Curtain Heading Styles

We find that one of the most confusing parts of the selection process is simply understanding each curtain heading and their uses so that you can make an informed choice. Here we have written an outline of each style of heading we offer, to hopefully make the selection process a little less daunting.

Wave Curtains (also known as ‘S-Fold’)

Wave curtains are currently one of our most popular heading styles and lend themselves well to a modern looking home. They have a simple, sleek look and beautiful drape. Wave curtains earn their name by the beautiful wave pattern that the heading creates.

Wave samples

The most popular usage of this heading is for sheer curtains as the feature of the window, with gathered or single pinch pleat block-out linings behind (pictured below). You can use wave headings with any type of drapery fabric and you can also use them with block-out lined velvet for home theatre curtains.

We make a wave heading by sewing a special stiffening tape flat on to the top of the curtain, we then use specialty hooks and tracks to hold the distinctive wave pattern in place.

Two lining styles behind wave curtain
Left: gathered lining behind wave, right: single pinch pleat lining behind wave

Pinch Pleat Curtains

Pinch pleat curtains are also a very popular choice, especially in homes with a more classic aesthetic. You can also style these curtains to also give a more modern look, especially when used for sheers with a lining behind.

Double Pinch Pleat

There are several variations on the pinch pleat heading, they are as follows:

Single Pinch Pleat

Single pinch pleats heave their name because they are a single pleat of fabric (as opposed to double or triple pinch pleat). Usually we use single pinch pleat heading for linings behind sheers or anywhere where we are trying to reduce fullness in the curtain.

Single Pinch Pleat Behind Wave
Double Pinch Pleat

By far our most used form of pinch pleat, the double pinch pleat is probably the most known type of curtain heading as it is a very classic style. We sew each pleat individually, fold in an ‘M’ formation and then bar-tack to hold it’s distinctive double-pleat shape.

Double Pinch Pleat
Triple Pinch Pleat

After learning about single and double pinch pleat headings, as you may have assumed, the triple pinch pleat is three pleats in one. We use this when trying to add extra fullness to a curtain.

Triple Pinch Pleat

Reverse Pleat

Reverse pleat curtains are not dissimilar to pinch pleat curtains; the main difference between the two styles of heading is the direction that we sew the pleats. We sew pinch pleat curtains with the bulk of the pleat on the outside of the heading, whereas reverse pleat curtains have the pleat sewn inward; this gives a much flatter finish. We discuss the two kinds of box pleats below.

Box Reverse Pleat
Box Reverse Pleat

Box reverse are our default style of reverse pleat. They are slightly more versatile as the pleats do not have a distinct direction; we sew box pleats in such a way that they are symmetrical.

Box Reverse Pleat
Knife Reverse Pleat

The knife reverse is similar to the box pleat, but we push the bulk of the pleat to one side only, so that each curtain has a distinct direction.

Knife Reverse Pleat

Gathered Curtains

Gathered curtains are our most popular option for linings behind sheers. This heading style can also used with sheer and solid curtains. We make gathered curtains by sewing a special tape (with built in gathering cords) to the top of the curtain; we then gather these to the needed size. Gathered curtains have the added advantage of being slightly adjustable in width.

Gathered Curtain


Duplex is another variation on gathered curtains that is a little more wide and rigid, giving a more formed appearance.

Pencil Pleat

Pencil pleat may sound similar to a pinch pleat, but it is actually closer to a gathered curtain in construction. Just like a gathered curtain, pencil pleat curtains have a specialty tape sewn to the top of the curtain and we then gather them with the built in cords.

Pencil Pleat Curtain

Pocket & Heading

Pocket and Heading Curtain

We often use pocket and heading on sheer curtains, especially those that are behind a solid. We make pocket and heading curtains to fit over a rod, usually with a slight frill at the top. These headings are also very popular for kitchen, laundry and bathroom curtains.

There you have it, all of the styles of curtain heading we offer at Julan Curtains and Blinds! If you would like to see more of our work, please feel free to visit our Gallery or take a look at out Facebook and Instagram. If you want more information about the ordering process, please visit our handy guide here.