Drapery is a cloth, or some sort of textile that is used to decoratively cover windows for privacy and shade. Drapery aids in sleeping and helps to prevent light from entering or exiting a room. Besides blocking light, drapes aid in heat control. During the day, open drapes allow you to receive free solar heat and closed drapes prevent your space from getting too overheated. Drapes are informally known as curtains.

Selecting Draperies

Draperies are mostly lined, pleated, and floor-length. Their panels are usually attached to a traverse rod with hooks. Some sort of cord mechanism that usually hangs behind one of the panels allows you to open and close the drapes. Drapery panels retract less compactly than curtain panels because of the specialized way in which the traverse road functions. Because of this, drapery might not be the best option if a window has little wall space around it.

In such a case, curtains or some other window treatment might be a better choice. It is important to look into the stackback of a set of draperies. This is the technical term for how wide the drapes will be when fully and properly retracted. Extremely wide windows need a lot more drapery fabric to cover them, which inevitably leads to more stackback. With very wide windows, you'll have to have a very long traverse rod so to prevent the stacked fabric from totally covering the window while the drapes are open and retracted.

Types of Drapes

As draperies are usually pleated and rather neat and tailored in appearance, they provide for a relatively conservative look to a window area. New pleating styles, however, provide a more contemporary look that is more casual than formal. If you're going for a less traditional look, you might want to consider fan pleats that are attached with clips and rings to a very simple rod apparatus.

Various fabric choices for drapes can also determine how formal a look this particular type of window treatment will provide. More traditional or formal options include:

  • Damask
  • Silk
  • Velvet.

More causal treatments include:

  • Cotton
  • White linen.

You can choose something very elegant and luxurious or perhaps something much more casual and contemporary. Insulated drapes can save you a great deal of money in heating and cooling bills. A wide variety of drapes in different sizes, shapes, and colors are available from retailers that fit small and large decorating budgets.