Monday, July 18, 2011

Primitive Curtain Ideas

Windows dressed with a primitive curtain design reflect the spirit of early American settler's pioneer resourcefulness, homespun creativity and folk art. Ornate draperies were once a decorating statement meant to impress visitors with their opulence. The wealthy often puddled extra curtain yardage on the floor---not to keep the room warmer---but to "wow" guests with their extravagance. In contrast, primitive curtains were more utilitarian, providing privacy, basic shade from the sun and much-needed warmth in the winter.

Pioneer Design Influence
The American frontier provided pioneers with both opportunities and challenges and, because of hardships, ornate furnishings were often discarded. Fabrics were recycled, and pieces of clothing were draped over a piece of twine tied to wooden pegs and put on a window.

You can recreate this primitive curtain design by clean finishing the edges of a square piece of fabric and folding it diagonally over a tightly stretched piece of twine tied to pegs on either side of the window.

Old table linens, with or without lace, tatting, embroidery or crocheted edging also make excellent primitive curtains. Draping three or more old linens in a diamond pattern at the window both creates a warm, homespun look.

Homespun Creativity
Primitive curtain fabric is characterized by low thread count per inch. Look for low thread count fabric in the drapery and home fabric/furnishings sections at your local fabric store. Linen is an example of low thread count fabric that can be used for primitive curtains. Other fabrics, like calico and gingham, also lend themselves to primitive curtain design. You can drape these fabrics over a piece of twine or a basic curtain rod. Another option is to sew a casing to thread the twine or curtain rod through.

Incorporating Folk Art
You can add folk art features to primitive curtains by appliqueing a folk art design onto the curtain fabric. Folk art designs can also be added with fabric paint and stencils.

Rather than traditional curtain rods, you can use tree branches to hang a primitive curtain. Forked branches can be used as tiebacks.

Other found items---like old faucet handles or doorknobs---can also be used for curtain hanging.

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