Glossary of Terms
Providing America's Curtains and Drapery since 1918
Acetate Man-made fibers of cellulose acetate, and fabric made of those fibers which have a silk-like appearance and texture. Acrylic Man-made fibers in which the fiber-forming substance is a long chain synthetic polymer. Soft and lightweight, with woolly feel, it's resistant to sunlight and washes well.
Acrylic Foam Backing A drapery product feature which affords additional insulation at the window and eliminates the need for a liner.
Allowance - A customary variation from an "exact" measurement, taken for the purpose of anticipated needs.
Antique Satin One of the most common drapery fabrics sold. Characterized by a lustrous effect normally composed of rayon/acetate blends.
Basketweave Plain under-and-over weave; primarily in draperies.
Batiste A soft finished fabric which has a high count of fine yarns. It is more opaque than voiles. Usually composed of 100% polyester or a polyester blend.
Bottom Hem - The turned part forming a finished edge at bottom of drapery.
Boucle From a French word meaning curled or bucked, a knotted or woven fabric with looped or knotted surface that has a spongy look.
Box Pleat - A fold of cloth sewn into place to create fullness in a drapery. Box pleats are evenly spaced and stitched.
Bracket - Metal piece attached to the wall or casing to support a drapery or curtain rod.
Brocade Rich jacquard-woven fabric with all-over interwoven design of raised figures or flowers. Brocade has a raised surface in contrast to felt damask, and is generally made of silk, rayon and nylon yarns with or without metallic treatment.
Buckram A heavy, coarse, plain weave fabric, which is used as a stiffener. It gives shape to the header in pinch-pleated draperies.
Burn-out A process of printing using chemicals to burn-out or dissolve away one or two fibers in a cloth to forms a design.
Carriers - Small runners installed in a traverse rod which hold a drapery pin or hook.
Cascade - A fall of fabric that descends in a zig-zag line from a drapery heading or top treatment.
Casement Glazed cotton fabric often printed with bright figures and large flower designs. Some glazes will wash out in laundering. The only durable glaze is a resin finish which withstands washing or dry cleaning.
Casing - Wooden frame around a window.
Center Draw - One pair of draperies which draws open and closes exactly at a window’s center point.
Center Support - A metal grip which is used to support a traverse rod from above and prevents rod from sagging in the middle, but does not interfere with rod operation.
Custom-made Draperies - Draperies made to order in a workroom or decorator shop.
Damask Firm, glossy jacquard-patterned fabric. Damask is similar to brocade, but flatter and reversible. It can be made from linen, cotton, rayon or silk, or a combination of fibers.
Double-Hung - May be several items: Double hung window, Double hung shutters , and Double hung draperies (two sets of draperies usually sheer fabric under opaque fabric, both operating independently.
Embroidery Ornamental needlework consisting of designs worked on fabric by hand or machine Eyelet A small hole or perforation made in a series or in a design and finished with embroidery.
Festoon - A decorative drapery treatment of folded fabric that hangs in a graceful curve, and frames the top of a window.
Finial - Decorative end piece on cafŽ rods or decorative traverse rods (also referred to as "pole ends.")
Finished Length - This is the length after draperies have been made, using the extra allowances in hem and heading.
Foamback Term used to denote that a fabric has been laminated to a backing of polyurethane foam.
French Pleats - This is a three-fold pleat and the one most often used in draperies.
Hand, Handle The reaction of the sense of touch, when fabrics are held in the hand. There are many factors which give character or "individuality" to a material observed through handling. A correct judgment may thus be made concerning its capabilities in content, working properties, drapability, feel, elasticity, fineness and softness, launderability, etc.
Heading - This is the top part of a drapery that accommodates the pleats. The heading can vary in depth, but the most common are 2"or 3" high.
Hem - Refers to finished sides and bottom edges of a drapery.
Inherent Flame Frees Fabric woven of flame-resistant fabric (not processed) and flame-free for life of the fabric. Jacquard A system of weaving invented in France; fabrics made on a jacquard loom have the pattern woven in. The system is used for tapestry, brocade and damask among others.
Kodel (see Polyester) Eastman's registered trademark name for its polyester fiber.
Leno A lightweight fabric with an open weave in which warp yarns are paired and twisted, one around the other between picks of filling.
Linen This is a product of the flax plant. Among the properties of linen are rapid moisture absorption, no fuzziness, does not soil quickly, a natural luster and stiffness.
Lining - A fabric backing for a drapery.
Matelasse Appearance of a quilted weave; figured pattern with a raised, bubbly surface.
Macrame A type of knotted lace made with knots arranged to create a design.
Malimo Fabric made of filling yarn laid over a set of warp yarns and stitched together with a third yarn. It gives the appearance of textured robe-like yarns held together by a network of finer threads.
Mitered Corner - The formation of the bottom edge of a drapery panel with a 45 degree angle on hem side.
Moire A finish given cotton, silk, acetate, rayon, nylon, etc. where bright and dim effects are observed. This is achieved by passing the fabric between engraved rollers which press the particular motif into the fabric.
Ninon A smooth, transparent, high textured type of voile fabric. Usually made from 100% polyester.
One-Way Draw - Drapery designed to draw one way only, in one panel.
Open Weave Loosely woven fabric, sometimes referred to as casement that is characterized by widely spaced openings.
Osnaburg A coarse, strong, plain weave fabric, medium to heavyweight, often consisting partly of cotton waste.
Overlap - The overlap of a pair of draperies is that part of a drapery panel which rides the master carrier of a traverse rod and overlaps in the center when draperies are drawn close. Usually 3 l/2" on each side.
Panel - One half a pair of draperies or curtains.
Pattern Repeat - The "repeat" of a pattern is the distance between any given point in a design to where that exact point is repeated again.
Pinch Pleats - A drapery heading where the basic pleat is divided into two or three smaller, equal pleats, sewn together at the bottom edge on the right side of the fabric.
Ply The number of single yarns twisted together to form ply yarns. Also the number of ply yarns twisted together to form cord.
Polyester A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is a long-chain synthetic polymer. It is a crease-resistant, quick drying and required minimum care. Registered trademarks for Polyester include Dacron (DuPont), Kodel (Eastman), Fortrel (Celanese Corp.) and Trevira (Hoeschst Fibers).
Rayon Man-made fibers of regenerated cellulose. Originally known as artificial silk, it has high absorbency, superior strength and good draping qualities.
Ready - Mades - Standard size draperies, manufactured to accommodate standard size windows; they are factory-made and available at local stores or through mail order sources.
Return - The return of a drapery is that part of a drapery panel that is needed to cover the rod projection from the wall or window.
Rod Pocket - A hollow sleeve in the top --- and sometimes the bottom --- of a curtain or drapery through which a rod is inserted. The rod is then attached to a solid wall surface.
Sash Rod - A small rod, either decorative or plain, usually mounted inside a window frame on the sash.
Satin Weave One of the three basic weaves, the others being plain weave and the twill weave. The surface of satin weave cloth is almost made up entirely of warp or filling floats since in the repeat of the weave each yarn of the one system passes or floats over or under all but one yarn of the opposite yarn system. Satin weaves have a host of uses - brocade, brocatelle, damask other decorative materials.
Scotchguard Registered trademark name for 3Ms fluoride - based grease and water stain repellent fabric finish.
Seeded voile A voile with an effect produced by employing seed or nub yarn.
Selvedge (or Selvage) Each side edge of a woven fabric and an actual part of the warp in the goods. Other names for it are listing, self-edge, and raw edge.
Sheer Any transparent or very lightweight fabric, such as ninon, batiste and voile, of various constructions and yarns, especially man-made fiber yarns.
Shirring Parallel rows of short, running stitches with gatherings between rows.
Side Hem - The turned part forming a finished edge at the side of the drapery
Silk The only natural fiber that comes in a filament form reeled from the cocoon, cultivated or wild.
Slub Yarn Yarn of any type which is irregular in diameter; may be caused by error, or purposely made with slubs to bring out some desired effect to enhance a material.
Stacking - The area required for draperies when they are completely opened.
Taffeta A fine plain weave fabric smooth on both sides, usually with a sheen on its surface.
Tergal Polyester produced by Rhone-Poulenc Textiles of France, often used to describe imported French voile.
Texture The first meaning is the actual number of warp threads and filling picks per inch in any cloth that has been woven. Texture is also much used by the public and in advertising circles to mean the finish and appearance of cloth.
Textured Yarns Synthetic yarns in which the filaments have been crimped or otherwise modified to create a different surface texture.
Thread Count 1. The actual number of warp ends and filling picks per inch a woven cloth. Texture is another name for this term. 2. In knitted fabric thread implies the number of wales or ribs, and the courses per inch.
Traverse - To draw across. A traverse drapery is one that opens or closes across a window by means of the traverse rod from which it is hung.
Trevira (see Polyester) Registered trademark name for Hoeschst Fibers polyester fiber.
Valance - A valance is a horizontal decorative fabric treatment used at the top of draperies to screen hardware and cords.
Velvet A warp pile cloth in which a succession of rows of short cut pile stand so close together as to give an even, uniform surface. When the pile is more than one-eighth of an inch high, the cloth is usually called plus.
Visa Milliken's trademark name for a range of polyester fabrics which have a special comfort and soil-release properties.
Voile A sheer, transparent, lightweight fabric made of highly twisted yarns of cotton or blends.
Warp The yarns running lengthwise in the fabric parallel to the selvage, through which the filling yarns are passed.
Weft The yarns running crosswise in the fabric from selvage to selvage at right angles to the warp.
Weights - (Chain and lead) Lead weights are sewn in at the vertical seams and each corner of drapery panel. Chain weight are small beads strung in a line along bottom hemline of sheers to insure an even hemline of sheers, to insure an even hemline and straight hanging.
Width - A word to describe a single width of fabric. Several widths of fabric are sewn together to make a panel of drapery. "Panel" is sometimes used in referring to a width of fabric
Zepel Du Pont's registered trademark name for a chemical compound which forms a layer of film around textile fibers to prevent spots and stains from penetrating.