Sewing Glossary

A decorative brass or wooden "handle" which slips onto the cords of a blind to cover the knotted ends.
Arched Valance:
A valance which is shaped at the lower edge, the sides being longer than the centre.
Austrian Blind:
A gathered blind made longer than necessary. The extra fabric forms ruching at the bottom.
Another word for binding.
A length of wood to attach a blind, pelmet or valance to a window frame.
Bed Valance:
A skirt covering the divan part of a bed.
A diagonal line across the fabric.
Bias Binding:
Strips of fabric cut on the bias.
A way of neatening a raw edge with a separate length of fabric.
Bishop's Sleeve Curtains:
Curtains that are made longer than necessary, tied tightly, pulled up and flounced over the tied section.
A single curtain with a fixed heading which pulls up from the bottom.
Bound Edge:
A way of neatening a raw edge using bias binding.
Box Pleats:
A row of folds in alternate directions. The extra fabric in the folds can be taken either to the front or the back for the desired effect.
A decorative trim.
Cotton or jute fabric for stiffening, sometimes come impregnated with glue.
A thick twisted fringe used for decoration.
Cafe Curtains:
A curtain made to fit the bottom half of a window only, to give privacy but to let in light.
Cased Heading:
A channel at the top of the curtain to thread a curtain rod through.
A stitched channel between two pieces of fabric to hold either a length of dowelling or a curtain rod.
Chain Weights:
A continuous chain of small heavy beads covered in a cotton casing used for lightweight fabrics.
A two pronged hook which is fixed to one side of the window frame to secure the cords when a blind is pulled up.
Combination Rods:
Two or three curtain tracks sharing one set of brackets. Used for a layered look of curtains and top treatments.
Contrast Lining:
A coloured fabric used as a lining when parts of it will show from the front.
Another word for Piping.
Another word for a Pelmet.
Cottage Blind:
Another word for a Cafe Curtain.
Usually two rectangles of fabric hung from a track or pole to decorate a window and give privacy.
Cut Width:
The width of fabric needed including seams or hems.
Double Fullness:
When each of a pair of curtains are the measured width of the window enabling curtains to drape in folds.
Double Hem:
Folding the fabric over twice in equal amounts i.e. a 2" double hem would need 4" of fabric.
A circular or oval length of wood or plastic attached to the back of a blind to keep the fabric flat.
Another name for curtains.
Dust Skirt / Ruffles:
Another name for a bed valance.
Envelope Curtains:
Casual curtains that do not pull back. The bottom inside corners are hooked back to let light in.
Face Fabric:
The main fabric that is used for the front. Sometimes called decorator or self fabric.
Festoon Blind:
Often confused with Austrian blinds the difference being that a Festoon blind is ruched from top to bottom.
Decorative ends of a curtain pole.
Finished Width:
The actual width after the treatment is finished and all allowances have been utilised.
A longer length of fabric gathered or pleated onto an edge for decoration.
Fullness Ratio:
This is the ratio of fabric width to the width of the window. Curtains are usually at least twice the window width.
The extra fabric above a cased heading which forms a frill.
Heading Tape:
A wide woven tape incorporating pockets for curtains hooks and gathering cords.
Hold Backs:
Decorative brass hooks or mushrooms fixed onto the wall to hold curtains back.
A soft fluffy fabric placed between the face fabric and lining to help insulation.
Inverted Pleat:
A flat pleat with the extra fabric to the wrong side.
The tail section of Swags and Tails.
Kick Pleats:
Similar to box pleats but the folds do not butt together at the back, making the pleats further apart.
Knife Pleats:
A row of folds all in the same direction.
A pelmet which extends down the side of the window.
Leading Edges:
The central vertical edges of a pair of curtains.
A way of folding the excess seam allowance to achieve a less bulky, sharp corner.
A one way direction of texture on a fabric such as velvet or corduroy. When using fabric with a nap all pieces must be cut with the nap in the same direction.
Pattern Repeat:
The amount one pattern is duplicated down the length of the fabric. Pattern repeat is one full pattern.
A double sided sticky card especially made for pelmets and tie backs, printed with various edge patterns.
A decorative way of concealing the top of curtains and curtain tracks. Usually a flat shaped panel which can be painted or covered with fabric.
Pelmet Board:
A horizontal wooden shelf from which a pelmet or valance is hung.
Pillow Sham:
A decorative pillow covering used during the daytime.
Piping Cord:
A fabric covered cord inserted to accentuate or decorate a seam.
Puddled Curtains:
Curtains made longer than necessary to allow them to puddle onto the floor.
Using fabric horizontally rather than vertically. Fabric without a directional design or nap can be railroaded to avoid seams in long lengths such as bed valances.
The sides of the window treatment that project from the wall.
Another name for a Frill.
A length of fabric which is neatened and draped across the top of a window treatment.
A way of stitching two pieces of fabric together.
Seam Allowance:
The amount of extra fabric added to make a seam.
The woven outside edge of the fabric.
The amount of space taken up by the curtains or draperies when they are open.
Tie Backs:
Stiffened shapes of fabric hooked onto the wall to hold curtains back.
A gathered, and sometimes shaped, mini curtain hung from a pelmet board to conceal the top of curtains or a curtain track.
The threads that run down the length of a woven fabric.
The threads that run across a woven fabric.
A strip of fabric sewn between the two sides of a cushion to give it more depth.

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