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Glossary Of Drapery Terms

Interior Designers & Decorators




Glossary Of Drapery Terms

All of the terms associated with draperies, measurements, and fabrics can become confusing. Below is a list of some of the most commonly used drapery terminology.
Sidemark - Customer Name and/or Job Number
Drapery - A window treatment usually hung from a rod.
            Rod Pocket – Sleeve sewn in the top of a drapery to accommodate a rod.
            Pinch Pleat – Basic pleat folded and tacked to accomplish fullness. 
                        Crinolin or Buckram: Stiffener included in Pinch Pleat heading.
            Shirred Headings: Decorative Heading accomplished with a sewn on tape.
Valance - A horizontal treatment used to top and frame a window.
            Rod Mount – A valance mounted on a pole or rod
            Board Mount – A valance stapled to a board that drapes over the front.
Cornice - A 4-sided wooden box that is padded and covered with fabric.
Roman Shade - A functional treatment that raises and lowers to cover a window. Can be                    flat or have various types of fullness added.
Swag - A board or rod mounted valance that is accomplished by separate pleated or gathered “swoops”. 
Cascade - A “fall” of fabric that descends in a zig-zag pattern usually found on the ends of a swag treatment.
Jabot - A fall of fabric that descends in a zig-zag pattern to a center point, usually found between swags.
Bias - Swags are cut on a bias or diagonal so that the pleats in the swag will arc instead of crease.
Finished Width - The completed width, board or rod, that the treatment is to finish to.
Cut Width - The amount of extra fabric need accomplish the fullness required by a specific treatment, including hems.
Finished Length - The exact length the treatment is to finish to. A swag treatment may have 3 finished lengths, the swag length the jabot length and the cascade length.
Cut Length - The length the fabric is to be cut to to allow for hems, heading, fullness and repeats.
Return - The distance from the face of the rod or board to the wall. 
Pin Set - Placement of pin in a drapery heading which determines the distance from the top of the drapery to the rod. 
Ring Deduction - The distance that the ring drops the drapery from the top of the rod.
Width - The distance across the fabric from selvage to selvage.
Repeat - The distance from one design point to the next on a fabric. This must be accounted for when determining cut length.
Interlining - A soft lining that is placed between face fabric and standard lining to improve drapability, usually used with silk.
Pair - A drapery that is split in half so that each side will pull apart to open the drapery.
Overlap - A 3 ½ inch section on the inside edge of a drapery pair that overlaps when closing.
Railroading - A fabric that is woven or printed in a way that allows the width of the fabric to be used for the length of the drapery to avoid seams.
If you have any further questions about any of the drapery terms or would like a price quote on a drapery project, please call (303) 862-7606, or e-mail
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