26 Different Types of Drapes

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Dress up your windows and add some personality to your room by installing some drapes. We feature many different types based on features, hanging styles, location, and fabric.

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Light-colored drapes cover a full window in the living room.

Drapes are like “full dresses” to windows. In 1833, people matched their drapes to the upholstery in the room. However, only the wealthy could afford to dress their windows because textile was still an expensive commodity. In the early 19th century, many people were against the use of it and considered it too expensive, too dusty, and too laborious to make.

This all changed when textiles became easier to produce and became affordable even to the masses. We now have an assortment of different types of drapes available in the market. Read on to know each one of them.

Type

Single-Panel

Bali Sheer Indoor/Outdoor Grommet Top Single Panel Window Curtain Drape/Curtain Patio, Gazebo and Pergola Panel Includes 1 tieback, 52 Inch Wide X 84 Inch Long, Ivory

Source: Amazon

While most people will opt to buy pairs of panels so they can hang drapes quickly and easily and achieve a finished look without problems, there are sometimes when buying single-panel drapes is a good idea. One time that homeowners may want to buy a single panel is if there are windows are particularly wide and they need more fabric. Hanging the third panel is a great way to have drapes that are fuller and more attractive. Another use for a single panel is when two windows are close enough together to use a single curtain rod and you want to hide the wall space between them. Hanging a single panel in this area will give the optical illusion of long stretches of windows without any break.

Panel Pair

VCNY Home Luxor Grommet Drape Window Curtain Panel Pair, Window Treatment- Set of Two, 54"x84" (2 Pieces), Taupe

Source: Amazon

The fastest and easiest way to hang drapes in your home and ensure that your windows look the best they can is to invest in panel pairs. This means that you will have two matching panels to hang at your home on each window. Being able to hang drapes on both sides of your windows at the same time decreases the amount of time that you spend finding the right drapes for your home.

Drapery with Valance Set

GIAERD Sliding Door Curtain Drapes- Extra Wide Room Darkening Thermal Window Doorway Curtains, Grommet Top Blackout Valance Draperies for Patio Sliding Glass Door,W100 X L84,Sheer Beige,1 Panel

Source: Amazon

For a very traditional look in your home, you will want to consider drapery with a valance set. These types of drapes are not seen very often in more updated, modern, or contemporary homes but they still have their place in traditional and formal homes and rooms. This is a very popular choice for people who want to make sure that their drapes look well-chosen and put together as valances create a matching set that perfectly surrounds the window and makes it pop.

Window Scarf

LinenZone Jane - Semi-Sheer Window Scarf (54 x 144) - Elegant Home Decor Window Treatments - Add to Window Curtains for Enhanced Effect (1 Scarf 54" x 144", Beige)

Source: Amazon

A window scarf is a whimsical type of drape that is used more for decoration and aesthetic appeal than for blocking out light or providing your family with privacy. They are often very light and airy, which makes them similar to curtain sheers, but they can be draped and hung up over the curtain rod in a number of ways. Unlike traditional drapes that are attached to the curtain rod and then hang down to the ground, window scarves can be wrapped around the rod, hung down one side, or hung up similar to airy sheers on either side of the window. They are very versatile and come in a number of different colors and patterns, although they are most likely made from this same light fabric.

Liner

NICETOWN White Curtain Liner Panels - Black Out Drapes Liners for 63 inch Curtains, Thermal Insulated Curtains Liner for Windows (Set of 2 Panels, Each is 27" x 60", Greyish White)

Source: Amazon

If you love your drapes but want to ensure that they are as thick as possible to block out sound, cold weather, or light, then you may want to invest in a liner. These can generally be attached to the back of most any drape rather easy to add an extra layer of fabric.

Hanging Style

Tie-Top

Lined-Turquoise Tie Top Sheer Sari Curtain / Drape - 43W x 84L - Piece

Source: Amazon

Similar in style to tab-top drapes, tie-top curtains consist of a large panel of fabric with smaller strips of fabric at the top. Sewn onto the drape itself in pairs, these strips of fabric are long enough that they can be tied around the rod to attach the drape. This means that you can easily adjust the length of your new drapes by tying the strips of fabric closer to the drape itself or closer to their ends. This type of drape is relatively easy to open and to close since there is ample space in the ties for the drapes to be pulled along the rod.

Tab-Top

Elrene Home Fashions Indoor/Outdoor Solid Tab Top Single Panel Window Curtain Drape, 52"X84", Gray

Source: Amazon

This type of drape has loops of fabric located on the top of the curtain itself through which a rod can be passed to hang the fabric. They are generally considered very informal in appearance and are as attractive opened as they are closed due to the way the drape will naturally pleat. Any weight of fabric can be used with this hanging style, thanks to the security of the tab tops themselves.

Back-Tab

Half Price Drapes BOCH-201403-120-DW Doublewide Blackout Curtain header is Pole Pocket with Hook Belt and Back Tabs.

Source: Amazon

Unlike tab-top drapes where the top tab is easily visible as is the curtain rod, and unlike rod pocket drapes where the curtain rod goes through a casing at the top of the drape, back-tab drapes combine the best of these two types. Back-tab drapes consist of smaller tabs that allow the curtain rod to pass through them but are located on the back of the curtain itself. This means that the rod is not at the very top of the drape but rather often a few inches down the back. Many people love this look as it is very clean but do have a little visual interest at the top since the excess fabric can be allowed to ruffle there.

Pinch Pleats

Rio Lined Pinch Pleated Drapes Ready To Hang with Curtain Hooks (154W x 84L pair)

Source: Amazon

This method of hanging works well with most fabric types although it is a little bit more formal than simply using a rod pocket to hang your new drapes. There are multiple types of pinch pleats to choose from with each type resulting in a different finished look. When shopping for pinch-pleat curtains it is very important to remember that when you choose pleats that are fuller and larger in size, you will need more fabric in order to make your new drapes. This can greatly increase the overall cost of your new drapes. Use clips to hang your new curtains and maintain their pleats.

Rod Pocket

Deconovo Red Blackout Curtains Rod Pocket Drapes Window Curtains for Bedroom True Red 42W x 84L Inch 2 Panels

Source: Amazon

This type of hanging is often used on drapes that are not opened or closed very often. There is a casing that is sewn across the top of the drape and left open at either end so that a rod can be placed through this pocket. Most rod pocket drapes have a very tight fit that can make it difficult to slide the curtain along the rod on a regular basis, which is why these drapes are usually left either open or closed. The rod then fits into sockets or hooks that are located at the sides of the window to hold the drapes up. These drapes tend to be a little more formal in appearance than ones that are made with a different hanging method.

Ring/Grommet

SeeSaw Home Supersoft Solid Grommet/Eyelet Top Thermal Insulated Eco-friendly Heavy Velvet Window Curtain Drapes, Off White, 50W By 84L inch,1 panel

Source: Amazon

Also known as “eyelet” drapes, grommet drapes are generally light or medium in weight. They have large rings, known as grommets, embedded in the fabric that a rod can be pushed through. By weaving the fabric of the drape back and forth when inserting the rod, it is easy to not only put the entire drape on the rod but enjoy an attractive result. These drapes are very easy to open and to close, which makes them perfect in busy homes or in family rooms where children and other members will be moving the drapes on a regular basis. This is a very contemporary design which, when used with modern fabric, can fit into the décor of even the most updated home.

Location

Indoor

RYB HOME Vertical Blinds for Patio Door Indoor Curtains for Gazebo Patio Window, Wide Width Drape Panel for Living Room/Office/Slider Glass Door, Wide 100 inch by Long 84 inch, Toffee Brown

Source: Amazon

When buying drapes, it is very important that you take into consideration where they are going to be hung so you can make sure that they will last for a long period of time and not become damaged quickly. While there are some drapes that are rated for both indoor and outdoor use, generally it is easier to find ones that are strictly for indoor use or strictly for outdoor use.

Indoor drapes can come in a number of different fabrics, colors, styles, and lengths and have been made to last as long as they are in climate-controlled conditions. The problem with using indoor drapes in an outdoor location is that this fabric may quickly mold or mildew and have to be washed. This type of fabric simply isn’t able to stand up to the rigors of outdoor use.

Outdoor

White Linen Sheer Outdoor Curtains - Light Flitering Outdoor Curtains for Patio, Rust Proof Grommet Sheer Panels Drapes with Free Rope Tie Back for Weeding/Deck/Yard, Single Panel, 54"W x 96"L

Source: Amazon

If you want to buy only one type of curtain and use it both indoors and outdoors, then it is best to opt for ones that are rated for outdoor use. This means that the fabric is going to be very durable and high quality and that it can stand up to rain, heavy winds, and other weather. Unlike indoor drapes, which are chosen more for their appearance and style than their durability, outdoor drapes have usually been made to last through the more extreme weather. While you may not have as many choices for outdoor drapes as you do for indoor drapes, using the correct kind at your home will ensure that your new drapes last for as long as possible.

Features

Sheer

WPM 2 Piece Beautiful Sheer Window Elegance Curtains/drape/panels/treatment 60"w X 84"l (White)

Source: Amazon

When you opt for drapes made out of a sheer fabric, you will be able to enjoy a little bit more privacy in your room while still allowing a lot of natural light to filter in through the drapes. It’s very common for sheers to be hung over a blind or behind main drapes. This allows the homeowner to filter out a lot of light using the primary drapes or blinds or to reveal the hanging sheers to allow more light to enter. It’s easy to find sheers that are a little bit more formal when you opt for ones that have a pocket at the top to enclose the curtain rod while others are much more informal and have tab tops.

Blackout

Utopia Bedding - Blackout Room Darkening and Thermal Insulating Window Curtains/Panels/Drapes - 2 Panels Set - 7 Back Loops per Panel - 2 Tie Back Included (Black, 52 x 84)

Source: Amazon

While most people love to have some sort of natural light coming into their homes through their windows, sometimes it is necessary to be able to completely block out this light so that the person in the room can sleep. If you find yourself in this position, then you will want to opt for blackout drapes as these will do a significantly better job than regular curtains at blocking light. These drapes are usually lined with a very heavy fabric that does not decrease the attractiveness of your new drapes but does improve their ability to block out natural light.

Lined

jinchan Bedroom Thermal Moderate Blackout Curtains, Energy Saving Lined Drapes for Living Room 84 Inch Length, Beige Curtain Panels Grommet Top, Sold by Pair

Source: Amazon

To ensure that your new drapes look the absolute best that they can, you will want to opt for ones that are lined. This may, of course, increase the overall price that you pay for your new drapes but lined drapes are often much better made. Additionally, while they will not be able to block out as much light as blackout curtains can, the addition of a liner is a great way to help increase the amount of natural light that your curtains can block.

Pleated

StangH Blackout Velvet Curtains 96 Inch Smooth Pleated Fashion Design Panel Drapes Soundproof Energy Saving for Villa Window Decoration/Sliding Glass Doors, Ruby Red, 52" W x 96" L, 2 Pcs

Source: Amazon

Depending on the décor of your home and what kind of appearance you want for your drapes, pleated drapes are a great option. While some people prefer their curtains to hang straight to the ground without any pleats, pleated drapes have more movement to them and are generally more visually interesting. In addition, when you opt for pleated drapes, you will not have to worry about how the fabric is hanging as it can be very difficult to get your drapes to hang smoothly and without wrinkles. By choosing pleated drapes, you will be able to embrace a more visual interest in your drapes without having to worry about their appearance.

Thermal

NICETOWN Sliding Door Curtains for Patio - Wide Width Thermal Drapes, Absorb Noise, Block Out Light, Vertical Blinds for Patio Door (Greyish White, Width 100", Length 95")

Source: Amazon

While many people do not know that thermal or insulated drapes are even an option for them to install at their homes, this type of drape has a number of benefits that everyone will love. They generally rely on multiple layers to provide plenty of insulation. The front of the drape will be chosen to match the color and décor of the room while the lining and additional layers will help to insulate the house and block sunlight.

While you may have to spend a little more money for your new thermal drapes, it is very common to experience decreases in power bills both during the cold winter and hot summer months as these drapes help keep rooms at a regulated temperature. By regulating the temperature in your home, you are able to decrease the discomfort that your family feels from temperature swings in your home. Additionally, they are great for blocking out light so you can nap during the day if desired.

Room Darkening Thermal Insulated Textured Linen Extra Long Curtains Easy Care Window Treatment Drape Traditional Style Antique Metal Grommet, Teal, 52 by 108 inch (Set of 2 Panels) by FlamingoP

Source: Amazon

Depending on how high in your windows are in the walls of your home or how high you want to hang your drapes, you may want to invest in ones that are extra long. For a very traditional look, choosing drapes that fall all the way to the floor and puddle on it can add a lot of interest to your space. Unfortunately, most drapes that you can easily buy are not long enough to achieve this look so if this is something that you are interested in, then it is important to find drapes that are long enough. Of course, you will likely have to pay a little bit more for these drapes but they are a great way to achieve a certain look in your home.

Energy-Saving

H.VERSAILTEX Room Darkening Faux Silk Curtain 84 inch Privacy Protection Energy Saving Drape Dimout Light Window Drapes for Living Room, Nickel Grommet (1 Panel, 42 by 84 Inch, Ivory)

Source: Amazon

Very similar to insulated drapes, energy-saving drapes do a great job at helping keep the temperature in a home consistent, which will lower monthly bills. They can be hung in front of drafty windows to help block any cold air coming into the house during the winter. Because they do such a great job at preventing cold air from seeping into your home, they lower your bills, keep your family from being too cold and ensure that there are no cold spots in your house.

Fabric Type

Polyester

LA Linen Polyester Poplin Backdrop Drape (2 Pack), 96 x 58, Light Gray

Source: Amazon

This is a very popular type of fabric to use for drapes because it is incredibly sturdy, durable, and affordable. These drapes are easy to care for and will resist stretching and shrinking. While polyester drapes look great in almost every room of your home, it is important to skip using this type of material in your kitchen as these drapes tend to absorb odors and this material is highly flammable, which can be very dangerous if your drapes are near your stove.

Cotton

KindoBest Gray Ribbon Pattern Gromment Curtain(1 Panel) 100% Cotton/drape/treatment for Bedroom/Living Room Size (52W×84L inch)

Source: Amazon

Cotton and cotton-blend drapes are very versatile and offer a clean, crisp feel that works well with most decorating styles and decor. This type of fabric can easily be printed in a number of different styles and with different colors so it is usually fairly easy to find the perfect drapes for your space. Many people choose cotton drapes if they have children in the home since the cotton fabric can easily be washed in the washing machine and hung back up without having to make a special trip to the dry cleaner. Because cotton is so forgiving and does not wrinkle, it is easy to keep your cotton drapes looking their best even if they haven’t been washed in a while.

Silk

DWCN Sheer Curtains Semi Transparent Voile Grommet Window Curtain Faux Silk Drapes for Bedroom 52 x 84 Inches Long, 2 Panels White

Source: Amazon

While many people think that silk drapes will be significantly lighter than other types of fabric, the truth is that silk drapes are incredibly heavy and look very romantic informal dining rooms and bedrooms. It’s important to remember that this type of drape has to be taken to the dry cleaner for cleaning as otherwise they can be easily ruined in a home machine. Additionally, because silk can be easily damaged by the sun, you may want to use a liner to ensure that the drapes are protected. To enjoy the same look as real silk drapes without the expensive and time-consuming care, opt for faux silk that has the same benefits of real silk drapes but doesn’t require the same level of care.

Linen

Exclusive Home Loha Linen Window Curtain Panel Pair with Grommet Top, Winter White, 52x96, 2 Piece

Source: Amazon

Linen drapes are a very attractive and billowy choice if you want drapes in your home that still appear to be tailored as these drapes will fall very nicely to the floor while still retaining their shape. Because they are so sheer, they will not completely block out the sun so you will be able to enjoy some natural light in your home. The problem with linen drapes is that they usually have to be dry cleaned and need to be hung immediately after being washed so that they will not wrinkle.

Velvet

Large Size Smoky Gray Classic Blackout Velvet Curtain Panels Home Theater Grommet Drape Eyelet 84Wx84L-inch Light Grey(1 panel) with Matching Pillow and Tieback

Source: Amazon

This is an incredibly heavy fabric that does a great job at keeping out cold air so that your home will not be drafty during the winter. Because of this, velvet drapes are very popular for homes in colder climates as they can help to decrease power bills. This fabric drapes exceptionally well, which means that they look very polished and rich so they can update a dining room, upscale master bedroom, or traditional living room. In addition to blocking cold air, velvet drapes are thick enough to prevent loud noises from entering the home and will provide homeowners with additional privacy.

Lace

No. 918 Alison Floral Lace Sheer Rod Pocket Curtain Panel,Ivory Off-White,58" x 84"

Source: Amazon

The sheerest of all of the fabrics, lace drapes diffuse natural light into your space and provide a very airy and open feel in any room. They are often thought of as being very romantic and add a touch of class and romance to dining rooms and bedrooms. It’s generally easiest to find lace drapes in neutral shades, which means that they will easily coordinate with any décor style or color choices that you have in your home. Before buying lace drapes, it is important to check how they can be washed as some have to be dry cleaned to ensure that they are not damaged; others are machine washable, which will make caring for your curtains easier and less expensive.





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