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  • Writer's pictureTaylir Weis

What the heck do you call that again? Drapery Terminology to clearly communicate with your workroom.

One of my favorite cartoons.... See Below

This is an absolutely great depiction of the miscommunication that occurs when your not using the same lexicon that is used industry wide. There will always be variations of words but having the basics down will help make your project, that much smoother. Plus, the sad truth is, we know most interior design schools don't even spend a whole day covering this topic, and well, draperies are the icing on the cake.

Every single one of your client's is going to need window treatments, plain and simple. They are a great way to increase your revenue and with new technology coming out daily, motorization can easily be obtained and integrated with whole home systems or smart devices, when before it wasn't.

But first, let's get the terminology down. Window Treatments 101- Terminology - we will get you the basics and dive deeper in to the more technical stuff next month, so a good reason to subscribe and stay tuned!

Let's start with how Draperies are made. Take a typical pair of drapery that is approx. 80" wide x 100" long. At the top of the drapery, we have what we call a "Header". This is the very top, where the pleats go and on the back side or lining side, where the pin hooks go, which is what ultimately attaches the drapery to the rod & rings or to what ever track you are using. The "Header" refers to how far down your pleating style will get sewn.

The Hem is the very bottom of the drapery. It is where the drapery finishes. The hem consists of a couple layers of fabric being folded over on top of it's self. Hem's can range from a few inches up to about five inches and can start to look a little funny if you go bigger than that. It helps to give the drapery it's body and keep the movement of the pleats to a minimum.

Next we have our "Pleating" style. The "Pleating" style is completely subjective. It is whatever "Pleat" you think will look the best with your particular fabric and how you want the draperies to look/hang when they are closed and when they are stacked open.

There are at least 5 popular pleating styles that are used much more commonly than some of the other ones.

1) The French Pleat - Gorgeous and Classic this pleat is sewn down 5" on the header and is (3) pinch pleats that are sewn together at the base of them, which creates a really beautiful, very traditional pleat.

2) The Hand Tied French Pleat - Same as the traditional French Pleat w/ a Decorative Thread, often in a contrast color but not always, that goes around where the 3 pinch pleats are tacked to give the effect that it was "Hand Tied".

3) The Euro Pleat - Also a gorgeous pleat, this has 3 pinch pleats, tacked at the very top and only get's sewn down a few inches, usually 3" depending on the application of the treatment. It has a really nice, soft fan look on the front of each pleat. It's slightly more relaxed than the French Pleat and Hand Tied French Pleat. In fact the Euro Pleat has become the more popular pleat as of late. And can hold it's own when it comes to subtle elegance.

4) The Duo-Fold Pleat - This pleat is identical to the French Pleat with one major difference being that there is only two pinch pleats that are tacked together instead of three, like the traditional French Pleat.

5) The Duo-Fold Euro Pleat is the exact same pleat as the Euro-Pleat. The only difference here is that it has two pinch pleats, tacked at the top instead of 4-5" down like the French Pleat. This can be a great pleat to use when you have really thick fabric or are lining and interlining the drapery.

Hopefully you have found this information helpful. As always, if you still have questions, please feel free to shoot me an e-mail on here and will do my best to get your questions answered. I can be reached directly@

Next time we will talk more about "The Technical Terminology that goes Hand in Hand with Motorization"! If there is anything specific you would like me to talk about, please drop me a line and I will do my best to get to your question.


Taylir Weis

Design Expert, Visionary, Entrepreneur, Angel in an Earth Suit and Lover of Life, Pitbull's and Dancing!

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