The rule of thumb is to use simple headings wherever possible, but specially on elaborate fabrics. The easiest heading, that suits practically every every style and fabric, is the traditional French pleat. Goblet pleats are dramatic and, accordingly, should never be less than 15 cm tall. Pencil pleats must be created by hand in order to look good, and this could turn out to be expansive. Gathered headings suit informal curtains.

Slot headings conceal the pole from which the certains hang, so the drapes don’t really draw that well. This makes them good for sheers and cheesecloth, but not for anything too heavy.
Smocked headings are very decorative and best for plain silk or simple stripes; and looped or tie headings are usually used for informal curtains hanging from a simple pole.


  1. French heading on rings and pole. This is by far the easiest heading to use because it is so versatile. It bunches up well, the curtains filling only a narrow space when pulled aside, and can be used on virtually any fabric.
  2. Tab heading. This neat system consists of tabs with fastenings that are pushed through the fabric. It suitable for heavier, preferably plain, fabrics.
  3. Tie heading. Unlined lace panels are tied on with silk velvet ribbon and unlined mohair outer curtains are attached with pearl buttons over a pole. The effect illustrates the new, free-flowing style of today’s curtains.
  4. Smocked heading. Smocking difficult to create and extremely rich in detail, and is therefore not to he hidden. This is a heading style that could he used on a shorter window. Use plain fabric one with a small pattern — never large design.
  5. Cape heading. So called because the curtain fabric — matching or contrasting — is turned over on itself to form a loose cape that falls over the heading, preferably a simple gather or a French pleat. It is a very effective country look.
  6. A French heading on a track is attached to a fascia board and covered in fabric to hide the track and shade fixings. It looks neat and well finished.
  7. Gathered heading. This looks great with stripes and checks, because it changes the emphasis of the pattern at the top. For this reason, it is not really suitable for large, repeat patterns.
  8. A modern ring-and-clip system. The fabric is held in pleats by the clips, gwing the pleats a precision that is best suited to plain fabrics with a little weight to them, such as burlap or heavy linen.
  9. Rivet-headed curtain. A modern look, it is best suited to canvas or other stiff fabric. The under curtains are on a separate, thinner rod and tied to simple rings.
  10. Detail of a robust rivet-headed curtain. This is an excellent way of dealing with fabrics such as thick felt, synthetic suede, or leather, because it does not require the fabric to be pleated.
  11. Simple roll-up shade fixing. The lightweight shade is hung on wall-mounted rosettes. The bold key-pattern braid both stiffens and decorates the top of the shades.
  12. Pencil pleat heading. This is made up of very fine, precise pleats stacked together and it works on valances as well. A very versatile heading that looks good with fabrics that catch the light, such as silks and satins.
  13. Slot heading. The pole is slotted through a pocket sewn in the fabric. It is a very elegant heading for dress curtains that do not draw, but fasten with tiebacks or Italian stringing (as used for theater curtains).
  14. A tie heading with contrasting ribbons. This type of heading is ideal for floating, filmy fabrics, such as sheers. It is well suited to thin iron poles and metal rings.
  15. Inverted pleat heading. A very simple heading that looks good when drawn, as it tends to hunch up rather clumsily when pulled back. Gives a sleek modern look and an opportunity to play with large repeat patterns.
  16. Goblet pleat heading. A classic style that is perfect for showing off larger patterns. The goblets themselves are usually filled with wadding to hold their shape.