Glossary of Drapery Hardware & Window Treatment Terminology


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Allowance: An intentional variation from an exact measurement to provide for anticipated needs.

Angle Iron (aka L Bracket): A metal bracket in the shape of an “L” used to install board-mounted treatments.

Arched Top Treatment: Any top treatment design with an arch-shaped heading.


Baton (aka Wand): A piece of window treatment hardware consisting of a long cylindrical handle with a hook at one end and a ball at the other. Used to increase the ease of opening and closing drapes by hand.

Baton with Bypass C Ring: A bypass baton and C rings are used in conjunction with bypass brackets so the drapery panel can glide smoothly across the brackets; allows complete closure of the drapery.

Bay Window: A group of three windows set at angles to each other projecting outward from the main walls of the structure.

Bed Corona (aka Corona): A decorative treatment or “crown” for the bed mounted on the wall or ceiling.

Bow Window: A group of four or more casement windows set at angles to each other that form an arch and project beyond the exterior wall of the structure.

Bowed Cornice: A cornice with convex or concave curves on the face.

Bracket (aka Mount): Used to attach drapery / curtain rods to the wall or ceiling. Provide the foundation for the drapery treatment supporting the overall weight of the rod and the material it contains. Can be made in a variety of shapes to accommodate double rods, inside mount rods, rods with returns, etc. Should be placed every 4’ and under each point at which rods are joined with a connector.

Bracket Extension: Drapery hardware that facilitates extra clearance away from the point of installation.

Bracket-to-Bracket: The measurement from the outside of one bracket to the outside of the opposite bracket.

Bypass Bracket: Used in conjunction with bypass C ring to permit draperies to glide smoothly across the entire length of the drapery rod without getting snagged or stuck.


C Ring: A curtain / drapery ring with a cutout on the back giving it a "C" shape. C rings are used with Bypass Brackets which allow the rings to slide smoothly past the bracket arm. C rings look like regular rings from the front.

Café Rod: A small, round decorative rod used to mount café curtains that do not have a rod pocket. Café rods are meant to be seen and add a decorative touch to the window treatment.

Café Mount Curtain Rods: A traversing or non-traversing short panel that covers only the lower section of the window, ending at the sill or case.

Canopy: A fabric bed treatment that goes over the top of a specialty bed frame.

Ceiling Mount Curtain Rods: Drapery / curtain rods mounted from the ceiling often used when there are no nearby walls with which to use sockets.

Center Bracket: A bracket made with a horizontal backplate that typically is used as a middle bracket for extra support. The horizontal backplate allows mounting options that a vertical backplate does not, such as when there is limited vertical wall space or when there is a need to mount the rod as low as possible directly above the window trim.

Center Draw (aka Split Draw): A traversing pair of draperies that draws open from and closes to a window’s center point without an overlap.

Center Support: A grip mounted from above that is used to prevent a drapery / curtain rod from sagging in the middle.

Clearance: The distance from the mounting surface to the back of the drapery / curtain rod (an important consideration when an under treatment is used).

Cleat: A metal or plastic hook mounted at the side of a window to hold the cords of window shades or blinds.

Concave Curve: An inward curve.

Convex Curve: An outward curve.

Cord Draw: Simple mechanical system that allows drapery to be pulled across a drapery rod without being drawn by hand or with the use of a drapery wand or baton.

Corner Window (aka Miter Window): Two windows that typically join at a 90-degree angle in a corner. Often, a single corner curtain rod will work better both physically and aesthetically than two separate straight rods.

Cornice: A decorative wooden, fabric, or foam header placed above a window to conceal drapery hardware.

Corona (aka Bed Corona): A decorative treatment or “crown” for a bed mounted on the wall or ceiling.

Curtain: A ready-made window covering of sheer or lightweight material. It can be pleated, shirred on a rod, or stapled to a board for mounting. Some curtains are stationary and some traverse. Most curtains are produced with synthetic fibers.

Curved Window: One or more windows forming a curved or semi-circular shape.

Custom Made Draperies: Draperies made to order in a workroom that are manufactured to specific instructions, measurements and materials providing a superior level of quality.

Cut Length: The length to which the drapery rod or fabric is cut. With drapery, the size includes the finished length of the treatment as well as hems, headings, and any necessary allowance for pattern repeat.

Cut Width: The width to which the fabric is cut including side seam allowances.


Decorative Drapery Hardware: Items such as rods, finials, brackets, rings, medallions, tiebacks and other accessories that are used by designers to add aesthetic appeal to a window treatment in addition to serving a functional purpose.

Decorative Drapery Rod: A drapery rod designed to be showcased as part of an overall window treatment design. It is usually cut to a specific length, made of wood or metal, and finished in various colors.

Diameter: The length of a straight line that runs through the center of a circle.

Dormer Window: An upright window that breaks the surface of a sloping roof.

Double Drapery Rod Bracket: One drapery rod bracket made to hold and support two drapery rods. Can be specifically ordered to accommodate different rod diameters and at different projections. Offers opportunity to create a layered treatment.

Drapery: A window covering custom made from fabric that is usually lined and floor length.

Drapery Hook (aka Drapery Pin): A metal pin used to fasten draperies to a rod that pins into the drapery pleat (or header) and hooks onto the traverse carrier, café rod, or a ring.

Drapery Ring: Hardware that connects the drapery panels to the drapery rod with a drapery clip, or a drapery hook that fits into a ring eyelet; provides the means for the drapery to glide smoothly across the entire length of the drapery rod.

Draw Draperies: Panels of fabric that will open and close on a traverse rod or can be drawn by hand with or without a wand / baton.


Ease: A fabric length, beyond that of your finished calculation, that has to be worked in to fit.

Elbow: Drapery hardware component that provides the ability to return the drapery rod to the wall or make the transition from one wall to another in a corner.

End Brackets: Grips / mounts affixed to the wall, window frame or ceiling that support the drapery rod.

End Cap: A drapery hardware component that is affixed to the end of a drapery rod when wall space is limited and/or to affect a more modern style.

Eyelet Ring: A drapery / curtain ring with a small round hoop on the underside, through which the drapery is sewn, or a drapery pin is inserted.


Face Width (aka Front Width): The width of the valance board without returns.

Finial: A decorative element attached to one or both ends of a drapery / curtain rod that also prevents rings and panels from sliding off the end of the rod.

Finial Plug: Fits into the end of certain drapery rods so a finial may be attached with a screw to the rod.

Finial Wall Mount: Provides a support base for mounting finials as a decorative accent.

Finished Length: The total length of the curtain / drape after the header and the hem are sewn (the length of a finished treatment).

Finished Width: The total width (including face width, returns and overlaps) of a finished treatment.

Flat Panel Header: A flat drapery panel attaches to a drapery rod using rings, clips, eyelets or drapery pins. These draperies can be purely decorative and non-functioning or they may be drawn by hand.

Floating Drapery Length: Drapery panels hang about ½ inch above the floor without a break (ideal length for traversing drapery rods).

Floor to Ceiling Deduction: The deduction needed to account for the amount of space occupied by the drapery rod in a floor to ceiling drapery installation.

French Door: A door with rectangular panes of glass extending the full length that is usually hung with a pair of doors in one frame and with both doors opening outward.

Front Width (aka Face Width): The width of the valance board without returns.

Fullness: The amount of extra fabric added to a finished measurement to create the desired “full” effect. Fullness creates vertical or horizontal folds/gathers on the face of the treatment. The fuller the treatment, the more folds/gathers on the face. The usual custom fullness is 2½ to 3 times the total width of a treatment.



Glide Tape: A durable, transparent tape coated with Teflon that is applied to the top of a drapery rod; allows the drapery rings to be drawn smoothly over the rod. Especially useful in preventing drapery rings from becoming stuck at points where two rods have been joined.



Hand Draw: Basic method by which drapery is drawn across a drapery rod by hand without the use of a mechanical system or a drapery wand or baton.

Heading: The finished top of the drapery, curtain or valance that hangs from a drapery rod or pole.

Holdback / Tieback: A decorative piece of hardware that holds draperies to each side of the window.


Inside Mount: Drapery / curtain rods are mounted between two facing surfaces (usually a window frame or cornice board). Commonly used with windows that have deep recesses, shower curtain rods, and occasionally across the entire wall of a room.


Jamb: The interior side of a door or window frame.

Joined Drapery Rod: Two or more drapery rods custom cut to an exact length and joined by connector screws or plates to cover a long span specified in a window treatment design. The seams are fitted precisely and the drapery rod is supported with brackets installed at each seam point.


Kiss Drapery Length: Drapery panels “kiss” the floor falling 1-3 inches onto the surface.


Leading Edge: The side of the drapery / curtain which is drawn to close the treatment. The leading edges of a pair of center draw draperies are the two edges that overlap one another in the center of a two-way traverse rod.

Linear Foot (aka Running Foot): The measure of flat width or length of a treatment converted to feet.

Long Point (aka deep point): The measurement of a treatment at its longest/deepest point.


Master: A piece of metal on the leading edge of the carriers on a drapery rod that pushes/pulls the carriers to open/close the drapery.

Medallion: Drapery hardware with a decorative face that is attached to a stem or post and used to tie back or hold back window treatments or mount them to the wall.

Miter Window (aka Corner Window): Two windows that typically join at a 90-degree angle in a corner.

Mount Board (aka Valance Board): The board to which a treatment is attached.

Mounting Allowance (aka Board Allowance): The fabric above the finished length that is used to attach a treatment to the board or drapery rod.

Mullion: The vertical element that forms a division between units of a window (typically wood or aluminum, but sometimes masonry).

Multi-Draw: A simultaneous opening and closing of several draperies on one drapery rod at the same time.


Off-Center Draw: Draperies that traverse to a non-centered point.

One-way Draw: Window treatment that draws in one direction only. Most commonly used when the window is not centered on the wall (closer to the corner).

Outside Mount: The hardware for the window treatment is mounted outside the window on the frame or wall above the window, with the rod extending past the edges of the window (overhang).

Outside Measurement: Measurements taken of the outside perimeter of the window frame so the treatment will cover all window facings. Also, measurements taken from outside left return to outside right return to assure a correct fit over an existing treatment as well as within a given space.

Overhang: The amount the drapery rod extends past the outer edges of the window trim used so the drapery does not block the window when the drapery is fully opened. Aesthetics, drapery use and thickness, and drapery rod length are considerations in determining the extent of the overhang.

Overlap: The area in the center of a split-draw window treatment where the two halves cross one another to reduce the amount of light entering between the two pieces.


Pair Width: The measurement obtained when two panels of a pair of draperies are laid side by side widthwise with no overlap. Calculation is drapery rod width plus one overlap and two returns.

Panel Width: This is the finished width of a panel of draperies.

Pelmet: A historic term for any framework at the top of a window that conceals a drapery rod.

Picture Window: A window with a large center glass area that usually has smaller glass areas on each side.

Pin Set: The position of the pin on a drapery header.

Pleated Header: Offers a wide variety of pleat styles with a more structured formal appearance. Gives the drapery a more consistent look and flow.

Portières: A French term literally translated into “door curtains” which originally were used to sound-and draft-proof doorways; now serve a more decorative role.

Post Bracket: A drapery / curtain rod bracket consisting of a back plate and a post made specifically for mounting drapery rods with returns.

Projection: The furthest distance from the front of the drapery rod or bracket to the wall on which it is mounted. For a single drapery rod mounted on a wall, the most common projection is 3". For a ceiling mount, this would be 3" from the ceiling to the top of the drapery rod. Double drapery rods will typically have a projection of about 2 1/2" for the first drapery rod, and approximately 5" for the second drapery rod. Variances in projection depend on rod size, mounting conditions, drapery properties, and personal preference.

Proportion: The comparative relationship of one part of an object to other parts or the whole of the object.

Puddle Drapery Length: Drapery panels spill and “puddle” onto the floor allowing them to showcase their textures and patterns; often used with high-quality fabrics in low traffic areas.


Radius: Half the diameter of a circle.

Ready Made Curtains: Treatments made to generic finished measurements to work with a variety of window sizes; without the precise and often unique measurements taken for custom work.

Recess: The depth of the frame in which the window has been installed. This is important when using a window treatment that will be mounted on the inside of the window frame. Be sure to deduct the space that will be occupied by a window crank, latch, sash or other protrusion.

Repeat: The distance between the beginning of one complete pattern and the beginning of the next identical pattern. Fabrics may have a vertical repeat, horizontal repeat or both.

Return: The ends of a French / Radius drapery rod that turn back (or return) toward the wall. The return permits the fabric to be wrapped around the end of this drapery rod to block light. French / Radius drapery rods are mounted using Post Brackets. If the mounting bracket has a 4" projection it is important to add another 4" to 4.5" to the width of the measurements to cover the distance from the front center of the drapery rod to the wall.

Ripplefold: A drapery style that attaches to a track using a snap-tape sewn onto the top of each panel creating smooth, evenly spaced folds in the fabric for a clean, modern look.

Rod Length (aka Rod Width): The measurement from one end of a drapery rod to the other including the extension beyond the brackets; this is not the same as bracket-to-bracket measurement.

Rod Pocket: A drapery or top treatment made with a horizontal channel through which a drapery rod is inserted during installation.

Rod Width (aka Face Width): The width of the drapery rod (not including any returns or overlap).

Rosette: A drapery hardware accent designed to resemble an open rose that can be used to accessorize a window treatment.

Running Foot (aka Linear Foot): The measure of the flat width or length of a window treatment converted to feet.


Scale: The relative size of one object to another. Drapery rods and related individual components (finials, brackets and rings) are identified by the scale of the particular component which establishes how the various items relate to one another in form, proportion, and function.

Short Point: The measurement at which the treatment will hang at the shortest point on the window.

Sill Drapery Length: Drapery panels sit just above the window sill.

Space/Spacing: The distance between pleats, folds, rings, etc. on any window treatment.

Span: The distance between two adjacent drapery hardware brackets; e.g., a 130" drapery rod using a bracket in the center would have two spans of 65" where a 90" rod with no middle bracket would have a span of 90". Span (and fabric weight) is critical in determining the diameter of the drapery rod needed to properly support the drapery installation. Drapery rods increase in strength as they increase in diameter, i.e. longer spans and heavier fabrics require larger diameter drapery rods.

Splice: The point at which two stationary drapery rods are joined to create a custom length precisely fit to a particular window size or installation expanse; location of the splice should be planned so it is covered by a bracket for aesthetics and stability.

Split Draw (aka Center Draw): A traversing pair of draperies that draw open and close at the center point of a window.

Stationary Drapery Rod: A drapery rod that attaches to the wall or ceiling using drapery rod brackets. Drapery panels are hung on the rod using grommets, rod pockets, ties, tabs, or hooks and rings. It is primarily used to accent a window and is typically non-functioning unless the treatment is designed to be drawn across the window by hand or with a baton.

Swing Arm Drapery Rod: A hinged metal drapery / curtain rod that swings away to fully uncover a window.


Take Up: The amount a rod pocket drapery shortens after the rod is inserted into the pocket.

Tieback / Holdback: A drapery hardware component (post or hook) used to secure and/or gather drapery panels to the center or sides of a window opening that brings a finished and decorative aesthetic to the overall design.

Top Hole: The top (or the highest) hole on the drapery rod bracket.

Traverse Rod: A drapery rod fitted with an embedded mechanism containing carriers, pulleys and cord. A cord loop is pulled and the draperies are drawn across the width of the rod to open or close the window treatment.

Two-Way Draw: A window treatment comprised of two drapery panels with one panel stacking to the right and the other to the left; cord control can be placed on either side of the track.


Valance (aka Top Treatment): Any decorative design installed horizontally across the top of a window. Valances can stand alone or be incorporated as part of a larger window treatment design.

Valance Board (aka Mount Board): The board to which a treatment is attached.


Wand (aka Baton): A piece of window treatment hardware consisting of a long cylindrical handle with a hook at one end and a ball at the other. Used to increase the ease of opening and closing drapes by hand.

Window Casing: The wooden frame constructed around the window.

Window Width: The horizontal measurement of a window that includes the wood trim if present.


Zip Rod: A drapery rod fitted with an embedded mechanism containing carriers on wheels. Pins sewn into the fabric of the drapery hang onto heavy duty eyelet hooks that glide across the width of the rod to open or close the window treatment as the drapery is drawn.