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Traditional Curtains Part 4

Types or Styles of Curtains – Design Features of Traditional Curtains

In our last lesson we learned about the types and style of curtains and focused on the design features of Contemporary or Modern Curtains, in today’s lesson we will learn about the design features of Traditional Curtains. I will create an overview of this topic and then send you off to read more in your own time to add more depth to your reading.

In this lesson we will focus on Traditional Curtains

Traditional Curtains

The traditional style of curtain has an appearance of more opulence, probably due to the fact that they are generally a fuller curtain than the contemporary, and they often have many more layers at the window. The use of fabrics plays a big part and the curtain track selection, and the use of accessories is vast, braid, trims, tie backs.

The most common form of heading for the curtain, which generally dictates the style of curtain is the triple pleat, french pleat, pencil pleat, casement, goblet pleat and austrian,balloon,and festoon blinds. They are often coupled with pelmets and valances, which we will briefly touch on here as we cover them in depth later in the ecourse. You will find photographs of this style of curtains here.

French Pleat, Triple Pleat, Pinch Pleat Curtain are all names for the same heading type, These are regular spaced triple pleats generally formed by a tape that pulls through the cords to create the pleats, these are then pinched close together at the bottom so that they fan out towards the top. They create a very full and heavy curtain. French pleat, triple pleat and Pinch Pleat

Pencil pleats are the most common form of pleats and heading tape used in traditional curtains. The heading tape forms crisp even upright parallel pleats (like a row of pencils).

Goblet Pleats are formed similar to french pleates, instead of three pleats one large pleat is formed and stuffet to form a goblet look on the heading and is fixed at the bottom. This form of heading can be done by hand or a heading tape can be used. They often use a contrasting binding or lining.

The casement curtain has more often than not in traditional curtain design been used for nets, or sheers at the window for privacy. Either on a thin curtain wire or small rod or pole fixed inside the window. They are not generally used for the main curtain.

Austrian Blinds are like Roman Blinds, as they move up and down with cords and rings, but they have a gathered heading and use a vertical shirring which transforms the folds into soft scallops. The look is more opulent and “frilly”, there are other variations to this, like balloon and festoon blinds. They are all slightly different but they all have the same effect which is creating a traditional form of curtain over a window. They have many ways to add extra ornamentation, like lace, ruffles, fringing etc, which is a big part of traditional curtains.

The most popular traditional curtain track style was the timber rod and ring system, luckily today, we do have more options that create the same look, and make the curtain more functional. Traditional curtains generally use heavier fabrics, with solid heavy colors and ornate patterns and loads of trim. I am generalizing a lot here as we could get specific and down to each individual period for traditional curtain design, like Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian etc. but we don’t have the time just yet.

That is an overview of Traditional 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 all the features of this style yet, don’t worry because we will be frequently adding more knowledge as we go through other areas of curtain design.

So now you have finished reading part four. Well done! 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 – Decorative Curtains, so don’t forget to add this email address to your white list, file it in your designated folder for future reference and if you don’t receive your next lesson 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 five here online.

Bye for now


Lee Brown

Curtain Design Ecourse Coordinator