Your Guide to Curtain Draping Techniques

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Want to take a room from dull to dreamy? The right curtain draping techniques can bring your windows to the next level. 

If hanging curtains straight down in the traditional fashion isn’t your cup of tea, you might prefer draping your curtains and assembling window scarves instead. 

Read on to discover all you need to know about curtain draping techniques. We’ll show you how to drape curtains over rods and create window scarves for a look you’ll love.

What is Curtain Draping?

Let’s start with the basics. 

Traditional curtains hang across the length of the curtain rod and can cover your windows completely. 

A curtain draping technique, on the other hand, involves hanging lightweight curtains over and around a curtain rod. 

Curtain draping allows more light into your space, but the arrangement of the curtains can limit privacy. You can opt to layer window scarves with traditional curtains to add more depth and privacy.

curtain draping techniques
Curtain Draping

Curtain draping also differs from valances, which are short accent drapes that cover only the top section of a window and conceal curtain rods.

curtain draping techniques
Curtain Valance

Best Fabrics for Curtain Draping

Lightweight sheer fabrics are best for curtain draping techniques, but you can use thicker materials for a bolder statement. 

We’ll break down common fabrics that are ideal for curtain draping.

  • Organza: Organza, a popular fabric that originates from silk, is sheer with a slight sheen. This luxurious material can lend to a soft, airy look that is versatile for just about any room.
  • Chiffon: Chiffon is similar to organza but is more affordable. If you’re on a budget, chiffon is the way to go. This lightweight fabric has a soft shine that softens the look of a room and adds an elegant touch. 
  • Voile: Voile is a delicate, cotton-based fabric. Voile is modern and casual and perfect for living rooms or tall and wide windows.
  • Velvet: If you’re searching for something more luxurious, try velvet.  It’s heavier in weight and opaque in appearance, creating a more dramatic, stately appearance. This fabric works best in a formal dining room, traditional living room or master bedroom.

Read more: The Best Curtain Fabrics for Your Home

3 Curtain Draping Techniques

Now, let’s cover the three most common curtain draping techniques you can find in homes: the u-shape look, the asymmetrical look and the layered look.  

1. U-Shape Curtain Draping

The easiest way to drape curtains is to hang the window scarf over the ends of the curtain rod on each side and let it fall into a ‘U’ shape or ‘swag’ in the middle. 

This simplistic look is best for single-pane windows but can work in almost any kind of room. All you need is one curtain panel or one piece of your favorite fabric. 

Pro-tip: For a wider window, use a longer piece of fabric to create two drapes (two U-shapes) to add more depth (see “Asymmetrical Curtain Draping” below).

2. Asymmetrical Curtain Draping 

The asymmetrical curtain draping technique is romantic and ideal for taller windows in master bedrooms, formal rooms or libraries. 

To create an asymmetrical look, hang one end of the curtain lower than the other so that the lower end grazes the floor.

Learn more about curtain length rules here. 

3. Layered Curtain Draping 

Try layering different fabrics of different colors to add depth and dimension to your windows. You can even combine different patterns and colors for more contrast.

Layered curtain draping is beautiful, elaborate and complements formal, bold decor.

To layer window scarves, loop each fabric at different points on the curtain rod, as pictured below. 

How To Drape Curtains Over Rods

Curtain draping techniques are easy. You can use bulk fabric by the yard to create window scarves, or you can use standard curtain panels.

Follow these tips to ensure a perfect look. 

1. Measure

Use a spool of string to mimic how you’ll drape your curtains. Account for where you want the curtain to fall and the number and depth of swags you wish to create by looping the string around the curtain rod. Then, cut the string and use a measuring tape to determine how much fabric you need.

2. Fold

If you’re using a curtain panel, you can either fold the curtain in half widthwise or create 1 to 3-inch pleats depending on the look you want to achieve. Secure the folds or pleats with safety pins.

3. Drape

To create one swag, drape the fabric over one end of the curtain rod. Hang the fabric in front of the rod in a ‘U’ shape. Then, drape again over the other end of the rod.

To create multiple swags, fold the curtain over the center of the rod. Then drape each side over the end of the curtain rod. 

4. Adjust

Now, adjust the depth of the swags to your liking. Let the fabric fall to the desired length on both sides of the window. Lastly, remove the safety pins to complete your window 

Drape Curtains Easily With Kwik-Hang

Now that you know how to drape curtains over rods, you can simplify the rest of the curtain-hanging process with Kwik-Hang. 

Kwik-Hang’s no-drill curtain rod brackets make it easy to hang curtains in seconds. The installation process is quick and stress-free and doesn’t require any special tools or measurements.

Just position the brackets to your window trim, tap into place with a hammer and that’s it! You’re ready to drape your curtains right away.

Give your windows the upgrade they deserve with Kwik-Hang’s affordable and reliable curtain rod brackets and curtain rods.

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