Feng Shui by Clear Englebert

Feng Shui & Drapes (and Rugs & Spreads)

red damask drapes
My husband sewed these damask drapes for the wide passage between the living room and the next room.

Most windows look their best with drapes—and they feel their best when the drapes are 100% natural fiber. The feng shui message of synthetic fibers is “fake” and that’s very inappropriate around windows because windows represent a person’s eyes—how accurately a person apprehends things.

Linen is famous for being long-lasting, so that makes it appropriate in many areas of the bagua—Wealth, Relationships, and Fame spring to mind.

vintage 1930s white damask fabric
This damask fabric is from around 1930. It’s my favorite, my all-time favorite fabric.

Cotton offers a lot of choices—from sheers made of fine soft muslin to heavy damask, which is my all-time favorite kind of fabric. The pattern in a damask stands out from the background because the pattern threads run in a different direction and therefore the pattern stands out by its sheen. It’s subtle (because all the threads are the same color) yet pleasingly complicated at the same time.

And then there’s silk—sort of in a category by itself. The three bagua areas that I mentioned under linen are my favorite areas to recommend silk (both in drapes and rugs). In the Wealth Corner, silk is appropriate because it’s expensive (especially silk rugs). In the Fame Area, silk is appropriate because it’s of animal origin (therefore representing the fire of life). In a Relationship Corner, the softness of raw silk would be perfect.

The thick, soft weave of velvet is appropriate anywhere, unless it is crushed velvet which is hardly ever appropriate because of the word “crushed.” (One of the few times it could be used is when different colors of it are stitched together in a patchwork quilt. And quilts are best as bed coverings, never as drapes.) Velvet drapes—yes; crushed velvet drapes—no.

Maybe someone is asking, “What about wool?” I’ll have to say, “What about it? Wool rugs can be fine if no one is allergic to them, but wool curtains—I don’t think so.”

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