Types of Window Treatments
The number and variety of different window treatments is limited only by the imagination. Innovative workrooms are constantly creating new versions of old favorites and original designs. When you start looking at books and magazines for ideas, it is easy to be overwhelmed by all the options. Here is a brief glossary of some of the more popular treatments .
Draperies are usually pleated panels that are hung from a traverse rod or a decorative pole and rings. There are many types of pleat arrangements, some made by hand and some using pleater tape.
Swags & Cascades
Stationary swags of fabric can be combined and overlapped on a decorative pole or covered dust board. They can be pleated and formal or relaxed and casual. They are often combined with cascades ( also known as jabots or tails) at each end of the window.
Valances are decorative top treatments that can cover the mounting hardware of drapes or shades. They can be pleated, gathered or flat, arched, straight or shaped, and can be mounted on dust boards, poles, or rods.
Cornices are padded box shapes covered in fabric and trim. The bottom edge can be shaped in many different ways. They are mounted above the window and can conceal other mounting hardware.
Curtains are among the most popular type of window treatment, as they are available in a variety of styles and have the ability to provide decoration as well as function. Curtains are traditionally panels of fabric that are sold in pairs. They are made to hang from a curtain rod or curtain rings attached to a rod, that is installed just above the window frame. The rod allows the curtains to be moved freely and easily between positions of partial window coverage to full window coverage. They come in a variety of lengths and are made from materials ranging from velvet to cotton to suede. A common style for curtains is to be tied back around their middle when not in use as a light blocker. Curtains are considered an essential piece of room décor.
Sheers and Lace
Shades and Lace window treatments are typically also employed for decorative effect. They may be cut in a variety of shapes, ranging from curtains to shades to valances, and are added to windows where the decorator wants to keep the room as bright as possible. Lace and sheer treatments are often used in kitchen and easterly facing rooms. They are generally not used in bedrooms, as they have no ability to block unwanted sunlight.
Shades are another type of window treatment that is utilized for function more than style. Shades are portions of fabric cut to the shape of the window frame that pull down from the top to block out light and provide moderate insulation. Shades come in a variety of fabrics, ranging from canvas to plastic weave to bamboo, and can include several operation features, such as a roll-up sprocket mechanism that quickly retracts the shade when slight downwards pressure is placed on its bottom hem. Roman shades are moderately decorative and are retracted by a rope that gathers the shade upward into a tiered arrangement.
Roman shades are known for their ability to dress up a window elegantly and beautifully with their neatly sewn folds. Classical Roman shades also go by the name of “Hobbled” or “teardrop” style. Within these two large categories (Flat and Classical) fall several subcategories to describe where the folds lie when the shades are lifted or let down.
Bamboo Shades fall within the Woven Wood Shades category, but they have become so popular that they deserve special mention. These environmentally sustainable shades made of bamboo have extra depth of character because of their knotty patterns.
Woven Wood Shades
Made of natural materials such as wood, fiber, bamboo and even reeds and grasses, woven wood shades help bring a feel of the outdoors, nature and serenity into a room. Like cellular shades woven wood shades are easily raised and lowered with the use of a cord which can be hidden or visible.