City-living has its perks, but the the sounds of traffic and commerce can get annoying. One way of blocking or muffling out the city noise is to hang burly/thick curtains over your windows. Not only do they block out the sound and sunlight, they also can be physically and visually hefty.
Swiss researchers in collaboration with textile designer Annette Douglas and silk weavers Weisbrod-Zurrer AG, have developed a second alternative that is not only lighter but also 5x more effective at absorbing sound than conventional curtains. The potential of these curtains are being targeted to offices, restaurants, auditoriums and lobbies....
"Acousticians are pretty astonished when they see the readings we are achieving with the new curtains in the reverberation room. The weighted sound absorption coefficient is between 0.5 and 0.6," said Kurt Eggenschwiler, Head of Empa's Acoustics/Noise Control Division. "In other words, the new textiles 'quench' five times more sound than conventional translucent curtains. The new curtain genuinely absorbs sound, noticeably improving the room acoustics – and its design is also very high quality."