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Curtain headings explained

There are many different curtain headings, and choosing the right one for your curtains can seem rather daunting.

Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect curtain headings to create the style you are looking for.

Pencil pleat

As the name suggests a pencil pleat heading is best described as a neat row of pencils. This heading gives a neat finish to your curtains at a reasonable cost. The pencil pleat tape needs to be gathered to your required width. A versatile tape which can be used with a track or pole and is generally supplied with three hook positions allowing some flexibility when hanging them.

We can supply a pencil pleat heading in 2", 3" or 6". We recommend 3" for short curtains and 6" for full length curtains.

Pencil pleat curtains look stylish in contemporary or period homes.

Double or triple pinch pleat

A double or triple pinch pleat heading will give a stylish permanent pleat to your curtains. It is important to carefully measure your track or pole as curtains are made to an exact fit. If you have your curtains made using our bespoke made to measure service they will have hand sewn pinch pleats using buckram to help form the pleats.

If you are making the curtains yourself then it is possible to buy triple pinch pleat curtain tape to do this.

Although you can use with a track or pole pinch pleats look best when hung beneath a pole.

This heading gives a lovely tailored finish which is equally at home in a modern or traditional setting.

Gathered 1

Gathered 1" tape or cottage pleats

This heading will give you an informal gathered look.  Best used on lightweight curtains with a short drop, ideal for use in a cottage kitchen or bedroom.  A cottage pleat heading can be used with tracks or poles and can be gathered to suit the required width of your window.



Eyelets give a contemporary finish to your curtains so are best suited to a modern home.  Eyelets (metal rings)  are threaded through your pole and are available in a number of finishes to suit your décor, for example silver, chrome or brass.   Once hung your curtains will fall in soft even pleats.

Professionally made eyelets will use buckram for stiffening.  If you are making the curtains yourself you can buy a kit which will give you a special heading tape and metal or plastic rings.

Eyelets can only be used with a curtain pole and are not suitable for bay windows or for use with valences or pelmets.

Tab top

Tab top

A tab top heading is another contemporary heading. The pole threads through the tabs, forming soft folds.  They are not suitable for rooms where you need to exclude the light, as the light will shine between the tab tops and the main curtain.



Wave headings need a specialist pole or track and are ideal for a contemporary home.  This is a stylish heading which gives a soft rippling effect.  Looks stunning when used in a room which has a wall of glass or a large window. Stacks back very efficiently so helping to maxmise the light. We can supply tracks and poles up to 12 metres wide so can accomodate big windows.

How to measure curtains

How to measure curtains

Now you've decided what heading you'd like, follow our simple step-by-step video guide on how to measure windows for curtains, no matter which curtain heading you decide. 

Are you looking for beautifully made curtains for your home? Look no further than our Made to Measure service.

If you're still looking for extra guidance, book a free virtual appointment with our Home Consultants to help and advice on the best solution for your space. 


Just Fabrics
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