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In many East Asian countries it is common to have a sheet instead of a door separating rooms. Furthermore, the rooms themselves can be divided by hanging sheets from the ceiling. These sheets are just pieces of cloth and they are used instead of doors in many warm places because the don't interrupt the air flow. What is the generic English word for these sheets?

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  • "Textile softwalls" may fit, but it is generally used for modern textile partition walls used in interior design.
    – Graffito
    Jan 17, 2017 at 21:16
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    When used in a student apartment, as I recall from my college days, they were called "sheets".
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:51
  • @tchrist - Who said I did? He was asking for an English term, not Japanese.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 18, 2017 at 3:06
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    I don't agree with the edit to my question. These sheets often divide rooms or replace doors even in South Eastern European countries. If anyone watches Turkish, Iranian, Indian, or Chinese movies they will inevitably notice people use them, especially in the villages. So, it's not only East Asia. Jan 18, 2017 at 8:01

2 Answers 2

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The generic American English terms are "door curtains" and "room-divider curtains," even though the word "curtain" usually refers to suspended fabric panels that cover windows or the stage of a theater.

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  • Can you find accepted authorities that consider these terms standard? Jan 18, 2017 at 0:44
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    Not with an entirely straight face. Jan 18, 2017 at 2:33
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    A door curtain to me means a curtain hung over a door and frame to stop draughts. These were common before cental heating and uPVC doors but I haven't seen one in years.
    – BoldBen
    Jan 18, 2017 at 7:40
  • Interesting and useful. Where were you living at the time? Jan 18, 2017 at 14:48
  • Also see:collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/… Jan 18, 2017 at 17:28
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You may be thinking of the colloquial "screen" which is more often used to describe dividers between rooms made with a wooden frame covered in paper. These sometimes are permanent and sometimes hang from a track in the ceiling allowing for provisional room divisions.

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