Whether your curtains or drapes are ready- or custom-made, you’ll need to not only choose fabric but a header – where fashion meets function. The header not only affects how the drape, well, drapes, but it also has an impact on how – or if – the curtain moves on the rod.
Before you get started, think about the role your drapes will play. Are your drapes doing decoration duty, creating a bit of privacy or blocking as much light as possible? Are you asking them to sit still and be pretty or will you open and close them daily?
Rings and hooks glide more easily on the rod and are ideal for drapes that are opened and closed often. A shorter person drawing the fabric from a lower point might find them easier, too. However, using the pole pocket or tabs is simple and economical and offers a little more light coverage near the rod.
The first thing most people think about when choosing drapes to fit their décor is the fabric, but the header has just as much of impact on style. Best used as decoration and kept stationery, the high elegance of ruched tops may be obvious choices for your space. Still, there are more subtle options that can add another layer of thoughtfulness and distinction to the style you create in a room, while also giving you more functionality.
A Pole Pocket is a no-fuss, sheered hang option that is particularly nice with cotton prints. The texture of cotton maneuvers easily and looser pleats gives the prints more space to shine. Adding a Back Tab or Hook Belt option can make drawing easier and create more fixed ripples along with more durability.
The Grommet header features large metal eyelets that slide onto the rod. They slide easily and give a clean, modern look when set in gentle waves. Depending on the design of the rest of the room, they can give everything from casual to sophisticated vibes. The metal is a fantastic accent to more distinctive color drapes.
More formal spaces and fabrics (think silk, taffeta, velvet) call for pleats. The French Pleat – three folds with a drop pinch – is classic, formal living room, while the Parisian Pleat – pinched at the top for a more voluptuous gather – is more artist salon (or boudoir). Beyond general impressions, the right pleat can make a definite style statement. The Goblet Pleat adds drama with a gather and pinch that creates a line of goblet shapes along the header. Pleats are generally hallmarks of traditional décor, but Inverted Pleats shine in a modern setting by giving fullness while maintaining clean lines. All pleats hang from hardware, giving you ease of drawing and versatile styling that comes with it.
Still undecided? Our Header Guide offers technical specifications for hardware and hanging options and close-up photos of each style.