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Curtain Terms

Curtain Terms

Get to know the terms and definitions of a curtain. It makes it easier to explain what you want when you know the correct terminology. Get fluent with your curtain terms below.

Face Fabric

The main fabric that faces the interior of the room. The “good” side of the fabric.


Part of the drapery that goes around the side of a cornice, valance, drape to sit flush and at right angles with the wall.

Head / Heading

The top of the curtain. It often gets called heading because of the heading tape that is used to make curtain decorative designs, ie French pleat, pencil pleat etc at the head of the curtain.


This is the area required and used by pleated curtains when they are open on either side of the window. You need to allow for this when you measure for your curtain track.

Padded Edge

This is a roll of padding along the leading edge of a curtain.

Track or Rod

The track or rod is fixed to the wall above the window and is used to hold up the curtain. Types of Curtain Track.


Hooks are what connects the curtain to the tracks or rods.

Heading Tape

Curtain heading tape is how you can get interesting head designs like french pleats, pencil pleats, or the basic gathered pleats. You sew on the tape and pull through the strings to create the style or design. Types of Heading Tape

Leading Edge

This is the inner vertical edges of the curtain that meets its pair at the centre of the window, the edge that is not fixed to the end of the track when you draw back curtains and is often decorated with a contrasting lipping, braid, tasselled fringe.

Curtain Definitions

Curtain Definitions


The base of the curtain which has the fabric turned back up the curtain to make a neat finish to the bottom edge. It also adds natural weight which helps the curtain hang neatly. Weights can also be added into the hem to help achieve this.


Lining sits behind the curtain fabric at the window and is what helps with insulation, protects the curtain from moisture and dirt from the window, helps provide fullness in the curtain, blocks out more light and protects the fabric from UV. More on Linings, Types of Linings

About the Author – Lee Brown

Lee Brown is the co founder of, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Curtain Design eCourse