The curtain header is the top part of your curtain, and there are several different types of headers style to choose from. Choosing a heading is really a matter of personal preference, but it is important to know what you are looking for before you begin.

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Most curtain headers involve using hooks which attach to a track or pole. Pencil pleats are one of the most common types of header. They create even folds at the top of the fabric, although they can sometimes look messy. Neater options are pleated headings, where the curtains are gathered and sewn into defined pleats: double, triple or goblet. These tend to be used in more formal settings, and are a must in a modern country scheme.

Some headings allow the curtain to be attached directly to the pole. They can either have a rod pocket, where the rod is inserted, or the curtain can be attached to the pole via tab tops, eyelet curtains or tie-tops, where the fabric is actually tied to the pole. Eyelets are a sleek, modern solution, whereas tie-top curtains are for more cottage style interiors.


How long should your curtains be? Again, the length of your curtain is personal preference, although most designers shy away from using short curtains unless really necessary. 

 These curtains are just short of the floor, keeping them clean, and clear of any dirt. These curtains are just short of the floor, keeping them clean, and clear of any dirt.

Some people like to have curtains that finish just short of the floor. This prevents the curtain from gathered dust and dirt from the floor, and keeps the curtain running smoothly. Many people however prefer the curtain to just skim the ground, which means that no light escapes, and the curtain hangs well. This is best if you want  more tailored look. The final alternative is to have an over-long curtain, which pools onto the floor. This gives the impression of luxury, and it can also offer quite a laid-back look too.


Most curtains benefit from being lined. Unless you are looking for a sheer piece of fabric to waft at the window, a lining is usually required. Linings add weight to a curtain, which helps it to hang better, as well as helping to reduce light fade in the face fabric. 

Curtains can be lined with any materials, including a co-ordinating fabric, although a plain cotton is a usual choice. Blackout linings are also avaialble, which are a perfect choice for children’s bedrooms, as well as bedrooms which receive morning light, such as east-facing bedrooms.

For a sumptuous look, curtains can also be interlined, where a layer of thick, soft material (or “bump”) is placed between the face fabric and the lining. This adds weight to the curtain, making it fall better, and it also looks very sumptuous.


The pattern used for your curtains has to co-ordinate with the other patterns in your room. If you have a room which already has a busy pattern, then consider using plain curtains to calm the scheme down. And vice versa, if your room is looking a little plain, then a patterned fabric can inject some interest into the space.

Patterns come in all sorts: from simple stripes to spots, paisley, check, tartan, floral, geometric and more. Again, this is largely personal preference although certain design styles suggest certain fabrics: for example, you might use a stag fabric in a country scheme, and a geometric fabric in a mid-century modern scheme. 


As with pattern, the colours you choose for your curtains need to coordinate with the rest of the room. Curtains are a great place to start when decorating a room, especially if you have a busy pattern. Taking a multi-coloured patterned fabric allows you to draw out key colours with which to decorate the rest of the room. 

Remember that different strengths of sunlight will also affect how the colour of your curtains appear. In sunny, south facing rooms, a yellow curtain will bathe your room in warm yellow light, and blue curtains in a north facing room will create a cool feel in the space. 

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