When you start considering new window treatments for your new or newly revamped house, the types of drapes and curtains with the long list of drapery terms can make it hard to make an informed decision on what kind of curtains you want to install. If this is the case, you can clear up some of your questions with this list of terms.
Starting from the top a rod pocket or cased heading is the most common heading. Rod pockets feature a casing or tunnel which is created by two parallel rows of stitching at the top (or near the top) of the curtain. The curtain is inserted through this tunnel. Variations of this include tie tops and ring/clip tops.
Made from long fabric panels that are pleated across the top, pleated drapes are a common type of drape. The pleats are often made with the help of drapery tape. There are a number of styles of pleated drapes.
Short and straight, cafe curtains are hung on the lower half of a window and are often paired with a valance. The valance is one of the most versitile window dressings. They can vary in length and shape and can either be used over the top of shades, curtain, drapes or miniblinds or used alone. One of their functions is often to hide the curtain rod. Valances can be pleated, draped or gathered from a rod. They can also be stapled to a mounting board.
Ruffled curtains feature either fabric ruffles or a gathered trim attached to the inside edge, the bottom and/or the top edge.
Thermal lined drapes block out heat in the summer and cold in the winter. They often help improve energy efficiency. Any type of drape can be thermal lined.
Bishop sleeve curtains are called such because they resemble the bishop sleeves on garments. They are full at the top and pulled back in the middle and draped or slightly puffed out, resembling a goblet.
Swags and jabots are generally found on more formal window treatments, although the choice of fabric and method of hanging make the swag/jabot combination good for most any window. A swag is simply a piece of fabric that is draped over a decorative rod or pleated onto a mounting board. Jabots are either separate pieces or the opposite ends of the saw that fall along the sides of the window in pleats or soft folds. The term jabot refers to these soft pleats or folds.
These terms will help you get a firm grip on the different types of drapes, curtains, and window treatments.