What Are Pinch Pleat Curtains?

Of all the different types of curtain headings, pinch pleat is the most popular as it works in both traditional and contemporary homes. But what are pinch pleat curtains exactly, and how do they differ from other types of curtain heading?

A pinch pleat is a decorative and tailored curtain heading where gathers of fabric are folded and sewn into place at the top of the curtain with a flat gap between each pleat. The pleats are secured onto stiffened cloth called buckram to ensure the heading holds its shape.

What Do Pinch Pleats Look Like?

The way the fabric heading is pinched together creates a stunning effect that flows down the length of the curtains. The classic and elegant ripples are a perfect choice if you are looking for an ornamental heading and tailored finish in your home.

What Fabrics Should I Choose for Pinch Pleat Curtains?

A pinch pleat heading is a feature in itself, which is why it’s a popular choice for many homes and interiors. Both patterned and plain fabrics look great as pinch pleat curtains. It’s really down to personal preference and the style of your home.  For an opulent look, velvet is a great choice. Floral designs are always popular, and stripes look extra eye-catching as the stripe is pattern matched to the pleat. For a crisper pleat, choose a lighter fabric, while thicker fabrics create larger pleats.

Double or Triple Pinch Pleats?

The different styles of pinch pleat curtains describe how often the fabric is folded to create the desired look. Double pinch pleat curtains have the heading fabric folded twice. They can look more contemporary, so they are a great choice if you want a traditional heading but with a sleeker shape.

A triple-pinch pleat is folded three times. It has a much grander appearance and require more fabric to create the effect. Triple-pinch pleat curtains are excellent for traditional homes and rooms you want to feel extra luxurious.

What Interior Styles Work With Pinch Pleats?

Curtains with pinch pleats can work with a variety of different interior design styles.

Farmhouse and Country Cottage Interiors

Pinch pleat curtains look charming and elegant in country-style interiors. Floral and textured fabrics work exceptionally well and look lovely when hung on a pole.

Maximalist Homes

There’s something about a bright and vibrant pattern with a pinch pleat curtain that just works. Don’t be afraid to go bold with your designs and clash prints and colours.

Period Properties

Triple pinch pleat curtains look grand and sophisticated in period properties. Small scale patterns, classic stripes, or plain fabrics with luscious interlining give a sumptuous feel and luxurious finish.

Modern or Eclectic Interiors

For a more contemporary take on a pinch pleat, opt for a double pinch in a solid colour. Both neutral and vibrant shades can work with pinch pleats without feeling overly traditional. Take your lead on fabric choices from the other furniture pieces and textiles in the space.

How to Hang Pinch Pleat Curtains

Pinch pleats are versatile and can be hung on a track or a pole. The way you hang your curtains is entirely up to you and your personal styling preference. For a more impactful look and visual appeal, hanging on a pole has a slight edge.

Hanging Pinch Pleat Curtains on a Pole

To ensure your curtains hang underneath the pole, you will need to measure from where you want the top of your curtains to start to the finished drop – often the floor.

For tracks, you will need to measure from the top of where you want your track to be fixed to the finished drop so that the curtains fully cover the track and can’t be seen. 

Read our curtain measuring guide for more tips and guidance.


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