The first two articles on this subject made mention of wood poles with rings in regards to one method with which you can hang your drapes. The functionality of fabrics definitely come into play when considering your drapery hardware.
I mentioned in last week's article that I had used wood poles with wood rings in the sunroom of a client in which we used sheer, white, pinch pleated drapes. We used wands as our method of closure. This worked great because despite the large span of windows, the weight of the sheer curtains was so light that the wood rings glided easily across the pole.
However, in the big heavy tapestry drapes I mentioned in that same article, the heaviness of the fabric made sliding the wood rings across the wood pole with a wand extremely difficult, especially for a petite client, and the drapes hung very high.
We ended up, at great expense to the client, swapping her wood pole with rings for a wooden traverse rod with faux rings. This type of pole is impossible to find in a retail establishment and, even as a designer, I had to jump through numerous hoops to special order this contraption. We were able to install it in our existing brackets with toggle bolts and our problems were solved by the mechanism itself.
Here’s where the functionality of fabrics could have worked in that particular client's benefit. Had she consulted with me before purchasing 20 yards of heavy upholstery weight tapestry for her drapes, I would have advised against using that fabric , although beautiful, would have guided her in the direction of a lighter weight linen or silk. The tapestry could have been used instead for accent pillows on her sofa or perhaps for a custom made tufted ottoman in that tapestry fabric.
She would have gotten everything she wanted that way without spending almost $500 on the custom wooden traverse rod alone!
Many ready-made rods are available locally, and most are metal with metal finials, metal rings and brackets. These type of rods are great for lighter weight fabrics.
If you visit a local store such as Lowe’s or Hancock Fabrics, you will find ready-made rods in a variety of size ranges. A single window might use a rod that is 28” –48”. The next size up will be 48” - 84”, and occasionally you can find the next size up from that at 84” - 120”.
You need to allow 4”-6” on either side of your window when considering your pole width. You want the drapes to set back from the edge of your window in order to let in as much light as possible when the drapes are open.
Therefore, if you have a 72” window, you don’t want the 48” - 84” rod. Even if you mounted the rod directly on the window frame, you’d still be pulling the rod out to almost its complete extension and ready-made rods are somewhat flimsy, so you would be compromising the structural integrity of the rod. Go the next size up to the 84” to 120” width, and use it at the 84” width. If that extra long size isn’t available, then buy yourself a wooden dowel rod to stick inside the metal rod to help stabilize it.
I realize this probably makes no sense! It’s hard to describe and give you the full picture unless you were looking directly at a ready-made rod!
There are other forms of hardware for hanging drapes other than rods, wooden or metal. There are café rods, brackets, swag hooks, and even everyday hardware such as galvanized pipe that one can use when hanging drapes. Galvanized pipe is a great option when hanging drapes made with grommets.
I have used bamboo poles for swagged fabric. Bamboo poles are gorgeous and available in 6’ lengths at stores like Hobby Lobby. I used regular wood pole brackets in a dark wood finish to go with the bamboo poles. In order to keep the fabric from slipping off the slippery bamboo as you swag it across, use one of my favorite items of all times…(queue music of angels singing here) sticky back Velcro! Gosh I love that stuff. Just put a 6” strip of sticky back Velcro, either type, loop or hook, to help hold your fabric in place as you drape it. A little dot of hot glue here and there will help hold it permanently once you get it to drape how you want it. I have photos of treatments where I used this method in the story photos.
I have also used wild bamboo, smaller sticks of it bundled together with twine, to hang a tabbed valance from.
I have used wooden pegs, the kind you buy to hang a coat or umbrella on, and hot glued a seashell to its front as a swag bracket.
At the Farmington Depot Gallery, there is a bay window using handcrafted wood brackets holding up not-quite-straight pine poles. I love those!
When considering window treatments for your home, pause and think about how you can be creative. And don’t forget to consider the functionality of your fabric!
Any questions? Ask them now, I'll be happy to answer!