Which Came First - Curtains Or Drapes?
A curtain or drape is fabric that hangs over windows and doors to control indoor temperatures, cut out light, maintain privacy and are decorative. In old time England a curtain maker was a man th...
In old time England a curtain maker was a man that draped fabric over windows. A draper was someone who sold the fabric. Drapers were retail stores where fabric and sewing materials were sold. Today the terms curtain and drapes have interchangeable meanings. The modern tendency is to think of curtains as unlined and they come in a variety of lengths. Draperies are those that draw completely closing off the window.
With the increase of the single family homes, the curtain and drapery industry has experienced high growth. They usually have their own section in a department store, while some shops are specifically dedicated to selling curtains and drapes.
There are a variety of options for home owners to choose from for any window treatment in their home. They come in many designs, styles, fabrics, patterns and colors. Some of the fabrics available are silk, cotton, satin, nets, chintz, lace, linen, polyester and thermal insulated materials.
As utility bills rise consumers are becoming more aware of the advantages of curtains and drapes for their functionality. They can provide a cost savings at an environmental measure. Some drapes also dampen or reduce sound from the outside. Another drape has a cloth lining that gives superior insulation. If you are not a sound sleeper, they have black out drapes to darken the room. These were often used in time of war.
Curtains and drapes can be made with a varying degree of thickness and a different degree of light absorption and heat insulating qualities. They can also stimulate your attitudes and moods. For a casual relaxed atmosphere choose shorter lengths of material. For a more formal dressy look, generally the longer curtains look more dignified. All of these choices will inspire your family and friends when they look in or out of your windows.
What most consumers want are high quality well designed fabrics at affordable prices that results in a furnished complete look. It is more cost effective to purchase ready made panels or standard curtains then custom made. Also make certain you figure into your budget the accessories needed to hang the curtains. Then you will have a good idea of what expenses you will be expecting.
For an inexpensive distinguished effect there are swags. They serve no function but earn their keep by looking dramatic. There is a do it yourself scarf swag that you sew the pleats together on an angle and drape it over the pole. Quite a statement can be made with this design.
Curtain rods hold the curtains from the window top and let the curtain fall to its full length. You can coordinate the color of the rods with the curtain or the wall. The rods and curtains can be simple to intricate, but they will give new life to your surroundings.
Decorative accessories can add the ingredients you may be longing for. There are tiebacks, tassels, trimmings and headings. Some types of headings are standard, pencil pleat, French pleat, cartridge pleat, slot pleat and puff ball headings.
The standard heading is the most common. It comprises of one inch tape that is gathered up into a narrow heading. The pencil pleat is without a valance and it gives a pleasant finish at the curtains header. The French pleat is often used with extra stiffener in the fabric to produce full regular folds. The cartridge pleat forms a goblet shape in the top of each pleat. By stuffing polyester into the top of the pole it helps maintain the curtains shape. The slot pleat is simply a pleat formed by cutting slots in a cased header and fed through a pole. The puff ball heading is most impressive and easily accomplished. You employ the same method as the slot pleat, but leave twelve inches of fabric above the slot. The excess above the header is balled up into a puffball shape.
Not all windows look beautiful and having draperies or curtains can hide many flaws. So do yourself a favor and start doing your research and let your true personality come alive.
Barbara Tobiasz resides in the Chicago area and studied at the Art Institute. She has consulted and volunteered her services for many organizations with her creative expressions in the interior design field. Her hobbies include reading, taking long walks with her dog and working her magic turning ordinary rooms into creative works of art. For more information on Curtains and Drapes, go to: http://www.Wall-Decor-Concepts.com
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