Drapery Glossary

Board mounted: Any portion of a treatment that is mounted on a board inside or outside of the window.


Casing: A pocket made in fabric for a curtain rod, weight board, or drawstring.

 window casing

Curtain drop: The total length of the curtain from the top of the hanging system to the bottom hem edge.


Clearance: The distance from the back of the rod, pole, or mounting board to the wall.

curtain rod return/clearance 

Curtain: A lined or unlined finished panel of fabric that is hung from a non-traversing rod at the top of a window.


Double-hung draperies: Two sets of draperies, usually a sheer fabric under an opaque fabric, both operating separately.


Drapery: Full length, lined, pleated or un-pleated panels that open and close on a drapery track or rod.


Dressing: The process of folding and manipulating the fabric of a treatment after it has been hung, to create the desired effect.


Drop length: The distance from the top of the object to where you want the fabric to end.


Face: The right side of the drapery treatment.


Fullness: The amount of fabric used in relation to the finished width of a drapery, usually between double (2x) and triple fullness (3x). 2x indicates the flat fabric is twice as wide as the finished drapery, 3x indicates it is three times as wide.


Heading: The heading refers to the top hem of treatment. Its description refers to the type of construction used in the top hem, i.e., pinch-pleated heading, smocked heading, or tab-top heading.

Rod Pocket

curtain panel rod pocket

Double Pleat

curtain panel heading double pleat


curtain panel heading eyelet

Inverted Pleat

curtain panel heading inverted pleat


curtain panel heading tab top

Pencil Pleat

curtain panel heading pencil pleat

Gathered Pleat

curtain panel heading gathered pleat

French Pleat

curtain panel heading french pleat


Hem: To turn under and stitch a raw edge. Also refers to any finished edges of a treatment.


Mounting board: A wooden board installed inside or out of the window frame to which curtains, valances, or other treatments are attached.


Return edge: The outside hem of top treatments, drapery, or curtain panels that makes up the return of the treatment.


Overlap: The portion of fabric that overlaps (crossover) in the middle of a pair of draperies when they are closed; when two swags crossover each other on a board or pole, that is the crossover or overlapped area.


Pair width: Rod width plus one overlap and two returns. This is a measurement you would get if you took two panels of a pair of pinch-pleated draperies and you laid them down end to end widthwise, not overlapping. When closed, the draperies should hug the traverse rod.


Panel: One-half of a pair of draperies or curtains, even though it may consists of several widths of fabric.


Panel width: The pair width divided by 2. This is the finished width of a panel of draperies.


Pleat: A fold of cloth sewn into place to create fullness.


Pleat to: A finished width of the fabric after it has been pleated.


Pleat to pleat: The measurement from the first pleat to the last pleat.


Projection: The distance from the front of the window treatment to the wall.


Puddle: Formed when drapery panels are long enough to literally lie on the floor. Extra length must be added from 1’’ to 18’’, depending upon the effect desired.


Return: The distance from the face of the rod to the wall or casing where the bracket or board is attached.


Sheers: Curtains or draperies made of translucent fabric to filter light and provide minimal privacy; often used under another drapery.


Stack back: The amount of space taken up by a drapery or shade when they are completely open.


Total width: The width of the board or rod, end to end, plus two returns.



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