ALLOWANCE- A measurement which has to be added in order to turn in the fabric neatly at the seams, hems or headings.

ARCHITRAVE – The wooden surround to a door or window frame.

BATTEN – A narrow length of wood.

COLOURWAY – One of many combinations of colours in a print.

CONTRAST BINDING – Strips of contrasting fabric sewn onto the edges for decorative effect.

CORNICE AND COVING – Decorative or curved moulding where the wall meets the ceiling.

CORONA – A semicircular fitting used to hang curtains above a bed.

CUT DROP – The cut length of fabric. It is the finished length of the curtain or top with turning allowances added at the top and hem.

CUT DIAMETER – The cut size of a round table cloth. The finished size with a turning allowance added all round.

DROP PATTERN REPEAT- The measurement of a pattern which repeats itself diagonally across the width.

ESS HOOK – A figure of eight hook to extend the curtain length. It adds a link between the track eye and the curtain hook.

FABRIC-COVERED LATH A narrow pelmet board with a fabric covered buckram fascia to conceal the curtain track.

FINIAL – A round or pointed shape, screwed into a curtain pole at both ends to contain the rings.

FINISHED LENGTH OF THE CURTAIN – The length of the curtain when ready to hang.

FULLNESS RATIO – The relationship between the track or pelmet board measurement and the width of the ungathered curtain or valance.

Fullness ratios range from 1.5 times fullness to 3 times fullness depending on the heading.

GRAIN LINE – The direction of threads on woven fabrics

HALF-TESTER – A rectangular pelmet board or curtain rail above a bed.

HEADING – The way the the top of a curtain, etc. is finished.

HOOK TO FLOOR/SILL – The measurement from the eye of the track or pole ring to the floor/sill.

HOOK TO HEM-The measurement from the top of the hook to the bottom of the curtain.

HOOK TO TOP-The measurement from the top of the hook to the top of the finished curtain.

LAMBREQUIN – A pelmet with deep sides which can extend to the floor.

LEADING EDGE – The edge of the curtain facing into the centre of the window as opposed to the outside edge.

LOOSE LINED CURTAIN- Has a detachable lining so that curtain and lining can be washed separately. Not often used.

OMBRA – A decorative round fitting with a stem to fix it to the wall; used to hold the curtains open.

ONE-WAY DESIGN – Has a directional pattern or weave going onlv one way.

OVERLAP ARMS – Extentions of corded tracks which let the curtains cross over at the centre.

OVERLAP ALLOWANCE – Extra width to allow curtains to cross over, avoiding draughty gaps.

OVERLONG – Extra length to allow curtains to lie on the floor. Also called ‘puddling’.

PATTERN REPEAT – The length of the pattern before it repeats itself.

PELMET – A fabric covered band of buckram or plywood which is fixed onto the front edge of a pelmet board. It conceals the curtain track and heading.

PELMET BOARD – A piece of planed timber fixed to the wall like a shelf, used to support a curtain track, valance, etc.

PIN HOOKS – Small metal hooks that are stabbed into the back of hand sewn headings.

PIPING – Cord sandwiched inside a strip of fabric, often in a contrasting colour, and inserted into a seam.

RETURN – The space between the front of the window treatment and the wall. This is covered to give a neat finish.

CURTAIN RETURN – The outside edge which turns the corner from the face of the track to the wall.

PELMET BOARD RETURN – The measurement from the front of the board to the wall, covered by the pelmet or valance return.

SELVEDGE – The woven side edges of fabric.

SOFFIT – The underside of the top of the window

SPACERS – Small wood or plastic rings inserted between the underside of pelmet boards and tracks to create a gap for brackets or to lower curtains.

STACK BACK – The wall area at the side of the window covered by the curtain. The curtain ‘stacks back’ or folds into this area when opened.

STIFFENING – Stiff fabric used inside flat pelmets and tie-backs.

TESTER – A full canopy over a four-poster bed.

TOLERANCE – An extra measurement added to the finished width of curtain for ease of movement.

TRACK – A metal or plastic rail from which the curtains are hung from gliders.

VALANCE – A gathered band of fabric hung from the front edge of a pelmet board or valance rail. It hides the track and curtain heading. A valance is the fabric equivalent of a pelmet and serves the same purpose.

WINDOW RECESS – The area inside the reveal of the window where blinds and sheer curtains can be fitted.