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Acrylic foam backing - This fabric liner can also add insulation to your home.

Alcove - A small recess opening off of a larger room.

Allowance - The variation from the exact measurement taken to allow for slight adjustments.

Antique satin - A weave that uses slubbed or unevenly spun yarns.

Apron - Wood trim beneath the windowsill.

Ascot valance - A triangular top treatment generally used between matching panels.

Batiste - A lightweight, semi-sheer fabric usually made of cotton or cotton blends.

Battenburg - A coarsely cut, antique-style lace commonly used in kitchen curtains.

Bay window - The combination of three or more windows that project outwards to form an alcove.

Blister silk - A silk fabric with a textured finish.

Blouson valance - A valance that can be stuffed for a full look or hung as is for tailored style.

Bow window - A curved bay window which forms an alcove.

Box pleat - A flat double pleat made by folding under the fabric on either side of it.

Bracket - A piece of hardware attached to the wall or window frame to support window treatment hardware.

Brocade - A thick, heavy fabric embellished with a raised or interwoven pattern.

Buckram - A stiffened plain-weave fabric, usually made from cotton or linen, which is used to shape treatments.


Café curtain - A style of treatment that only covers the bottom half of a window. Also known as tiers.

Carriers - Small plastic pieces on a traverse rod that hold the pin hooks and slide along the cord.

Cascade - A vertical spilling or waterfall of fabric. Also known as a jabot or tail.

Casement window - A window that can be opened outwards on a hinge, typically with a metal crank.

Casing/Frame - The wooden frame around the whole window.

Center draw - Treatments that open and close from the center.

Center overlap - The part of a pinch-pleated panel that overlaps in the center when the draperies are closed.

Center support - A hardware piece that is designed to support a rod or pole at the center and prevent sagging.

Clearance - The measurement from the back rod to the wall.

Combination rod - Used mainly in layered window treatments, this rod can perform multiple functions, minimizing holes in your wall.

Continental rod - A rod which will fit through top loops or pockets in your treatments.

Cornice - Decorative treatment at the top of a window usually made of wood.

Curtains - A window treatment shirred or gathered on a rod, which can provide full or partial coverage. Curtains tend to evoke a more casual look.

Draperies - Window treatments that can be stationary, or drawn open and closed. Draperies can provide full or partial coverage, tend to be pleated and usually add a formal look to your décor.

Drapery hooks - Pinning hooks used to hang draperies on carriers or rings.

Festoon - A fabric draped between two points at the top of a window.

Finial - Decorative end pieces for a rod.

Flat-fold - A type of Roman shade with no folds or pleats when closed.

French pleat - Casual three-fold pleat used commonly in treatments.


Galloon - A décorative woven trim, sometimes in the form of a braid.

Gimp - Narrow décorative trim.

Hardware - Used to hold window treatments in place. They include metal and wood rods and décorative hardware, like sconces and finials.

Header - The portion above the rod pocket in draperies and curtains.

Holdback - Similar to tiebacks, holdbacks are used to keep drapes open, but are mounted to the wall instead of attaching directly to the treatment.

Inside mount - A window covering designed to be mounted inside the window frame.

Jabot - A vertical cascade at each side of a festoon or swag valance.

Jamb - Interior sides of a window frame or molding.

Light/grid - Horizontal wood or metal sections that separate panes of glass in windows.

Lining - Material attached to the back of the window treatment for added weight and insulation.

One-way draw - Draperies or traverse rods that open and close to one side.

Outside mount - A window covering designed to be mounted outside the window frame.

Overlap - The part of a pinch-pleated panel which overlaps in the center when closed.

Pair - Two panels of draperies or curtains which are sold together.

Panel - One half of a pair of draperies or curtains. These are usually sold separately, unless otherwise noted.

Pinch pleats - A drapery heading where the basic pleat is divided into a few smaller pleats, sewn together at the bottom edge on the right side of the fabric.

Pleated classic - A type of Roman shade with a contemporary, yet structured pleating.

Pole top - Draperies which are shirred on a rod. These usually include tiebacks.

Puddle - Allowing excess fabric from a panel or scarf to fall and pool elegantly on the floor.


Ready-made draperies - Ready-to-purchase draperies made to fit common window measurements.

Recess - The depth of a window opening. This is usually used when measuring for inside-mounted treatments.

Relaxed - A type of Roman shade with a softer look. This shade features gathered fabric and curved sides when raised.

Return - The distance from the face of the rod to the wall or casing where the bracket is attached.

Rod pocket - The opening or sleeve through which a drapery rod is inserted.

Roll-up shade - A type of window shade that is raised and lowered by a string control.

Roman shade - A flat-faced fabric shade that folds into neat horizontal pleats when it is raised.

Sash rod - A small piece mounted on a window frame to secure sashes or tiebacks.

Scarf - A long piece of lightweight fabric that can be draped or wrapped on a rod or pole.

Sconce - A piece of décorative hardware that is wall-mounted to hold fabric or a scarf.

Shades - An adjustable window covering that shields natural light with complete control.

Sheers - A transparent window treatment.

Shell - The outer covering of a treatment, as opposed to the lining or insulation.

Shutters - A window treatment consisting of wooden hinged or solid panels.

Sill - A horizontal piece of wood or plastic that serves as the base of a window.

Side hem - The folded and finished edge along the sides of a curtain panel.

Stackback - The amount of space a treatment occupies when it is drawn open.

Swag - A piece of fabric that is folded and draped to hang in a semicircle at the top of a window.


Tab-top curtains - A panel or valance with loops sewn to the top, which can be hung from a rod or pole.

Thermal backing - This backing lends extra insulation for windows where outside temperatures, noise and drafts are more noticeable. In the case that your treatment features an acrylic-foam backing, additional linings are not necessary.

Tiebacks - Fabric strips that hold drapery panels or curtains open.

Tier - A style of treatment that only covers the bottom half of a window. Also known as café curtains.

Top treatment - A décorative window treatment that is used to cover hardware from an undertreatment.

Traverse - This treatment opens and closes across a window with the use of a traverse rod.

Traverse rod - A horizontal bar that holds pins and hooks, enabling treatments to slide open or closed with a cord.

Undertreatment - This treatment layers under the top drapery or curtain. These may include blinds, shades or sheers.

Valance - A horizontal, décorative treatment that can be used to hide hardware or complement draperies or curtains.

Venetian blind - A window blind installed on a track on the top of a window so they can be opened or closed with a cord.

Vertical blind - A window covering installed on a track on top of a window so they can be opened or closed like draperies.

Waterfall - A type of Roman shade with cascading, soft folds.