Window Treatment Glossary

When you’re unfamiliar with the lingo, choosing the correct window treatments may be both exhilarating and stressful. BlindsTown has compiled a glossary of industry words to assist you in better understanding and selecting the best window coverings for your house.

Aluminum Blinds

Lightweight horizontal blinds made out of aluminum.

Automation

The ability to control your window coverings with a single device or with voice control.  Window coverings can be pre-programmed to open and close at specific times of day and are energy efficient and convenient.

Back Tab

Drapery style that is constructed with a hidden tab in the back to allow for installation on a curtain rod or pole.  Forms soft pleats when shirred onto a rod.

Banding

A contrasting strip of fabric that is sewn either along the inside or outside edge or inserted in several inches from the edge of a window treatment. This enhances the look or adds a pop of colour.

Blackout Shades

Window coverings that provide maximum light blockage and privacy.

Board Mount

Where a top treatment or shade is stapled to a board

Bottom Rail

The thicker horizontal slat at the bottom of the window covering that weighs it down and keeps it hanging straight.

Brackets

Installation parts that are mounted to the window frame or wall and attach to the window covering.

Café Curtains

A short, lightweight curtain that only covers the bottom half of a window

Cellular Shades

Also called honeycomb shades; a fabric window treatment with honeycomb-shaped cells that maximize energy efficiency, insulate against heat and cold and allow you to control how much light enters your home.

Centre Draw

Term used for draperies, vertical blinds and vertical alternatives that open and close from the center of the window.

Cloth Tape

Vertical decorative strips of fabric ladders on horizontal window coverings and improve light control and privacy.

Continuous Cord Loop

When a cord is attached to a pulley so when pulling the cord in one direction it raises your window covering and the other direction lowers it.

Cord Cleats

Installed to the side of a window treatment which keep cords and strings tucked away and out of reach of children.

Cordless

Instead of using cords to lift a window covering you can push or pull the bottom rail to raise or lower your window covering.  This is a very safe and convenient option especially if you have children or pets.

Cornice

A flat top treatment used to hide window treatment hardware.

Decorative Hardware

Decorative accessories such as drapery hooks, tassels, cleats and finials that add a finishing touch to your draperies.

Drapery

Panels of fabric, featuring pleated headings – a structured treatment. Considered more formal than curtains, are generally made of richer, heavier fabrics and lined and often interlined.

Drapery Hooks

A hook that allows you to hang drapery

End cap

Covers the ends of the headrail and bottom rail and are usually color-coordinated to match the window covering.

Finials

Decorative hardware piece attached to the end of a pole or rod.

Grommets

Holes in the material that are reinforced by rings typically metal or plastic. Grommets come in different sizes and shapes.

Headrail

The hardware at the top of the window covering used to house mechanical operational parts and mount a variety of window treatments.

Honeycomb Shades

See cellular shades

Inside Mount

S type of installation in which the window covering is mounted inside the window frame.

Layering

Combining two types of window treatments, usually a blind/shade with drapery which adds depth and dimension to your space. 

Light Filtering

Refers to when window coverings are made with semi-opaque fabrics or materials which allows light in while the product is fully lowered.

Lining

Fabric that covers the backside of a window treatment.  

Motorization

Battery powered option for raising and lowering your window coverings.

Opacity

The amount of light that comes through a window covering.

Outside Mount

A type of installation in which the window covering is mounted outside the window frame.

Panel

One complete section of fabric of a drapery or curtain

Panel Track

Window treatment with large fabric panels attached to a sliding track.  Ideal solution for patio doors and sliding glass doors.

Pleated Shades

Similar to honeycomb or cellular shades; made from layers of evenly spaced single pleated fabric that tightly stacks when opened

Pleats

A drapery technique used to create volume by folding and tacking the fabric to hold its shape.  Types of pleats include: Pinch Pleat, Goblet, Inverted, etc.

Repeat

The distance from the centre of one motif of a pattern to the centre of the next.

Return

The outside edge of a valance or drapery. This part goes around the corner and covers the space between the front of the treatment and the wall, concealing the brackets and hiding the controls/cords.

Roller Shade

A window covering made of vinyl, solar screen or fabric that rolls onto a metal or PVC pole.

Roman Shade

A type of window covering available in a variety of styles including balloon shades, tear drop shades, cascading folds and relaxed folds.

Sheer

A transparent or lightweight fabric

Swags

Section of drapery fabric at the top of a window that resembles a sideways C shape (swag) coupled with a vertical “tail” which hangs on either side of the swag.

Tension Rod

Also called spring rods; hardware that allows you to hang window curtains that doesn’t involve installing any hardware on the walls.

Tieback

A decorative strip of fabric that holds draperies back from the window.

Top Down

A shade that opens from the top down.

Top Down/Bottom Up

A shade that can be lowered from the top or raised from the bottom up.

Top Treatment

Window treatment that covers the top of the window and the drapery hardware.

Valance

A decorative piece that covers the uppermost part of the window and conceals the headrail of a window covering.

Vanes

The panels that hang from a vertical blind headrail.

Venetian Blind

also known as mini blinds or horizontal blinds; a window covering with horizontal slats typically made of wood, metal or plastic.

Vertical blinds

Window covering made of durable materials like PVC, wood and fabric.  These are an ideal window treatment for sliding glass or patio doors.

Wand

Operates the tilt function of a blind and is typically placed on the left side of the blind.

Woven Wood Shade

An eco-friendly window covering that is typically made from bamboo, grass, jutes, or other natural materials.

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