Window Treatment Glossary


Allowance: A variation from an "exact" measurement used to provide estimated coverage.

Apron: Molding or piece of wood directly beneath window frame.

Arched Valance: A valance treatment that is arched along the lower edge.

Awning Windows: Windows which are hinged on top and swing outward or upward to open.


Bay Window: A window that protrudes outward from the main wall. Usually comprised of a group of divided windows.

Bias: The diagonal grain in fabric. The bias grain runs at a 45 degree angle to the straight grain and tends to stretch if pulled.

Blackout Lining: A heavy opaque material usually placed between the lining and fabric blocking nearly 100% of light from penetrating through the drape. Often used in hotels, media rooms or any application wherein privacy and darkness are required.

Box Pleats: Inverted tailored pleats which create a classical boxy look. See "Pleat Guide".

Buckram: See "Crinoline".

Bump Interlining: A very heavy weight interlining made of cotton flannel. Usually placed between the fabric and lining for added insulation and thickness of the drape.


Cafe Curtains: A window treatment that covers only the bottom half of a window.

Cafe Rod: A metal rod which is most often hung at the halfway point of the window.

Cartridge Pleat: A round pleat measuring 2-1/2 inches in diameter supported by a stiff paper which can be removed for cleaning

Cornice: A decorative wooden, fabric, or foam header placed above a window to conceal drapery hardware.

Crinoline: A heavy stiff fabric which is used to support or stiffen the header of the drapery panel. Also known as "Buckram".

Curtain: Usually unlined, a curtain is a panel of hemmed fabric hung from a rod at the top of a window. Panels can be floor length or end at the windowsill.


Drapability: How well fabric can fall or flow into folds.

Dupioni Silk: Sometimes known as dupion or douppioni, silk dupioni is a shimmering silk that is created by weaving silk threads of two different colors into a weave that seems to change colors as the silk is moved in different light. Constructed with threads made from rough silk fibers that are harvested from double cocoons or single cocoons that are spun side by side and interlocked, silk dupioni generally employs a set of vibrant colors in the weave. Along with creating the shimmering effect, the choice of two different colors of rough silk fiber help to create a crisp drape quality to the finished fabric. Silk dupioni offers an advantage over other types of silks, in that dupioni tends to resist wrinkles, which helps to enhance the usability of the finished fabric. In addition, silk dupioni also has a tendency to take creases very well, which provides the final product a crisp and formal appearance.


End-Bracket: The brackets on each end of a drapery pole, affixed to a wall used to support the drapery pole.


Fan Folding: A method of folding pleated drapery into a long band to decrease or prevent wrinkles.

Finial: Decorative end-piece on a drapery rod.

Finish: Product applied to fabric as a protection against water marks and fading.

French Door: A door with with rectangular panes of glass extending the full length. Usually hung with a pair of doors in one frame, with both doors opening outward.

French Pleat: A traditional drapery pleat which is "pinched" allowing the top part of the pleat to fan. Also know as Pinch Pleat.

Fringe: A decorative trim sewn onto the edges and hems of drapery panels.

Fullness: Refers to the width of the fabric in relation to the curtain rod or other mounting


Grommet: A drapery grommet is used to reinforce the holes which are cut through the fabric allowing a drapery rod to be passed through. Grommets are typically available in a variety of finishes and sizes.


Heading: The top portion of the drape which usually consists of a pleat or stiffner material.H

Holdback: A decroative piece of hardware that holds draperies to either side of the window.


Inside Mount: A drapery rod mount which attaches to the inside of a window frame.


Jamb: The interior side of a window frame.


Lining: Fabric used as a backing for drapery. Lining can provide body and fullness, light control, and privacy.

Lock-Stitch: A stitch that is intentionally loose to provide movement between two pieces of fabric.


Puddle: When drapery panels are allowed to drape and puddle onto the floor to create a soft, full look.

Projection: The distance from the front of the drapery rod or bracket to the wall on which it is mounted.


Repeat: How often the pattern is duplicated within the fabric. One repeat is one full pattern.

Return: The portion of the drapery extending from the corner of the rod to the wall, enclosing the brackets of the drapery hardware.

Rod Pocket: A stitched pocket at the top of the drape is gathered or shirred onto a curtain rod. See "Pleat Guide"

Roman Shades: A roman shade panel is flat when lowered and covers the window glass completely. It is raised horizontally through a series of cords.


Sateen: A tightly woven cotton fabric resulting in a smooth and shiny finish.

Shantung: A inconsistently textured raw silk with loose weave.

Silk: A fine lustrous fiber composed mainly of fibroin and produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons, especially the strong, elastic, fibrous secretion of silkworms used to make thread and fabric.

Swag : One or more pieces of fabric draped over a rod, typically used at the top of a window treatment. Also known as a festoon.


Taffeta: Taffeta is a crisp, smooth woven fabric made from silk fibers. The word is Persian in origin, and means "twisted woven." It is considered to be a "high end" fabric, suitable for use in ball gowns, wedding dresses, and in interiors for curtains or wallcovering. While silk taffeta has been classically woven in Italy and France and until the 1950s in Japan, today most silk taffeta is produced in India. Originally taffeta was produced on handlooms, but since the 1990s, it has been produced on the most modern looms in the Bangalore area. From the 1970s until the 1990s, the Jiangsu province of China produced some fine silk taffetas. They were less flexible than the Indian mills that now dominate production. Other countries in Southeast Asia and the Middle East are weaving silk taffeta, but not yet either at the quality or competitiveness of India. Taffeta was also used to make medieval Noble Ladies dresses.