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Some of the terms we’ve included here may not be familiar, so we’ve defined them below.

ALLOWANCE- A measurement which has to be added in order to turn in the fabric neatly at the seams, hems or headings.

ARCHITRAVE – The wooden surround to a door or window frame.

BATTEN – A narrow length of wood.

COLOURWAY – One of many combinations of colours in a print.

CONTRAST BINDING – Strips of contrasting fabric sewn onto the edges for decorative effect.

CORNICE AND COVING – Decorative or curved moulding where the wall meets the ceiling.

CUT DROP – The cut length of fabric. It is the finished length of the curtain or top with turning allowances added at the top and hem.

FACE FIX – This is when the curtain pole or track is fixed to the window frame or onto the wall outside the window recess, using a face fix bracket.

FINIAL – A round or pointed shape, screwed into a curtain pole at both ends to contain the rings.

FINISHED LENGTH OF THE CURTAIN – The length of the curtain when ready to hang.

FULLNESS RATIO – The relationship between the track or pelmet board measurement and the width of the ungathered curtain or valance. Fullness ratios range from 1.5 times fullness to 3 times fullness depending on the heading.

HEADING – The way the top of a curtain, etc. is finished.

HOOK TO FLOOR/SILL – The measurement from the eye of the track or pole ring to the floor/sill.

HOOK TO HEM-The measurement from the top of the hook to the bottom of the curtain.

HOOK TO TOP-The measurement from the top of the hook to the top of the finished curtain.

LAMBREQUIN – A pelmet with deep sides which can extend to the floor.

LEADING EDGE – The edge of the curtain facing into the centre of the window as opposed to the outside edge.

LINING – Is most commonly used at the back of curtains to give it body and provide protection. There is standard lining and blackout lining, which gives better light control and privacy.

LOOSE LINED CURTAIN- Has a detachable lining so that curtain and lining can be washed separately. Not often used.

MADE TO MEASURE CURTAINS – These are curtains that are manufactured to specific measurements for a perfect fit at the window. Also known as custom made and bespoke.

OMBRA – A decorative round fitting with a stem to fix it to the wall; used to hold the curtains open.

ONE-WAY DESIGN – Has a directional pattern or weave going only one way.

OUTSIDE EDGE – The static/anchored edge of the curtain as opposed to the leading, moving edge.

OVERLAP ARMS – Extensions of corded tracks which let the curtains cross over at the centre for maximum exclusion of light/draughts.

OVERLAP ALLOWANCE – Extra width to allow curtains to cross over, avoiding draughty gaps.

OVERLONG – Extra length to allow curtains to lie on the floor. Also called ‘puddling’.

PATTERN REPEAT – The length of the pattern before it repeats itself.

PELMET – A fabric covered band of buckram or plywood which is fixed onto the front edge of a pelmet board. It conceals the curtain track and heading.

PELMET BOARD – A piece of planed timber fixed to the wall like a shelf, used to support a curtain track, valance, etc.

PIN HOOKS – Small metal hooks that are stabbed into the back of hand sewn headings.

PIPING – Cord sandwiched inside a strip of fabric, often in a contrasting colour, and inserted into a seam.

POLES – different varieties and styles including steel, silver, chrome, wrought iron, black metal, brass and wood and in several different diameters. Supplied with colour matched curtain rings and finials, with co-ordinating holdback or tiebacks available if required. Can support more heading varieties than tracks can.

RAILROADED – in most curtains the fabric runs from ceiling to floor. In railroaded curtains the fabric (usually wide-width) runs horizontally around the room eliminating joins in the fabric.

READY MADE CURTAINS – These are curtains that are made to set widths and drops eg. 3ft wide x 3ft drop. You just select the nearest size to fit your window. A cheap alternative to made to measure, but if a perfect fit is required the curtaind will have to be trimmed or cut to size. Sometimes referred to as DIY. These are usually supplied folded in packets and therefore can have long lasting creasing in the fabric.

SELVEDGE – The woven side edges of fabric.

SHEER – A fabric that gently filters the light rather than blocking it out, often known as a voile.

SPACERS – Small wood or plastic rings inserted between the underside of pelmet boards and tracks to create a gap for brackets or to lower curtains.

STACK BACK – The wall area at the side of the window covered by the curtain. The curtain ‘stacks back’ or folds into this area when opened. If there is insufficient stacking space some of the window may be permanently obscured by the curtain.

STIFFENING – Stiff fabric used inside flat pelmets and tie-backs.

TOP FIX – This is where the curtain track is fixed by attaching upwards to the lintel or ceiling.

TRACK/RAIL – A method for hanging curtains and drapes. They are available as either a metal or plastic corded or uncorded track or rail and come supplied with gliders for attaching the curtain hooks to. Particularly good as a low cost method for fitting curtains, or in a bay window where they can be bent to fit the shape of the bay.

VALANCE – A gathered band of fabric hung from the front edge of a pelmet board or valance rail. It hides the track and curtain heading. A valance is the fabric equivalent of a pelmet and serves the same purpose.

VOILE – A sheer translucent window covering usually a single layer of unlined sheer/ lightweight fabric. Often uses railroaded fabric on big windows to avoid visible joins in the fabric.

WALL MOUNT – This is where the curtains are mounted on the wall surrounding the door or window. See Face Fix.

WINDOW RECESS – The area inside the reveal of the window where blinds and sheer curtains can be fitted.

There are numerous options available when you are selecting curtains, quite apart from the choice of fabric.  That’s why we’d suggest that you  come in to see us at our Dunnington Showroom and meet or friendly and expert team who will be able to guide you.