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Contemporary Part 3

Types or Styles of Curtains and Drapes

In our last lesson we learned about the purpose of a curtain and the client brief, in today’s lesson we will learn about the types or styles of curtains. I will create an overview of these topics and then focus on one today, then send you off to read more in your own time to add more depth to each area.

When sitting down to write about this topic, I thought, oh my, where will I start? There are just so many different types and styles of curtains and drapery. So I have decided to split them into a few generalized areas and approach them one at a time because it is important that you get very familiar with your curtain “library”.

These types and styles of curtains of your “curtain library” are:

Contemporary – Modern Curtains

Traditional Curtains

Decorative and Specialized Curtains

Ready Made Curtains



In this lesson we will focus on Contemporary or Modern Curtains

Design Features of Contemporary or Modern Curtains

If you want to know the definition of contemporary design, I have written an article in my blog about it, this will be useful background information on this style of curtains.

Contemporary or Modern curtains today tend to be low fuss, or minimal decoration, pattern and frills. Simple headings and tracks. Less fullness than we are used to and more of a rigid rectangular look, tie backs are replaced with holdbacks, or the curtain is left to hang straight rather than being pulled in. See photograph examples of all these curtains on the web site here.

The inverted pleat is a common form of heading used, this creates a subtle fullness to the curtain head whilst the curtain can continue with a neat flush look.

Grommet top or eyelet top is very popular and is actually a very versatile heading type. They have metal grommets (eyelets) fixed onto the head of the curtain at regular intervals. The fullness is minimal, as there is only a slight wave created with the curtain. They are generally hung on rods or poles, but are sometimes seen on a tension wire.

Grommet Top Curtain Article

Tab Top curtains are also hung on a rod or pole, these are a modern casual style very popular form of ready made panel curtains. They are best used as decorative curtains only as they don’t draw very well. They are very functional when made of sheer or voile fabrics to uses as under curtains for privacy.

Tab Top Curtain Articles

Tie Top curtains are similar to tab top in their functional properties and uses. They are popular for their casual and informal style that they create, and their simplicity of design.

Tie Top Curtain Articles

Panels are a popular form of ready made curtains. They usually have a casement heading and are 1.5 % fullness, these also don’t draw very well, so are best used as decorative panels or as under curtains.

Roman Blinds made in the simple no fuss way of simply covering the window in a layered form when drawn up are an excellent form of contemporary window treatment. They are a simple and no fuss way to dress the window, simple horizontal folds sit tidily at the top of the window.

Pencil pleat, this simple heading type is probably the most common form of curtain heading and creates a full curtain of crisp even upright parallel pleats (like a row of pencils).
The pencil pleat curtain requires 2 ¼ – 2 ½ times curtain fullness. These are also the favored heading type for ready made curtains. The pattern of the fabric is not as easily seen in this form of curtains compared to the grommet top, tab top, panel or roman blind.

This example of a contemporary curtain shows just how simple this form of window treatment, the use of a simple pencil pleat with a sheer behind a modern pelmet to create a contemporary look.

That is an overview of Contemporary Curtain Styles, there are a lot more factors involved in these styles, like the track selection, fabric selection, curtain length, color etc, and we will go over all these areas in the ecourse, so if you aren’t 100% clear about this style yet, don’t worry because we will be frequently reviewing and adding more as we learn the other areas of curtain design.

Now you have just finished reading part three. If you still have time, go and read your related articles, if not come back again and read them in your spare time. In two days time you will receive your next lesson Types and Styles of Curtains – Traditional Curtains, so don’t forget to add this email address to your white list, and if you don’t receive it in two days time, then look in your spam email box, and if you just can’t wait for two days the you can find part four here online.

Bye for now


Lee Brown

Curtain Design Ecourse Coordinator