Curtains and drapes are the most common window treatments. Apart from adorning your windows, they also protect your home from dust and glare of sun. However, oftentimes, these words are used interchangeably as most people cannot tell the difference between curtains and drapes. Even experts fumble when it comes to defining the two. Earlier, these two terms referred the makers of window treatments and not the window treatments themselves. Drapers were the merchants who sold fabric to curtain makers, who went home to home, to take measurements and sew curtains. They used to measure curtain drapes and make window treatment for homes.
Drapes Vs. Curtains: Comparison
Although, curtains and drapes may not seem to have much of a difference, they are quite different from each other in the hindsight.
|Definition||Drapes are defined as heavy weight, lined, floor length fabric which is hung on the rod with the help of hooks for the purpose of traversing. Drapery, drapery panels, drops are alternative names for drapes.||Curtains on the other hand are light weight, unlined fabric of varying length which is attached to the rod with the help of rings, grommets, tabs or rod pocket casing. Curtains are also called curtain panels.|
Rich fabrics like silk, velvet look great for drapes. Fabrics for drapes are often costlier than that of curtains.
|Cotton, linen work well for curtains. Curtains can also be made out of sheer, lacy fabrics, if you do not intend to use them for privacy purpose.|
|Pattern and Length||Drapes are more often than not pleated. There are various pleats that are popular such as French, American, etc. Drapes are always floor length, irrespective of the size of the window or door.||Curtains may or may not be pleated. Their length is determined by the size of window. It can either be just long enough to cover the window or it may extend well beyond that. Curtains for French doors are often long and pleated, whereas curtains for sliding glass doors may or may not be pleated.|
|Utility||Drapes provide the utility of shielding against light and dust. They are better equipped at filtering light and permit only some of the sunlight to enter the room.||Curtains also shield your room from light and dust. However, they are inept at filtering light due to their sheer fabric.|
Drapes are made from thick fabric, hence provide better privacy. Moreover, they are lined, which further increases their protection. Hence, drapes are suitable in apartments or neighborhoods where homes are closely located.
|Curtains are unlined, therefore provide less privacy. They are more apt for large country homes which are better protected from intruders.|
|Elegance||Undoubtedly, drapes look more elegant than curtains. It is mostly their rich fabric and pleats which make them even more desirable. Also, the fact that the length of the drapes extends to touch the floor adds to the beauty of the drapes. Hence, drapes are more suitable for elegant places like marriage halls, banquet halls, manors and mansions, churches, etc.||Curtains are more of a utility than an accent piece in your home. They look appropriate for homes, offices and other such formal establishments.|
|Space Requirement||Drapes take up considerable amount of space due to their heavy fabric. Stack back is the factor that determines the space requirement of drapes. This is nothing but the amount of space required by the drape when opened completely, so that fabric collects at the opposite ends of the rod.||The more the pleats, the greater is the stack back. As curtains lack pleats they are more space efficient. Besides, their fabric is often light and sheer, thereby reducing the total bulk, when opened completely.|
|Cost||Drapes are obviously costlier than curtains due to the type of fabric used, as well as the quantity of fabric and pattern. Their installation is also expensive.||You can hang the curtains on your own, without professional help. Making the curtains at home is also not a difficult task if you are good at sewing.|
Hope this article helped you to understand the basic difference between the two. This information will also enable you to choose the right window treatment for your windows.