Canvas is a heavy, woven fabric that was once made of hemp, but is now usually made from cotton or linen. The threads are woven very tightly together for strength and light-blocking ability.
Poplin is medium-woven fabric that can be made from cotton.linen, silk, man-made fibers or a blend of any of these. Poplin is formed using a crosswise rib with cylindrical fillings, giving it a ribbed appearance, according to sewing expert Sarah Glen of the website Stitch 'N Save.
Velvet is the ultimate fabric for luxury and warmth for window coverings. Velvet is a heavy fabric that blocks out sunlight and cold. It can be made from cotton, natural silk pile or synthetic fibers like rayon acetate or man-made silk. The manufacturing process produces the "pile" that gives velvet its lush texture.
Satin has a distinctive smooth texture and shiny appearance. Once made from silk, it is now primarily made from any of a number of man-made fabrics, sometimes in blends with natural materials. It is of medium weight and blocks some light.
Brocade is a weave with a rich appearance, generally with a design woven into the fabric. It is a heavy material that provides good light-blocking and warmth for cold rooms. but is now frequently made from synthetic materials.
Linen is a lightweight fabric for curtains that allow privacy and yet have good light transparency, according to the home-decor site ApartmentTherapy. The materials have a slightly open weave that is airy and crisp.
Rayon is a synthetic fiber made from cellulose. The fabric has a crisp texture and shiny appearance that gives good privacy coverage for windows. The fabric drapes well and lasts for years.
Sheers are made from a variety of synthetic materials and have many uses. They are often layered under heavier draperies to provide some degree of privacy when the draperies are open. Sheers are made from a variety of materials, from pure silk to rayon/polyester blends.
Lace is one of the most traditional of curtain fabrics and give windows a classic, elegant look. Lace is made from many types of fibers, with the most valuable being made of natural fibers like silk or linen. Lace fabric provides an open weave that allows plenty of light into a room while still giving privacy to those inside.
Denim is a heavy woven fabric made from cotton or cotton with a variety of synthetic blends. It provides good insulation for rooms with a moderate ability to block out light.