In Praise of the Fabric Shower Curtain


Last fall, we took down our vinyl shower curtain and hung up a green canvas one. We had bought it at Target, after they put their back to school stuff on 75% clearance, for about $4. We weren’t entirely sure that an all-fabric shower curtain would work – would it keep the water in? Would it get soaked? Would it drip on the floor?

Well, I’m happy to report that it DID work, it did keep the water in. It got soaked, but it did not drip on the floor.

It did, however, start to break down and tear apart. We think the problem was combined soap scum and mildew. And once it started to go, it really deteriorated quickly.

So, this fall, I bought myself some Hemp and Organic Cotton plainweave and made us a new one. It was not hard to make (I mean, it’s just a big square – 72 inches by 72 inches – with holes for the rings at the top). Hemp is a bit more rot-resistant than cheap cotton is, and we’ll also take it down to wash it more often. Hopefully, this one will last us a good many years.

I like the natural color better than the green, as well. (hey, when you’re buying on clearance, you can’ t be too picky!) If we ever fix up the bathroom, I’ll stencil the shower curtain with historically-appropriate designs.

What I love most of all is that it’s not vinyl. It doesn’t fill our bathroom with noxious fumes. It’s renewable and biodegradable.

Cross-posted at Natural Living Des Moines.


Author: sarahtar

Hi, I am Sarah, owner of Wallypop ( and Boulevard Designs ( I homeschool, work from home, and, along with my husband, raise 3 kids, one of whom has special and medical needs. Turn ons are people who are polite, honesty, and really good root beer. Turn offs are mean people and people who make my life more difficult.

2 thoughts on “In Praise of the Fabric Shower Curtain”

  1. So does it dry ok? Soaking wet all the way up? I would like to move away from vinyl, but my bathroom is such that the towels don’t dry well, and they wouldn’t get anywhere near as wet. :/

    I wonder if a less absorbent fabric than cotton would work, too…. Thanks for giving me something to think about!

  2. It does dry completely between showers. The top half stays dry all the time, the bottom half is pretty much dripping when we step out, but is down to just DAMP about 2 hours later.

    Our towels are rarely dry after 1 day. That is the nature of towels, though. First, they’re thick and wooly, made to trap moisture. Second, they hang, usually doubled over, and usually against a wall. Not exactly awesome for air circulation. The shower curtain has a leg up, so to speak, because it hangs in the middle of the room with air circulating on both sides, and it’s only one layer hanging there.

    I’m not sure there’s a natural fiber that’s any less absorbent than cotton – they’re all about the same. Cotton, hemp, et. Rayon would probably dry faster, though it would be a challenge to find a rayon thick enough to actually work.

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