Drapes vs Curtains Defining the Similarities and Differences – Homedit

Kevin Brown

Drapes vs Curtains: Understanding the Similarities and Differences

Window treatments are a known aspect of interior design, but the disparity between drapes and curtains often perplexes individuals. Although subtle, the variance is worth exploring.

Drapes vs Curtains Defining the Similarities and Differences - Homedit

To choose the right window treatment, it’s important to understand the differences between drapes and curtains.

Drapes vs Curtains Defining the Similarities and Differences - Homedit

People often confuse drapes and curtains because they have a similar style and design. However, there are distinct differences between these types of window treatments.

Firstly, both drapes and curtains are panel-style coverings. They are made from flat fabric panels that you hang on either side of the window frame.

Additionally, both drapes and curtains hang vertically from a curtain rod or similar hardware.

Furthermore, you can leave them hanging freely or use tie-backs to pull them back. Both options serve as decorative window treatments that block light and provide privacy.

However, there are some notable disparities:

Drapes are typically made from heavier fabrics and often have a lining, making them better suited for insulation and light-blocking purposes. On the other hand, curtains are typically made from lighter fabrics and do not have lining.

Moreover, drapes usually extend from ceiling to floor, while curtains are typically shorter and do not reach the floor.

In conclusion, while drapes and curtains have some similarities, such as their panel style and hanging method, they also have distinct differences in terms of fabric weight, lining, and length.

The main difference between curtains and drapes is the fabric used. Curtains are made from lighter weight fabrics, while drapes use thicker fabrics for a more formal look.

In terms of style, curtains are generally more casual, while drapes have a luxurious appearance. Additionally, curtains are typically unlined, whereas drapes have at least one or two extra layers for a pleasing draping effect.

Some drapes also have decorative headers, such as pelmets or valances, to add to their formality. Lastly, drapes are usually floor length, while curtains come in various lengths, from cafe curtains that brush the bottom of the window frame to floor-length curtains.

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Curtain Inspiration

Most curtains are made from casual fabrics and have a simple shape. They are popular window treatments. Below are examples of different styles and designs available in curtains.

Cotton and Linen Curtains

Drapes vs Curtains Defining the Similarities and Differences - Homedit

Cotton and linen are common curtain materials due to their lightness and ability to allow natural light in through their open weave. In this family room, the designer has hung the curtain rods above the window frame to create the illusion of a taller ceiling.

For a similar aesthetic, opt for light-colored curtains paired with natural textured roman shades. This combination will offer both light filtering and privacy options.

Now let’s discuss sheer curtains.

Drapes vs Curtains Defining the Similarities and Differences - Homedit

If you want more light in your room, consider sheer curtains. These linen curtains have an open weave that allows sunlight to shine through while maintaining privacy. Sheer curtains are great for common areas but not ideal for bedrooms as they don’t darken the room enough for sleep.

Blackout Curtains:

Drapes vs Curtains Defining the Similarities and Differences - Homedit

The main difference between blackout curtains and drapes is that blackout curtains are heavier than standard curtains but lighter than drapes. This is because the manufacturers have built the blackout lining into the fabric. Blackout curtains are perfect for creating a peaceful sleep environment in a nursery.

Drapes vs Curtains Defining the Similarities and Differences - Homedit

Metal grommets offer a casual hanging option, while pleats and gathers on a curtain header create a more formal look. These rings are fitted into the curtain header and go directly onto the curtain rod.

Café curtains.

Drapes vs Curtains Defining the Similarities and Differences - Homedit

Not all curtains cover the entire window. Some curtains are used on just the upper or lower part of the window to provide privacy and block light, while still allowing a view through the window. Patterned curtains are often favored in kitchens, where privacy is less crucial compared to bedrooms or bathrooms.

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Drapes vs Curtains Defining the Similarities and Differences - Homedit

Some of our favorite drapes have distinctive patterns. However, unlike jacquard and brocade patterns, many curtain patterns are more like floral chintz and delicate plaids. These curtains are crafted from a green floral print that is unlined.

Drape Inspiration

If you are looking for luxurious window treatment options, consider drapes. These are perfect for formal homes or rooms where you want to create a fancy style.

Velvet Drapes

Drapes vs Curtains Defining the Similarities and Differences - Homedit

Velvet is an excellent choice for drapery panels. Luxurious fabrics like velvet add drama and elegance to a room. It insulates against cold air and reduces noise.

Drapes vs Curtains Defining the Similarities and Differences - Homedit

This drapery panel is made from luminous silk. The designer has allowed the drape to pool on the floor for extra extravagance. Notice that the drapes are fastened to the rod with fabric rings connected to the gathered header.

They are extra wide to ensure both drapes cover the windows.

Drapes with a Pelmet

Drapes vs Curtains Defining the Similarities and Differences - Homedit

Formal drapes may have pelmet or valance headers, which are decorative but also serve to cover the window hardware. Pelmets are headers that fit over the top of the curtains and are commonly used by designers in historic settings.

Drapes vs Curtains Defining the Similarities and Differences - Homedit

Notice the formal pattern of these drapes. They feature a floral pattern on a yellow ochre background with a decorative edging that creates a more sumptuous style. Patterned drapes complement simple but elegant home decor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the top part of a curtain called?

Experts call the top of curtains and drapes headers. There are many styles of headers, each creating a unique look for the curtain. The type of header affects how you hang the curtain on the rod or from curtain rings. Rod pocket and metal grommet headers allow you to hang the curtain directly from the rod.

Gathered and pleated headers require curtain hooks and rings for hanging.

Why are drapes called drapes?

The word drape comes from the Old French word draperie, referring to decorative cloth and textiles used for windows and traded by drapers.

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Are drapes out of style?

Drapes and curtains will never be out of style in some settings. However, many people now prefer simpler window treatments like blinds.

Do curtains have to touch the floor?

No, curtains do not have to touch the floor. Unlike drapes, curtains come in various lengths. They can hang from the top or middle of the window, falling either to the bottom or towards the floor. In contrast, drapes have a more formal style and typically hang from above the window to the floor.

Some designers even create formal drapes that puddle on the floor for a luxurious look.

Do curtains keep cold out?

Curtains have a dual purpose: decoration and functionality. They insulate against cold and reduce noise in a room by creating an air gap between the window and the interior. Blackout and thermal insulated curtains can also maintain room temperature. Window treatments play a vital role in home decor, offering various styles that blend seamlessly with any design.

Drapes and curtains are versatile and offer multiple benefits.

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