Remember the dark ages when, if you needed privacy at a window, your only option was net curtains.
My how things have come on!
Now the range and choice of voiles seems endless, with every colour, pattern and fabric type available.
The word voile is a French term which means veil, and voiles are best described as soft, sheer fabrics which allow light through while providing varying degrees of screening.
Voiles can be made in natural fibres like cotton or silk or man made synthetic fibres.
The range and choice of voiles seems to be endless; some are plain in either natural shades or dyed colours, some have patterns printed on them, some have stripes and flowers woven in them and others have metallic threads.
If you can imagine it, it is probably available.
Whether voiles are needed for privacy or not, they can be design statements in their own right, and they certainly don’t need to be simply utilitarian; some of the heavier ones can even be used as bed covers and throws.
The pictures are from Harlequin’s Momentum Sheers and Structures range, which is a comprehensive range of different patterns, fabrics and textures, indicative of the variety and range of voile designs available.
The voile motifs are graphic, geometric and stylishly understated – ikats, stripes, ogees, diamonds and spots – in an atmospheric range of mood-enhancing shades, highlighted with hints of metallics.
The structured plains are subtle and highly useable, and are complemented by a contemporary lace-effect fabric, cleverly constructed from strips of ribbon sewn together.
The stunning lace-effect fabric is shown on the bed cover and one of the cushions as well as one of the hanging panels and shows how creatively voiles can be used.
Note how flat the panels are at the window; the fashion is to keep the voile fairly flat, not too full, which allows the beauty of the pattern or texture to be truly appreciated.
Voiles can also be used for Roman and roller blinds and many of the roller blind options have UV qualities to protect against the sun.
Nearly all the big fabric companies have voile and sheer ranges.
My personal favourites are the more linen-based voiles, because I like a natural organic look, but the choice and variety is huge. Check out Designers Guild, Romo, and Sanderson as well as Harlequin’s extensive range, of which Momentum is just one.
· Simone runs The Interior Trading Co in Marmion Road, Southsea. Visit interior-trading.co.uk for information.