What to Consider When Choosing Drapery Panels

Decorating Fabric, Draperies
Sunshine Drapery sliding glass doors window treatment

Newdrapery panelsare ideal for making rooms look fresh and stylish. But before dashing off the to a window treatment store to buy your drapes, you'll need to do some measuring and consider the various factors involved. Here are some of the significant considerations regarding buying drapery panels.

Panel Length and Width

GrommetStyleDraperyPanelsLength—To find how the length for your panels, measure from above a window casing to the floor. This doesn’t include rings or tabs. Then, write down the measurement and take it with you when you buy your panels. Once you've purchased your drapery panels, mount your drapery rod, so it’s the same length as your panels. Width—When your panels are closed, each panel needs to be at least the width of your window. If your panels are too narrow and you have to stretch them, they can appear unbalanced or out of scale.

Fabric Considerations

The type of fabric you select depends on how much sunlight you want to enter a room. For example, windows receiving a considerable amount of direct sun shouldn't be window treated with silk drapes. Besides being costly, silk fabrics also easily fade. If you prefer silk drapery panels, use them in rooms receiving minimal sunlight. To block light, use blackout drapes, also called thermal drapes. They’re called thermal drapes because they insulate rooms, lowering heat loss.  

Other Considerations and Warnings

  • Drapery panels that use rings or grommets slide much easier along a drapery rod than rods using tabs. In fact, a rod-pocket panel is the one hardest to close and open.
  • To make a small window look larger, buy pleated linen drapes. Don’t use heavy canvas or brocade panels because they can make a small window appear even smaller.
  • If your goal is privacy, select lined drapes constructed from damask, borcade or another type of heavy material that closes tightly. These drapes also render a sophisticated style.
  • Some ready-made panels are sold individually. Therefore, if you buy your panels separately, be sure you measure each one before you hang them. If your panels aren't the same length, you’ll need to hem the longer ones.
  • Your rod brackets need to be mounted six inches outside of a window frame. This is to allow light to enter a room when the panels open. What’s more, it shows off the architecture of your window.
Sunshine Draperies and Interior Design is a St. Louis company that carries a full line of window treatments, including drapes, curtains, shutters and shades. Please visit us so we can answer all your window treatment questions, besides show you what's available.
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