Glossary of terms
Accordia-fold - is a pleat made front to back. Snap tape is sewn to the heading of a curtain, and snapped onto economy slide carriers on the curtain track. The pleat appears the same from the front or back of the curtain.
Austrian blind - is a gathered blind made longer than required. The extra length forms ruching at the bottom of the curtain.
Barrel pleat (cartridge, piped or cane) - is a pleat that is not folded rather shaped into a cylinder or barrel shape and sewn down the sides.
Bay window - is a series of windows assembled in a polygon shape that project outward from an exterior wall.
Bedhead - is a plain or fabric covered piece of timber fixed to the wall at the head end of a bed.
Blackout (blockout) fabric - is fabric that is manufactured with a plain foam coloured coating applied to the back of the fabric to prevent the transference of daylight. See also “Pass”.
Bolster - is a cylindrical cushion with an insert usually made from foam then covered. Bolsters support arms, heads or upper back on beds and lounges.
Box pleat - are evenly spaced folds of fabric sewn into place to create fullness in drapery.
Braids - decorative pre manufactured banding of different designs and colours used for curtain edging or other items.
Buchram - a stiff open-weave fabric that is used for interfacing.
Bumph - a flannelette fabric used for lining fabics that increases insulation and aids in reducing external noice.
Calico - fabric made from unbleached and often not completely processed cotton.
Continuous - is a term used for a continuous length of fabric with no joins.
Curtains - refer to window treatments that are light-weight, unlined and of various lengths.
Custom-made drapery - draperies made to order in a workroom. See drapery.
Doonas (duvet) - is bedding made up of two pieces of fabric with side edges and filled with feathers, feather down or wool. It can also be quilted and protected by a removal cover.
Drapery - refer to window treatments that are heavy weight, lined and floor length.
Ease - is the allowance added to finished drapery width to allow panels to transverse easily. Sometimes referred to as “give”.
Edge stitch - a row of stitching applied onto the edge of the fabric – normally 1/8” or less.
End bracket - is a supporting metal grip that holds a rod or curtain track to a wall or ceiling.
Eyelet (grommet) - metal, plastic, or rubber ring that is inserted into a hole on a curtain heading, hemmed or seamed piece of fabric. Grommets are used to reinforce the hole, so that the fabric weight will not tear once a rod or other component is used through the grommet.
Finial - is a decorative end piece of a rod. Manufactured from plastics, timber or metal.
Finished length - is the distance from the finished top edge to the finished bottom edge of a drapery or curtain panel.
Flame retardant - a chemical applied to a fabric, or incorporated into the fibre at the time of production that reduces a fabric’s flammability.
Flannel - a general term for a fabric woven from wool, wool and cotton or wool and a synthetic fibre. It may be slightly rough on one side or both.
Flick stick - a rod, wand or baton used to hand draw curtains.
Fringe - is a decorative border or edging consisting of braids or similar.
Fullness - the ratio of the total fabric used less allowances for the side hems and seams to the finished width of drapery. The fuller the drapery the smaller the distance between pleats.
Grommet - see eyelet.
Heading - is the hemmed portion across the top of a curtain or drapery.
Hem - is the turned and stitched lower edge of a finished curtain or other product, preventing fraying or tearing of the edge.
Interfacing - A non-woven fabric in various weights that is used to stiffen fabric or strengthen seams or to prevent the fabric from stretching out of shape. It is sewn between the lining and/or onto the wrong side of the fabric. Some interfacings can be fused by ironing or stitching onto the wrong side of the fabric at the top and bottom of the product.
Interlining - an insulation, padding or stiffening fabric which is either sewn onto the wrong side of the lining or the inner side of the outer shell fabric.
Inverted pleat - on the face it is a pleat with two fold lines that are folded to butt together in the centre.
Invisible hem - is a hem where the stitching does not show from the face of the fabric.
Jabot - is a folded shaped piece of fabric that is situated centre on a curtain swag.
Jamb - is the inside frame of a window or door.
Knife pleat - is a single fold turned and sewn in one direction.
Linen - is fabric made from fibres of the flax plant.
Lining - a fabric backing for a drapery. Linings can be sewn completely or sewn at the top.
Lining fabric - is generally a light weight fabric – Sateen.
Master carrier - the centre carrier of a curtain track system used for overlapping the drapery or curtains in centre draw or the end carrier on a one way draw.
One-way draw - drapery or curtains that are drawn one way only and in one panel.
Overedging - a process done by a machine where the hem, over locking and trimming of the edge is done simultaneously.
Overlap - is the centre section of drapery or curtain panels that overlap.
Panel - is one half of a pair drapes or curtains.
Pass (1, 2 or 3 pass) - refers to the foam coatings applied on the back of the fabric to ensure blackout. 1 pass is a black foam coating only. 2 pass is black followed by a white or light coloured foam coating. 3 pass is white foam coating first followed by a black and then a white or light coloured foam coating. Colours may alter depending on manufacturer.
Pelmet - is a narrow border of fabric covered timber or plain painted timber, fixed above the window frame to conceal curtain tracks or other hardware.
Pencil pleat - is a pleat made by pulling on a cord on the heading (gather) tape so that the folds of fabric resemble a line of pencils.
Piping - a narrow strip of fabric, cut on the bias with a thin cord inserted and sewn into the edge of the fabric, as a decorative element.
Pinch pleat - is a drapery heading where the basic pleat is divided into two or three smaller, equal pleats and sewn together at the bottom edge of the pleat.
Pleat - fold of fabric made by doubling the material on itself and pressing or stitching it together.
Polyester - a versatile man-made fibre that is strong, soft and supple. It keeps its shape, doesn’t crease or deteriorate, is resistant to moths and is not affected by natural daylight. Fabric made from polyester soaks up very little moisture and requires no ironing if washed correctly according to manufacturers’ details. It is an ideal fabric for pleated designs.
Quilting - the machine process of stitching together two layers of fabric; a layer of down or fibrefill; and sewing over the pattern lines or in regular intervals on the combined fabrics.
Railroad - fabrications using the length of the fabric as the width.
Repeat - is the space between a design element and the next on a patterned fabric.
Return (pelmet) - is a piece of timber at the each end of a pelmet that makes up the distance to the wall.
Return (drapery) - is the amount of fabric at the each end of drape or curtain that makes up the distance to the wall.
Reversible fabrics - are fabrics that are manufactured with two usable sides. One may be more textured or smoother than the other.
Reverse pleat - is a pleat where the fabric is folded and sewn on the back rather than the front. When the curtain is drawn the pleats form a flat surface on the heading of drapes or curtains.
Roman blind - is a window blind made from fabric designed to fold into pleats when raised. There are two styles. Flat and tear drop. Flat roman blinds have no folds when fully lowered. Tear drop roman blinds are made with excess fabric that overlap when lowered.
Roll hem - heavier weight fabric is inserted at the hem edge, rolled and then hemmed.
Roll pleat - is a soft, rounded fold of fabric formed at the drapery heading.
Ruching - is a ruffle or pleat at the bottom of a curtain.
Sateen - is a fabric formed with a satin weave, a twill weaving technique that forms floats on one side of the fabric and are perpendicular to the selvedge of the finished fabric.
Seam - is two layers of fabric held together by stitching.
Seam allowance - the measured width of fabric left on the edge of two pieces of fabric before they are sewn together.
S-fold (ripple-fold) - is a term for a fold that is made by attaching S-fold or Ripple-fold tape to the heading of a curtain. The tape is snapped onto economy slide carriers on the curtain track to produce a soft fold that appears the same from the front or back.
Sheers - a translucent or semi- transparent fabric.
Snap tape - is a curtain heading tape with plastic devices evenly placed along the tape that snap onto carriers to make Accordia-fold or S-fold curtains.
Soft furnishings - are manufactured fabric products used in the home. Including bed linen, curtains, pillows and cushions.
Tension pulley - is a pulley attachment through which the transverse cords move with continuous smooth operation when a drapery or curtain is drawn.
Tieback - is a means to hold to one side drapes or curtains from a door or window. It can be a piece of fabric lined and made to shape including a ring that is attached to a hook on a wall. Or a piece of decorative braid with a tassle.
Total width - is the finished width times the fullness of the drapery less allowances for side hems.
Traverse - means to draw across.
Trim - is an added ribbon or other fabric applied to the edge of the fabric.
Two way draw - drapery or curtains designed to draw both ways from the centre at one time in two panels.
Valance - covers the bottom mattress top and bottom sides of a bed or substitutes as a curtain pelmet. It is fabric which is pleated or has gathered skirt for either of the two applications.
Sausage weights - small heavy metal pieces in the shape of a small sausage placed in each corner of a drapery or curtain panel to ensure an even hemline and straight hanging.