When it comes to decorating your home, one of the focal points will be how you dress your windows.
Once you start the search for the ideal length, color, and fabric, you will quickly realize that there is a distinct difference between curtains and drapes, however, no one is really telling you what the differences are, and you’re left scratching your head.
Don’t worry though, we’re here to help, there are key differences between drapes vs curtains and we’re going to tell you how they’re different and what the benefits are!
Curtains have been used as a broad term by many interior designers, salesmen, and websites to the point where anything and everything is branded as a curtain.
The reality is though, curtains are their own type of window dressing. Curtains are a single panel of fabric, and they are often sold in pairs. Curtains are ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and even living rooms if you want to add a different color and depth.
When it comes to hanging curtains, they are hung from a pole. There are many different types of poles hanging available, from metal hoops that are already in the pole, or you can clip the curtains to a hoop that is already on the pole.
This is one of the key differences between curtains and drapes. This type of hanging isn’t as effective at keeping light out or heat in, this is due to the number of spaces between the hanging fixtures.
These spaces easily let in light and let heat out. So, if you are looking to keep a room warm and dark, then curtains aren’t the best option for you.
Unlike curtains, drapes are thicker and designed to be used to block out light. When you are looking online or in the store, you want to make sure that you are checking if there is backing fabric.
Backing fabric can mean an array of things, it could be that it is double paneled of fabric or two-ply. These types of drapes are heavier but if they are double-ply fabric, they won’t be too effective at keeping out the light.
Black Out Drapes
If you are someone that likes to sleep in the dark and not allow any light through, then the way forward for you will be black-out drapes. It is rare that you get black-out curtains, as we have established that these are a single layer of fabric or material.
Black-out drapes will often have a denser material behind the outward-facing panel. It is this material that blacks out the light and stops it from coming through. You can still get drapes in the colors and designs that you want.
This is one of the key differences between curtains and drapes. Whereas curtains you can hang from a pole, drapes will need a specialist fitment. As drapes are heavier, you will find that they are often hung from rails with sliding mechanisms.
This means that the rail and the fitment can be complex and difficult to do on your own. However, the hanging mechanism makes sure that limited light gets through at the top due to how the drapes are hung.
Drapes are also usually a lot longer in length than their curtain counterparts. It is rare that you will get drapes that hang just below the windowsill.
Drapes usually, as the name suggests, drape down the window and will end either on the floor or just above it. It is this length that characterizes them as drapes. Whilst you can get curtains of this length, they will only be one panel and not effective at keeping out light and keeping in heat.
Curtains will also come in a variety of lengths rather than just floor-length, so when you are looking for curtains or drapes, true drapes will be the ones that touch the floor.
Drapes are often more expensive than curtains, this is due to the additional material that is needed when they are made, furthermore, the method in which they are hung is more complex than traditional curtains, therefore you can expect drapes to cost more than curtains.
When it comes to drapes and curtains there are a few differences between the two of them that make them easy to tell apart. Drapes will have backing material to keep heat in and light out, whereas curtains are single panels of fabric, more designed for show than practicality.
Drapes will also have a different type of fitment so that they can again keep the light out and the heat in. Due to the more complex nature of drapes, they are often more expensive than curtains, but the additional cost can be well worth it.