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Curtains For You

Curtains and draperies
Curtains and draperies
Curtains are casual and easy to make. They can be floor-length or short that can cover the window. Drapes are more formal and stylish unlike curtains which you can just open and close by hand. In general, drapes are pleated. | Photo: Archives | Curtains, Draperies, Decor, Home, Drapes,

Curtains or draperies: What's the difference and who cares?

Just finished painting the inside of the house, which was hospital white before, but is now a smorgasbord of color. The problem now is the blinds, which unfortunately look kind of cheap. So I thought maybe I'd go with some curtains or drapes. And since I know less that nothing about the subject ' such as what's the difference between curtains and drapes and does it even matter? I contacted the people who do: Marburn.com. They know everything there is to know about window treatments.

First off, they're not drapes, they're draperies. The word drape is kind of hillbilly, I guess. Anyway, draperies are defined as heavy weight, lined fabric that hangs from a rod to the floor. And usually, they traverse, that is, open and close, completely closing off the window. Draperies tend to utilize rich fabrics, like silk or velvet, and more often than not are pleated. There are a number of various pleat styles, but the most popular are French pleats and American pleats.

Functionally, draperies are better than curtains at keeping out light and providing privacy. And according to the experts at Marburn, draperies are more elegant, which is why places like wedding venues, banquet halls, mansions and churches employ them.

The big difference between draperies and curtains is this: draperies cost more.
Curtains are made of lightweight fabric of varying lengths, and are attached to a rod by means of rings, grommets, tabs or pocket casings (I still don't know what that is). Made of lighter fabrics, like cotton and linen or sheer, lacy fabrics, curtains look pretty cool really. They don't have to be pleated and may be any length. What curtains don't do is cut off the outside light source. In other words, you can't close them.

According to the Marburn experts, there are a lot of options for either draperies or curtains:

  • You can hang curtains of lace, cotton, nylon, silk or some other sheer fabric.
  • You can hang curtains over blinds.
  • You can hang curtains beneath chintz, silk, velvet, linen or other draw draperies, kind of a double-vision effect.
  • You can hang draperies over blinds or some other type of shade. I have to admit, this one did not appeal to me. Sounded kind of gauche.
  • You can top curtains with decorative draperies, usually very short in length, called swags or jabots.
  • You can hang swags or jabots over a shade.
  • You can combine any of the above treatments with a cornice or valance, which adds quite an ornate look to a room.


In other words, it's kind of like going into Baskin Robbins. There are too many flavors to choose from. So, will you choose draperies or will it be "curtains for you?" The latter expression was made famous by Edward G. Robinson, one of my all-time favorite movie actors.

Still, I'm leaning toward draperies.

Curtains and draperies
Curtains and draperies

Curtains are known by many names such as curtain panels, drapes, drapery, and drapery panels. Although those names mean the same thing to most of us, the key difference between drapes and curtains is very simple. Basically, drapes are pleated and are more formal. Curtains are informal and can be easily made. | Curtains, Draperies, Decor, Home, Drapes,

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Updated Aug 12, 2017 1:49 PM EDT | More details

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