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Today Gail is writing a post on the blog–yay! (Anne :~)

Hello! Anne has encouraged me to  join her on the blog, so here I am!  Anne will have to do the actual publishing as I’m the CFO of DeCocco Design Drapes and if it doesn’t have to do with QuickBooks, I’m lost–well, I’m also a little lost with QuickBooks, but who’s keeping track? Let’s talk about TERMS used in the world of custom drapes.  There are sooo many terms to know when it comes to window treatments, so it can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never sewn a stitch in your life.  Being the professional workroom adviser for our company, I thought it would be helpful to clarify some of the terminology  that often goes along with purchasing custom drapery panels for your home.  Knowing some of these basic terms can help you understand what the heck we’re talking about.  Here are some of the most common questions we get:

What’s a “Header?”

The Header is the style at the top of the drapery panel.  It can be as simple as a pocket that your rod can slip into, but most custom work features nicer choices to enhance the treatment.  The most widely used Header styles are pinch pleats.  These include a 3 finger pinch pleat (aka Butterfly), 2 finger pinch pleat, top tack pleats (aka European), cartridge pleats and inverted pleats (aka Box).  Another popular header style is a Grommet Header.  There are many variations of these headers and custom workrooms can create them all.  It just boils down to what YOU prefer! Here are some examples from our collection:

This is a classic 3 finger pinch pleat header, we call it the Butterfly. Always beautiful.

This is a top tack header – we call it the European. Love it!

This is a cartridge header. More contemporary-features quiet, clean lines.

This is a grommet header, in our oil rubbed bronze finish. VERY versatile!

What is the “Return?”

The Return is the outside edge of the drape that makes a 90 degree turn towards the window after the last ring (or grommet).  The return measures the distance from the front of the rod to the wall and is determined by the depth of the bracket that holds the rod up.  The standard return size is 3.5 inches wide, but can be customized, especially for large rods.  Once the panel is in place, you can hook it to the wall with a screw and a drapery pin.  It makes a nice, finished look.

We’ll use this picture of a grommet header again. Do you see how the drapery is returning to the wall? That’s the Return!

What is the fabric “Repeat?”

The Repeat is referring to the pattern that is printed or woven into the fabric and is repeated from side to side and top to bottom.  Every fabric pattern has a vetical repeat and a horizontal repeat.  The vertical repeat tells you how many inches there are from the top of one single pattern to the same point on the next one down.  The horiztonal repeat tells you the same thing–from one point on the pattern to the same point on the next pattern when you measure across the fabric.  All decorator fabrics list the repeat on the bolt or fabric tag, even if the repeat is “0.”  When making custom curtains, knowing the repeat of the fabric is key  to determining the correct yardage and having the pattern match on all panels.

Pattern repeats

This shows the repeat of some of the fabrics in our collection. Repeats are very important!

What is a “Break?”

Break is a term that designers and workrooms use and it is not referring to a lunch break, potty break or jail break.  It’s how draperies hit the floor once they’re hung up.  The break is the finished length of the curtain so they fully rest on the floor–like the way your trousers “break” at your shoe.

Two breaks – the panel on the left has a fairly pronounced break, while the panel on the right barely hits the floor.

Hopefully, this will help with a few of the terms used in custom window treatments. Now it is time to sit back with a big bowl of popcorn and a really good book in my hand–and by book…I mean QuickBooks!

With sparkle and texture,