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Drapery panels, whether custom or prefabricated, are an excellent choice to beautifully frame any window. Panels are a basic form of window covering. They are simple finished lengths of fabric that hang from a rod or other fixtures at or above the top of the window, ending most times at the floor or sometimes just below the window. Simple panels are back in style after a couple of decades of over the top treatments. The use of basic panels has swept the window treatment industry over several years. They can be fashionable, versa-
tile, and adapted for any window. Panels, like other types of window treatments, soften, add warmth, scale and unite a room; and can be used alone or with sheers, shades, or top treatments. They can also be stationery or traversing. All panels, whether lined or unlined, cotton or silk, can be embellished with your choice of trim, fringe, tassel or banding detail.
Panels can be made or bought in varying header styles. What is the header?
The header is the top portion of the panel that attaches to the rod hardware. As stated above, there are numerous types of header styles, although I will discuss the most popular four. The first type is the pleated. (French and Goblet to name two which really nice in a formal setting, and is hung on a traverse rod or decorative rod with rings. The second type is the Rod Pocket, which looks best in a casual setting or covered with a valance. The next type is simple in design and hangs well on a decorative pole — the Grommet top, which is very modern and makes a great statement in a contemporary setting. The fourth type is the Tab Top panel and is especially nice in a casual setting (though I have seen the Ruched version of this style done in silk, with a trim that looks fabulous in a formal setting).
Should panels be lined?
Unlined panels are fine on sheers, lighter colour linens, cotton fabrics and other inexpensive materials which are readily available and sold at most fabrics shops. Please note that there are lined prefabricated panels available in Trinidad and high-end ones are sold for upwards of two hundred (US$200) online. Custom made blackout lined panels work best when using more expensive fabrics for protection from the ultraviolet rays of the sun, which damage your fabric over time. Interlining your panels is a high-end luxury component, which also protects delicate fabrics such as silks from the sun. Interlining also has insulating qualities. Whenever possible, blackout lined and interlined treatments are always recommended because they add to the soft feel of the drapery.
Custom made panel lengths unless otherwise requested, are usually made to be ½" off the floor to prevent premature wearing of the panel. In case you want to create an atmosphere of opulence or romance, "puddling" of the panels is accepted, by adding an extra 12" to 15" to the length of your panels. Puddling is ideal for stationary panels (not functional or traversing panels) due to the wear and tear on the hem from opening and closing your drapes. With prefabricated panels you are limited in the sizing. Typically, measurements are 84", 96" and 108" in length and widths can vary between 42" to 56" for a single width of fabric.
For homes with nine foot high ceilings, prefabricated panels will not be long enough. They are also not as full or luxurious, and may not be lined. Choosing your own fabric, rather than buying prefabricated drapery, also enables you to coordinate your cushions and chairs with the same materials. With custom made draperies, you can also ensure that the lining coordinates from one room to the next, so that there is a unified look throughout your home. Custom draperies do, however, tend to be more expensive than prefabricated ones.
Panels, whether custom made of prefabricated, can be a beautiful alternative when selected properly. Should you need help with your selection, please don't hesitate to call us…Enjoy!