Curtains first saw widespread use in the 15th century – when they were used by wealthy families to keep the winter winds at bay. It was not until the advent of new manufacturing technologies during the industrial revolution that ordinary people would have access to curtains. Since then, many kinds of specialist curtains have been developed. Here is a quick look at some of the most important utilitarian curtains.
Thermal curtains are thick, multi-layered specialist curtains used in cold environments. Thick curtains were once one of the most popular ways of insulating a room – before the advent of double glazing and affordable central heating. Modern thermal curtains are extremely effective and provide an environmentally friendly way of keeping a room habitable during the coldest months of the year.
Medical curtains – like those sold at medical-supermarket.com – are designed to be easily removable, disposable, and cheap. They are erected in medical settings in order to give patients a degree of privacy. Medical curtains have largely replaced screens as the main means of giving patients some privacy. Unlike screens, medical curtains are cheap, easy to move, and easy to dispose of. Disposal is important: hospitals need to reduce the likelihood of infectious diseases spreading via curtain surfaces.
Blast curtains are designed to protect the inhabitants of a building from the effects of an explosion. The name ‘blast curtain’ is slightly misleading. These curtains cannot protect people from the immediate impact of a blast. Instead, they can ensure that people do not get hurt by flying shards of glass and wood from windows broken during an explosion. This kind of specialist curtain is usually installed in buildings that are potential targets of a terrorist attack. Embassies, government buildings, and police headquarters are frequently equipped with these curtains.
Anti-ligature curtains are typically installed in places where people are at a high risk of suicide and self-harm. Ligature is one of the most common methods of suicide, and institutions like psychiatric hospitals, prisons, and immigration detention centers need to make sure that incidents are kept to a minimum. Anti-ligature curtains are set on ‘load release’ rails. When weight is placed on a curtain, it will fall instead of becoming taught. These load release rails are often magnetic. Similar anti-ligature blinds are also in use in places where there is a high risk of self-harm.
Black Out Curtains
Blackout curtains are rather self-explanatory. They are made of a thick opaque material and often have thick trims along their edges to give them a weighted feel. They are designed to cut out the maximum quantity of light spillage. Blackout curtains are used in many light-sensitive places. Interestingly, they have found a use in the far Northern Hemisphere. In northern areas of Sweden, Greenland, and Norway, where the sun only sets for a very short amount of time during the Summer. Residents usually install blackout curtains so that they can get a good night of sleep even during these unusual conditions.
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