WHAT IS A BLACKOUT LINING?

Why do we line drapery? Seems to be a simple question but the reasons can be lost on some, especially when you consider the number of ‘linings’ that are offered and can be used. What are the differences between them all and what specific purposes do they solve that another does not?  We have many designers and purchasing agents asking these questions of our sales managers, so we get it. It seems that every lining or coating is created equal but they are not. Every lining has a purpose and role and that isn’t a point to be short changed.

In this post we will cover what makes each lining material unique and secondly we will weigh the reasons for lining vs. not. By no means does the Quiltcraft collection cover all of the lining options but it covers the different possibities with a healthy subset and so we will use that subset to explain the different options.

Prior to fully going down that path we need to first make a note of the prior fork in the road. Recently the industry has begun to move towards and alternate option; coated fabrics. Where usually as a designer you choose a decorative fabric and a blackout lining and these two fabrics are sewn together, many manufactures are now offering a ‘blackout coating’ be applied to the back of a decorative fabric. This is a very similar process as creating a 2 pass or 3 pass blackout but on the back of a decorative fabric. The specifications for what fabrics this can be applied to, is completely at the discretion of the manufacturer and so we recommend you ask them if you have any questions.

Now without further ado, let’s consider our blackout lining options. These are either 2-pass or 3-pass. The pass refers to the amount of times a simple polyester fabric is coated with a thin foam layer. Both fabrics first received a black foam coating (literally the black-out, get it) and then a finish coat of foam. The finish coats are what give us the color options that we see in each. This is the end of the line for the 2-pass lining and therefore it will always retain an unfinished side (the grey one). The 3-pass lining now receives a final 3rd coat of form on the unfinished side.

The real buying decision difference between these two is that the 3-pass can also stand alone and therefore may not be an actual lining per say. On the other hand the 2-pass will always act as a lining due to its one unfinished side. Both fabrics create the same opaque blackout affect but because of the process that they are put thru the 2-pass is less expensive. For that reason if you are able to use a 2-pass rather than a 3-pass we would recommend so. The only real reason for a 3-pass to be used in a strictly ‘lining’ scenario is if the overdrape face fabric is translucent and therefore needs to be backed with one of the finished side colors to avoid discoloration.

·         2-Pass Blackout is available in Grey/White & Grey/Ecru

·         3-Pass Blackout is available in White/White, Ivory/White, White/Ecru & Ivory/Ecru

If light fastness is no a necessity in your drapery spec, read our blog 'Are there other lining options?' to learn about non-blackout lining options that the industry offers. 


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