Window Treatments: A Glossary

  • Sale
  • Regular price $0.00

Allowance: A customary variation from an exact measurement, taken for the purpose of anticipated needs.

Apron: 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 toptreatment 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.

Bell Valance: A pleated or shirred valance with a hemline that simulates a series of bell shapes.

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.

Blind: A horizontal-slatted hard treatment, such as a mini blind or a vertical vane, such as a vertical blind.

Box Pleat: A flat pleat that has a fold of fabric laid behind the heading.

Bracket: Metal piece attached to wall/casing to support drapery/ curtain rods.

Buckram: 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.

Canopy: A projected valance over a roller shade or headboard.


Cape Cod Curtain: A café curtain ruffled around the sides and bottom.

Carriers: Plastic sliding pieces in traverse rods with a hole inserting the drapery hook.

Cascade: Another term for a festoon or swag, a curved, draped valance or scalloped top treatment.

Casing: Wooden frame around a window (also called a Frame).

Center-Draw: A pair of draperies that open from a center point, installed on a traverse rod.

Center-Support: A metal grip which is used to support larger size curtain rods and prevents the rod from sagging in the middle.

Cornice: 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.

Coverage: The quantity or fullness of fabric used at a window.

Crinoline: Another word for buckram, the narrow stiffened pleats' interfacing.

Curtains: Fabric shirred or gathered onto a rod.

Custom-Made Draperies: Draperies made to order in a workroom or decorator shop.

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.

Drawability: The capacity of a fabric to fall attractively into folds.

Draperies: 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.

Festoon: Another term for a swag or cascade. A fabric suspended, draped, and bound at intervals to form graceful loops or scalloped folds. 

Finger-pleat: 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.

Finial: Decorative end piece on decorative rods. Also referred as "Pole Ends."

Fringe: Trim for edges of drapery treatments made of narrow braid with attached loops and tassels.

Fullness: The amount of fabric shirred or pleated into a treatment, from 2 times (200%) to 5 times (500%) fullness.

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.

Hardliners: Factory-made treatments such as blinds, shutters, shades and screens (Hard Treatments).

Heading: The top part of drapery that accommodates the pleats. The heading can vary in depth, but the most common are 1, 2 and 3."

Hand-pleat: A series of thin pleats - the width of a hand - when styling out tailored blouson valances.

Hem: The side or bottom of a fabric treatment that is turned under twice and stitched in place.

Holdback: 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.

Jabot: A folded fabric that cascades down to a point and is used between swags and cascades (also called festoons); a formal framing treatment.

Jamb: Interior sides of the window frame.

Length: The vertical measurement of a window treatment and horizontal one for curtain/drapery rods.

Light: 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.

Lining: Usually a solid-white, off-white fabric sewn onto the back window treatmen to protect it.

Mitered Corner: The formation of the bottom edge of drapery with a 45 degree 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.

Outside Mount: The placement of treatment on window frame or outside.

Overdrapery: A drapery fabric installed over anther layer of drapery.

Overlap: Where two leading edges of drapery meet and go past other 2 inches ( traverse rod center draw ) to eliminate light penetrating.

Panel: 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.

Return: 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.

R-Value: The rating of a window treatment in its capacity to resist the flow of incoming or outgoing heat.

Sash: 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.

Scallops: Series of projected semicircles repeated across the hem valance.

Selvedge: 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.

Sheer: A transparent/translucent lightweight fabric used over as an under or over drapery.

Shirring: 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.

Sill: Horizontal ledge like portion of window casing.

Stacking: Area required for draperies when completely opened (Stackback).

Swag: Semicircular draped fabric top treatment; also called a festoon.

Tassel: 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.

Tie-back: A curtain or drapery that is draped to one side and secured with a tie, metal holdback or tassel.

Tier: 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.

Valance: A Fabric top treatment. Types include swags and cascades, shirred and pleated and bloused valances.

Weights: Chain and Lead weights are sewn in at the vertical seams at each corner of drapery panels to insure straight hanging.

Width: The horizontal measurement of a window treatment.