Sunday, October 18, 1998
Dress up your windows
DRESSING up a window can not only be fun but, if done correctly, can add greatly to the look of the room. In order to select the perfect curtains for your room there are many factors that have to be considered. Keep the room in mind, while determining the fabric and the style, the curtain is to be stitched in.
Nothing is more embarrassing than not knowing the different styles of stitching curtains. After selecting a fabric, when you are giving the curtains for stitching, the tailor may come up with names of styles that sound like Greek to you. Let alone curtain styles today there are also curtain accessories that can boggle the mind (as well as the wallet) such as tie-backs, swag holders, decorative wall-brackets and valances. The terms and options seem endless.
Topping the list among the different curtain styles that are "in" and the oldest as well, is the pleated style. In his style curtain can be lined or unlined but the entire fabric is stitched together in running pleats. These pleats can be of many varieties. You can have a box-pleat or a French pleat or even a pencil pleat. Box-pleats as their name suggests are thicker pleats, while the pencil pleat (again like its name) is a fine, thin pleat.
While selecting the different types of pleats, the easiest yardstick is that the thicker or heavier the fabrics, the thicker the pleat. Go for box-pleats on velvets or heavy fabrics. With light muslin, voile or organza curtains stick to the pencil pleats.
Among the other styles are those in which the curtains are stitched like blinds. These are basically popular in three types, Austrian, Roller and Roman blinds. The Austrian blinds are the most decorative of the three styles. The curtain is stitched in such a way that when the cord is pulled it gathers up from the bottom in a soft scalloped shape. The curtain gathers up till the top part of the window, which will stay, covered.
The Roller blinds, as the name suggests, use a mechanism that gathers up and lets down the curtain easily. This rolls up the curtain fabric instead of bunching it up. Roman blinds on the other hand, pull up a curtain by pulling the fabric horizontally into neat folds. In this style the curtain has supporters sewn to it to enable the fabric to retain its shape.
Brackets, or pelmets as they are often popularly called, are important parts of window dressing. You may have great fabric, stitched to perfection by the best place in town, but unsightly pelmets can mar the best effort and effect.
Pelmet dressing has finally come into its own. Earlier there would be either a single, metal rod hanging on wooden or metal wall brackets or an attempt would be made to cover the unsightly rod with a wooden pelmet frame, which was often more hideous. If you were lucky, the pelmet would have carving on it to pick it up from the mundane.
Today, pelmets are being treated as part and parcel of curtains and window-dressing as a whole. Pelmets are being perked up. For those who dont have much of a budget the easiest way out is to take fabric matching your curtains and simply fix it onto the pelmet. Some like these pelmet covers to be simple in shape while others prefer scalloped edges, and still others like to dress them up with an edging of lace.
If you hate the idea of pelmet, there are great looking curtain rods available in the market which are often better looking than the curtains that are hung on them. Powder coated in a variety of colours these dont need to be covered with that extra bit of wood on top, which seems to eat up wall space in a room.
Many people take the middle route, one between the two options mentioned above. They neither want to spend the extra money on the good-looking rod available nor do they want to cover up an ugly metal rod with an even uglier wooden pelmet. They go in for valances. Styled like pelmets, they cover the upper portion of the curtain and the rod. Valances are made only of fabric. These can be stitched in many different appealing designs ranging from scalloped, gathered to pleated. These can be styled from the same fabric and colour as the curtains to match them exactly. A cream-and-peach room, with cream curtains and peach valances can look quite stunning.
An alternative to a stitched valance is to simply drape any colour or fabric over the pole in an artistic swirl, covering the curtain rod as well as adding a touch of careless, chic to the look.
Other options are corded tie-backs with big tassels hanging on the edges. These are available at most good furnishing stores and come in a variety of shades as well as in varying sizes of tassels.
| Interview | Bollywood Bhelpuri | Living Space | Nature | Garden Life | Fitness |
| Travel | Modern Classics | Your Option | Time off | A Soldier's Diary |
| Wide Angle | Caption Contest |