In days gone by, drapery hardware meant traversing rods and flat metal curtain rods.
Drapery hardware now comes in an amazing number of functional and decorative styles. There is hardware to fit any home decorating style from Victorian to Contemporary.
You’ll find rods available for every size, shape, and combination of windows. There are even rods that can be cut and bent unusually shaped windows.
Types of Drapery Rods
There are four basic types of drapery rods: traversing drapery rods, curtain rods, holdbacks and swag holders. Each type will have functional and decorative styles.
Traverse Drapery Rods: These will have a drawcord on one side that pulls your drapery open or closed. Once available only in flat white metal or brass, there are now ornamental rods that easily hid the mechanisms behind the pole.
Curtain Rods: In grandmother’s day, were either flat 1” metal or small ½” sash rods. The 1” rod would slide into the rod pocket of a stationary panel. The sash rod also slides into a rod pocket but was made to mount close to the wall or doorframe.
Today flat rod pocket rods come in 1”, 2 ½” and 5” sizes allowing for a variety of heading looks.
Decorative rods are made of wood and metal. They can be flat, round or twisted with many decorative finishes. There are also rings and clips available for hanging the curtains.
Holdbacks: There are decorative and “invisible” holdbacks. The “invisible” type is very basic and meant to be concealed behind a fabric tieback. It is sometimes referred to as a “tieback holder.” The decorative type was originally made to be installed over a tie back holder.
Today, most are manufactured for solo use.
Swag Holders: The popularity of swag holders returned in the 1990’s. They are used to form a casual swag-look without sewing. You simply fold the fabric and insert it into the holder.
After a little arranging and fussing, you have a unique, informal look.
Important Notes on Drapery Hardware
Do not skimp on drapery hardware. If purchasing traversing rods, you want to know they will work for years. If buying decorative rods, you don’t want the finish fading or turning dull as time goes by.
And above all, you want the drapery hardware sturdy enough to hold even the heaviest of drapery fabrics.
Before choosing your rods, you should assess your windows, your décor and the window treatment you have chosen.
- Are the window treatments to be installed on the outside or inside of the window frame?
- Is the treatment stationary or do you need a traversing rod?
- If traversing, will it open from the center or only in one direction?
- Do you need a rod that can mount close to the ceiling?
- Will the rod be seen or hidden?
- Are finials included or do you need to buy separately?
- Do you want the drapery hardware to be part of the background or part of the design
- Do you need rings or drapery clips?
It is extremely disappointing to be ready to hang your window treatments only to find you don’t have the right drapery hardware!
It’s up to you. Decide if the drapery hardware is purely functional or decorative. If decorative, let your creativity flow. The choices seem endless.