There are many types of top treatments for curtains but one of the most popular is a valance, or frill as it is otherwise known. A valance is a gathered frill that runs along the top of the window / door above the curtain, it is usually attached to a valance track or occasionally to a pelmet board.
Pencil Pleat Valances
Valances come in a variety of styles but the most popular is the pencil pleat valance, which uses a 3″ or 6″ pencil pleat heading tape sewn onto the back of the valance and gathered to the required size. To gather the valance you must first locate the cords woven into the heading tape and tie the 3 or more cords together at one end. Repeat this for the other end of the valance, once you have done this you are ready to start gathering the valance to the required size. Starting with one end of the valance hold the knotted cords in your left hand and the valance in your right hand , pull the valance until the tape starts to form neat uniform pleats. This process is repeated until the valance is gathered to the required size.
Pinch Pleat Valances
Pinch pleat valances create a very elegant finish to any window, they are made by stiffening the top of the valance and forming crisp pleats in groups of two or three which are then finished by hand. As with other types of valance, pinch pleat valances can be made in a variety of shapes and depths and can also be finished with either trimmings or co-ordinating fabrics along the upper or lower edges. They can be fastened to a valance track with the use of stab hooks but can also be fastened to a pelmet board by the use of Velcro sewn onto the back of the valance.
Other Types Of Valances
Besides the main two types of valances, it is also possible to make a valance in any of the following headings :
Goblet Heading – Hand finished stiffened tubes filed with wadding and pinched in at the bottom to form small goblet shapes.
Tab Top Heading – Hung from a pole fitted above the curtain track
Eyelet Heading – Hung from a pole fitted above the curtain track and made with a variety of different eyelet colours, sizes and styles.
Tie Top Heading – Hung from a pole fitted above the curtain track using small fabric, cord or ribbon ties.