The heading of a pair of curtains is not only for aesthetics but it also determines how the main body of the curtain will hang, the light coverage you will achieve and the overall finished look of the curtains, as some fabrics work better with certain headings.  Here are some tips on what you will get from each curtain heading.

Treble pinch pleat

The Treble pinch pleat is generally a popular choice when it comes to curtain headings.  It has an elegant look about it and because of how they are made the fullness of the curtains fall from the bottom of each pinch pleat which creates beautiful waves running down the curtains.  The treble pinch pleat curtain can also have the added feature of covered buttons to bring another colour into the room or to create a contrast.  Crystal buttons are also a popular choice to give a  bit of glamour to your window dressings.

The treble pinch pleat curtain generally works with most fabrics although if you choose a thick pile velvet you will get a rather bulky pleat along the top of the curtains.   Treble pinch pleat curtains can be fitted on a curtain track or a curtain pole.  However, if you are light-sensitive then it is best to hang them from a track as hanging them from a pole will bring them away from the window and let more light into the room.

Double Pinch Pleat

The double pinch pleat is also a popular choice for curtain headings and is generally used more frequently than it’s fuller counterpart the treble pleat.  The double pinch pleat is classed as a more contemporary version and is will sit equally well in period and contemporary homes as long as you choose the correct fabric design.

Like the treble pinch pleat, you can adorn the bottom with self-covered or contrasting covered buttons or glam your curtains up by using Swarovski crystal buttons instead.  Again like the treble pinch pleat if you are light sensitive then it is best to hang them from a curtain track rather than a pole due to the light bleed you can get around the edges.

Puff Ball Heading

Puff Ball curtain headings are fun as you can see by the image.  They are fundamentally a 3″ tape heading and are gathered up to fit the window.  Sitting over the taped heading is a piece of either the same or contrasting fabric.  The slip of fabric is then filled with lightweight netting and then gathered up with pin stitches placed at strategic points to create the puffball look.

As with all tape headings they are unstructured and as such you will get lots of little folds running down your curtains.  You can dress the curtains to have nice wave folds but they generally take quite a bit of dressing each time you close or open them.  The puffball curtain heading will sit equally well on a curtain track or pole, but I have to say we think it looks better on a pole!

Again if you are light sensitive then you will need to consider the projection of the brackets if you decide to opt for the pole option.

The Slot Top or Gathered Heading

The slot top curtain heading is mainly for dress curtains as they are very hard to open and close.  The curtains are made with a channel which is sewn into the top of the curtain.  They generally have a stand along the top which acts like a frill and gives height to the window.  Slot top curtains only work on a pole due to the fact that the pole is inserted into the curtain along the top.

Slot top curtains look beautiful in the right setting but when you want to take them down to clean them you will need to take the pole down to do so, so it becomes a little bit of a faff so to speak.

As slot top curtains only work on poles you again have the light bleed issue as the projection of the pole brackets will let light through behind the curtain.

The Box Pleat Heading

Box pleat curtains are also known as inverted pleat curtains and personally, I think they are best left for valances. However, people still do like them but when they are open they tend to concertina back creating a chevron look.   They are made using a buckram heading which makes them quite ridged against the fabric.

Box pleats or inverted pleats tend to sit better on a pole rather than on a track as the projection of the pole allows for the fullness of the curtain to stack back behind the pole.  If you are light sensitive then it’s probably best not to choose this option for a bedroom.

The Eyelet Heading

The eyelet curtain has been a popular choice for a number of years now and is still going strong.  It will only work on a pole and not a track as the pole slots through the eyelets.  There are various sizes of eyelet you can have starting at 19mm going through to 66mm.  Although the most popular by far is 40mm.  Again this is not a great option if you are light sensitive as you will get a lot of light bleed coming from behind the curtain heading.

The eyelets are available in various different colours, but the colours are dependent on whether or not they are inserted with tape or a machine.  The eyelets made with the tape heading tend to be plastic with a metallic finish. We don’t use the tape as we have found that if your curtain is the wrong width you will end up with uneven eyelets (trust us it doesn’t look right).  By using the machine we can calculate the correct amount of eyelets to make it work for your curtains.  The eyelets are also metal and are clamped into the curtains giving a secure finish.

The Wave System 

The wave system is the most contemporary of them all and requires a specialist pole or track from which to hang them.  Silent Gliss designed and developed the idea a number of years ago now and has been the leading name for this system.  Over the years different manufacturers have created their own version of the wave with reasonable success.

The wave system can be fitted on a track or a pole but they have to have the correct gliders in to make them work correctly and to achieve the desired look.  If you are light sensitive then they are best ceiling fixed on a track which will block out the most light.  There are two depths of the wave, the 60mm, and the 80mm.  For longer drops, the 80mm wave is the best as the waves are deeper and don’t lose their shape running down the curtain.  However, not all fabrics are suitable for the wave heading.  Some fabrics have a natural spring to them and when gathered up they kick out at the bottom.   It is always best to speak to a professional to get their opinion if a fabric is suitable for the wave heading.