Wow, custom drapes can really cost a fortune. It’s no wonder that so many people turn to Professional Interior Designers or Decorators to help them make the “right” choices when it comes to selecting their window treatments. When considering custom drapes there are a few very important components to consider, one of them is your “pleat style”. What is a “pleat” you ask? The “Pleat” or as it is often referred to as the “heading’ is the top of the drapery panel that attaches to the drapery rod or track. For literally hundreds of years this drapery headings have been “decorated” into a variety of styles that range from very classic or traditional to modern and contemporary. Let’s walk through each of the most common pleat styles for custom drapes and help you find the “right” one for your home.
The “Flat Pleat” or “Flat Panel”. A Flat drapery panel is one that does not have a pleat at the top of the drape. This is the most basic of drapery panel and is very common. With a flat panel you will attach the panel to the current rod using drapery pins which are attached to the back of the panel. The flat panel is considered to be very relaxed and casual and is often used for light weight fabrics in informal rooms. Think, a soft blowing sheer linen drapery panel in a beach cottage.
The “Rod-Pocket” Drapery Panel. A Rod-Packet panel is a Flat panel but instead of attaching to a rod by pinning it using drapery hooks, the panel is slid over the rod using a “pocket” which is sewn into the panel. While still a very casual look, the rod-pocket will remain affixed to the rod and will not “billow” like a flat panel will. A Rod-Pocket panel is the most common type of panel that you will find in your “big box” retail store. Designers will generally shy-away from Rod-Pocket Panels as they are considered to look and be “cheap” in most circles. The “French Pleat”. So now we are moving into the more intricate pleat styles that you will find in most high-end drapery retailers. The French Pleat is extremely classic and features a fluted fold at the top of the panel which is “tacked” about three inches down from the top. The result is a fluted, almost floral looking fold that has been popular since the 17th Century. The French Pleat is considered more formal and ornate and you will find many a European Castle plenty of French Pleated Silk Drapes in their windows. The “Parisian Pleat”. A close relative to the French Pleat is the Parisian Pleat. Like the French Pleat, the Parisian Pleat featured a three-finger fluted fold at the top of the pleat. With the Parisian Pleat, however, the fold is tacked at the top of the pleat as opposed to the bottom. The result is a “pinched” looking floral pleat where the folds are gathered at the top. This “Pinch” feature is why the Parisian Pleat is also often times referred to as a “Pinch Pleat”. The “Inverted Pleat”. Both the Parisian Pleat and French Pleat are considered very traditional and classic. The Inverted Pleat, however, is more contemporary and modern. The Inverted Pleat is where the Seamstress creates inverted folds at the top of the drape and then stitches them from the rear of the drapery panel. The result is a very clean looking and highly tailored drapery pleat that is very “classy” but also very modern and elegant. The Inverted Pleat is used with many different types of fabrics. The “Cartridge Pleat”. A Cartridge Pleat is formed by creating rolls in the drapery fabric which are sew into round, cylindrical cartridges. The cartridges are generally 2-3 inches in diameter and are stuffed with a pillow fill material or paper. The resulting “cartridge” is typically 4-6 inches long and they are spaced apart to match the materials pattern. The “Grommet Pleat”. The most contemporary of all drapery pleats would have to be a “Grommet Pleat”. Grommets are usually made of brass to resist corrosion, especially when used for custom outdoor drapes and can range in size from less than an inch is diameter to over 4 inches in diameter. Drapery panels featuring grommets can be challenging to open and close and the drapery provider will often recommend a “drapery wand” to help you slide the drapery panel open and closed.
While these are the most common of drapery pleats, there are literally dozens more. Pleats that feature buttons, tabs and ribbons are common and will usually be specified by your Designer or Decorator. The most important factor in selecting the correct pleat for you drapes is to be sure that you are working with a competent Professional who can help guide you through your wide range of options. Today, custom drapes are extremely expensive and it is much better to do your homework in advance.
When it comes to pleat options for custom drapes, there may not be anywhere that provides you with a wide selection of pleat styles than DrapeStyle. Here are some of the “standard” drapery pleat options we offer with sketches. Please keep in mind that these are just “standard” options. Since we manufacturer all of our custom drapes internally, we have the ability to make any pleat style you can imagine.
Images are below but let’s give a brief description of each drapery pleat style:
Inverted Pleat: The Inverted Pleat is a very clean and tailored pleat which is considered a more contemporary pleat style. Our Inverted pleat is 4 inches in length and is available in all drapery fabrics.
8-Inch Inverted Pleat: The 8-Inch Inverted Pleat is the same as the standard inverted pleat but the actual pleat is twice as long than the standard inverted style.
Flat Pleat: The Flat Pleat is the most basic custom drapery panel wherein the top, or “header” of the drapery panel is not pleated but left flat. These panels are hung using drapery pins which are installed on the back of the panel.
Cartridge Pleat: The Cartridge Pleat is somewhat “Transitional” in style meaning that it can be used in “Traditional” style homes as well as more “Contemporary” style homes. At DrapeStyle we used a Patent Pending process to make our Cartridge Pleats wherein we fill the void in the center of the pleat with a foam insert. The insert supports the pleat so that is maintains a uniform size and also prevents insects from “living” in the pleat of the drape. We also offer a Goblet Pleat (not shown) which is similar to the Cartridge with a shorter and wider cartridge that looks like a wine goblet.
French Pleat: The French Pleat is probably our most popular pleat style. The French Pleat is also the most traditional and recognizable drapery pleat we offer.
Parisian Pleat: Similar to the French Pleat, the Parisian Pleat consists of three “fingers” that are sewn together. On the Parisian Pleat the fingers are then “tacked” at the top of the pleat creating a “pinch”. Because of this “pinch” the Parisian Pleat is also referred to as a “Pinch” Pleat style.
Grommets: Grommet Drapery Panels are the most contemporary of our pleat styles. We offer several options of grommet colors and sizes including those which are made for use on outdoor drapes. All of our grommets are inserted by hand in our own Workroom.
Rod-Pocket: We offer two versions of the traditional rod-pocket drapery panel. The most basic is a simple rod-pocket where a pocket is sewn into the top of the drapery panel where the drapery rod is inserted. We also offer a rod-pocket with flange where we leave a 2-inch portion of fabric at the top of the panel which will remain above the drapery rod. Neither of the rod-pocket options will include drapery pins or hooks that are used to attach the panel to rings.
When it comes to selecting the right pleat for your custom drapes, there really isn’t a “correct” pleat style to choose. Call one of our Designers and we’ll be happy to send you more images and help you select the perfect pleat for your window.
The French Pleat is one of the oldest and most classic pleat styles for custom made curtains or drapery. The French Pleat is also known as a Pinch Pleat and these two terms are often used interchangeably. The French Pleat is formed by creating three folds at the top of the drapery panel. These three folds are then “pinched” about three inches down from the top of the drapery panel and tacked using a industrial sewing machine. The three folds are then fanned out at the the top forming a fluted fan. When forming the pleat it is important to fold all layers of the drapery fabric including the buckram, lining and interlining. These layers will make it very difficult, if not impossible, for a typical sewing machine to penetrate. You will need to use an industrial machine known as a “Tacker” to be able to penetrate all of the layers of fabrics.
One of our Classic Drapery Pleat Tackers we use everyday at DrapeStyle. Yes, this machine was actually made in Leeds England!
About six months ago DrapeStyle opened our new Orange County California Production Facility. With our expanded capacity we are making more Roman Blinds than ever before and prices to fit any budget. Unlike most Roman Shade and Blind Retailers, DrapeStyle makes our Blinds to order, by hand in the USA.
Our Shades and Blinds are available in over 300 fabric options from incredible Designers and Mills like Schumacher, Kravet, Lee Jofa and Duralee just to name a few. Of course if you are on a Budget, we have your Blinds too. Our Budget conscious Blinds are available in 100 cotton fabrics and poly/cotton blends. Regardless of your selection of fabric, all of our shades and roman blinds are made to the exact same custom specifications that you would expect from DrapeStyle including solid hardwood header boards.
Our Roman Blinds and Shades ship in 2-3 weeks and are a perfect compliment to our custom made curtains and drapery.
Can DrapeStyle make very long curtains and drapery? Extra wide curtains and drapes? Blackout curtains? The answer, of course, is YES! We really need to do a better job of letting everyone know that DrapeStyle makes each drapes from scratch. We don’t bring them in from India or China, we actually unroll the fabric, cut them and make the drapery the old fashioned way. Making drapes here in the US went our of fashion about five decades ago but we still make them here. Manufacturing in the US – California no less, is certainly not the least expensive way to make drapery but it does allow us to make the very best quality in the business. Luxury and quality custom made drapery is what we have been about for well over a decade.
So, the short answer is, yes – DrapeStyle can make your extra long drapes, extra wide drapery and blackout curtains for your home theater room! If you don’t see exactly what you need on our website just give us a call. Our Team of Designers (Yes – they really are Designers) can help you create the perfect drapery to your exact specifications and measurements. And we can probably make them for less than what you would think. Just give us a call!
So it’s hard enough to select the perfect fabric for your new curtains or drapes but you also need to decide on a pleat too. There are so many too choose from from the traditional French Pleat, also know as the Pinch Pleat and almost a dozen more. Well, let’s first just slow down a relax. Picking the perfect pleat for your new custom curtains or drapes is really easy.
First, let’s look at your style of decor. Is it traditional? Contemporary? Maybe Transitional? Whatever your style of decor, DrapeStyle has the perfect pleat for you. Shoot, we could even make a unique pleat just for your own room.
In general terms you want to match your drapery or curtain pleat to your style. If your modern or contemporary choose a grommet pleat. Traditional you will generally go with a French or Parisian pleat. And if you are somewhere in between, or Transitional, than go for the inverted or or box pleat. And, of course, if you just know what the pleat looks like but don’t know it’s name just call us and we can identify it for you.
You may also take some time to look at some great images on Pinterest or Houzz. DrapeStyle has images posted but we can also make anything you see from one of the thousands of Designers who post thier images on these sites. So, just look around and have fun. Once you find the perfect custom curtain or drapery style then just give us a call and send us the pictures. We’ll make it for you from scratch!