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.