An Idiot’s Guide to Curtain Lingo

June 5th, 2009 by admin

For all those out there who don’t know their eyelets from their pelmets, here’s a simple glossary to help you on your way to window-furnishing- guru status.

Architrave the wooden frame of a window or door

Batten the wooden stick that fixes to the wall or window frame to support a blind

Bay window a window that sticks out from the wall to create an alcove

Blackout lining a thin, synthetic lining which blocks out all light and helps to retain heat in the room, generally comes in white and cream coloursBoss (or hold back) a metal, wooden or plastic bracket that you fix to the wall to hold curtains back

Cleat a hook (usually made from metal) that you fix into your wall to wind the cord of your blind around to hold it in place

Curtain ring a circular ring used to fix a curtain to the curtain pole; they come in various sizes and materials

Dowel a thin cylindrical piece of wood, inserted horizontally into fabric pockets in Roman blinds to hold their shape

a tiny hook at the bottom of a curtain ring or track, where the curtain hook attaches to

Eyelet a type of curtain heading where a metal ring is attached to the fabric for a curtain pole to be fed through, comes in various colours and sometimes shapes

Finial the decorative fixture at each end of a curtain pole, these can be made from any material and come in an extensive number of designs

Fullness refers to the width of the fabric in relation to the curtain pole. E.g. if a curtain pole is 100cm and fabric with a 200cm width is used to make the curtain then the curtain would have 2X fullness

refers to the method of sewing used to create a certain style where the curtain is attached to the track or pole

Heading height the amount of fabric required above the eye of the curtain ring, only necessary with pleated or gathered headings

Heading tape
purpose-made tape, attached to the headings on curtains to gather the fabric when pulled, and creating various styles

Interlining a soft (usually cotton) fabric sewn between the curtain fabric and the lining to give weight to the curtain, help it hang better and slightly improve sound and heat insulation – also known as bump or domette

Leading edge the edge of the curtains that meet in the middle when they are drawn

Pattern repeat the measurement between a point in the design of a fabric and the next point where it begins again, this measurement is needed when working out how much fabric you need to make curtains or blinds

Pelmet a decorative framework to either add height to the top of a window or hide the curtain fixtures, usually made from fabric covered in wood

Piping cord cotton string used as a base for ‘piped’ edges, piped edging can be used for things such as tie-back or cushion edges

a shape made from paper, card or thin plastic which is used to help mark fabric, templates can be bought and modified, or made

Thermal lining a thin, synthetic lining which helps to retain heat in the room, also blocks out a little light – typically comes in white and cream colours

Track a type of fixture attached to the wall to hold curtains up, used as an alternative to a curtain pole and usually made from plastic

Valance a type of fabric pelmet that covers the tops of curtains

Voiles a light, plain-weave, sheer fabric of cotton, rayon, silk, or wool used for making semi-transparent curtains

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