Guide to Window Fashions
Glossary of window fashions
Need a little more explanation about the different styles we sell? You’ve come to the right place for help! We’ve listed the terms in alphabetical order, so finding the answer you’re looking for should be easy. And if you need any further help, just click here to e-mail us with your question…or call our help line at 1-866-252-7800.
Ascot Valances | Austrian Panel/Valance | Blinds | Blouson/Balloon Valances | Cascades | Curtains | Draperies | Hardware | Jabot TopperPull-up/Tie-up Panel | Scarves | Sheers | Swags and Cascades | Tiers | Waterfall Valance
An Ascot valance is a pointed design hung from a standard or a continental (3” flat) rod, depending on the size of the rod pocket. Multiply the width of your window by 2 or 3 and order enough valances to cover the total.
Use two rods to hang a double row of ascot valances. Space the valances alternately on each rod so that any embellishments (tassels) show.
Shirr these styles right on the rod, so that the fabric falls in a series of puffy festoons created by vertical rows of stitched shirring. These items create a very formal look.
Blinds can be used alone or combined with fabric window fashions for a cozier look. Blinds are good options to consider when you’re looking for something for light control and privacy.
This style is also sometimes called a "puff" valance. Blouson valances are shirred on the rod and can be hung straight or stuffed with tissue for a puffier look. Most of these valances can be stuffed from the side. A blouson valance can be hung from a standard or a continental (3" flat) rod, depending on the size of the rod pockets. Measure your window and multiply the width by 2 or 3. Order enough valances to cover that total.
Typically, curtains are made of lighter weight fabric and give your windows a more homey look. There are three basic styles of curtains: panels, café and tier; and you'll find variations on each style. (For instance, Priscillas are a popular version of panel curtains.) Curtains can have rod pockets or tab tops for hanging on standard or decorative rods.
Most of the Blair Home curtains are washable, making them practical choices for kitchens, family rooms, laundry rooms and children's rooms.
Draperies are usually made of heavy weight fabric. Often they are thermal backed or lined. Traditionally, draperies have been used for a more sophisticated décor. But today, casual draperies have become more popular, featuring open weave fabrics, tab tops and other more laid-back styles.
Thermal backed draperies can help make your home more energy efficient. The thermal lining helps to block out heat and cold. Lined or thermal backed draperies can also aid in light control.
Additional Tip: It has become popular to “puddle” draperies on the floor. (This look is not practical for high traffic areas.) Many dining rooms, formal living rooms and bedrooms can look very opulent when this styling technique is used. To achieve this look, order the draperies several inches longer than the normal length required (6-8 inches). Fold the hem under and blouse the fabric in an appealing arrangement on the floor. Beautiful!
There are two types of window hardware: basic (usually white metal) and decorative.
Basic Hardware: There are several reasons for using basic hardware: appearance, function, price and more. And below, we’ve listed several types of basic hardware and the best uses of them.
- Basic curtain rods. If you desire an uncluttered look, basic curtain rods can be the easiest and least expensive solution. Use a double curtain rod to accommodate a valance treatment and panels, or panels and sheers. Remember to match the rod pocket size of the curtains or valances to the correct rod size for the best look.
- Traverse rods. These operate with a pull cord that allows you to easily open and close pinch-pleated draperies. Traverse rods will also make pinch-pleated draperies look more even.
- Tension rods. Tension rods have rubber tipped ends; the spring inside holds the rod inside the window casing with no nails or brackets necessary. This can be a great hardware solution for apartment dwellers or for temporary window treatments.
Decorative Hardware: Give your windows a truly unique look. Look for rods with finials that will enhance the look of your décor. Match the hardware to the style of your draperies and your room.
- Clear rods. Lace and sheers that are the primary treatment should hang on clear rods.
- Café rods. Café rods and rings are used to hang café curtains or tiers. Sew the curtain onto the rings through the eyelet or use pin hooks. The café rod and ring system also makes it easier to open and close your tiers.
Additional Tip: Decorative rods give your window fashions a “prominent” look in your room. Try using matching holdbacks with decorative rods for even more window fashion style. Remember, you can use holdbacks to support your scarf valances too!
A pull-up panel is hung from a standard or a continental (3”flat) rod, depending on the size of the rod pocket. It should hang almost flat on the rod with little or no gathering. Ties allow for adjustment up or down by simply tying bows or neat square knots.
Use a pull-up panel where a soft look is desired. Use under a pair of panels and add valances for a complete look with additional privacy and light control.
Scarves can be hung on a decorative rod, through sconces or with drapery holdbacks at the top of a window. Scarves are good decorating solutions for odd size windows that cannot be dressed with standard size window fashions. They add a designer look to panels and draperies.
Place the scarf on a hard flat surface and fold into pleats, fan-like. Use your fingers to run along the length and create even pleating. When you are happy with the size and number of pleats, fold the scarf so that it will be easy to handle while you are hanging. Unfold as you drape it over the rod. If you need to secure the pleats while hanging the scarf, tie a string around it at several points until the scarf is on the rod or through the sconces. Many clips or other devices can damage the fabric.
To combine colors, or to add real decorating punch, use multiple scarves. The ends can be braided at one side. One or all of the scarves can puddle on the floor.
Sheers are a very versatile window covering. Use the sheer panels or pinch-pleats with sheer valances and other accessories for a graceful, airy feel. Sheers also pair with heavier weight draperies for a very complete and more formal window. Using sheers under draperies allow outside light in, while providing more privacy than an open window.
Swags and Cascades
The definition of these two window fashion items can be confusing. Swags are a scalloped shape and several can be used to create a top treatment. The Cascades or Jabots are the long angled-at-the-hem valance pieces at the side. Cascades or Jabots are sold as a pair or a three-piece set. The three-piece set includes a swag and an insert valance.
Tiers are often offered with an angled valance that can be called a swag set. Swag sets are usually a shorter length valance. When shopping for valances we recommend that you note the items shown in the photograph to ensure that you order the look you want.
Tiers are short rod-pocket panels that are intended to cover the bottom portion of a window. Usually, the bottom third of the window is covered. Tiers can be used with valances for a complete finished look. This window treatment is often used in kitchens because they provide some privacy while letting light enter. Tiers are also good solutions for bathrooms and other rooms of the house.
The waterfall valance gets its name from the flowing drape of fabric that is created when it is shirred on a rod. Our Waterfall valances usually cover about 25-30 inches of window width, even though the actual rod pocket measurement may be three times that number. Many waterfall valances are accented with beads or a tassel.