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Curtain Headings and Linings

Custom Curtain Fabrics, Headings and Linings for Blackout Curtains Brisbane

Curtain headings are a style question, and as such have been very much influenced by the recent fashion movements in interior decoration.  The traditional curtain headings of Pinch Pleat and Pencil Pleat tape have had to make room for the plainer, more tailored looks of Inverted Pleat and S-Fold (aka Ripplefold, Wavefold). And then there are the Tab Top and Eyelet headings of readymade curtains fame.

There are practical questions relating to these curtain heading choices that you need to take account of in your curtain design. And no curtain customer can ever know too much about curtain linings (only kidding!)  But you should know when you are getting the best quality in linings.  Read on for a full discussion of curtain headings & linings …

Curtain headings

Standard curtain headings

Double pinch pleat is the basic all-purpose professional curtain heading – fabric fullness in the curtain will be 2 to 2.25 times track width. Your consultant is likely to specify other headings in the following situations:

Triple pinch pleat (fullness 2.5 + times track width) is used for a very plain curtain fabric or a sheer which relies on the fullness of drape for effect. This amount of fullness is not generally necessary for prints, especially bold designs which may even be detracted from with too much fullness, or for elaborate jacquards etc.

75mm pencil pleat tape is used for a backdrop sheer to avoid ‘duelling’ pinch pleat headings with a front curtain, and also for a front sheer curtain for a more casual look depending on the style of the fabric.  Fullness needs to be minimum 2.5 to achieve a neat appearance to the pencil heading, not too loose.  Fullness is commonly 3 times for plain sheers.

50mm pencil pleat tape is the standard heading for curtains behind pelmets or valances where the heading is not on view and not a feature. It provides a more compact stack at the heading than pinch pleat, and this is often an advantage under pelmets etc.

Inverted pleat heading, full name Inverted box pleat heading, has recently come into vogue because it gives a flat, unfussy look to the heading. The pleated fabric is to the rear of the heading and sewn flat. This is excellent for minimal fullness, and this is the way Andersons do their separate track linings behind sheers where, as well as giving a neat plain heading to the lining, less fullness is an advantage to stackback size and this heading at minimal fullness like 1.5, which is more than adequate for separate track linings, stacks quite compactly.

Inverted pleat heading can be a problem for normal curtain fullness however in that the pleats at the back butt to each other and restrict stackback, which may be an issue. Andersons have a solution in the Reverse pinch pleat, which unfortunately we can’t patent, which allows no restriction in fullness, and provides the most compact stackback of any heading, but it does require a decorator track installation – or the curtain hanging below the track.


S-Fold curtain heading

The other curtain heading in vogue we called S-Fold when we started doing it  5 – 6 years ago. As the name implies the heading and the whole curtain form even concertina type folds when closed, as well as when stacked back. There are various proprietary versions with their own names, always linked to specialist expensive hardware, and in our experience limiting in the fullnesses available to be worked with, as well as the track options.

Our S-Fold is adaptable to our main decorator track options as well as Styleline under a pelmet or Styleline ceiling fix.  Styleline is available in a range of colours, by the way.


Tab top & Eyelet headings – beware!

Other curtain headings you might need to be aware of: Eyelets and Tab tops. These have limited applications for the same reason as decorator poles with rings (to be covered in the next section), you can’t get the curtain past a bracket. Neither of these are easy to live with in that the rings, unless the very largest size, generally jam on the pole when you try to close the curtain and tab tops likewise drag. The curtain will not look like that picture you’ve seen without a lot of painstaking arrangement.  Let alone, why would you want custom made curtains that look like the flood of readymades from China that are everywhere now?


Curtain Linings

Curtain Linings 1PASS or 3PASS?

Curtain lining fabrics in general use in Australia are predominantly coated fabrics with a poly-cotton base cloth available in two colours, white and ivory.

There is a better quality option of 100% polyester base cloth for softer draping linings which also don’t cling so much to the curtain fabric, allowing it to drape more naturally.  1PASS lining has a single layer of acrylic mixed with fabric fibres to give it a soft, slightly textured fabric-like feel rather than a smooth painted surface feel as in 70’s and 80’s before the ‘Suedelina’ innovation.  1PASS lining is a translucent fabric about the same light transmitting density as the heavy cottons that used to be used as linings. The advantage is longevity – you can think of the acrylic coating as something akin to exterior house paint, designed to cop a beating from the sun. Linings before coated fabrics were mainly plain cotton which, like all natural fibres, quickly deteriorates under strong sunlight.

3PASS lining, or blockout lining is the other lining in common use, accounting for probably 90% of the Queensland market.  It consists of a layer of black light blocking material sandwiched between two layers of the white or ivory acrylic.  (2PASS lining has the black material applied immediately on the fabric so the front of the fabric appears grey.  This is an economy option for some commercial situations where it is mostly used.)

Contact us for 3PASS curtain lining for the best blackout curtains Brisbane has to offer.


Detachable, Separate track or Sewn-in linings?

Linings in Queensland, if they are not on a separate track behind sheers are mostly sewn with a tape heading with allows them to be attached to the same hooks that are used for the curtain to be lined.  These are referred to as ‘detachable’ linings. This allows blackout curtain lining to be laundered separately. In earlier times with cotton linings, the ravages of the Queensland sun would have meant linings needing to be replaced possibly a couple of times in the life of the curtain.

Surprisingly, the last time I checked, this arrangement of having detachable linings is almost unknown in Victoria where linings are sewn in to the curtain heading as a standard thing.  Another ‘state difference’: the West Australians happily make their coated lining unhemmed at the bottom.  Pretty smart really. It makes for better draping and there is no danger of fraying.  But would our Queensland customers take to that? Let alone Victorians, they surely would have a fit over something so unconventional.

Sewn-in linings would be the preferred option for fixed side drops which are smaller curtains more easily laundered, and because the lining draping together with the curtain fabric assists to make even folds in the tied back curtain.

We have the Queensland largest  library of curtain fabrics for Brisbane blockout curtains.


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