Draperies, also known as curtains, tapestries, and drapes, travel back and forth on rods. These are easy to repair. Common repairs include replacing the broken string on a traverse rod, attaching tension devices to hold down the cord, and replacing broken wands.
How-To & DIY Tips
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Identification and Background
Drapes are fabric panels typically sold in pairs. They are usually lined and are often made from heavy fabric to control light. Draperies are often long enough to cover ceiling to floor and the fabric is often styled in pleats, adding a more formal look. Drapes hang from rods on rings, hooks, grommets or pins.
Draperies can be hung on a traverse rod. With a traverse rod, you can move the drapes across the window by pulling on cord or pushing them with a wand. These are particularly useful for large, wide windows. Alternatively, traverse rods can be operated with a motor and controlled with a remote, wall switch or smartphone app.
As with many things, decorating our windows with draperies was born from necessity. Curtains were first made from animal hides and were used for insulation over doors and window openings. In time, people started using single flat pieces of fabric as insulation and room dividers. Paired curtains came into popularity in the 1700’s. The 1780’s saw the invention of a full cord and pulley system (traverse rod) to open and close curtains. These were often paired with pelmets or cornice boards to hide the rod and mechanisms. By the mid-1800’s, the mass production of fabric was commonplace. Now, some wealthier consumers were using curtains and draperies for decoration and style rather than practical reasons. A wide variety of fabrics were in use: velvet, brocade, linen, silk, and lighter weight fabrics such as gauze and muslin. Draperies and curtains remain a popular choice for consumers today because of their timeless elegance and widely varied prints, colors and design options.