If you’re looking to update the window treatments in your home, you may find that the various types of terminologies used in the industry can make the entire procedure for determining what you’re seeking, to say the least, confusing. 

Many different terms are used by suppliers, manufacturers, and interior decorators, such as drapes, shades, block out, and eyelets. 

Also, the list of different window treatment options and styles appears to be endless and can be overwhelming to most people. Plus, fabricators appear to be speaking a completely different language than you know most times. 

The following is a guide to the most common types of window treatments, as well as technical definitions.

Why You Should Cover Your Windows

Every home is unique, and each taste in style, color, and texture, among other things, reflects the individual’s personal likes, and dislikes. 

To be honest, nowhere does a person’s personality shine brighter, than in the showcasing of the interior design of their home.

This ascertains that window covering in a home must do much more than simply look nice, and match the styles, and colors of the room, including the furniture. Instead, it should reflect a huge part of your personality. 

Treatments for windows

Here are some of the importance of window coverings: 

  • It can provide either an elegant, casual, subtle, or dramatic backstory to the rest of the interior décor. 
  • It can pull together the room with its decorations. 
  • It can be the central focus of any space. 
  • It can either diffuse or expand natural light. 
  • It can insulate against the cold of winter, and the heat of warmer months. 
  • It can protect the floor coverings and furnishings from the sun. 

Traditionally, three types of curtains were used to cover windows:

  • A sash curtain to filter light. 
  • A draw curtain to block out light.
  • Purely decorative over drapery.

In the modern environment, window coverings include curtains, drapes, blinds, shades, and so on.

Drapes or curtains?

What is the characteristic between drapes, and curtains?

This a common inquiry for many customers, and there are not so many simple answers. Both drapes and curtains are made of panels of fabric and are usually supplied in pairs.

The term drapes are often used for thicker, more formal types of curtains. It is usually made of heavy, luxurious materials such as velvet or silk, giving the window a well-made look.

Curtains are also lined, pleated, and hung on the floor.

Curtain is a general phrase that can be used for window treatments such as drapes made from panels of fabric. 

Heading Formats

Curtains and drapes can be found in a variety of styles, which are typically defined by the various ways in which the curtains or drapes have been pleated or sewn at the top. 

This is known as the Heading style, and the type of heading style you select determines the overall look of the design of the curtain. The following are the most popular curtain heading styles:

Tailored Pleat vs Pinch Pleat

Pinch pleat curtains, also known as Tailored pleat curtains, are one of the most popular and widely produced pleated curtains. The pinch can be a double, triple, quadruple, or even quintuple fold stitched into the panel’s top.

Box pleat or reverse box pleat

Box pleats are rectangular, box-like pleats sewn to the top of a curtain panel. Box pleats create deep, even folds in the finished curtain, giving it an elegant, and tailored look.

Pencil fold or anthology headline

Pencil pleats have many individual pleats sewn into the top of the panel. These creases are much thinner, about the size of a pencil, hence the name; Pencil pleat curtains have a more casual feel than gusset drapes and tend to be less bulky.

 Like pinch pleats, it can be hung on a variety of pole and rail systems.

Calyx folds

The calyx fold is a highly technical fold that has become less common.

 It is this type of formal, and traditional fold used for curtains that got its name because the fold resembles a wine glass or goblet. 

If you are willing to invest in a goblet drape, this heading style works best on firmer fabrics and allows the creases to be visible. This heading style is beautiful, but not the most practical, so it is not usually used. 

Perfect for curtains, and drapes that are not purely decorative. 

Eyelet curtains 

Eyelet curtains are the same, this modern heading style uses grommets to hang panels, to from a curtain rod. 

Eyelet is a word used to describe an open ring, usually made of metal, these rings built into the top of the curtain allow it to be opened, and closed. 

Because of their modern, and simple look, eyelet curtains or eyelet drapes are popular with many homeowners and go well with more contemporary decorating styles. 

To create more fullness, and volume with these types of curtains, simply purchase them wider than your window. 

Curtain Lining Varieties

The lining is the fabric sewn to the back of the curtain panel; it can be plain or patterned and is only visible from the outside of the window.

 The type of lining you select may alter the appearance, and performance of your chosen curtain. 

More information about different types of curtains and how different linings affect their performance can be found below.

Sheer drapes

Sheer curtains are unlined curtains that let light into a room.

The lining is not used for sheer curtains because it would be visible through the sheer fabric, and would also make the curtains more opaque.

Because these curtains are made of sheer, semi-transparent fabric, they are translucent. They don’t offer rooms with much privacy, instead, they gently soften the light that comes in through the window, making it a more decorative window treatment. 

Blackout curtains 

Many people try to verify the difference between blackout curtains and blockout curtains, and the answer is that they are the same. These types of curtains only have different names depending on which supplier or manufacturer you are dealing with.

Blackout curtains or blocking curtains are curtains that allow very little light to enter the room through the fabric.

Insulated curtains 

Similar to shading and blackout, the terms thermal curtains, and insulated curtains are used to describe the same product. 

Insulated curtains or thermal curtains have thermal properties that help retain heat inside, and outside your home. These curtains are made in a similar manner to blackout curtains, and can also provide the additional benefits mentioned above.  


There are various parts, and styles to curtains, and window management. Each of them with there pros, and cons. Thankfully, this article has discussed most of them. 

But even with this, the major point to focus on is the style of curtain that suits your personality.