How to hang curtains can be a minefield, so it is often best to think about the type of track or pole you may need for your window. Deciding on the type of track you want may also decide the style of curtain you make. The track will also need to be enough for the type of material used. A heavy material would not be suitable for a spring coil rod likewise a thin voile would look out of place on a chunky wooden pole.
The window you are dressing may also dictate the kind of track used, if there is not much space between the top of the window and the start of the ceiling a pole may not fit, even if it is a thin one as the decorative end may not have enough room. This is also the case with the width if it goes near another wall or door. In this case a track would be used and this would be fixed to the wall about 3-5ins (7.5 - 12.5cms) above the window. Again here the choice is a personal one and the track can be fixed higher to allow for a deep pelmet or valance for instance.
The width or length of the track is also fixed beyond the window edge this allows the open curtain space to sit without blocking out the daylight. The overlap is usually between 4-8 inches (10-20cms) this will depend on the width of the curtains and how thick the material is.
Tracks - These are made from either metal or plastic and allow a set
of runners to run behind in a groove. These have loops at the bottom
that the hook fits into or there are ones that has the hooks clip over the top and bottom edge
enabling free movement along the track. Pencil pleat curtains can be used with this type hanging rail.
Some are corded and have opening and closing cords at one end, this stops the fabric from getting dirty or being handled too much. These can also have decorative stencilling on the front that give a decorative look when the curtains are open.
There are also specialised ones for use in a bay window and with certain types of designs two tracks are used at the same time. When clipped onto each other both have independent runners one for the curtain and one for the valance or swag.
Poles or Rods - There is a large variety of ranging in different colours, widths and designs in either metal or wood. The thickness of the pole will also give different strengths.
Poles have curtain rings that fit over the pole and these rings have little eyelets at the bottom to put the curtain hooks through. When hanging eyelet curtains or tab top curtains the rings would not be used as the curtain would fit directly onto the pole.
There is also tension wire that is used to hang net curtains, lightweight curtains or sheer voiles.
Outlet such as The Range has a large choice of different tracks and poles to suit your needs.