Guide to Curtains and Window Treatments
Guide to Curtains and Window Treatments to help make buying curtains online at Window Toppers an easy experience.
Many people are intimidated about ordering curtains and window treatments because they are not familiar with the terminology used. As a manufacturer of curtains and window treatments for over 35 years, Window Toppers is an expert in this field and hopefully we can provide you with some helpful information to make this less of a daunting task. You may click on the links to view these items.
Curtain and Window Treatment Designs
Here is a list and description of the different curtain and window treatment designs you will see in our product selection.
- Balloon Valance - a balloon valance (often called a pouf balloon valance or pouf valance) is a contemporary style top treatment that gets its name from the ballooned look of the valance body. The body of the valance is constructed by two layers of fabric which create this unique look when gathered on your curtain rod. Balloon valances are typically designed with a 3 inch rod pocket which utilize a flat continental curtain rod. Multiple balloon valances can be used together on the same rod to accommodate wider window widths.
- Door Panel - a door panel is a specially designed window treatment for door windows. These door curtains are constructed with two curtain rod pockets to allow you to attach it to your door window at two points, securing it to the door. Most door panels are designed with two 1 1/2 inch wide rod pockets which will allow you to hang it using either standard curtain rods, cafe rods or spring / tension rods.
- Drapes - drapes are a type of panel window treatment that is designed with a pinch pleated heading. This pinch pleated heading serves two purposes. The first purpose is it gathers the fabric of the curtain body to create it's unique look. The second is it allows you to hang them in a manner that allows the drapes to be opened or closed. drapes can be hung using a traverse drapery rod with drapery hooks which allows for open and close use by draw string. They can alternately be hung using a decorative dowel style drapery rod using drapery rings. The drapery rings slip over the rod and have pinch clips which you attach to the pinch pleat at the top of the drapes. This manner allows you to open and close the drapes by hand if needed. Drapes are available in both thermal drapes styles and non insulated drapes styles.
- Empress Swags - empress swags are lined valance top treatment. Empress swags a unique shape that has a scooping effect which creates an elegant look when the valance is gathered on the curtain rod.
- Panels - panel curtains are a simplistic window treatment which consists of a rectangle shaped curtain body with a rod pocket in one end and a bottom hem in the other. Panel curtains are very popular because they are easy to hang and will accommodate longer window widths. There are several styles of panel curtains including rod pocket panels and tab top panels. Rod pocket panels are designed with either a 1 1/2 or 3 inch wide rod pocket and tab tops utilize a tab loop style heading.
- Patio Door Drape - a patio drape is a one piece drapery panel designed to be used on sliding glass doors. The one piece construction allows it to be opend and closed to one side of the patio door.
- Priscilla Curtains - Priscilla curtains are a ruffled curtain style designed for use in mid to longer length windows. The priscilla is constructed with ruffle attached tot he inside and bottom edges of the curtain body and a rod pocket in the top. Priscillas can be offered with either a 1 1/2 or 3 inch wide rod pocket and are hung with a curtain rod to accommodate either.
- Scallop Valance - a scallop valance is a lined valance top treatment. Scallop valances have a unique shape that has a scooping effect which creates an elegant look when the valance is gathered on the curtain rod.
- Scarf Valance - a window scarf is a type of valance top treatment that is basically a flat curtain body with hemmed edges. A scarf does not have any rod pocket and is not hung with a curtain rod. The scarf valance is simply draped across the window with the ends placed over the ends of a decorative dowel or finial style curtain rod or it can be hung using a decorative valance sconce or hold backs.
- Swags - swags are a somewhat triangle shaped window treatment which have a shorter length inside edge and a longer length outer edge allowing for the center area of the window to be left open. Swag curtains come in both ruffled and tailored styles and are commonly sold as a pair (2 pieces, 1 left side & 1 right side) or as part of a 3 piece curtain set which usually includes some type of filler valance to display between the swags.
- Tiers - tier curtains are similar to a panel curtain but designed in shorter lengths to cover the lower portion of the window and provide privacy.Tier curtains are available in both ruffled tiers and tailored tiers styles and can be displayed with coordinating items such as panels, priscilla curtains, swags or valances. Tiers are usually designed with a 1 1/2 inch rod pocket so that they can be hung using standard curtain rods, cafe rods or spring / tension rods.
- Tie Up Valance - a tie up valance is modern style top treatment that is designed with straps that hold up the body fo the valance.
- Thermal Drapes - this is an insulated drapery style that has some type of thermal insulating properties. This drapery style is designed as an energy saving window treatment that can help conserve energy by minimizing cold drafts around windows and doors or stopping the heating effects of the sun. Thermal drapes are constructed with a pinch pleated heading and can be hung using a traverse rod with drapery hooks for a functional open and close with draw string or with a decorative drapery rod and drapery rings.
- Valances - a window valance is a curtain style that is used as a top treatment to cover or decorate the top of the window. Valances come in many styles including ruffled valances and tailored valances. Valances are a very popular and versatile curtain style that can be displayed alone or it can be combined with other curtains to create a great looking window ensemble.
Curtain and Window Treatment Terminology
Next here is a list of definitions for terminology used in manufacturing curtains.
- Attached Top Ruffle - an attached top ruffle is usually added to the top of a ruffled curtain which provides a decorative design look and eliminates the need to add a valance to create a similar look.
- Bottom hem - the bottom hem is the stitched edging that creates a finished edge along the bottom of a curtain by folding over the edge of the fabric and stitching it in place.
- Continental Curtain Rod - this is a flat curtain rod usually measures 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 inches wide used fro curtains made with a 3 inch rod pocket.
- Finished length - the finished length of a window treatment is the measurement of the curtain laying flat, before gathering it on the curtain rod. Length can be measured form different sections of the curtain so note where the measurement is taken from to help you with figuring out what size you need.
- Finished width - the finished width of a window treatment is the measurement of the curtain laying flat, before gathering it on the curtain rod. The finished width "is not" how much window width it will cover.
- Header - the header is the area above the top stitch line of the rod pocket.
- Heading -- the heading is the top section of the curtain or window treatment. The heading is the upper most part of the curtain with what style it was designed to be hung for the curtain rod with. For curtains designed with a rod pocket, the heading consists of the rod pocket and the area above it which is called "the header". Other types of headings are called Tab Top or Pinch Pleated.
- Pinch Pleated - a pinch pleat is a type of heading used in designing drapes. The pinch pleat is a folded gathering of the fabric which creates a place to and method to hang the drapery with. A drapery hook can be inserted into the backside or a drapery ring can be clipped to the pinch pleat to hang the drape.
- Rod pocket - the rod pocket is an area that is stitched into the top of the curtain where you will insert the curtain rod in to. Rod pockets can be made in various sizes with the two most popular being a 1/2 inch or 3 inch.
- Ruffle - ruffle is a fabric adornment that is attached to the curtain. Ruffle is created by gathering the fabric as it is stitched to the body of the curtain.
- Side hem - the side hem is the stitched edging that creates a finished edge along the sides of a curtain by folding over the edge of the fabric and stitching it in place.
- Standard Curtain Rod - this is the common aluminum curtain rod that usually measures 3/4 inch wide used for curtains made with a 1 1/2 inch wide rod pocket.
- Tab Top - a tab top is a window treatment design where the top of the curtain has a heading consisting of tab loops which the curtain will hang from on the rod.
- Tailored - the term "tailored" in the curtain industry is usually used to describe any window treatment that does not have a ruffle edging.
- Top stitch line - this is the top stitch line of the curtain rod pocket.