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Window Covering Buying Guide - Soft Window Coverings

Window coverings complete your room décor and can provide privacy and energy savings. Choose wisely and your window coverings can instantly dress up any room.

 

Soft Window Coverings

Soft window coverings are made out of soft fabrics. Because fabrics come in a variety of colours and patterns, these window treatments can be matched to practically any décor. They are also a flexible and affordable way to add beauty, style, and warmth to any room.

Sheers & Lace

These window treatments are characterized by see-through fabrics (such as organza, voiles, or lace) that offer minimal privacy and light control. Sheers and lace lend an airy feel to a room, and are ideal for use in larger living areas. 


Curtains & Drapes

Curtains (or drapes) are fabric window coverings. They come in a wide variety of textures, colours, and styles. They can be lined (i.e., backed by an additional layer of materials) or unlined. Unlined drapes are generally able to filter light better than a sheer or a lace, depending upon the colour and fabric. Lined drapes offer more privacy than sheers and unlined drapes, but are still not as room darkening as thermal drapes. They also dampen noise and provide better insulation value than unlined curtains. 

 

Thermal (Energy Efficient) Drapes

Thermal drapes are becoming increasingly popular due to their energy saving and noise dampening properties. They are also room darkening. Foamback drapes feature thermal acrylic backing, while blackout curtains have black fibers woven into the fabric itself. Thermal drapes are particularly well-suited for baby’s rooms and for night-shift workers who have to sleep while the sun is still out.

 

Soft Window Covering Top Treatments

A top treatment gives drapes a finished appearance and created added visual interest.

Rod Pocket Panel/Pole Top Panel

Rod Pocket Panel/Pole Top Panel
A rod pocket panel is a simple drape with a small fabric header that sits on top of the rod when hung. The drape is gathered on the rod to create fullness, while the header creates a “gathered” effect. Sheers often use rod pockets and may be topped (if desired) with another drape to create a layered look.

Pole top panels are similar to rod pocket panels, with one main difference: there is no header above the rod. The result is a cleaner look to the drape. Both rod pocket and pole top panels have a casual appearance. They can tend to be a bit finicky to open and close and are therefore best suited to remain stationary (either opened or closed).

Tab Top Panel

Tab Top Panel
Tab top panels are also considered a casual drape, and are easy to install. They are characterized by fabric loop tabs that the drapery rod is passed through. There are generally 5 to 8 tabs per panel, depending on the panel width.

Grommet Panel

Grommet Panel
Grommet panels are a popular top treatment because they are simple and easy to hang, and they open and close with ease. They generally have 6 to 8 grommets (metal or plastic rings) per panel. The pre-determined spacing of the grommets means that the drape will fold and hang properly with very little fuss.

    Window Basics     Soft Window Coverings     Hard Window Coverings     Hardware     Measuring     FAQ     Fabric Glossary  Shop window coverings    Soft Window Coverings Soft Window Coverings Hard Window Coverings Hard Window Coverings Hardware Hardware Soft Window Coverings  Soft window coverings are made out of soft fabrics. Because fabrics come in a variety of colours and patterns, these window treatments can be matched to practically any décor. They are also a flexible and affordable way to add beauty, style, and warmth to any room. Sheers & Lace  These window treatments are characterized by see-through fabrics (such as organza, voiles, or lace) that offer minimal privacy and light control. Sheers and lace lend an airy feel to a room, and are ideal for use in larger living areas.  Curtains & Drapes  Curtains (or drapes) are fabric window coverings. They come in a wide variety of textures, colours, and styles. They can be lined (i.e., backed by an additional layer of materials) or unlined. Unlined drapes are generally able to filter light better than a sheer or a lace, depending upon the colour and fabric. Lined drapes offer more privacy than sheers and unlined drapes, but are still not as room darkening as thermal drapes. They also dampen noise and provide better insulation value than unlined curtains.  Thermal (Energy Efficient) Drapes  Thermal drapes are becoming increasingly popular due to their energy saving and noise dampening properties. They are also room darkening. Foamback drapes feature thermal acrylic backing, while blackout curtains have black fibers woven into the fabric itself. Thermal drapes are particularly well-suited for baby’s rooms and for night-shift workers who have to sleep while the sun is still out.    Soft Window Covering Top Treatments  A top treatment gives drapes a finished appearance and created added visual interest. Rod Pocket Panel/Pole Top Panel  Rod Pocket Panel/Pole Top Panel A rod pocket panel is a simple drape with a small fabric header that sits on top of the rod when hung. The drape is gathered on the rod to create fullness, while the header creates a “gathered” effect. Sheers often use rod pockets and may be topped (if desired) with another drape to create a layered look.  Pole top panels are similar to rod pocket panels, with one main difference: there is no header above the rod. The result is a cleaner look to the drape. Both rod pocket and pole top panels have a casual appearance. They can tend to be a bit finicky to open and close and are therefore best suited to remain stationary (either opened or closed). Tab Top Panel  Tab Top Panel Tab top panels are also considered a casual drape, and are easy to install. They are characterized by fabric loop tabs that the drapery rod is passed through. There are generally 5 to 8 tabs per panel, depending on the panel width. Grommet Panel  Grommet Panel Grommet panels are a popular top treatment because they are simple and easy to hang, and they open and close with ease. They generally have 6 to 8 grommets (metal or plastic rings) per panel. The pre-determined spacing of the grommets means that the drape will fold and hang properly with very little fuss.  Pinch Pleat Panel

Pinch Pleat Panel
Pinch pleats are a more formal type of top treatment. Genuine pinch pleats are panels that have been gathered and sewn together at regular intervals to create a sumptuous, full look. In order for the drape to be hung properly, hooks must be inserted at regular intervals and either attached with clips to rings on a decorative rod or hung directly on a traverse rod. These drapes open and close with ease because of the hardware method used. Genuine pinch pleat drapes are always sold as pairs.

Faux pinch pleats offer the look of pinch pleats without the fuss or the need for a special rod. They are created with back tabs on the back of the drape that can be hung on the rod. Faux pinch pleat drapes are more difficult to open and close than genuine pinch pleat drapes and are best suited to remain stationary (either open or closed).

Back Tab Panel
If you are seeking a simple and clean design you may wish to choose the back tab panel. Instead of relying on hooks, clips, or grommet rings to hang the drape, the back tab panel simply slides onto a drapery rod directly. The tabs are concealed on the back of the drapery panel and are spaced at regular intervals. This gives the drape a fluid and clean lined tailored fold. This style can give a contemporary or traditional look depending on the fabric choice.