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Curtain Installation Types

Installation Types of Custom Made Curtains Brisbane

Having decided on a curtain for that opening, there are now practical design issues for the curtain installation to be considered.  Why are you having a treatment on that opening? Answers could range from: a sun problem at times during the day (heat, glare, damage furnishings), darken a bedroom for morning/daytime sleeping, darken a TV/home theatre room for daytime viewing, a privacy problem in the daytime, a privacy problem at night, security issue when the house is vacant, purely decorative function only, make the room more cosy, or a combination of some of these.

Working through these questions will guide the consultant’s thinking, and your thinking about what types of designer curtain fabrics and curtain installations are going to meet to your needs. Read on for a full discussion of curtain installation types.

Centre open or one way draw curtains?

The simplest arrangement is a plain single track installation, for example Styleline made to measure tracking. Questions to be sorted here are whether the curtain should be centre open i.e. the curtain in two pieces that meet at the centre, or one way draw i.e. the curtain in one piece that opens or stacks to one side usually to match a one way sliding window or door.

Centre open curtains are often favoured for one way sliding windows however, for the sake of appearance when the curtain is open. Stackback should be allowed in this case. Stackback means that the track extends past the opening to allow the curtain to be stacked off the opening to some degree.

Stackback is also a consideration with narrow width openings such as single double hung windows in a Queenslander. In this case, if stackback is not allowed, most of the opening remains covered even when the curtain is open.

An alternative to stackback in such situations is tiebacks or holdbacks.


Double track and double layer installations
Blockout curtains and home theatre curtains

A double track installation involves a sheer curtain in one of two ways, but first some terminology.  Window furnishings and window furnishing fabrics are classed as blockout, or translucent (which allows light through), or transparent (which can be seen through).  Transparent is usually referred to as a ‘sheer’ in curtains or roller blinds, or a sunscreen as a particular type of roller blind sheer fabric.

A single layer curtain is either open or closed. If daytime privacy is an issue, then a backdrop sheer fabric curtain can be used on a rear track and a solid curtain, either blockout curtain (also known as blackout curtain or translucent curtain) is used on a front track to provide night time privacy as well as sun protection if required.  Note: at night time the situation is the reverse of daytime, with a sheer curtain or blind and the inside light level higher than outside, people can see into the room but you can’t see out.

The other type of double track installation uses a sheer fabric on the front track and a solid lining on the rear track.  This has become a popular option in recent years with the explosion in variety of very affordable sheer fabrics, in many colours, textures, and amazing finishes. Coloured blockout linings are also available to enhance the colour depth of the sheers.

Double layer treatments involving curtains and blinds are also an option to be kept in mind, for example in the case of sheers on small windows or for short drop curtains, a blockout roller blind, or a venetian blind behind the curtain may be neater. The other situation is a sheer or sunscreen roller blind behind a solid curtain.

Fixed side drops

Fixed side drop curtains (not meant to cover the full width of the opening), often with tiebacks or holdbacks, are another installation which combines with blinds of various types to achieve light or privacy control plus the decorative effect of curtains. Side drops are also used for decorative effect in front of sheer curtains over blinds or even over blockout linings on separate rear tracks on large openings. This is referred to as a triple track installation.


Insulation values: custom curtains and blinds

Curtains are often mentioned as an important contributor to home insulation, and since Andersons handle virtually all types of window furnishings/coverings and we are often asked how the various types rate against each other.

If you ask the question in relation to blind fabrics you risk being bombarded with a transmission, absorption and reflectance coefficients for both ultraviolet and solar energy, with visual transmittance coefficients for all the colours thrown in, and be none the wiser.

What it boils down to is that blockout fabrics of any type block virtually 100% of ultraviolet radiation and even most transparent fabrics (such as ‘suncreens’) block most of it, therefore, protecting your furnishings from fading etc. Light coloured fabrics reflect most of the heat in the solar radiation and absorb most of the rest depending on how blockout they are.  Dark coloured fabrics absorb most of the heat. The problem is the absorbed heat, which can be something like one-third of that entering the opening, even in the case of light coloured fabrics.

The most effective insulation is achieved by trapping the hot air between the curtain or blind and the opening. This is achieved mostly by the addition of a pelmet or any top treatment with a headboard.  This works less effectively for blinds because there are still gaps at the sides, whereas a curtain has, or should have, ‘returns’ at the sides fitting tight to the wall.

Our experienced interior decorators can consult with you to ensure you choose the right custom made Brisbane curtains for home theatre rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, and outdoor areas.


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