This post was originally published in December 2015 and updated September 2019.
Curtains are often the finishing touch in your decor. And with the right combination of color, pattern and texture, the right pair of panels can really set the mood in a room and influence how you and your guests will feel. How you hang your curtains also affects the overall feel, which is an often overlooked detail. From curtain clips to drapery hooks, let’s take a look at the different ways to hang curtains and the considerations that go into choosing your best option.
The most classic and common of all methods of hanging drapery, a rod pocket is a sewn-in pocket, or casing, at the top of a drapery panel that easily slips over a rod and conceals it.
Drapery panels hung this way bunch nicely and have a simple, casual look. All of our drapery panels can be hung using this method, and you don’t need any additional pieces or hardware (aside from your rod and finials) to make this look work.
One thing to consider is how often you’ll want to open and close your panels. For drapery you’ll be opening and closing a lot, you may want to consider either ring clips of pin hooks, as rod pockets tend to be a little stubborn to adjust.
Hidden tabs are an easy way of hanging panels, while giving you a neat, pleated look. They feature a row of hidden flat tabs, or loops, sewn along the back top of the drapery panel that threads over the rod, making the curtain appear to float on the rod.
The pleated look that hidden tabs create are great for people who love a tailored look without hardware, and because the tabs are spaced apart, you’ll have a more even pleating than with a rod pocket.
Like a rod pocket, hidden tabs are great for panels you won’t be moving often. Because the fabric touches the drapery rod directly, it can be a bit more difficult to move in comparison to a ring clip or pin hook.
One of the most popular methods for hanging drapery is ring clips which are clipped to the top edge of the drapery panel with rings sliding over the rod.
You can use this method to hang any type of drapery panel, since you simply clip the ring to the panel. If you want a little bit more length out of your panel, ring clips are a great way to add 1-2 inches, since the clips means the fabric hangs just below the drapery rod.
We like ring clips because they’re just so easy to move, which means that on a window where you may open and close the panel daily, you won’t have a problem moving the panel.
We’re excited to now offer panels that can be hung using hanging drapery pins. This method has a super tailored look due to the plastic thread that creates loops on the back of the panel. Use a pin that loops through the plastic thread and hooks onto the ring.
Hanging pins create a look that’s polished from the front — no toothy clasps on your panel — and they move smoothly over your drapery rod.
You can see the clear plastic loops that securely hold the panel. Pins loop through the plastic thread and then hook to our standard ring clip, but because of the plastic thread, you won’t see the clasp and the weight of the panel is more supported.
We prefer using hanging pins for panels that are especially heavy (like Velvet panels), as they’re more secure.
Tie top panels have a romantic look, created by fabric that is tied at the top of the drapery panel directly to the curtain rod.
The ties at the top of the panel have a pretty, organic look that works really nicely in rooms where you want to create a casual feel.
Now that you understand how each of these methods works, let’s talk about the the different details you should consider before selecting a treatment
In room where you’ll be opening and closing your drapery on a daily basis, we strongly suggest using hanging clips or ring clips. Because you’ll want to control the amount of light, you’ll want to be able to effortlessly slide the curtains along the rod. Curtains hung by tabs or rod pocket are more difficult to move back and forth. However, if the sole purpose of your drapery is to add a layer of softness while framing your window, then any of the options will work.
But before you go all in with hanging clips, make sure the weight of your drapery can handle it. A heavier curtain, such as velvet, may not be fully supported with ring clips, which can pull or pop off the edge of the fabric. In this case, you’ll want to hang your drapery by either pin hooks or rod pocket method, which is designed to hold the full weight of the fabric without sagging.
The various hanging styles can let you cheat an inch or two in length in either direction. (Ideally, you want your drapes to just graze the floor.) If you find your curtains are a smidge too long, hanging them from the hidden tabs or rod pocket will raise the hem up a bit. Conversely, hanging your curtains with clips lowers them below the rod, bringing the hemline down.
The decorative element of hanging drapery is obviously a huge consideration. You want the style of your curtains and the way they drape to echo the look and feel of your room.
Want a more relaxed and breezy vibe? Consider tie-top panels, like in a easy, breezy bedroom above.
By contrast, rod pocket and hidden tab styles offer a more formal, or dressy, presence, with rod pocket being the most traditional. Both methods will result in soft, vertical folds that are pleasing to the eye.
Somewhere in the middle are hanging clips. Curtains attached by ring clips loosely slide back and forth on the rod, creating a less uniform drape in the process. The result is naturally a more casual, lived-in feel. But, keep in mind, you can instantly change the look and dress things up or make it modern with a showstopping rod, since the curtains will hang below it.
Did our hints help you decide on the best top treatment for your drapery? Tell us in the comments below.