Originally Posted by laragc
One big issue - how would you clean the curtains? They are a white and gold poly-something blend with a vinyl backing. Would you dare wash on gentle? Dry clean? Air dry? See if the upholstery cleaning guy can do it? Any help is greatly appreciated!
Although Airstream made a lot of variations of things, I cannot recall any vinyl backed curtains on those years. Not saying that it did not happen, of course, but my 68 17' Caravel
had a brown cloth curtain backed with an aluminum kind of metallic liner. Boy were they light tight! My 69 21' had cloth pinch pleat curtains with a white cotton liner material. My 71 18' Caravel
had green pinch pleated curtains with a white cotton liner.
Just wondering if yours are really original curtains. The vinyl throws me. I would in any event be quite careful if the liner is vinyl. Cleaning fluids like at a dry cleaner might be a disaster. Heat or a lot of mechanical agitation from a regular wash also may be too much. The suggestion of Oxiclean is a good one, then carefully air dry them over a fully supported backing so they don't sag or stretch.
I made some curtains myself for one of my trailers using a curtain material with a type of rubber self lining. Then when I wanted to clean them I stupidly put them in the washer and then the dryer. The liner melted and fused to itself and I ruined the curtains completely.
If they are truly original curtains, the plastic tabs are most likely very brittle and the elastic that held them tight is probably shot. New tabs are available, I got mine from Andy at Inland RV, but I believe any dealer may be able to order them. Andy stocks them. Taking the curtains down and cleaning them probably will entail new elastic and tabs which will need to be sewn on.
But the quality of the original Airstream Curtains of the late 60's and early 70's was simply fantastic. The new ones on my 2014 don't hold a candle to the old ones. The fabric on the old ones was incredibly good, and the pleating was wonderfully done. They were soft and good looking. The new ones cover the windows, and that only barely, and they are essentially pleat free and too stiff.
Ah, the good old days.