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A rustic dining room with stone walls has Nate Berkus Lowell Tweed in Flint fabric for Roman Shades for a stony grey color
June 17, 2024

How to Choose the Best Fabric for Roman Shades

Selecting the right fabric for Roman Shades is essential to achieving the perfect look and functionality for your window treatments. The choice of fabric influences not only the aesthetic appeal but also factors like light control, privacy, and maintenance needs. Explore how to choose the best Roman Shade fabric that aligns with your style and practical needs.

Cover Photo: Flat Roman Shades, Nate Berkus Lowell Tweed in Flint, design by Nate Berkus

Understanding Roman Shade Styles

Roman Shades are window treatments that fold into themselves when raised and cascade in a beautiful motion when lowered. However, there are several styles of Roman Shades that are important to understand when choosing fabric for Roman Shades because some fabrics may suit certain styles better than others.

Everything You Need to Know About Roman Shades

Learn more about styles, lining, control types and more in our comprehensive Roman Shades Buying Guide.

Pictured: Flat Roman Shades, Shoreline in Pewter, photography by John Bessler

Now that you know about the styles of Roman Shades, learn about the different types of fabric for Roman Shades to start exploring your options.

Main Types of Fabric for Roman Shades

Start your search for the right Roman Shade fabric by exploring the main categories of fabric. Each main category of fabric for Roman Shades has even more options to choose from that vary in weight, color, texture and more. Use these categories as a jumping off point to finding the perfect fabric for your shades.

Pictured: Linen in multiple colors


A natural fiber made from the flax plant, linen is known for its strength and luxurious feel. 100% linen also features character-rich crinkles created when it is exposed to moisture in the air for a casually elegant look. Linen fabric for Roman Shades includes pure linen as well as linen blends.

Choose this for: A casually elegant look with natural charm.


Cotton is a popular natural fabric that’s well-known for its durability, breathability and inviting softness. Cotton fabric for Roman Shades includes 100% cotton and cotton blends.

Choose this for: A clean, simple look with durability.

Pictured: Canvas in White & Navy
Pictured: Holland & Sherry Wool Flannel in multiple colors


Wool is another natural fabric prized for its luxurious softness and reliable durability. Like linen, 100% wool has characteristics, like stretching over time, that give it natural charm. Wool fabric for Roman Shades includes pure wool and wool blends.

Choose this for: Adding warmth with its cozy, soft look and feel.

luxe sheer linen

Sheers are lightweight fabrics made from a variety of materials that beautifully soften light while providing some privacy. They range in opaqueness from sheer to semi-sheer.

Choose this for: A light, airy look and softened light.

Pictured: Luxe Sheer Linen in multiple colors
Pictured: Silk Dupioni in multiple colors


Silk is a protein fiber produced by silkworms, highly coveted for centuries for its beauty and durability. Depending on how silk is produced, it can vary in texture, weight and appearance.

Choose this for: A luxurious, high-end look with natural beauty.

Woven Woods

Woven wood fabrics are made from natural fibers like grasses, reeds and bamboo for a texture-rich look and feel. Woven wood materials are only available with Flat Roman Shades and a selection are also available with Cascade Roman Shades

Choose this for: An organic aesthetic ideal for coastal or boho-inspired spaces.

Pictured: Sunbrella Ventana Collection, Alma

Sunbrella Performance Fabrics

Made from Sunbrella acrylic, this fabric for Roman Shades is strong and durable with moisture, stain and fade resistance. Plus, Sunbrella offers stylish designs to suit your aesthetic.

Choose this for: Stylish designs with high performance.

designer patterns

With unique patterns and textures from interior designers like Victoria HaganNate BerkusSheila BridgesMartyn Lawrence Bullard and many others, our Designer collection offers truly inspiring designs made from a range of materials.

Choose this for: Bold, unique designs to elevate your interior.

Samuel & Sons Decorative Trim

From simple, solid-colored canvas trims to eye-catching strié fabric and patterned designs to luxurious cords and playful wood beads, Samuel & Sons offers trim to elevate the look of your Roman Shades.

Choose this for: An additional design detail to elevate your Roman Shade design.  

Understanding the Importance of Lining

Lining is a type of fabric for Roman Shades that is sewn to the back of your shade. Linings offer several benefits including:

  • Gives your shade a fuller body for a more structured, tailored look
  • Protects your Roman Shade fabric from the sun which can cause fading and deterioration, especially for natural fabrics.
  • Provides added privacy and improved light control.
  • Increases insulation for better temperature control.

The right lining option will depend on the fabric you choose as well as your preferences for light and privacy control.


Offers a lightweight and casual look, allowing maximum light filtration.

Choose this for: Sheers and other light-filtering fabrics that are made to naturally soften light.

Pictured: Aventura Roman Shades, Luxe Sheer Linen in Natural, design by Everick Brown

Privacy Lining

Adds a layer of privacy while still allowing some light filtration.

Choose this for: Peace of mind with excellent privacy while still enjoying a gentle, soft glow of light.

Pictured: Flat Roman Shades, Victoria Hagan Tidal Line in Slate, photography by John Bessler

Blackout Lining

Blocks out 99% of light, ideal for privacy and room darkening.

Choose this for: A room darkening effect and excellent privacy, ideal for bedrooms and media rooms.

Pictured: Flat Roman Shades, Baldwin in Stone with Samuel & Sons Flanders trim in Granite, photography by John Bessler


Adds fullness and body to your shade as well as better insulation.

Choose this for: A full, plush look for your shade for improved privacy, light control and insulation.

Pictured: Flat Roman Shades, Shoreham Stripe in Jet

Tips for Choosing Fabric for Roman Shades

Now that you know the types of fabric for Roman Shades, learn some tips for how to choose the right one for your style preferences and practical needs.

1. Consider Your Preferred Roman Shade Style

Your chosen style of Roman Shade will help determine which type of fabric best suits the style. For crisp, streamlined styles like Flat or Cascade Roman Shades, consider fabric with a bit more body and stiffness like cotton, wool or heavyweight linen. Styles with more curving designs like Relaxed or Tulip Roman Shades might benefit from lighter, more pliable fabric like wool blends, lightweight linen or sheers.

2. Think About Your Light & Privacy Control Needs

The Roman Shade fabric you choose will greatly affect the amount of light filtering into your space and the level of privacy you maintain. Heavier fabrics offer more privacy and better light control, while lighter and sheer fabrics allow for softened natural light for a breezier, airier feel. Also remember that linings can be added to most fabrics to improve your privacy and light control, while still enjoying the fabric you love.

Pictured: Flat Roman Shades, Wool Blend in Charcoal, photography by John Bessler
Pictured: Flat Roman Shades, Canvas in Stone, photography by John Bessler

3. Consider Room Type & Fabric Performance

Different rooms have different demands. Kitchens and bathrooms require fabrics that can withstand moisture and are easy to clean. Living rooms and bedrooms might benefit from more luxurious fabrics that add comfort and style. Choose durable and easy-to-clean fabrics for high-traffic areas or homes with children and pets.

4. Evaluate the Maintenance Needs of Your Preferred Fabric

All fabric for Roman Shades does well with regular cleaning with a low-suction, handheld vacuum. For more intense cleaning to remove stains or embedded dust and dirt, many fabrics require professional cleaning services. For a durable, low-maintenance choice, opt for blended fabrics like wool blends or linen blends, or go for high-performance Sunbrella fabric.

5. Choose a Fabric that Suits Your Existing Aesthetic

When choosing fabric for Roman Shades, keep your existing décor in mind. Consider the colors and patterns already in your space and opt for a fabric that will look cohesive. For a room with neutral colors and subtle patterns, enliven your space with a bold, unique patterned fabric. For a room already filled with color and pattern, choose a simple fabric with subtle coloring or patterning.

Pictured: Flat Roman Shade, Shoreham Stripe in Oatmeal, design by James Huniford

Inspiration for Roman Shade Fabric

See curated spaces with different Roman Shade fabric, styles and lining options to get ideas and inspiration for your own space.

Order Swatches of Your Favorite Fabrics

Now that you know what your Roman Shade fabric options are, tips for choosing them, as well as inspiration to spark ideas, you’re ready to compare your favorite fabrics. Order all your favorites for free to compare in the comfort of your home and in your own lighting. Be sure to look at each fabric at different types of day for a true sense of the color. And hold the fabric up to your window to see how much light filtration and privacy you’ll have with just the fabric alone so you can decide if lining might be necessary.


Compare as many of your favorites from our collection of 1,200+ premium materials at home when you order free swatches online.

A close-up image of white swatches featuing different textures and materials shows the declicate details of these designs