Common Window Treatment Terminology You Should Know, Part One

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If you’re looking for a simple and cost-effective way to give the rooms in your home a whole new look, you should consider investing in different window treatments. From decorative shutters to glamorous drapes, there are a variety of ways to spruce of your home’s interior. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at some common window treatment terminology you should know before you start shopping for new shades, drapes, or shutters.

At Arjay’s Window Fashions in Los Angeles, we’re passionate about helping our customers find the perfect window treatment solution for their needs and budget. Whether you’re thinking about installing energy efficient treatments to keep those heating and cooling bills down, or you’re interested in learning more about the motorization of your blinds, our professionals can help. Check out our website to view some of our recent window treatment projects or contact us today to schedule a complimentary appointment with one of our specialists!

Window Treatment Terminology

  • Blinds – Blinds are a type of window treatment that is made from horizontal or vertical slats. They are kept in place with a string, cord, or fabric tape. Materials for blinds often include plastic, metal, wood, and heavy fabric.
  • Curtains – Not to be confused with drapes, curtains are unlined, stationery window coverings that can be hung over a window using a curtain rod or decorative pole. Some curtains can be held back with tiebacks or holdbacks to let some light in as well. They are often constructed from lightweight, sheer, or semi-sheer fabric.
  • Draperies – These are window treatments that are often made from heavier fabric. They can be both stationary and mobile, and they can be used with fabric tiebacks or fixed holdbacks mounted on either side of a window. Draperies can be lined for the sole purpose of insulation or light blocking, and they can be used with a variety of curtain rods. They are available in a variety of hanging styles and common materials include brocade, chenille, suede, and velvet. These window treatments often stretch from floor to ceiling, giving them a more formal look for your dining room, family room, or bedroom.
  • Rod Pocket Curtains – Also called pole top curtains, rod pocket curtains have a horizontal sleeve stitched across the top that you can slide a decorative rod through. This allows the curtain or drapery to be arranged in a soft, gathered look.
  • Shades – The term ‘shades’ can refer to a variety of things. From blinds to pleated shades and roller shades, shades are unique window coverings that can be adjusted to fully or partially expose or cover a window.
  • Sheers- Sheers are lightweight, translucent and finely woven fabrics that can be used to obscure a view while letting plenty of light in. They are often used under draperies to create a uniform layered look.

Once you’ve decided whether or not to go with blinds, draperies, shades, or a combination of a few window treatments, it’s time to look at the different styles that are available. Window treatments can range from casual to formal and traditional to modern. You can choose a style based on your unique needs and budget. Let’s look at a few terms to help you understand the different styles available!

  • Ascot Valance – This is a triangular window treatment that is normally used between matching panels. A double rod is often used here, with the panels on the inside of the rod and three ascots on the outside for a finished appearance. You also have the option to insert an ascot between the panels on a single rod.pexels-photo-462197
  • Blackouts – If you’re looking for a way to block out the sunlight in your bedroom, blackout draperies may be a great solution for you. These draperies are lined or coated window hangings that are made from different heavyweight fabrics. Blackout draperies are specifically designed to block out light and insulate windows so that warm and cool air can’t escape the room. Blackout draperies are also a great way to reduce exterior sounds coming from outside your home.
  • Balloon Valance – This is a straight-across valance that is sewn on as a pocket that can be filled with tissue paper for a full and puffy look. If you choose to leave the pocket empty, you can achieve a more tailored appearance.
  • Cafe Curtains – Also called tiered curtains or kitchen tiers, these short and straight curtains often cover the lower half of a window. Cafe curtains are usually paired with some sort of top window treatment, like a swag valance.
  • Cellular Shades – Most known for its distinctive “honeycomb” fabric construction, cellular shades are very popular across the Los Angeles area. These multi-layered, pleated shades are known to trap air, providing the homeowner with a high level of window installation.
  • Grommet-Top Curtains – Also known as eyelets, grommets are metal, plastic, or rubber rings that can be used to reinforce a hole in fabric curtains or draperies. Grommet-top curtains are hung using these grommets, with the help of a decorative rod that can be threaded through the curtain.
  • Pinch Pleats – A pinch pleat is a three-fold, stitched pleat at the top of a formal drapery panel. These drapes are often hung on a traverse rod using hooks that are inserted into the back of the pleat.
  • Roller Shades – These are flat fabric or vinyl shades that roll up into a cylinder. With most roller shades, the shade can be drawn up and down with the help of a spring. Roll-up shades, on the other hand, can be drawn up with cords or a string.
  • Roman Shade – If you’re looking for a window treatment that will give you a tailored, flat look, you’ll love roman shades. The classic roman shade features a flat face fabric that forms to pleats as the shade is raised. The pleats are made with rings that are threaded with cords on the back of the fabric. This allows the shade to be raised or lowered.
  • Swag – Also known as a jabot, a swag is a decorative window top treatment that features a soft, curving semicircle that is centered on the window with fabric that hangs down on both sides. For a highly decorative top treatment, consider using multiple swags at a time. Longer swags offer a simple window embellishment, and they can be made from virtually any fabric.
  • Thermal Backing – Thermal-backed draperies are specially designed to block out light, heat, drafts, and sounds. They offer an extra layer of insulation that most draperies do not have.

In part two of this blog, we’ll discuss some more common window treatment terminology you should be aware of. If you live in Los Angeles and you’re ready to improve your window treatments, contact Arjay’s Window Fashions today!

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