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Choosing the Right Curtain Heading

Learn why the curtain heading is one of the most important parts of curtain design.

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Curtains don’t get enough credit for how much they can transform a room in your home. They seem pretty simple, but there is a lot more to them than you probably realize.

Probably one of the most under-appreciated elements used in hanging curtains is the curtain’s heading, the top piece of the curtain that attaches to the curtain track or rod. Whichever heading style you chose can dramatically change the overall look of your finished curtains.

Here are the six most popular types of curtain headings you should know about when picking out curtains.

Tailored Pleat

A tailored pleat is a modern version of a pleated drape, with a simpler look than pinch pleats. It is pinched at the top and open at the bottom to allow the fabric to flow from top to bottom.

Pinch Pleat

The pinch pleat curtain heading is a classic pleated drape and it requires a different type of hook than pencil pleat curtains. Basically, folds of fabric are pinched and tacked together facing outwards into the room.

Flat Panel

A flat panel curtain heading is a sleek and modern style, perfect for large floor-to-ceiling windows and covering sliding doors in a discreet, simple style. The top of the drapery panel has header tape to attach hooks which are attached to the eyelets of the drapery rings.

Rod Pocket

Rod pocket drapes give a classic look to any room; be aware they’re not easy to open and close so best used in a decorative role. With this type of heading, a pocket is sewn across the top of the curtain panel through which the curtain rod is inserted.


Because tabbed drapes are simple, clean and timeless, they work well when they are not supposed to steal the show from the rest of the room. The tabs on the curtains are the exposed loops of fabric which are drawn through a rod or pole.


Grommeted curtains are a good alternative to flat panel drapery in modern settings. They are also referred to as eyelet curtains. The design is simple and casual and you will be able to adjust with width of your curtains very easily.

Other Important Factors When Choosing Curtains

Beside curtain headings there are other important factors to consider when choosing curtains. Here are just a few:

Choose your length. Apron curtains fall about 4 inches below the window sill, making them more ideal for a bedroom or kitchen window which you tend to open more frequently. Floor length curtains fall about one-fourth above the floor. If you place your curtain rod higher than the window to draw the eye up, the ceiling will look taller. And finally the puddle curtain. These curtains fall about 5-8 inches extra on the floor. This gives a more romantic, elegant look.

Choose your fabric. The fabric you choose will help set the style of the finished curtains and will determine the amount of light and privacy in the room. The rule of thumb is that lighter fabrics are more casual looking and let in the most light, while plusher fabrics have a more formal, sophisticated feel and offer more privacy. Layering is really popular in interior design right now. Use a double rod to layer sheer curtains under heavier curtains for more versatility.

Choose your hardware. Make sure you choose a rod that is 6 to 12 inches wider than your windows to allow room for the curtains to stack when they are pulled open.

Take measurements. When measuring the width of your window, add 4 to 8 inches on both sides and double the total number to get maximum curtain fullness. Those extra inches will help block out light when you need it.

Choose colors of curtains. When choosing the colors of your curtains, interior design experts suggest using existing accent colors that are already in the room. It could be from a rug or furniture or even paint on the walls. Don’t choose a color from a small piece of décor though because the connection between the colors might not be as impactful.

Why Choose Emma Custom?

Emma Custom is the brainchild of the husband and wife team of Emma and Davis. Their mission is to help you find quality custom drapes at a price you can afford. If you’re moving into a new house or just looking for a change, they can help you find a look you love and bring it to life.
Emma and Davis’s passion for custom drapery came about pretty organically from their own personal experience.
They met in school and fell in love, and after getting married and buying their first home, Emma was surprised that certain things she took for granted in her home growing up are considered luxury items.

She just assumed it would be easy to order the custom drapery they envisioned for their new home at a reasonable price, but they were frustrated to discover that custom drapery came with a heavy price tag.

Emma and David had contacted at least a half dozen custom drapery companies about having curtains made for their home, and the only companies they could find that offered what they were looking for charged more than their budget would allow.

Luckily, just before they were about to give up on getting the custom curtains they really wanted, they realized that they had the contacts and skills to have their own curtains made at a fraction of the cost. So that is what they did.

They found their own fabric supplier and spoke to family friends who run a small sewing shop and had the drapes they wanted made.

After the new drapes were finally installed, their family and friends raved about them so much that Emma and David realized that there are a lot people out there who want quality custom drapes, but aren’t willing to pay an arm and a leg for them.

Start shopping for your custom curtains today.

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