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Home Decorating General Definitions

What is a Curtain?

Curtains are traditionally installed on stationary rods (Conventional, Continental, or Spring) and usually have gathered, smocked, or ruffled headings. Most curtains are NOT lined.

What are Draperies?

Draperies traditionally are more tailored and have pleated, smocked or gathered headings. They can be attached to traverse rods, or rings with special hooks (either Pin-on or Wall Pleater) on decorative rods. They can also be installed on conventional rods by placing the hooks over the rod. This type of window treatment is made like a drapery, but functions like a curtain. Draperies are usually LINED.

What is Curtain Fullness?

Refers to the width of the fabric in relation to the curtain/drapery rod. Most window treatments range from 2:1 to 3:1 fullness. The type of fabric you wish to use also determines fullness. Sheer fabrics generally use more fullness than heavy fabrics. For example, if your window is 36" wide and you wish to use a sheer, you will need approximately 36" X 3" (108") of fabric width. NOTE: refer to specific project sheets for detailed instructions.


The extra fabric above the casing (the tunnel of fabric where you insert curtain rods) or the pleater tape. If making a curtain, the heading will form a little ruffle.

Curtain/Drapery Panel

A panel is simply the finished width of fabric that IS your drapery. If you have made two-way draw draperies, you have two panels per window. If you have made a one-way draw drapery, you have one panel per window.

One-way (Single) Draw

One panel that opens from one side of the window to the other.

Two-way (Center) Draw

Two panels that part and open from the center of the window to both sides.

Rod Returns

Rod returns are the distance from the wall to the front of your curtain/drapery rod. On a conventional curtain rod, these are the little "elbows" that are placed on the hangers that you screw to the wall.

Rod Overlaps

These are found only on two-way draw traverse rods. This measurement is the amount of overlap of one panel over the other when closed in the center of the window.

Fabric Repeat

One complete pattern on a print or plaid fabric.

Trim Care

ALWAYS check washing instructions for fabrics first. Trims made from rayon yarns SHOULD be dry-cleaned. Trims made from acrylic/polyester or cotton yarns MAY be washed.

Information found on a Fabric/Wrights Label

On every Wrights label, you will find some standard information. In addition to the item number, you will find how many yards per reel, trim size, fiber content, recommended washing instructions, and country of origin.

On the end of the cardboard fabric bolts, there USUALLY is a label indicating company name, item number, fabric width, yards per bolt, fiber content, and recommended wash instructions.

We highly recommend that you look at this data provided on the product label. Like yarn, trims and fabrics have dye lots. If you are concerned about the matching of trim and fabrics for your project, take the time to double check all of your measurement to ensure you have purchased enough to complete your home decorator project.

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