Glossary of Window Decorating Terms
Shop Custom Window Treatments
A customary variation from an exact measurement, taken for the purpose of anticipated needs.
- Applied Trim
- Decorative pre-made trim such as lip cord, tassel fringe, gimp or bullion applied to a custom product. It may be inserted between fabric layers or applied to the face fabric.
Wood trim piece beneath the window.
- Ascot Valance
Valance Is a V shaped piece of fabric, trimmed with tassel or beads that can be used free standing or as a top treatment over Panels or Poletops.
- Austrian Shade
(Austrian Pouf or Austrian Valance). A poufed fabric shade with permanently shirred scallops that draw up from the bottom.
- Balloon Shade
Another name for a poufed or cloud shade, scalloped on the bottom, that draws up in soft, billowy folds.
- A strip of fabric applied to a product as an accent. Wide trims and ribbon >
- Bell Valance
A pleated or shirred valance with a hemline that simulates a series of bell shapes.
- Bias Cut
- Fabric is cut on the bias when making swags and covering welt cord. This means the fabric will run at about a 45-degree angle. For swags, fabric cut on the bias drapes better. Welt cord is attached more tightly and bends around corners more effectively when the fabric is cut on the bias
- Bias Fabric
- A biased fabric means that the vertical and horizontal threads do not cross the fabric at right angles. This creates the appearance that the pattern is running up or downhill from one selvage to the other.
- Bishop Sleeve
Tying back Scarf fabric into a pouf or bloused, 1 or 2 or more times.
- Blackout Drapery/Shade
A heavy, opaque fabric shade that can darken a room; also called room-darkening drapery/shade.
A horizontal-slatted hard treatment, such as a mini blind or a vertical vane, such as a vertical blind.
- An over-locking stitch, which is used for side and bottom hems of draperies and other custom made products. Because there is more fabric in the side hems when this stitch is used, the drapery will hang straighter.
- Blocking or Pattern Blocking
- Refers to centering a pattern on a custom made product. Requires more yardage and labor.
- Board Face
- The complete width of the rod, window or board not including the returns. For top treatments, valances and shades this is the width that the treatment will be made to. See also Headrail Width and Face Width.
- Refers to the distance a pattern may drop on the fabric as it repeats from selvage to selvage.
- Box Pleat
A flat pleat that has a fold of fabric laid behind the heading.
Metal piece attached to wall/casing to support drapery/ curtain rods.
- Bracket to Bracket
- Measurement is the actual rod size measurement to be used on the window and does not include the returns. The face width of the curtain rod.
The stiffened narrow fabric that is used for interfacing drapery pleats; also called crinoline.
- Café Curtains
A curtain that covers only the bottom half of a window.
A projected valance over a roller shade or headboard.
- Cape Cod Curtain
A café curtain ruffled around the sides and bottom.
Plastic sliding pieces in traverse rods with a hole inserting the drapery hook.
Another term for a festoon or swag, a curved, draped valance or scalloped top treatment.
Wooden frame around a window (also called a Frame). In a curtain, it is the opening sewn to accommodate a curtain rod. Also know as a rod pocket.
A pair of draperies that open from a center point, installed on a traverse rod.
A metal grip which is used to support larger size curtain rods and prevents the rod from sagging in the middle.
- COM C.O.M.
- Customers Own Material refers to supplying your own fabric to a workroom rather than purchasing the fabric from the workroom directly.
- Contrast Lined
- Using an alternate fabric as a lining to create a decorative contrast.
A top treatment usually constructed of wood. Covered with fabric it becomes an upholstered cornice.
- Country Curtains
A type of curtain that has ruffled valances, sides, bottom and ties and is shirred up to five times fullness.
The quantity or fullness of fabric used at a window.
Another word for buckram, the narrow stiffened pleats interfacing. A stiff fabric used to form pleats in draperies.
Fabric shirred or gathered onto a rod.
- Custom-Made Draperies
Draperies made to order in a workroom or decorator shop.
- Cut Length
- The length of fabric needed including the working allowance and pattern repeat.
- Decorative Rods
Rods Decorative hardware meant to be seen. Usually made of metal, wood or resin.
- Door Panel
Usually a semi-sheer fabric shirred onto a rod, both top and bottom, used with sidelights and French Doors.
- Double Hung Drapery
A window treatment consisting of an overdrapery and an underdrapery, both operating independently.
The capacity of a fabric to fall attractively into folds.
Pleated fabric meant to be drawn open and closed.
- Draw Drapery
A pleated fabric panel that can be opened and a traverse rod.
- Dye Lots
A color run of fabric that may vary slightly from dye batch to the next.
- Energy efficient
Window treatments that keep out summer heat winter cold, reducing heat or air conditioning needs.
- Fan folding
The folding of pleated draperies into a narrow band eliminating unnecessary wrinkling.
Another term for a swag or cascade Ð a curved, valance or scalloped top treatment.
A series of thin pleats - the width of a finger - styling out tailored blouson valances.
- Finished Length
The exact vertical measurement for draperies or curtains.
- Finished Width
The exact horizontal measurement for draperies curtains. It includes overlaps and returns.
Decorative end piece on decorative rods. Also referred as "Pole Ends".
Trim for edges of drapery treatments made of narrow braid with attached loops and tassels.
The amount of fabric shirred or pleated into a treatment, from 2 times (200%) to 5 times (500%) fullness.
- Full Width
- Using the entire width of the fabric from selvage to selvage.
- Functional Hardware
Hardware meant not to be seen. Usually of metal.
- Generous Coverage
A full amount of fabric in a treatment, more then 250% or 2 times, fullness.
- Golden Mean
Approx. .618 of the way down from the top or up from the bottom of window treatment - a guideline for the placement of tiebacks.
- The qualities of a fabric such as softness, stiffness and elasticity and how it relates to the draping of the fabric.
- Handguided Quilting
- Handquided quilting is done by an individual craftsman based on the pattern in the fabric.
Factory-made treatments such as blinds, shutters, shades and screens (Hard Treatments).
The top part of drapery that accommodates the pleats. The heading can vary in depth, but the most common are 1, 2 and 3".
A series of thin pleats - the width of a hand - when styling out tailored blouson valances.
The side or bottom of a fabric treatment that is turned under twice and stitched in place.
Metal rods with decorative medallions for holding back draperies. Also used as Scarf Holders.
- Inside Mount Installation
The placement of treatment inside the window frame. Installation The process of securing any window treatment, setting it in place with brackets and screws.
- Lining fabric used to add body and uniformity to the folds of draperies, valances and swags. It also limits light diffusion.
A folded fabric that cascades down to a point and is used between swags, cascades also called festoons; a formal framing treatment.
Interior sides of the window frame.
The vertical measurement of a window treatment and horizontal one for curtain/drapery rods.
Horizontal wood sections separating panes or glass in windows (Grid).
- Light strike
The gap on the side or in the center of a window treatment through which light penetrates.
- Lined Draperies
Draperies with a lining fabric sewn onto the back to protect them from sunlight damage, to add insulation value.
Usually a solid-white, off-white fabric sewn onto the back window treatment to protect it.
- Loom Quilting
- A multi-needle quilting machine that produces preset simple quilting patterns.
- Mitered Corner
The formation of the bottom edge of drapery with a 45 angle on hem side.
- Molly Bolt
A wall anchor plug and screw with elbows that flare out screwed in to anchor a drapery rod in a hollow walls similar a Toggle Bolt.
- Monofilament Thread
- A thread made of a single manufactured fiber. It is strong, durable and somewhat invisible.
- Outside Mount
The placement of treatment on window frame or outside.
A drapery fabric installed over anther layer of drapery.
Where two leading edges of drapery meet and go past each other. 2-5 inches is recommended ( traverse rod center draw ) to eliminate light penetrating. Add this to your rod face width.
One half a pair of draperies or curtains.
- Pattern Repeat
The distance between any given point in a design to where that extra point is repeated.
- Pinch Pleat
A drapery heading where the basic pleat is divided into 2 or 3 smaller, equal pleats, sewn together at bottom edge on right side of fabric.
- Poletop Pairs
Drapery made of a straight piece of hemmed light, medium to heavy weight fabric; usually separately lined.
- Priscilla Curtains
Sheer, semi-sheer or opaque curtains with ruffled valance ruffled side and bottom hems and ties. They may center -meet or crisscross.
- The distance from the wall to the front of the custom made product such as draperies. Each layered product must have a larger projection than the previous layer.
- To railroad a fabric, you turn the fabric to use the width as the length. By railroading, width seams are eliminated as the product is made in one continous piece. Pattern repeats determine whether a fabric can be railroaded. The length of a railroaded product is limited by the fabric width less the working allowance.
The part of a panel of drapery that is needed to cover the rod projection from the wall or window.
- Rod Pocket
A hollow sleeve in the top of a curtain or drapery through which a rod is inserted. It is either 1 " or 3" wide.
- Rod Width
Measurement from the end of one bracket to the end of the other; includes window width.
The rating of a window treatment in its capacity to resist the flow of incoming or outgoing heat.
The wood frame of a window or door that hold the glass in both sliding and swinging windows.
- Sash Curtain
Usually a semi-sheer fabric shirred onto a rod, both top bottom and hung on the sash.
- Sash Rod
A rod, either decorative or plain, usually mounted inside window frame on the sash.
Series of projected semicircles repeated across the hem valance.
- A self-lined draper or bedspread uses the same fabric as the face as the lining.
- Narrow edge that runs along each side of the fabric. It is tightly woven to revent raveling.
- This process uses overlocking stitches that seam together 2 raw edges of fabric to prevent fraying and unraveling.
The tightly woven edge on a width of fabric holding it together.
- Shaped Valance
A fabric top treatment that has a curved or angled top bottom.
A transparent/translucent lightweight fabric used over as an under or over drapery.
Gathered fabric treatment accomplished by sliding a curtain through a rod pocket. The rod is smaller than the fabric width. The wider the fabric in comparison to the rod, the greater the fullness.
- Side Hem
Turned part forming a finished edge at the side of drapery
Horizontal ledge like portion of window casing.
Area required for draperies when completely opened (Stackback).
Semicircular draped fabric top treatment; also called a festoon.
- Swag Neck
- The depth of the opening from the pole or board to the top of a swag.
- Take Up
- The amount of finished length a shirred drapery or valance will move upward when it is installed on a rod
A group of colored threads bound together at the top and hung as a pendant ornament or used as a tie-back on window treatments.
A curtain or drapery that is draped to one side and secured with a tie, metal holdback or tassel.
Fabric panels covering bottom half of window of 24 or 36" length sold as pairs used primarily in the kitchen.
- Toggle Bolt
A wall anchor or fastener that forms elbows inside the wall to anchor a drapery rod in a hollow wall; similar to a molly bolt.
- Traverse Rod
A rod that houses plastic carriers into which drapery pins are hooked so that a pair of pinch-pleats draws open simultaneously when the cord at the end of the rod is pulled.
- Unlined Panels
Panels made of a single layer of fabric without any lining or support fabric.
A Fabric top treatment. Types include swags and cascades, shirred and pleated and bloused valances.
Chain and Lead weights are sewn in at the vertical seams at each corner of drapery panels to insure straight hanging.
- Welt Cord
- A cord covered in fabric. Fabric may be applied flat or shirred.
The horizontal measurement of a window treatment.