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Curtains: Choosing a Hanging System

Choosing a Hanging System

Before you begin to make up your curtains, you must decide on the type of hanging system you intend to use. It is important to make this decision first because the hanging system and heading tape that you choose, along with the size of the opening to be covered, determine the measurements of the curtains.

For a visible hanging system, choose a rod or a pole made of wood or metal. Track systems, by contrast, are usually plastic and designed to be concealed by the curtain heading, a valance, or a pelmet.

Rods and Poles

Rods and poles with matching rings and finials are available in a wide range of woods - painted or natural - and brass and iron, and provide a decorative way to hang curtains. They can only be used to span straight openings.

Choose an appropriate thickness of rod or pole to support the weight of the fabric. Rods and poles are usually fixed to the wall with two supporting side brackets, but when hanging heavy or wide curtains, you should consider attaching an additional central bracket.

Wooden Poles

Wooden poles are available with a range of decorative finials that act as an end stop for rings.

Many poles are designed to be attached to the face of a wall using a two-part system that include support arms and wall brackets,

but some can be slotted into side-wall fixing.


curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system
curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system

Brass Rods and Poles

Of all styles of curtains, rods and poles, those made from brass are produced in the greatest range of diameters, making them suitable for all types of curtain fabrics.

From the lightest sheers to heavy-weight insulated curtains, like wooden poles, they can be mounted with supported brackets or side wall fixings.

curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system
curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system

Wrought Iron Rods

Iron, like brass, has become a popular metal for making attractive curtain rods. Iron rods are often available wrought to individual order and possess a decorative charm that makes them particularly suitable for elaborate finials.

Iron curtain rods are narrow in diameter and strong, making it possible to use them without rings for curtains made with a simple slot heading.

curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system
curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system

Simple Hanging Systems and Tricks

When hanging light-weight, stationary curtains, choose a simple support, such as a spring wire, or a narrow-diameter rod. For other types of curtains and weights of fabric, several systems are available.

Tracks can be mounted on a wall or ceiling using multi-purpose brackets. Curtains hang from a track on gliders with hooks, or combined gliders or hooks.

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Simple Hanging Systems

For net and sheer curtains that remain in a fixed position, use a purpose-made sprung wire or a plastic-coated rod. Both can be fixed to the face of a wall or to a side wall using screw eyes, or brackets.

Telescopic, plastic-coated rods can be extended to fit a variety of openings.

curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system
curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system

Track with Concealed Gliders

This track conceals gliders behind a flat fascia. Curtain hooks are inserted into the heading tape and hooked onto the gliders. The end stop secures the last curtain hook.

curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system

Track with Combined Gliders and Hooks

In this system, gliders slide along the track face and support separate hooks inserted into the tape, or they can be inserted directly into the tape.

curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system

Valance Rail

The simplest rail for supporting the valance in front of a curtain heading, with a clip-on-brackets and linking bars, this is adaptable for any length and shape of the window.

curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system

Integral Valance Rail

When making up a matching curtain and valance, it is possible to use a curtain track supplied with an integral valance rail.

This system is easy to assemble and can be mounted either on the wall or the ceiling.

curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system

Draw Cords and Draw Rods

Track systems are available with draw cords to ease the opening and closing of curtains, and a cord weight prevents draw cords from entangling.

A master glider with an overlap ensures that curtains meet in the centre. Alternatively, draw rods can be clipped to the master glider at the central edge of each curtain.

curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system

Track Fittings

Optional fittings enable hanging systems to fit all openings.

Extension brackets can be used to mount a track away from a wall or to support a second track or a valance rail.

curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system

Hanging System Accessories

You may wish to add accessories and fittings to your curtain hanging system that will allow you to completely personalize your curtains. A variety of finials and support brackets are available for use with poles and rods.

Similarly, there are several tie-back accessories, which can be used for drawing curtains away from windows and securing them to walls.

Fittings for Poles

Choose from a range of decorative finials and support brackets to you in conjunction with your curtain pole or rod.

Brass or brass-effect poles, in particular, can be purchased as lengths of tube, which you can accessorize with fittings to complement your hanging systems.

curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system
curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system

Tie-Back Hooks and Clasps

If you wish to use tie-backs that are fitted with rings, you will need a pair of wall hooks to secure the tie-backs to the wall.

These curtain accessories are available in both simple and elaborate designs. Alternatively, you can secure a curtain to a wall by the means of various styles of metal clasps,

or you can hold a curtain away from a window or other opening by draping it over a tie-back arm and boss.

curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system
curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system

Curtain Hooks

Curtain hooks are manufactured according to their function.

Choose hooks best suited to your heading tape. Most ready-made tapes can be hung from universal plastic hooks.

Elaborate pleats, however, require split hooks, while hand-made headings need pin-on or sew-on hooks.

curtains-choosing-a-hanging-system

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Temoor Dar

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