Pleats Please : The curtain edit

Have you ever considered the different types of pleats you can choose from? For me, the pleats are the crowning glory on a curtain and can elevate the plainest of fabrics in to a statement pair marking the difference between the more formal and relaxed spaces within your home.


So I thought it would be helpful to give you a quick guide to the various different heading options available. There are so many intricate ones to choose from but today I will concentrate on the most popular ones. Please do get in touch if you would like to know more about a particular style you are interested in.


Triple & Double Pleat; also known as French Pleat

These are by far our most popular style of heading and work equally well on both poles and tracks as they stack back well to show off the windows and allow maximum light in to a room.

It is a classic and relatively formal heading so is often used in sitting and dining rooms. The pleats are sewn in by hand and are sometimes paired with a covered lathe and fascia where a corded metal track is fixed to a fabric covered board and hidden by a fascia. These work particularly well in bay windows and bedrooms as the curtains are fitted to sit flush with the top of the board and return to the wall for efficient light exclusion.

Pencil Pleat Headings

As the name suggests, a pencil pleat heading is best described as a neat row of pencils.

This tape heading gives a neat finish to your curtains at a reasonable cost as you don’t need to use too much fabric. They are more relaxed than a French pleat heading and are usually used in less formal rooms such as a bedroom or playroom.

It is worth noting that they don’t stack back as neatly as French pleat curtains so if you have a wide window or minimum stack back space you will lose a lot of light.


Hand Gathered Headings; also known as Cottage Headings

These are similar in the way they are made to pencil pleat but have a narrower heading tape to create a rough gathered effect rather than neat pencil pleats.

This is best for smaller windows or shorter curtain drops (hence it’s name Cottage heading) and have a much softer look working well in a bedroom or playroom.

The downside of these in a bedroom is that light can get up through the top. So if darkness is key, you might want to consider a black out Roman or roller blind behind if space allows.

Eyelet Curtains

This a contemporary heading. In place of a pleat or heading tape they have metal rings which are threaded onto a curtain pole. These rings give the curtains larger, soft pleats and can be opened and closed smoothly and easily. These are often used in kitchens as you can match the eyelet rings & pole to the finish of the door handles ie chrome/brass.


This is only a tip of the pleat iceberg, but I didn't want to overwhelm you with talk of inverted pleats, goblet, dormer or wave curtains. Will save that for another time!

© 2020 Daisy Whitehead Designs.  Website by Elphick & Co

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