How to Choose a Heading Tape for Your Curtain

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Heading tapes for curtains are now available in a wide range of styles to suit every possible situation. There are different widths for short and long curtains, and different tapes for attaching with curtains hooks or Velcro. Standard curtain tapes can be used with either curtain tracks or poles, and can be fixed or drawn. The more decorative styles of tape have special hooks to allow the curtains to hang as elegantly as possible.

Check when you buy the tape that you purchase the correct hooks. Velcro tapes are used for fixed curtains or valances. The Velcro can be attached to the edge of a pelmet board, on to a baton or even directly on a painted wall. With these tapes, the width of the curtain has to be pulled up to exactly the same width as the Velcro. Velcro tapes are ideal for unusual-shaped windows where it isn’t possible to fit a curtain track.

How to Choose a Heading Tape for Your Curtain How to Choose a Heading Tape for Your Curtain

Standard tape

This is the original heading tape. It is 2.5cm/1 in wide and is usually attached 2.5-5cm/1 -2in below the top of the curtain to create a soft frill that partly covers the pole or track. The curtain needs to be 1 /-2 times the length of the track for a softly gathered heading. To attach, fold the tape over at the first pocket. Standard heading tape can be hung with standard curtain hooks.

Pencil pleats

The standard 8cm/3in pencil pleat tape is without doubt the most popular heading tape used today. Its neat pencil-width pleats are held firmly upright because of a special plastic weft thread woven into the tape. Use standard hooks in one of two rows of pockets for fitting to a curtain track or pole. The tape is also available as a Velcro tape for valances and fixed curtains.

Deep pencil pleats

Full-length curtains without a valance look much more elegant with a deeper heading tape because the longer pencil pleats are in better proportion to the length of the curtains. Both the 8cm/3in tape and this 14cm tape require 2-2-1/2 times the length of the track for optimum fullness, allowing the pleats to lie neatly side by side. The deeper tape has three rows of pockets.

Box pleat

This heading tape is one of the most formal and is used primarily for valances as it is not recommended for curtains that can be drawn. Box pleating tape comes in a standard 8cm/3in width and requires three times the length of the track. Cut the tape in the centre of a group of pleats and pull the cords out to where they emerge from the tape. Special hooks are used for hanging.

Trellis tape

Trellis tape is an attractive variation of the standard pencil pleat. It has half-length pleats that lock together just like clasped fingers. It is available in both 2.5cm/1 in and 8cm/3in widths and each requires 1-1/2-2 times the track length. Trellis tape uses standard curtain hooks for hanging. The wider tape has two rows of pockets to allow the curtain track or pole to be partly hidden if required.