Why can you see out, but not in, through net curtains?

Monday 1st August 2011
Submitted by mstaple
LORNA COBB, BRISTOL

Net curtains are made of white thread woven in a bold pattern. During the day, it’s much darker inside the room than on the street and the light that reflects off the curtain is much brighter than the light reflecting off objects in the room beyond. Your eye is drawn to the pattern on the curtain and this disrupts the outline of anything on the other side. From indoors, the curtains are in shadow, silhouetted against the bright scene outside and your eye finds it much easier to ignore the pattern.

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