Patterned Drapery Panels: A Cheat Sheet

Strickland's Patterned Drapes 1 If you’ve ever studied a foreign language, you know that it can be a challenge to keep track of grammar rules, vocabulary, and all the special idioms that native speakers know. Even an out-of-state visitor to Wilmington, NC may stumble over the true meaning of bless your heart. At Strickland’s Blinds, Shades & Shutters, we’ve seen a similar situation arise when clients are investigating patterned drapery panels. In both cases, a cheat sheet of handy phrases, translations, and explanations can make a world of difference in how you communicate. So don’t feel overwhelmed by the language of custom drapes. With this cheat sheet, you’ll be conversational in no time.


Pattern [pat-ern]: You know that a pattern is a decorative design, but the word takes on new meaning once you’re considering window coverings. The possibilities are endless—from bold graphic prints to chevrons, stripes, and geometric shapes. Do you want a pattern that adds a subtle touch or an eye-catching option that pops? There are certain tricks of the trade that will affect your room, too: vertical stripes enhance small spaces, dramatic patterns will balance neutral walls or furniture. Whatever design you choose will affect both your room’s style and the amount of fabric you’ll need.


Width [wid-th; wit-th]:Here’s a not-so-hidden secret that’s important to know: a standard drapery panel is approximately 48 inches wide when closed. When calculating your drapery panel width, you’ll likely need to keep this increment—and your window size—in mind.


Strickland's Patterned Drapes 2Style: Flat or Pleated? [flat]; [pleet-ed]: Patterned fabrics are usually woven or printed with the design running horizontally and repeating at intervals along the length. This means that if the fabric lays flat, or if you have stationary panels, you get an unrestricted effect. However, open curtains create parallel folds (i.e. pleats) in the cloth, which change how the pattern appears. To keep your desired visual impact, your pattern repeat will be factored into your fabric total—this may involve cutting away fabric to get to the right spot in the pattern. Keep in mind: tighter patterns will generally have multiple areas where the design repeats itself, making it easier to connect the pattern from one panel to another.


Hanging Drapery Panels [hang-ing]: Ideally, you want your drapery rod to be halfway between the window trim and the ceiling. This placement will ensure maximum natural light and make the room appear bigger. Other hanging vocabulary? Rings, hooks, and finials. Each plays a role in overall window dressing. Hooks attach drapery panels to rings; rings attach the drapery to the rods. As for finials—like pattern designs, you can go for bold or understated, no-frills or prominent.


Now that you know a bit more about drapery panels, stop by Strickland’s Blinds, Shades & Shutters and chat with us about your window treatment needs.



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