled in Colours
A great change is slowly creeping over our views as regards lace curtains, and the time is probably not far off when we shall cease to find windows draped with large-patterned Nottingham lace hangings in the design of which Brobdingnagian conventional flowers play an important part. The love of ex-treme simpli-city and daintiness is showing itself here as elsewhere in all things connected with the house.
So me of the most po-p u 1 a r c u rtains are made of plain mosquito net, spot-led net, muslin,
Photo, Hamptor or finely striped Brussels net, with narrow insertions of lace. Some have merely a hem and an edging of lace, and are quite inexpensive, costing from 7s. to 8s. the pair, but a really nice pair would cost more. Or, again, the Marie Antoinette style of curtain is carried out on similar lines, with a hem edged with braid lace, and inside that a very narrow applique bordering. These vary in price, of course, according to quality, but begin at about 12s. or 13s. All these curtains are very 1 igh t-1 o o king, and quite
There is everything to be said in favour of employing goods of English manufacture, and most of us have patriotism enough to wish to encourage home industries. It is possible to do so as regards lace curtains, for what are known as Swiss applique curtains are made in England, and are in some important ways superior to those imported from abroad. English workers have not yet mastered the art of the long stitch, a fancy lace stitch that fills in the open part of the design in some of the patterns. To some minds, however, this is no improvement, as it produces the appearance of an imitation of dress lace. Designs with no openwork are far better looking and more dignified.
The great advantage of English-made goods is that they wear better. This is due to the fact that only sound net and embroidery materials are used. The method which is followed to ensure this is to have everything bleached first, so that any flaws
A charming solution of the problem of artistic window draping. The long curtains are of book muslin and insertion, and the short blinds of spotted muslin are discovered. On the Continent, however the curtain is first made, and then bleached; and any bad places which afterwards appear must be darned when the curtain is finished. These curtains are found in very charming French designs, such as the Empire Wreath, to go with rooms furnished in the French style, and also in delightful modern designs. Handsome curtains in this style can be bought at £1 is. a pair.
In the making of ordinary Nottingham lace curtains, however, enormous strides have been made, and a distinct improvement is to be seen. The best designs have a centre with a small. all-over pattern, and often a border that gives the effect of an insertion.
A very good effect is gained with a small spotted or striped net centre and lace-like border.
If-one is prepared to pay a high price, the most beautiful hangings are procurable, including some very attractive curtains inlet with medallions of real filet lace or Cluny insertion. Very handsome Brussels lace curtains are, however, not so expensive as one might think.
The question of short blinds next occurs to us. Some people keep the long curtains drawn over the window, and dispense with these altogether. Others, again, have only short blinds. Where both are used, it is usual to have brise bise blinds and curtains to match, and care should always be taken that these are always in the same style of lace.
Few things look better for brise bise blinds than an embroidered net. These nets are almost invariably sold by the yard, and not made up into blinds, as modern houses are made with windows of so many different widths that it was found difficult to get the correct sizes.
A very dainty notion, which has a very cheery effect, is to have blinds of plain net, with an applique of very small coloured cretonne flowers. Cur-tains with an applique border to match are also sold. Prety as these undoubtedly are, they will not go with every style of room, yet in one with a dreary outlook they have a wonderful effect in adding brightness. These blinds, when specially made to fit the windows, are rather expensive.
An original design for a curtain in British'made appliqu . British-made goods wear better than those made abroad, owing to the fact that they are bleached and examined for defects before being made up
Photo, John Wilson's Successors same time, nothing looks so smart and neat in a small suburban house as to have the whole house done in this style, either with plain double blinds separated in the middle, and with a ball fringe down the edges, or made with a deep band of insertion a few inches below the top, and hung loose, like little curtains, from the rod.
The most important item to observe is uniformity. The handsomest house has a "badly dressed" look with dissimilar window hangings. Indeed, nothing is worse than to have a totally different treatment of several of the windows. The smallest domicile, on the other hand, has an appearance of good style if every window is treated
Beautiful examples of Brussels lace curtains, of the finest net and most artistic design
Photo, Hampton alike. Very many people have all the bedroom windows to match, and something handsomer in the lower rooms; but it is really better to sacrifice the desire for more expensive materials in the sitting-rooms in order to have the house done throughout to match.
There is, however, an exception to this rule. For instance, a very large house with every window blocked up with vitrage blinds conveys an impression of lifelessness and dulness. Brise bise blinds in every room give a good effect. If something original is desired, a wide lace insertion can be bought by the yard, and some muslin gathered on to the lower edge of it, and rings fixed to the upper edge. In this way it is possible to have something out of the ordinary.
For a large house, a bold-patterned lace in the Italian style looks well. Care must be taken that the net or muslin is not gathered too full on to the lace. White silk is also good for these blinds, and can be washed at home quite easily.
Vitrage blinds in some very simple design look well for the long French windows that are often seen in flats. Full blinds of muslin or net on rods, are also good for these, and have the advantage that they may be divided in the centre, and so allow a glimpse of the street.
Book-muslin, though very dainty for blinds on rods, is not so satisfactory as Nottingham net or Madras muslin, as both of these wear better, require no ironing, and can be washed at home and put up while still damp. In this way they will stretch, and not bend the rods. The rods should never be fixed to come below the level of the centre of the window in a sash window. When first making the blinds, a heading should be allowed top and bottom. This can be done away with if the curtains shrink, and the hem has to be let out. The Nottingham nets can be had in excellent designs, of which the smallest and simplest, especially a medium-sized all-over spot, are the most suitable for blinds.
Some people of very good taste object to the lace or net curtain or blind altogether. There seems a certain amount of inappro-priateness in applying such fabrics, which by their very nature are more suited in finer makes for personal adornment, to the decoration of a house. Also, in a certain kind of room, for example, one furnished in the typical modern, or Jacobean, style, they certainly look out of place.
Curtainless windows, however, though doubtless very well in the old days when the outlook generally included something picturesque, are not so satisfactory when they merely frame vistas of villas and flats; and people are generally only too glad to shut out the view with some semi-transparent device, as well as to shut in themselves and their surroundings from their many-windowed neighbours.
A good solution of the difficulty for those with rooms of this kind is a plain silk "Liberty" gauze, which does not look out of place with a severe style of furniture. if the decorations are in golden shades, this may be in a soft yellow, which sheds a sunshiny glow that is most welcome in dull days.
Another idea is to use ivory-tinted soft muslin curtains, stencilled by hand, in shades of colour to match the room. A room in the modern style very frequently means a brown wallpaper, and rather dark hangings and carpet, so that a patch of all white at the windows is apt to look very incongruous, and spoil the general effect. This touch of colour in the muslin curtains saves the situation, and may be charming. For instance, a brown-papered room with a dull rose-red carpet, velvet curtains of the same shade, and inner ones of ivory muslin, with a stencilled border in red, green, and brown, has a wonderfully harmonious effect.