How to Choose The Right Curtain Heading

21st June 2023

After finding the perfect fabric for your curtains, it's time to choose the right heading to achieve the interior look you desire; and opting for the right heading style can be just as important as the material you choose. Influencing the fullness of your drapes and how they hang, different curtain headings have distinct characters that determine the overall look of your room. From more traditional, tailored drapes to something relaxed and contemporary, our made to measure team can create styles to suit all types of home.

In this helpful guide, we explain each heading, offering expert tips on where to feature them. Along with lots of beautiful imagery to inspire your design, we include close up examples of every heading to appreciate its unique detailing, plus a video of our favourites heading styles to help you decide which is best for you and your home...

Pinch Pleat Curtain Heading

Beginning with the more formal style of curtain headings, single, double and triple pinch pleats, also called a French heading, are exactly as they sound. The top of the curtain fabric is drawn together into a tightly gathered fold, which is then hand stitched to hold the pleat in place. A highly decorative style that suits country homes and traditional interiors, they can be hung on either a pole or a track.

To make a double pinch pleat curtain requires 2.3 times your window width in fabric, and triple pinch pleat requires 2.5 times you window width. When choosing a curtain fabric, we would suggest a design that matches the grandeur of the room such as large scale florals, toile de jouy, damasks or smart plains.

Pencil Pleat Curtain Heading

One of our most popular headings, pencil pleat curtains are neat and elegant but look slightly less tailored than pinch pleat. Resembling a series of pencils lined in a row, the pleats are created using a tape which is sewn to the top of the fabric. Once attached, the strings are hand pulled to tightly gather the fabric which creates the thin and even pleated headings.

Suitable to hang on both a track or a curtain pole, pencil pleats require 2.3 times your window width in fabric. A slightly more cost effective option compared to pinch pleat curtains, as they are less time intensive to make, they still provide a smart and tailored window dressing that suit traditional homes.

Gathered Curtain Heading

A pretty curtain headings that gives a soft, relaxed look to your curtains, gathered headings are also know as cottage pleats. Made by setting the curtain tape a few inches below the top of the fabric, the top frill, also referred to as a stand up, can be kept short or made longer to create a ‘floppy top’. The longer it is, the more it will flop over; a charming feature which can be accentuated further by adding a coordinating fabric along the top.

Beautiful when made from any of our country cottage fabrics, gathered curtains require 2.3 times the width of your windows in material. We often recommend gathered curtains for framing smaller cottage windows or for shorter curtain drops as they exude character and charm.

Inverted Curtain Heading

A unique heading style that we’ve recently seen grow in popularity, inverted pleats offer a bridge between traditional and modern curtain heading styles. Ideal for those who are looking for something smart, tailored and fuss free, these structured box pleats create the illusion of an almost flat drapery. Also known as box pleats and backwards-facing pleats, inverted pleated curtains are perfect for windows with minimal wall space either side as they stack back very neatly.

Created by folding two folds of fabric towards each other in opposite directions, the pleat sits on the back of the drape which gives the front its distinctive box-like look. Requiring 2 times you window width in fabric to make, we would suggest a light-to-medium weight material like a printed or plain linen or cotton. However if you are looking to let more light into your room, inverted pleat curtains also look wonderful when made in a graceful sheer fabric as they hang so elegantly. 

Wave Curtain Heading

Perfect for modern interiors, wave headings look particularly impressive when hung over floor to ceiling windows, or over large expanses of glass such as bi-fold, or sliding doors. A smart, uniform window dressing, they stack back very neatly, allowing lots of light to flood into the room.

Made by fixing a tape to the header and attaching hooks above which manipulate the curtain fabric into the 'S' shape, it creates the stunning ripple effect when fitted to a track. Suitable for more lightweight fabrics as a heavy or stiff material won’t achieve the desired undulation, a wave curtain heading requires 2.5 times the width of your window in fabric to make.

Eyelet Curtain Heading

Another modern style of all our headings, eyelet or ring top curtains create clear lines that suit contemporary homes. Metal rings in a varitey of finishes are added to the top of the fabric which allows the curtain to fall in beautiful soft waves when hung. A compact design that stacks very neatly when open, eyelet curtains allow more of your windows to show, making them a great choice for those looking to maximize the amount of light that enters the room.

Available in a variety of finishes, the finish of the eyelet can be matched to your curtain pole. Requiring 2 times the width of your windows in material, eyelet curtains offer a more comprehensive display of your chosen fabric, as when the curtains are drawn they lie flatter than other headings. Arriving ready to hang, our bespoke eyelet curtains can be put up in an instant, and will immediately transform your room.

Eyelet Curtain Heading Eyelet Curtain Heading
Modern Curtain Headings Modern Curtain Headings

Eyelet Curtains in Cabin Tapio on +44 (0) 1637 881183

Add Trimmings to Your Curtains

The joy of custom made curtains is that you can choose every element of your design and each pair can be fully customised with decorative braidsfringing or tassels. Whether you are looking for a classic or contemporary style, adding trimming will enhance the character to your drapes, and will make them truly unique to you and your home.

Made to Measure Curtains

We have help hundreds of customers around the world to design beautiful curtains to hang in their homes. From advice on choosing the perfect fabric, to adding those unique finishing touches to elevate your interior style, all our bespoke curtains are handmade to your exact measurements by our experienced British makers.

Whether you're wanting new curtains for the kitchen, or are planning to undertake a complete home redesign, our Made to Measure team are waiting to hear from you.

What a pleasure it was working with F&P Interiors to create my vision...

"From the numerous fabric samples I requested, to the final order of my curtains, they made sure that everything was in order and kept me abreast of the process along the way... With an eye for detail, they were able to be installed immediately and looked even better than what I had envisioned! Quality workmanship and they are just so wonderfully pleasant, I would not hesitate to work with them again. Thank you F&P for everything!"

CA Gra

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