Curtains with thermal linings

I bought 4 sets of curtains for the large sitting room in current house before moving.

They are only pretty cheap ones - ie around £200 for the 4 sets of - though floor length ones.

Recently - I've noticed a sort of white powdery stuff coming up on "my" side (ie side facing into the room). I've wiped it off a couple of times and it comes back again.

Two possibilities here:
- mould:eek: - but the house isn't a damp one. 1970s with cavity wall insulation

- it's the thermal linings to the curtains (ie they were "made in China" I guess or the like:cool:) and this thermal lining is breaking down and it's particles of this showing up on "my" side of the curtains (ie from the curtains rubbing against each other).

I'd say it's the greatest chance it's the curtain linings that are causing this.

Either way - I'm currently taking those curtains down 2 at a time and washing them (:ofirst time since I got them:o) on the "silk 30c" thing on my washing machine. Hopefully that will remove all "dust" (whatever the cause) and it won't happen again.

Any thoughts on what the cause is/how to proceed from here please???

These are only "cheapie to be going on with curtains" - rather than "my" curtains. So I'm going to replace them with much better quality ones at some point when I can afford it/and find the curtains. The plan then being to have loose curtain linings instead.


  • Artytarty
    Artytarty Forumite Posts: 2,642
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Hmmm , sorry to say I doubt it’s the linings, surely that would fall to the ground as a dusty deposit behind the curtains?
    If you rub the white powder between your fingers or with a cloth, and it’s lining, it should still be visible on your hand or cloth, if it’s mould, it will most likely dissolve with the moisture.
    Do they smell fusty?
    It could be lack of air circulation more than a damp,house problem.
    At least you are washing them, always a good start.
    Norn Iron Club member 473
  • Yep...I did just try rubbing the linings. Where the curtain lining was against the wall (ie not exposed to sunlight) = nowt. Where the curtain lining had been exposed to sunlight = I got white dust on my hands. I can see sort of "stripey" discolouration on the curtain linings too ("stripey" would tend to equal sunlight - whereas mould would be spotty). Pretty familiar with damp/mould - as my last house was a Victorian terrace.

    Nope - no smell at all - fusty or otherwise.
  • Callie22
    Callie22 Forumite Posts: 3,444
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    Could it be some kind of finish on the fabric that's degrading now it's exposed to sunlight? If they're a glazed cotton or something similar it could be that? If so, washing them should help.
  • moneyistooshorttomention
    moneyistooshorttomention Posts: 17,940 Forumite
    edited 21 January 2018 at 4:32PM
    They are a sort of "shiney-ish" material and not cotton. More like something artificial and not really my taste at all and when I translated the words written about them - it seemed to mean part of the material is acrylic - which then promptly translated into plastic:eek:.

    They're definitely going asap when I have the money then - but I might have to put up with them for another couple of years (courtesy of the other spending I'll be doing first).

    EDIT; thermal jacquard acrylic - when I googled my previous orders from Amazon.
  • Loanranger
    Loanranger Forumite Posts: 2,439 Forumite
    Be careful they don't disintegrate in your washing machine. I wouldn't wash them just bin them.
    To add, or maybe wash them in the bath but not in washer.
  • Artytarty
    Artytarty Forumite Posts: 2,642
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Well I shall eat my words! It does sound like ultraviolet degradation ( to use the posh term for rotted by sunlight!)
    I reckon if they had been pure cotton and you washed them they may well be hanging in shreds by now.
    Ever had that? When you wash a curtain that just seems rather old and dusty and it literally falls apart?!
    Norn Iron Club member 473
  • Artytarty wrote: »
    Ever had that? When you wash a curtain that just seems rather old and dusty and it literally falls apart?!

    Oh of my two pairs of muslin sheer curtains started literally going into rags one time I washed them - when they'd been perfectly okay before I did so. Never did quite figure out why one pair did that and a different pair/different manufacturer didnt (though I'm now "waiting" to see if they do at some point).

    Well - I think we've established it isnt a "worst case analysis" anyway - ie mould.

    I've got the first 2 back out of my washing machine (after their gentle wash) and they're in one piece. But have now got sorta dirty grey-ish streaks going down the linings:(. Guess best bet is to do the other 3 sets the same - and they'll have to "make do" until I can afford new ones unfortunately. These 4 sets having been about £200 and I think the chances are that their replacements are more likely to be 10 times the price (ie around £2,000) - as I'll be getting ones I like instead of "make do" temporary ones.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Forumite Posts: 12,492
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    similar curtains money, dunelm with thermal linings. Backs were white and they started that powder ultraviolet disintegration. They lasted almost 7 years. I replecd them
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