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Sheer / Voile Fabrics

Imagine breezy curtains that dance in the sunlight, filtering light while maintaining a sense of privacy. That’s the magic of sheer and voile fabrics. These lightweight materials are the go-to for anyone who wants to bring an airy and elegant touch to their living space. But what exactly are they, and how do they differ? Let’s dive in and explore the world of these delicate yet versatile fabrics.

Harlequin Sheers 1 Lucent Fabric

A Guide to Sheers and Voiles

Sheer fabric is a type of cloth that’s known for being see-through or translucent. It’s made with thin threads woven together, resulting in a lightweight and airy material that allows light to pass through. You can find sheer fabrics made from natural fibres like linen, silk or cotton, or synthetic fibres such as nylon or rayon. These offer different qualities in terms of drape, weight, and affordability.

Voiles are a specific type of sheer fabric with a particular construction. Traditionally made from cotton (though they can also be silk or synthetic), voiles have a plain weave. This weave creates a looser, more open structure compared to other sheers, giving voile its signature airy drape, softness and slight transparency with a delicate, almost gauzy appearance. Voiles allow light to pass through quite easily, ideal for window treatments that filter sunlight while maintaining brightness in a room. Whilst voiles are considered a type of sheer, it’s important to note that not all sheers are voile.

With their versatility and ability to bring light and airiness to any space, voile and sheer fabrics are a timeless design choice that exude ethereal beauty. When it comes to selecting the right sheer / voile fabric for your window treatment, composition, weight, colour and design are all important considerations that will affect the overall look, feel, structure and light filtering of the material.

Benefits of Sheer / Voile Fabrics

  • Light and Privacy Balance: Both sheers and voiles are known for their translucence, allowing natural light to gently filter through while providing some privacy. This is ideal for spaces where you want a bright and airy feel without feeling exposed. Sheers can offer slightly more privacy depending on the weave density.
  • Soft, Airy Aesthetic: Sheer and voile fabrics drape beautifully, creating a sense of elegance and softness in a room.
  • Natural Light Benefits: The diffusion of natural light through sheers and voiles has well-documented benefits. Natural light can improve mood and even regulate sleep patterns.
  • Versatility: Both fabrics come in a wide range of colours and patterns, making them adaptable to various design styles. They can be used alone or layered with heavier curtains.
  • Lightweight: Due to the use of fine threads, sheer fabrics are very lightweight. This can add a touch of romance and make a space feel larger and more open.
  • Breathability: Their open weave makes them breathable, ideal for hot weather.
  • Softness: They tend to have a soft and smooth texture.


Sheer / voile fabrics have a variety of uses from layering garments in the fashion industry to providing a breezy window treatment, bed canopy or decorative table runner in home decor. Sheer curtains and blinds are a particularly popular choice for interiors during the summer months as they can diffuse harsh sunlight whilst maintaining a sense of openness and privacy at the same time. Most sheer fabrics are also available in wide width, delivering a seamless curtain without any joins for uninterrupted views to the outside (drop dependant). These lend themselves beautifully to the contemporary wave curtain heading and the trend towards large expanses of glazing and bi-fold / sliding doors.

Sheer / voile fabrics are also perfect for curtain layering, adding both style and function to a room all year round. By simply layering a sheer curtain with a thicker outer curtain, you can dress your windows in a way that offers increased light and privacy control, additional insulation for better energy efficiency, and even a level of UV protection to your furniture to help reduce fading. Furthermore, layering allows the interplay of colours, textures, and patterns. The sheer inner layer with a solid or patterned outer layer adds depth and dimension to your window. You can pair the sheer fabric with a formal material like velvet for a cozy feel, or a lighter fabric for a more casual look.

See below for layering inspiration. Image 1 perfectly demonstrates the relaxed yet sophisticated look of a Silent Gliss Swiss pleat sheer curtain layered with a wave curtain on the outside. Image 2 below features a magnificent double layer Swiss pleat and wave curtain project we worked on for a client’s stunning, contemporary style master bedroom – read the full story here. Both of these window treatments invite a soft, diffused light during the day with the option to darken the room and increase privacy at night.

Sheer / Voile Fabrics
Sheer / Voile Fabrics

Fabric Collections

We are delighted to offer a wide selection of sheer / voile fabrics, available by the metre in a plethora of design-led colours and patterns to enhance your interior scheme. Ashley Wilde, Clarke & Clarke, Harlequin, Ian Mankin, Kai, Kobe, Prestigious Textiles and Silent Gliss all offer some beautiful designs to choose from. Whether you’re looking to create a soft, romantic and relaxed ambiance or a touch of modern elegance, our collection of sheer / voile fabrics offers something for every style and taste. Shop our range here.

Plain Sheer Elegance

Plain sheers and voiles are the epitome of elegant simplicity. Offering endless versatility and charm, their fresh and clean look enables them to stand alone for a beautifully natural window treatment or layer effortlessly with heavier curtains or blinds.

For a superb plain, consider the Harlequin Lucent or Clarke & Clarke Midori wide width linen sheers. Available across magnificent palettes inspired by nature, these fabrics adorn an alluring natural texture for relaxed style and sophistication.

Other great options include the Prestigious Textiles Tranquil (shown opposite) and Drift fabrics. Alternatively, Ashley Wilde have collated some refined textural plain additions in their exciting Sheers Volume 1 collection, perfect for adding depth and dimension to your window treatment. For ultimate performance and style, we also love the Silent Gliss Colorama 1 fabric. Made from Trevira CS yarn, this inherently FR sheer fabric is a best-selling staple in the Silent Gliss fabric range.

Prestigous Textiles Tranquil Fabric
Harlequin Sheers 1 Floreana Sheer Fabric

Patterned Designs

Patterned sheers and voiles combine functionality and aesthetics to help add personality to your space. We are pleased to provide a fantastic range of patterned designs from floral, geometric and abstract prints to stunning stripes, delicate embroideries and panoramic murals. These will bring a decorative element to the space whilst still allowing light to bathe the room.

Enliven you windows and doors with a mesmerising design from the Harlequin Sheers 1 collection. Go bold with the impactful Floreana (shown opposite) and Enigmatic sheers, or tone it down a little with a wonderfully subtle pattern such as Equus or Nuvole. Clarke & Clarke also offer a fantastic range of design-led voiles and sheers in their contemporary Lusso Sheers and Vardo Sheers collections (see images 1 and 2 below).

If you’d prefer a sophisticated stripe or herringbone effect, the Harlequin Purity Voiles and Prestigious Textiles Blanco ranges (image 3 below) offer these in abundance across neutral or muted hues for a stylish and relaxed look. The Ian Mankin Helford Stripe, Newlyn Stripe and Rift Stripe designs are other great choices for a laid back scheme enriched with subtle character.

Sheer / Voile Fabrics
Sheer / Voile Fabrics
Prestigious Textiles Blanco Storm Fabric


Sheer / voile fabrics can help to strike the perfect balance between privacy and light filtering. Whether you’re looking for a light and airy window dressing ahead of the summer months or a flexible solution to accommodate your home all year round, this fabric type is a fantastic go-to that can adapt to your requirements throughout the changing seasons.

If you would like any help, advice or fabric samples sending out, please do get in touch. We also stock a range of fabric books in our showroom in Brockenhurst, should you wish to browse our collection. If you would like any help pulling a full room solution together, we do offer a bespoke design service and can provide fabric, design and paint colour advice to help you create a home you love. We can also make up your perfect window dressings with our bespoke, made to measure curtain and roman blind making service.

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