Window Treatment for Beginners

Curtains

Glass curtains are usually sheer and hang straight next to the glass to give privacy and to diffuse the light. The fabric used for glass curtains may be Dacron, nylon, dotted swiss, fiberglass, or other sheers.

Ruffled curtains are used in many ways. They are approximately 2-3 times the width of the window in fullness. They may be highly and richly decorated and of varying lengths. Two different types of ruffled curtains are the criss-cross or, Priscilla and the tieback. The main difference between the two is that the criss-cross curtains are extra wide panels which are overlapped at the top as they are hung.

Cafe curtains can be used in so many different ways that they provide, an opportunity to use one's creative ability and produce any of a variety of original effects. They lend themselves to almost any decorating period as well as any fabric. Although they are usually rather informal, they may be adapted to more, formal treatments with the use of over-draperies.

DRAPERIES

Draperies may be lined or unlined. They are used widely with many decorating periods and are made from a wide variety of fabrics. Draperies may be formal or informal, and they may be combined with curtains. Unlined draperies are less formal, and it is necessary to keep the appearance from the outside of the home in mind when making the fabric selection. Colored or floral prints in the window can detract from the outside appearance of the house. Unlined draperies, however, give more opportunity for the light to filter through than lined draperies.

BLINDS

Venetian Blinds are functional in their use and serve as an effective means of regulating light. A pulley is used to raise or lower the blind, and thus, control the amount of light which enters the room. They may be used alone or with curtains, draperies, valances or cornices. They may be used with a variety of window types and are available in wood, aluminum, or steel. Bamboo is another type of blind that is often used on porches, dens, or in informal settings. Blinds may be vertical or horizontal, wide or narrow, in colorful or neutral tones, and textured or smooth.

SHADES

Austrian shades are made of sheer or semi-sheer fabrics, such as pongee, nylon, silk, and blends. A braided cord is attached to the lower edge or each row of tape and drawn up through rings to the top and across to one side for raising and lowering the shade.

Roller shades have been stand-by for many years. Imagination in the use of fabrics and trims can result in shades which are decorative as well as functional.

SHUTTERS

Louvered shutters can be draped, stained, or painted to give a variety of effects. They may be used with valances, cornices, cafe curtains, or draperies. The louvers can be adjusted to direct the light as preferred.

VALANCES AND CORNICES

A valance is a decorative piece at the top of the window used to unify two or more windows, to change the proportions of a window, or to conceal the drapery hardware. Valances include swags, cascades, canopies and short pleated drapes.

The term cornice is often Used interchangeably with valance by designers. A cornice is distinguished by some designers as being made of wood, plastic, or hard material backing and covered with fabric, while a valance is a soft, tailored, or shaped drapery across the top of the window.

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