Glossary

Architrave A wooden surround to a window frame – also the moulding to an arch
Austrian blind A soft fabric blind which is ruched from top to bottom
Batten A thin piece of timber that slots into the base hem of a roller or Roman blind so that the fabric hangs straight
Bed Valance A decorative cover made for a divan base
Bias cut Cut diagonally across the straight grain
Box pleats Flat symmetrical pleats formed by folding the fabric to the back at each side of the pleat
Buckram Stiffened woven material used for making pelmets and curtain headings
Bump Very soft thick cotton interlining
Cafe curtain Curtains hung to cover the bottom part of a window
Cafe rod A slim rod, usually of brass, used for cafe curtains
Cartridge pleat A rounded single pleat which is stuffed with wadding
Cased/Slot heading A curtain heading consisting of a simple, hemmed top through which a rod or narrow pole may be slotted
Casement windows Windows which open from the side
Cleat A small double hook around which blind cords are wound
Cording set Equipment for drawing curtains with a pull cord
Cornice A decorative moulding at the top of a wall immediatelybelow the ceiling
Cornice pole A curtain pole with rings used for heavy curtains
Corona Coronet or semi-circular bracket fixed to the wall above the bed head to which curtains are attached.  This can also be centrally mounted on the ceiling above the bed
Crossway strip – bias strip A strip of fabric cut across the weft and warp of the fabric
Dado Lower part of interior wall decorated differently from upper part
Dado rail Moulding dividing upper and lower part of wall originally designed to stop chair backs damaging wall decoration
Dead light Space immediately above the window and below the ceiling and cornice
Double-hung windows Windows which slide open vertically – also known as sash windows
Draw rods Rods inserted into the heading, used to open and close curtains
Dress curtains – show curtains Curtains that do not close but are merely hung for effect
End stop A plastic or metal fixing on the end of the track to prevent hooks and curtains from sliding off
Face cloth Term used for the main fabric of the curtains
Face fitting Fixing blinds or curtains to a vertical surface as opposed to ceiling or soffit fixed
Fascia A rectangular board, set horizontally to cover a curtain heading or track fixings
Fenestration The arrangement of windows in a building
Festoon blind A blind that is ruched down the whole length so that billows are formed
Finial Decorative end of a curtain pole
Fitted bedcover This has a flat top panel,  straight skirt with inverted pleats at each corner.  Skirt can also be box pleated or gathered and could be attached to a box section covering depth of mattress
Flemish heading A Goblet heading in which the pleats are linked together along the base by hand-sewn cord
French pleats – pinch pleats On a curtain heading hand-sewn triple pleats separated by flat areas
Glazing bars The bars of wood or metal which hold panes of glass in place
Goblet heading A curtain heading consisting of hand-sewn tubes whose tops are stuffed with wadding or contrasting fabric
Half-tester A rectangular canopy above a bed, extending only part-way down the bed from the headboard.  Drapes at the back and either side make a shallow three-dimensional effect
Hold-backs Decorative woods or metal arms  fixed to the wall on either side of a window, curtains draped over them
Interlining Soft material sewn between a curtain and its lining to add bulk, to improve the ‘hang’ of the curtain and to improve its insulation
Inverted pleat – kick pleat A pleat formed like a box pleat in reverse, so that the edges of the pleats meet in the middle on the face side of the fabric, most often used in loose covers, bed valances and upholstery
Knife pleats Sharply pressed, narrow, closely spaced pleats, all running in the same direction
Jardiniere curtain Usually sheer, the bottom of the curtain rises in the centre to give a curved finish and reveal something of the window
Lambrequin A stiff, shaped surround to a window.  Unlike a pelmet, a lambrequin continues down the side of the frame
Leading edge The front edge of a curtain that is the centre of the window when the curtains are drawn
Lintel Load carrying wooden or concrete beam over door or window
Lining A secondary hanging sewn in at the back of a curtain to protect it from the light and improve its hanging qualities
London blind Made with inverted pleats creating a swag and tail effect
Louvred blinds Slatted blinds – the slats are usually made of wood, metal or plastic
Pelmet Board or fabric hung at the top of the curtains to hide track and give a decorative finish
Pelmet board A horizontal board used to support a pelmet and sometimes as a base for swags and tails
Pencil pleat heading A curtain heading formed by a tape which, when drawn up, creates a row of narrow, densely packed folds
Pinolleums Very narrow wooden slats
Piping Fabric covered cording used to emphasise the edge of a curtain, pelmet or tieback – often in a seam
Portiere curtain One which hangs over a door
Lit a la Polonnaise A bed set lengthwise against the wall (can also be freestanding) and surmounted by a small dome
Pre-corded track Curtain track bought with an integral cording system for closing and opening curtains
Recess The window niche in which window is fitted
Recessed fitting Curtain or blind fixed within the recess of a window
Return The part of a curtain, pelmet or valance that turns around the side of a window
Reveal Side wall of window niche
Roller blind A blind/window shade operated by a spring mechanism, so that, when let up, it coils itself around the cylinder in which the mechanism is located
Roman blind A corded blind with horizontally set rods at the back, causing the blind to form a series of lateral pleats when raised
Rosettes A device for focusing attention on a particular area within a curtain arrangement.  An attractive ‘finishing off’ motif for curtain headings, swags and tails and tiebacks.  Can be knife pleated, choux or bow style
Scalloped heading A heading with deep, rounded cutouts, which slots onto a rod or pole
Selvedge The woven finished edge of fabric (running parallel to the warp)
Shirring Gathering
Smocked heading A heading of pencil pleats anchored together at regular intervals to create a honeycomb effect
Soffit The ceiling of a recessed window
Swag A generous scoop of fabric hanging from two fixed points over a window or bed
Swags and tails A decorative pleated arrangement of fabric hung at the top of curtains to hide the track.  Swags are draped horizontally, tails hang on either side of the curtain
Tails Hanging trail of fabric, either shaped and stiffened or falling fluidly from the end of swags
Tie-backs A decorative band of fabric used to hold open curtains