If you haven’t had a lot to do with drape styles before you may be having a little difficulty with the various terms used to describe certain styles. Take, for example, pinch pleat drapes. This is a style that is one of the most popular basic drape styles but the question remains what is it about this type of drapes that makes it so popular?
Pinch pleat drapes are essentially made of fabric panels which are drawn in at regular intervals by pleats that are formed by pinching the fabric together at the top of the panel to create billowing folds. Pinch pleats are made by gathering three smaller folds and fastening them together so it looks as if the fabric were pinched together with the fingers. The pinch pleats gather the fabric tightly at the top and create voluminous folds in the panels that extend to the floor. These tucks of fabric make pinch pleat curtain panels more full than curtain panels without pleats.
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Because the pinch pleats create depth and movement drapes with pinch pleats look especially nice when they are made with fabrics that catch the light. Silk pinch pleated drapes shimmer in the light at the peaks of the folds and descend into a deeper shadow in the crevices creating both rich and tonal colors and a luminous effect. Silk pinch pleated drapes look especially opulent when made of a dark midnight blue silk or in various golden tones. Golden silk drapes look beautiful in a sunny room when really glisten in the sunlight.
Another type of fabric which works nicely with the depth and movement of the pinch pleats is striped fabric. Instead of the pattern which would be seen if striped fabric were to lay flat, the pleats arrange the stripes in a new way which is not as evenly punctuated. The same concept applies with all fabrics patterned with straight lines such as checks and plaids.
Pinch pleat drapes are made in heavier fabrics that can be used to block out intense sunlight, and are also made in semi transparent lighter polyester fabrics which still provide the volume of the pleats but let the light shine through them as well. Most pinch pleat drapes are made with a pocket to slide onto a curtain rod which is good for curtains which are going to stay in one place on the window. Pinch pleat drapes can also be clipped to curtain rings which slide easily across a curtain rod if the drapes will be opened and closed on a regular basis.
The reason that pinch pleat drapes are such a popular choice is because they are a traditional pleat type that gives the drapes an immediate charm. The pleats create an attractive fan effect along the top edge and fall to make a consistent pattern along the top that allows the drapes to hang in a way that gives them more volume.