1. Rod Pocket Curtains
This style of window covering has many names. You may also know them as pole top curtains, casement curtains or panel curtains. The key is that they all have a pocket at the top which is then threaded onto a pole or curtain rod for hanging. Although they are quite simple in style it can be difficult to pull casement curtains across especially if you have tall windows and for this reason you may prefer to use this style for curtains which are more decorative than functional. You can enhance the look by drawing the rod pocket curtains to one side with matching or contrasting tiebacks or hold backs.
2. Pencil Pleat Curtains
These curtains have uniform pleats (about the size and shape of a pencil!) across the top. The pleats are made by using a heading tape attached near the top of the curtain which is then gathered in by means are inbuilt threads. The gathering means that you need about two and a quarter to two and a half times the width of the window in fabric to create the fullness. Pencil pleat curtains are hung onto a curtain track, rail or pole using curtain hooks. These curtains are often used with a valance or other heading as the top of the curtain is not particularly decorative in itself.
3. French Pleat Curtains / Pinch Pleat Curtains / Triple Pleat Curtains
These window treatments are again named after the style of heading tape which gathers the curtain by means of cords into a decorative triple pleated effect – more opulent than pencil pleat curtains yet requiring no more fabric. Each pleat is pinched together where the heading tape is positioned and the fabric fans out towards the top of the curtain. Sometimes the pleats are stitched in place where they pinch together with just a couple of stitches in each place to keep the crisp effect. French pleat curtains are attached to the curtain rail by means of curtain hooks. French pleat or pinch pleat drapes can be used for valances as well as curtains. A similar decorative style are goblet pleat curtains where the heading forms the shape of a goblet above the pleat.
4. Tab Top Curtains
These curtains use fabric loops at the top of the curtain which are threaded over a curtain rod or pole. The tabs may contrast with the curtain or be decorated with buttons. Similar to casement curtains tab top curtains can be difficult to move along the pole but as there is less fabric in contact with the pole it is only likely to be a problem with taller larger windows. Curtains tend to be cheaper than those formed using heading tape as they use less fabric. They suit minimalist interiors as there is less fullness in the fabric.
5. Tie Top Curtains
Tie top curtains are similar to tab top curtains and have the same drawbacks. In this case the “tabs” are formed by ties as the top of the curtain which are knotted to form the tab loops. Again the are threaded onto the curtain rods or poles. Tie top curtains are often used with sheer curtains where they form a pretty decorative top.
6. Grommet Top Curtains
Grommet top curtains are also slotted onto curtain rods or poles and sometimes tension wire. In this case the curtains have holes at the top reinforced with round metal grommets or eyelets. They are suitable for contemporary modern interiors.
7. Cafe Curtains
Cafe Curtains originated in cafes in the 19th century in Vienna where they were used so that customers to could watch the world go by while still maintaining some privacy. They are hung on poles which are fixed across the window so that the cafe curtains cover only the lower half. They remain in place the whole time rather than being drawn back during the day. These curtains are best used in informal areas such as a kitchen and therefore suit an informal style of header – tab top, tie top, casement or grommets rather than the formality of pinch or French pleats. They may be teamed with a decorative valance across the top of the window.
8. Tie Back Curtains
Tie back curtains are formed from a single full panel that is gathered up and tied or held back to one side of a window with a decorative tie back or hold back of some kind. They are generally decorative rather than functional in nature although if enough fabric is used to cover the whole window with the usual fullness used by the heading, they can be released from their ties in the evening and cover the window as usual. They are most suitable for windows that are narrow rather than wide in nature.
9. Hourglass Curtains
Highly decorative in nature, though blocking a lot of light from the window, they may be released from their ties in the evening if a functional curtain is required. If sheer fabrics are used they provide privacy without blocking so much light. Hourglass curtains are best fitted inside the window using tension rods and they may be topped with a decorative valence.
10. Sheer, Voile and Net Curtains
Sheer, net and voile curtains are made from very fine translucent fabric which let in some light while providing a degree of privacy. They are often used as under curtains covering the windows during the day while heavier curtains frame the windows and are drawn for additional privacy at night. For a long time they were considered old-fashioned and were only available in plain white or cream but these days they are available in every color of the rainbow and many are highly decorated with fine embroidery, sequins, beads and so on. Patterned sheers are also available. Sheer curtains usually use a simple casement heading and are threaded onto rods across the top of the window but other headings are also available. You will generally need a double curtain rodto hang them.
When looking at different types and styles of window curtains 2018 think about all the options which would be suitable for your windows before making a choice as you may get some new ideas from this list.