Selecting a curtain heading to suit a room

by Nina

With made-to-measure curtains, you’re in the driving seat and have the choice of different curtain headings to get the exact look you want. To make choosing the right one a walk in the park, here’s a brief rundown of the five main types.

Pencil pleat

This is the most common type of curtain heading so you’ll probably have some pencil pleat curtains in your home already. They mightn’t be the fanciest kind but they’re ideal for traditional rooms.

Pencil pleat headings which are also known as tape top headings have tightly gathered folds that look like a row of pencils. They have three rows of threaded string so you can choose whichever hook position you prefer when you come to hang them. With this style of heading it’s down to you to gather the curtains to the right width for your windows by pulling the strings and controlling the ruffle thickness. Pencil pleat curtains are suitable for all styles of curtain poles and tracks.  

beige pencil pleat curtains

A classic curtain design like the Balmoral Chenille in beige oozes
sophistication when made with a pencil pleat header. If you’re looking to give your lounge or kitchen a traditional country cottage vibe, the Viva Autumn’s leaf design could be a winner.

Double and triple pinch pleat

If you want your curtains to look luxurious and regal, opt for a pinch pleat heading. They are much more decorative than pencil pleat headers and are fuller so instantly draw the eye. With pinch pleats headings, the pleats themselves are hand-sewn and are fitted with hooks so are in a fixed, gathered position. This means you must measure correctly, otherwise you’ll give yourself a big headache as they can’t be altered later.

Whether you opt for double or triple pinch pleat is down to personal preference, they both look fabulous and are ideal for formal living and dining rooms. They are also suitable for all styles of curtain poles and tracks.

roald dahl matilda curtains

They are a good option for full-length curtains with endearing children’s motive like Roald Dahl’s Matilda or striking patterns like the Moderne Maze. 


Eyelet heading curtains (also known as ring top headings) are perfect for minimalist and contemporary rooms. They have metal rings instead of header tape and are ideal if you want to show off stylish curtain poles. They’re easy to fit as you just weave your curtain pole through the rings but please be aware that this style of heading isn’t suitable for bay windows or curtain tracks.

Eyelet heading curtains don’t require as much material as other types of curtains as they’re not gathered at the top and instead have loose folds. If you have a kitchen diner with bi-fold doors, this is the style of heading you should go for.

artiste damson eyelet curtains

Colour-wise you can be as bold as you like, so if you love orange why not opt for Flair Zest curtains or if you’d prefer a funky blue design, a pair of Moderne Ozone curtains?

Tab top

Tab top is another type of contemporary heading that makes a feature of your curtain poles. The tabs are simply fabric loops that hang from your curtain poles and are made in the same fabric as your curtains. They’re great for lightweight curtains, like the glamorous Coco Trophy Voile or the chic Coco Marloes Voile.

beige tab top curtains

All in all, the heading can add that all-important finishing touch to your room so it’s worth taking a time to choose wisely to achieve the look you are aiming for.


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