Get Gorgeous Drapes with Classic Pinch Pleats

“Pinch me, I must be dreaming!” That’s precisely what I said when I had my very first pinch pleated drapery installed. They looked absolutely gorgeous and perfectly tailored. Pinch pleats are a highly popular way to finish off the top of curtains, and with the autumn season approaching you may be thinking about adding curtains to insulate your windows and save energy.

The pinch pleat is a fantastic addition to any traditional or elegant styled area because it delivers a stunning, yet timeless look. This sort of drapery is known as’pinched’ since the top of the curtain is pinched together! The pinched pleats are spaced evenly apart, and weighted in the bottom of the seams. This makes a tailored look at the top, and since the fabric drops down toward the ground, the pleats restrain the fullness allowing the curtain to fall easily and evenly. A pinch pleated drape is hung usually utilizing pin hooks (zinc metal curtain pins ), that are pierced into the fabric at the top of the back of the curtain board near each pleat. The pins are then attached to a traverse rod or rings that hang from a decorative pole. It is a gorgeous appearance. Below are some facts to consider if you’re thinking about getting pinch pleated curtains.

Michelle Jamieson Interiors / New England Style

Three-finger pinch pleats. This is the most popular pinch appearance, and the name says it all: there are 3 pleats. The pleats, also known as palms, are pinched together a couple of inches from the top of the drape, and they open up at a flower-like fashion up toward the bottom of the drape. It creates a fuller appearance in relation to the two-finger pinch pleats.

Two-finger pinch pleats. This pinch pleat uses less material than other pinch pleats so it gives a more contemporary appearance. 2 pleats are pinched together a couple of inches from the top of the drape, like a V shape, that then flow down in a tailored fashion.

FYI: There are also four- plus five-finger pinched pleats that seem like miniature fans at the top of the curtain and is very full looking (you need more fabric for all those fashions ).

The French pleat drapery. Another way to have the appearance is to do exactly the pinching on the top of the fabric so that the’V’ looks upside down, as well as the fabric flows out from that point. This is called a French pleat (a.k.a Parisian), but it is still a pinched appearance. The folds are piled tighter.

Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Measuring for pinch-pleated curtains. Pinch-pleated curtains are a investment because in most cases they’re made to fit your window or doorway just. You seethis fashion is not flexible. When measuring to see just how much fabric you need for a pinch-pleated drape, you have to know whether your curtain will be functional (opening and closing) or should it stay stationary (used only for looks). Also think about the period of your pinch-pleated drape:
Right over the ground (positioned 1/2″ off the ground for much more conventional, tailored appearances; finest for traversing draperies)Breaks in the ground; finest for stationary panels (a.k.a.’trouser’ length).Or put in an additional 8″ in length beyond the floor for a more dramatic appearance; finest for stationary panels (a.k.a.’puddle’ length).If you’re getting pinch pleated curtains through your regional customized window treatment shop, the professional should come out and step for you. If you get custom curtains at an internet stores like Smith & Noble, then they usually have calculators that figure out the right size of drape for you. Be very careful with your dimensions.

More on obtaining your draperies right

Michael Abrams Limited

How to hang pinch-pleated drapes. The key to good looking pinch-pleated drapery panels is to make sure they are pinned and hung properly. If you have them produced locally, it is well worth every penny to get their specialist install them. The pin hooks should be pushed in right next to each pleat without pushing the pin through the front of your curtains. Frequently the pin hook is inserted in a quarter-inch in the top of the drape. In this manner it hangs well and opens and closes correctly. The pinch pleat on this drape is performed well and has an extremely elegant vibe to it.

Jennifer Brouwer (Jennifer Brouwer Design Inc)

Stationary pinch-pleated curtains. Pinch pleating stationary (non-functional) drapes make soft elegance on a large window. It frames the window without taking away from your view or light coming in. These cost less than functional curtains since you don’t need as much fabric.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc..

Fully functional pinch-pleated curtains. Taking proper measurements is important when ordering curtains to cover your complete window (see Measuring For Pinch Pleated Drapes) because pinch pleated drapes aren’t flexible and are really based in your window dimensions. When fabric is pinch pleated it gets bulkier, so I put in a couple inches on both sides of the window and make the rod more for stacking up the curtains or employing a hold-back or tassel.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

Pinch-pleated sheers. A absolute gives a pleasant, clean flowing appearance when you use the pinch pleating procedure. It is not merely beautiful, but used on a traverse rod, it is functional. You can draw them in the center, to the right or to the left. Fabulous and so easy to open and close! I suggest using more widths of fabric for sheers since the fabric is so light. The extra widths will create greater fullness and make it seem luxurious.

Richard Bubnowski Design LLC

The window pole. Remember to use a heavy duty rod or monitor (traverse rod) for dangling these curtains on big doors and windows since the fabric gets heavier as you add more widths of it to your pole. I love using decorative traverse rods since they seem so great and make opening and closing your pinch pleated curtains. Easy!

Rachel Reider Interiors

Decorative traverse rod. Traverse sticks contain plastic carriers with holes to suspend pleated draperies, and the draperies are connected together with pin hooks. They are sometimes drawn open or closed using cable controllers that pull them together a track. There are a lot of beautiful finishes and styles to choose from.

Jennifer Brouwer (Jennifer Brouwer Design Inc)

Embellish your pinch-pleated drape. For more attention, add a banding down the side using a solid or pattern. Or put in a banding one quarter inch or so along the bottom or top of your own curtain. Have a look at the fact that these elegant curtains are within an office! Yes, pinch pleated are not just for dressy spaces. They look great everywhere.

Liz Williams Interiors

Lining. Add lining to the back side of your pleated drape at a white or off-white color so that the windows seem unified on the outside of your property. Use insulated lining or thermal lining to keep the warmth in.

Designing Solutions

Black-out lining. Try black-out lining to keep the light out of a space when the curtains fully cover the windows. Blackout curtains are fantastic for bedrooms.


Top remedies. Last, if you’re likely to use a valance or cornice above your curtains, pinch pleat the curtains and they’ll hang very nicely behind the top treatment.

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