What fabrics did the Victorians use for curtains?
Not all Victorian fabrics were heavy and rich, there were many light and pretty florals in silk fabric and cotton which are better for some rooms and look very effective and cheerful if mixed with striped fabric of a similar weight. Our Henrietta fabric combined with our Keswick charcoal striped fabric for instance could look dramatic, chic, pretty and both are washable.
Full length curtains are especially luxurious if allowed to balloon onto the floor but this is best left for bedrooms unless you don't mind your luxury silk fabric being made grubby. Curtain tie backs and or curtain hold backs finish the look perfectly and are also a practical method of keeping long curtains from the floor.
Traditional wisdom has it that curtains in bathrooms and kitchens should be sturdy washable things. Silk fabric will look good in a kitchen or bathroom but it is best kept away from areas which may suffer from food or water splashes which may stain... If your drapes are far enough away from these areas it is certainly worth considering.
It is a good idea if possible to have more fabric than you are sure you need even after measuring (twice) your width/drop/pattern repeat etc. Victorians were not minimalists and extra fabric can be made into cushion covers footstool covers etc if not the apocryphal piano leg skirts!
The Victorian Emporium sells a great range of curtain and upholstery fabrics for curtains and blinks for every room in your house.