Drape Glossary

Shopping for new draperies is an exciting venture but with so many terms, sometimes the process can be confusing. This article provides some of the more common drape terms that can be used as a reference to make the shopping experience more enjoyable. With knowledge, you will know exactly what to look for when it comes time to buy new drapes.

Box Pleats - Style of pleats that are crisp and deep, used primarily for short windows to include a valance

Cafe Curtains - Short window treatments designed to cover only the lower part of the window, often hung on a rod but at sash level

Curtains - General terms that describes any fabric window covering style

Double Fullness - Amount of area for any set of curtains running horizontally across a window, creating a fuller, gathered appearance

Drawn Draperies - Curtains drawn open and closed across a wide window using a pulley or cord system

Drapes - Long curtains used to frame windows, providing floor to ceiling coverage, which creates a more formal look

Draping - Manner in which fabric is collected and looped into folds, swirls, and gathers

Finial - Decorative carved pieces of metal or wood covering the ends of curtain rod ends, creating a clean, decorative finish

Gathered Curtains - Drapes carefully gathered and pulled back using a tieback, which creates an arched line over the window

Loose Drape - Curtain gathered loosely with a tieback that helps impart the fabric in a casual way

Panel - Straight pieces of floor-length fabric that hang on poles or curtain rods over a window or door

Puddled Curtains - Extra long panels that flow softly on the floor, as if in small puddles

Rolled Curtain - Curtains designed to roll up in neat bunches of fabric at the top, using loops, hooks, or ties

Ruching - Fabric gathered in tight folds, often along the top at the curtain rod

Sheer - Curtains and panels made from sheer or translucent material, including silk, voile, polyester, cotton, and muslin

Swag - Fabric gathered at the top of the window treatment in loose scallops

Tiebacks - Material, which could be fabric, metal, wood, etc, attached to the sides and middle way up the window used to pull back curtains

Valance - Short window treatment covering only the top portion of the window, used alone, with curtains, shutters, or blinds

Window Scarf - Long piece of fabric, usually sheer or airy material that is looped around a curtain rod, hanging like a scarf around a person's neck