Curtain Headings De-Mystified

Choosing a new pair of curtains? Not sure which type of curtain headings to go for? Here we explore the different types of curtain headings, to help you make the right choice for your home.

Eyelet CurtainEyelet curtains

Eyelet curtain headings are a popular, contemporary style that’s suitable for bedrooms and living rooms alike. Sometimes known as ring top curtains, they have a series of metal rings (or eyelets) punched into the top of the curtain for hanging on a curtain pole. The large holes make eyelet curtains easy to hang, with smooth action when you open and close them. The rings can be a pleasing aesthetic feature, too.

Tab top curtainsTab top curtains

Tab top curtains have matching fabric ‘tabs’ at the curtain heading. The curtain pole is threaded through the tabs to hang the curtains. Tab top curtain headings are a good-looking choice, and if you have a curtain pole you want to show off, they are a good way to do it. These kinds of curtains are also cost-effective, because they don’t require the material to gather like pleated curtains do, so they use less fabric.

On the downside, tab top curtains do have a tendency to pull and snag when they are opened or closed. Because the fabric tabs have to hold up the weight of the curtains, tab top headings are best for lightweight curtain materials.

Pleated curtains

Pencil pleat, pinch pleat and goblet pleat curtain headings gather fabric at the curtain heading. Pencil pleats are the most common type of pleated curtains, with the creases about the same width as a pencil, and they are suited to any weight of fabric. Pinch pleats are gathered at intervals, with the pleats permanently sewn in to create an impressive visual effect. They’re particularly effective in formal settings. Meanwhile goblet pleats are a luxurious style that’s created by leaving the top of a pinch pleat open, resulting in a pleat that resembles a wine glass in shape.

Pleated curtains can be hung using either curtain poles or curtain tracks. To hang with a curtain pole, you will need to use hooks to attach the curtains to a curtain ring. For a curtain track, a different type of curtain hook is used; these are attached to a curtain track hanger.

Bright interior, window with curtains, white window sill, room, homeRod pocket curtains

Rod pocket curtain headings are most commonly seen on net curtains. They’re a particularly simple form of curtain heading that consists of a pocket or tube that’s created by folding over the top of the fabric and sewing it down. The curtain rod is then threaded through and they’re ready to hang.

Wave curtains

Wave curtains have a contemporary, stylish look. Wave curtain headers work using a specially designed curtain header tape and glider cord in the curtain track (or pole), arranged to create a regular, continuous wave-like effect in the curtain fabric. Sleek and minimalist, wave curtains look great in both modern and traditional interiors, and can be hung with a track or a pole.


We’re happy to offer advice to help you choose the right curtains and accessories. Just call our advice helpline on 01494 535699 or fill in our enquiry form.