Types of Curtains

One window and many different types of curtains, how to choose and decide.

Choosing curtains is a very personal decision and at times can be influenced by the latest trend or design.

Before deciding on the type to buy take a look at the window and think about:

  • The direction it is facing
  • The view looking out from it
  • The noise level coming from the outside into the room
  • The size of the window
  • The air flow around the window if it is an older house

Taking these points into consideration may help with the decision.

If the house is down a country lane with the nearest neighbours miles away and no public footpath then maybe no curtains are needed. 

However if the house is right beside the pavement on a very busy road then curtains can block out some of the sound and thinner net curtain or voiles are useful for privacy.

If the view looking out is onto an industrial business park then the window can be totally obscured with a heavier net curtain or film onto the window to allow the light in.

The size a window also may dictate the type of track or pole to use. A wooden pole is pre - determined when made, so if you are looking to hang curtains on a small window then this type pole may not be small enough whereas a metal pole may suit better.

The Many Types of Curtains to Choose From

When stripping this choice down to the basics the type is really the curtain styles and designs.

After all a curtain is really a piece of fabric fixed to a window and many have started out with just a sheet and some thumb tacks at one stage or another, especially for a first home.

Choosing the Curtain Styles

Eyelet curtain topEyelet or Grommet

The eyelet or grommet curtains are usually used with a curtain pole. The holes are made in the fabric and a metal or plastic ring lines the hole so the fabric does not fray. This also allows the curtain to be opened with snagging on wooden poles.

Pencil Pleat

The pencil pleat heading on curtains is named after the look the heading gives when ruffled up. This look is a row of pencils lined up.

This type of curtain could be thought of as old-fashioned but it is very versatile and works well with different fabric and windows.

Tab Top

The name tab top curtains comes from the look of the heading which is strips of fabrics to hold the curtain onto the pole.

Cafe curtains can be made with tab tops. 

Curtain pole and rings

Once the curtain styles or the type of heading has been decided this could determine whether curtain tracks or curtain poles are used.

A pencil pleat top can be used with a pole as well as a track. This is done  by using the curtain rings that are included when buying the pole.

These larger rings will have a smaller ring at the bottom that the curtain hook can loop into. The curtain would be placed so the top edge just fits under the rings.

There are varieties of pencil pleat and one is a pinch pleat. This heading looks like the fabric has been pinched together in three or five pleats.

Considering the Curtain Fabric when buying curtains

Taking some of the above points when looking at the window:

  • The direction a window faces could be a point the choice of curtain fabric. If the sun rises into a bedroom window a thicker fabric with a blackout lining or a blackout curtain should be used unless the light is wanted to help wake up. This could also be the case if it sets and shines into a living room window making television watching or computer work impossible.
  • If the view outside is not one to be seen then a heavy net or voile can mask it but still allow the light through. The same can also apply if the window is by a pavement to allow for privacy from people passing by. Obscure film can be bought instead and I have seen it work well. Blinds and shutters are another option.
  • The noise level coming in through a window can be dulled down with a heavy lined curtain.
  • The window size is a factor as bulky heavy fabrics wouldn't suit a small narrow window likewise a great big window wouldn't suit flimsy fabric unless it is a voile only.
  • If the window was in an older house with draughts coming through gaps, like the noise factor, a heavier lined fabric would help those. 
  • In keeping with the older style houses some curtains can have a wadding layer inserted between the curtain fabric and the lining to help with the insulation.

Curtains also help keeping the heat inside a room even with double glazing there is a small amount of coolness coming from the glass panes.

There are many questions that come with choosing curtains with the first important There are a huge variety of ready made curtains available to buy from shopping outlets and online such as Terrys Fabrics and Amazon

Enjoy deciding on the many types of curtains available.

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