How Curtains Serve Us in Older and Modern Days
Curtains have been around since the early 1400’s and have served many different purposes for a wide variety people.
In the early 1400’s, curtains were made from animal hide and hung in doorways to keep the air in or out depending on the season. Due to its thickness though, animal hide did not drape very well and did not last as long as desired. As the centuries passed, curtains went from being made of thick, heavy animal hide to being made of linens, flax, wool, cotton and eventually silk.
Back in the middle – ages, thick, often flax or wool curtains were made to cover doorways and windows to keep out the cold air of the winter and the brutal heat of the summer months. However, these “curtains” were more like thick slabs of fabric that were hung up by hooks over the windows and doors. The sleek, stylish pieces of tapestry we know today were still centuries away.
Fast – forwarding a bit to the Renaissance era: curtains took a slightly new turn. Curtains during this time period were used not only for temperature control, but also privacy control. Although towns were small and houses were not too close together, the idea of privacy still crossed people’s minds back then.
Curtains were made of flax/wool during this time and, like the middle – ages, resembled large slabs of fabric rather than the beautiful furnishings we see today.
In the mid to late 1800’s, curtains became a staple piece of nearly each and every household due to the development of machinery. As the textile industry boomed, so did the demand for unique and elaborate curtains and tapestry. Curtains during this time were designed for temperature/light control and privacy control. During this time curtains also took on a new role, to provide a representation of your social status. The more elaborate and decorative your curtains were, the more money you probably had.
This concept of using curtains to define your social status slowly faded. As the 19th century approached, curtains became a matter of privacy control, sunlight control and temperature control as well as a way to enhance and decorate your home. In the early 1900’s, curtains were not only used as a way to keep outsiders from peering into your home, but also used as decorative bedroom pieces, draped and hung over the sides of a bed.
Today, curtains come in a wide variety of sizes, textures, fabrics, styles and opacities. Allowing for many different uses including privacy, temperature and sunlight control along with acting as the finishing piece to a bedroom or dining room.