Considering pleated drapery? Confused about which type of drapery pleats or heading to choose?
The choices are endless when it comes to drapery pleating. When my clients ask for pleated drapery panels, my creative juices start to flow! Most clients ask for pinch pleats or Euro pleats. Those are fine choices – but I typically ask them, “Why not consider bright new ideas and create a unique look? We can design drapery panels that suit your style, reflect your personality, and WOW your guests – without adding a lot of extra cost.”
Those comments usually pique their interest. After many years of working with pleated draperies, I have learned a lot and am always happy to share some insights into the types of pleats in draperies.
First, I will describe the more-traditional types of pleated draperies.
- Pinch pleats: Sometimes called “3 finger pleats”, these traditional pleated draperies have been used for decades. In my experience, it is the most frequently specified type of pleat – perhaps because it is typically the least expensive type of pleat. Three-finger pleated draperies have a large stack-back, and if a client wants a totally open look for the window, the drapery rods need to extend out beyond the window, if there is enough space to mount the brackets for the rod. Otherwise, a different type of pleating must be specified.
- Euro pleats or French pleats: They are very similar to pinch pleats, with the same functionality and characteristics, except they are tacked at the very top. This type of pleating creates a more modern look than pinch pleats.
And now I will describe some of the other types of pleated draperies you might want to consider:
- Grommets: Yes, I know grommets can be ho-hum and they are overused (they are quite common in ready-made curtains), but consider the unusual ways that grommets can be used. There are colored grommets, square grommets, ornate grommets and tiny grommets that can tie two pleats together with a contrast cord. These types of grommets present a contemporary look – and the wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes of grommets from which to choose make this type of drapery a great choice when going after a “clean and modern” look. They may be slightly more expensive than other types of draperies, and grommet draperies are not the best choice if you need to cover a large window, because they can be troublesome to open and close. For that reason, they are best if they are stationary.
- One finger or two finger pleats: These pleated draperies can look so elegant and beautiful – especially on interlined silks or silky fabrics. (Our image at the beginning of this post is a One Finger Pleat.)
- Box pleats with buttons: Adding one button or a row of buttons in a contrasting color will give the drapery panel a very tailored, sophisticated look.
- Pleats with added tassels: Again, as with buttons, adding one tassel or a row of tassels will add a touch of formality. And depending on the style of the tassel, we can create either a traditional or contemporary look to complement (or to contrast) the furniture and accessories in the room.
- Draperies with tabs: They can be very thin tabs or double tabs. They can crisscross each other or they can have buttons. Be creative! Design a little “pop” and have a little fun with your draperies.
- Ripple folds: Very popular and modern-looking, stacks are small to allow more exposure of the view outside. Ripple fold draperies use less fabric than traditional pinch pleats or French pleats. I love ripple folds because it is easy to add a fun little twist to the draperies by applying a braid trim at the top. Just like that, voila! – a unique look with creative use of trim.
- Accordia pleats: As the name suggests, these draperies have an accordion-like appearance. Often used in large residential and commercial settings, accordia pleated draperies take considerable time to install because the pleats have to be snapped to the rod one by one. They make a great stage curtains, because of their compact stack.
By adding a new twist for your pleated draperies, you are making a creative statement for your windows that contributes to the overall ambiance of your space.
We are here to help you create unique window covering that will be perfectly suited to you. For a consultation and a no-obligation estimate, contact us at (630) 420-0800 or (630) 854-9082.