Replacing curtains in 1968 airstream
Hi there! I have put YEARS of thought into this and here is what we decided to do but have not yet put the money into. I have camped as both a dirty kid and a parent in the old girls and here are my observations:
1) never use the sew-in curtain slides!! They last about a year and then snap off and your curtains hang off
2) Keep those thick rings that are in your pictures. I have these now sewn directly to my curtains (not recommended, I am changing) and they are bulletproof since they are so thick. We have had the same set for years and they seem impervious to sun!
3) Have your curtains made with the strips for drapery hooks!! This was my epiphany - it is soooo difficult to clean curtains, to remove for any reason, etc. I am going to attach small elastic loops to the plastic rings in the track, and then attach the curtains to the elastic with the drapery pins top and bottom. Easy on, easy off, and you won't pay a million bucks because the tailor has to hand sew each ring or elastic loop to the curtains! I like elastic only at the bottom, the elastic stretches and the curtains look sloppy.
4) Protect the back of your curtains. I am still working on this one, but currently we have the heavier silver space blankets cut to fit the window and taped (discreetly) above each curtain. Every night we roll them down and then then close the curtains - you wouldn't believe the different in heat retention! Our curtain lining over the years has disintegrated to a paper towel consistency. I just need to figure out a way to better attach at the top.
5) If you are making new curtains, here is my battle. We love original, it's very rare to find an Airstream that hasn't been modified. The original curtains were gold raw silk (groovy) and I would love to put them back. The current curtains are ivory, which is also great because it lets in light. I love the gold but it is very dark inside so you have to have the curtains open. Great unless you camp in spots needing more privacy. The ivory lets in light and can be closed during the day and you don't have to turn on the light, but they aren't vintage and you need to scotchguard for dirty hands and dog noses! Great at KOA's and Yellowstone parking lot camping, though!
6) Dry clean your fabric BEFORE YOU HAVE THE CURTAINS MADE!!! We spent so much money on curtains only to have a dry cleaner shrink them about an inch the first cleaning so they don't provide adequate coverage!
I hope this helps you! I am going to take a crack at making my own curtains and use the curtain pins, so anyone with advice on the best UV lining pass it on! Oh, by the way, I really like Sailrite.com for UV fabrics - they have awesome prices and are super helpful if you need advice. I will post pics - still trying to decide if vintage is the way to go!