Your A to Z guide of ‘Curtain Speak’ with Jeff Dale – the Shutter, Blind, and Curtain expert.

Curtains photo

Need new curtains and don’t know what you want or what to discuss? Here is a list of definitions to help you.

This is a fabric sewing method involving two materials with one sewn on top of the other to create a design or pattern.

Blackout Lining
A coated material which prevents the light from seeping through the material and entering a room.

This is used to stiffen curtain headings.

Soft and thick, this material (usually cotton) is often used for interlining fabric.

Curtain Hem
The very bottom of the curtain fabric.

The length of the curtain fabric measured from the curtain track to hem.

Eyelet Curtains
Used with a curtain pole, eyelets are metal rings which are punched into the top of the fabric.

An ornamental edging to a curtain pole.

Flame Retardant Lining
Lining which has been treated to prevent it setting alight.

How wide the fabric is in comparison to the length of the track or curtain pole (usually twice).

Goblet Pleat
A curtain heading where the fabric is stitched to give the appearance of narrow tubes and which are then filled with wadding.

The top of the curtain which dictates how the fabric itself will hang.

Heading Tape
A woven tape at the top of the fabric in which hooks are inserted to hang onto a track.

The edge of the curtain which has been reinforced by folding over material and stitching it.

Metal hooks attached to the wall to keep the curtain fabric held back when opened.

Wadding in curtains, usually from cotton or synthetic fibre. Often used for insulating and sound proofing purposes.

Attached to the back of the main fabric. Could be plain lining, thermal lining, fire retardant lining, blackout lining or interlined.

Pattern Repeat
Difference in width between prints in a pattern.

A piece of board which is covered in fabric (usually the same as the actual curtains) to add a decorative element and disguise a curtain rail.

Pinch Pleat
Narrow pleats inserted at the top of the curtains. Usually double (2 pleats) or triple (3 pleats).

A decorative element added to a seam or the edge of fabric. At the same time it adds strength to the fabric.

Sheer Curtains
Polyester voile or cotton lace are sheer curtains (ie transparent). They allow light to come into a room while at the same time stopping damaging UV light. They also prevent people seeing into a room from outside so are good from a privacy point of view.

Swags and Tails
Swags are a horizontal decorative element at the top of curtains and tails drape down at either side of the window.

A means of holding back curtains when open. Usually made from a stiffened hessian known as buckram and covered in the same fabric as the curtains themselves (or a contrasting fabric).

If you need help in choosing the right curtains for your windows, contact us on 01226 756111, or send us an email to:


Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *