12th Nov 2021

Curtain Headings Explained

 Curtain Headings Explained

Investing in a new set of curtains? You have a wealth of options to choose from. Let’s take a look at how to choose curtain headings, and run through what’s available.

Curtain Headings Styles

Pencil Pleat

Pencil Pleat

Pencil pleat is arguably the most popular curtain heading on the market. It gets its name from the tight rolls which run along the header, resembling a row of pencils. The pleat is maintained via a row of tape around the back, which attaches the curtain to your rails and tracks. Pencil pleat offers a classic appeal that’ll complement just about any interior.

Double Pleat

Double pleat is a variation on pencil pleat which is defined by the way the pleats are gathered into pairs. The result is a slightly more formal look. You’ll need to ensure that these pairs are spread evenly across the length of the curtain. Get it right, and they can really give the space a lift.

Triple Pleat

As you might have guessed, the pleats on triple pleat curtains are arranged in threes. It’s the most elaborate of all curtain pleats styles, being even more formal than a double pleat. As such, it makes a great match for dining areas and guest rooms.

Gathered Heading

A gathered heading offers a more informal style, and is a great match for short-drop curtains. The term ‘gather’ refers to the extent to which the fabric is bunched together (with a flat curtain having effectively zero gather). A ‘gathered’ heading tends to be loosely bunched, for an airier feel.


cream and black eyelet curtains

Eyelet curtains feature hoops woven into the top of the fabric. They offer a simple, unfussy and modern appeal that’s always on trend. Eyelet curtains tend to be slightly longer than other curtain types, as they hang around the rail rather than underneath it.

Rod Pocket Curtains

Also known as pole top curtains, a rod pocket curtain is similar to a tab top, except instead of a series of hoops along the top, there’s a single long channel (called a pocket) sewn into the fabric. The curtain rod then passes through this. Again, you’ll want to check that the ‘pocket’ matches the diameter of your curtain before making your purchase.

Flat Curtain Panel

A flat curtain panel is one that’s entirely (you’ve guessed it) flat. It lacks the heading tape necessary to keep those pleats in place. If you’d prefer to keep your window dressing plain, this is the way to do it.

Tab Tops

Curtain headings

Like eyelets, tab top curtains come with the rings built into the curtain itself. The tabs are formed of fabric hoops that sit along the header of the curtain, which can be attached to a suitable rail. Informal and stylish, they make a great match for bedrooms – but you’ll need to ensure that your curtain pole is thin enough to fit through the tabs.

Wave Curtains

A wave curtain is one that naturally folds into a gentle wave as it’s drawn. They’re ideal for creating a relaxed atmosphere, and can fold into a very small space. If you’d like to enjoy the view, a set of wave curtains is an obvious choice.

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