A Simple Guide to Drapery Header Styles


When it comes to drapery styles, the options can be overwhelming to say the least! A simple Google search will result in dozens of headers that will make your head spin. If you are looking for a simple guide to the most popular drapery header styles—you’ve come to the right place!

Let’s start with the most popular category of draperies, the Pleated variations. These styles are generally considered more traditional/ formal and they never go or if style.

The Pleats-

Pinch Pleat

The Pinch Pleat is often considered the most popular and traditional style of pleat. The fabric is gathered into two folds (“Two Finger”) or three folds (“Three Finger”)  and pinched together to create one pleat. This style is a classic!

What is a Pinch Pleat

Inverted Pleat

Next up, we have the Inverted Pleat. This style is very similar to the Pinch Pleat except that instead of being pinched in the middle, the Inverted Pleat is pinched at the top of the header.

What is an Inverted Pleat on drapery

Goblet Pleat

This traditional and elegant pleat is named for its shape which resembles a goblet. (Disclaimer: NOT suitable for holding beverages!) The Goblet Pleat is considered more full and round than any other pleat giving robust body to the drapery panel.

What is a Goblet Pleat on curtains

Box Pleat

Looking for a more modern pleat? Here you go! The Box Pleat is a modern interpretation of a pleated drapery. Fabric is folded into pleats on the front and on the back creating flat, boxy folds—aka clean and simple lines that fit in perfectly with a more contemporary design style.

what is a box pleat on drapery



Grommet draperies are one of our favorites. They lean more towards transitional, contemporary settings due to their clean and simple lines, however they also look beautiful in a more traditional home as well.  Design tip: coordinate your grommet finish with other metals within the room.

Grommet Top Drapery

Rod Pocket

Rod Pocket draperies consist of fabric which is folded over and attached to itself, creating a pocket through which the drapery rod can slide through. This clean and simple style is suitable for stationary panels only, and NOT intended to traverse.

Rod Pocket Drapery

Rod Pocket draperies can be ordered with a header as seen on the left image, or without as seen on the right.

Classic Tab Top

If you just love the “Shabby Chic” look, then the Classic Tab Top is for you!  This popular choice is best for stationary panels, though occasional hand traversing is fine.

Classic Tab Top Drapery

Wrapped / Gathered Tab

This beautiful variation of the Classic Tab Top incorporates a decorative sleeve around each tab that can even be in a contrasting color. Because they fit tightly onto the rod, they are recommended for stationary panels ONLY.

Wrapped Tab Drapery

Flowing Style

Another great option for the “Shabby Chic” lover is the casual Flowing Style drapery which consists of droopy pleats that attach to the rod with ring clips. The amount of natural droop may be changed by adding or subtracting ring clips. More rings cause smaller droops while fewer rings will result in larger droops.

Flowing Style Drapery

Flat Panel Top

Flat Panel draperies are a personal favorite of mine as they fit in perfectly with pretty much any style decor. This simple yet elegant style is stiffened with buckram and attached to decorative rods with ring clips.

Flat Panel Soft Window Treatments

As you can see, there are tons of options when it comes to drapery headers! In fact, there are even MORE options than this, however, I choose to showcase our most popular styles  so as to prevent any overwhelm. Hopefully, this blog and the included visuals help you narrow down your favorite drapery header so that you can achieve the perfect look for you and your home! If you are a fellow San Antonioian looking to transform your home with stunning draperies, we can help! Contact us for a FREE in-home design consultation!

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