If the woodwork of the room has been so selected and finished as to make of it a structural decorative feature, it should bear somewhat the same relation to the draperies as a picture-frame to a picture, outlining and defining that which is inclosed. In this case the draperies, if there is only one set, should preferably be hung inside the trim; if there are two sets, the outside one would probably need to be hung on the trim, but should be kept as near the inner edge as possible.
Varying types of window construction require different methods of hanging draperies. Often in the case of ready-made dwellings, the wood is so disturbing in color or finish, or the size and placing of the various openings in the room are so unfortunate that it is necessary to cover the trim in order to produce a good result. If all the windows in the room are of the same size and the same kind and placed on the same level, the problem is simple.
If there are two sets of curtains, the problem is varied only by the sort of fixtures used. The question is more complex when there are several varieties of windows in the room, with doors requiring draperies besides. The most important or dominant opening should in general indicate the treatment.
Casement or French windows that open out are compliant to the same treatment and arrangement of draperies as double-hung windows. . If casement windows open in, only one set of curtains can be managed easily. These may be hung directly on the windows, and be confined by rods with rings at both top and bottom. If a second set of draperies is used with such windows, the rod from which they are suspended must reach from the outer edge of the trim or even beyond this edge so as to free the curtains when the window is opened.
Draperies should always hang straight; fashion should never be allowed to be a determining factor. When curtains are looped back, disturbing lines at variance with the structural features of the room are produced and simplicity is lost. If it is desirable to draw curtains back, the folds may still hang straight.
Curtains just long enough to escape the sill are appropriate in most cases but if for any reason they must be hung to cover the trim, they should cover sill and apron as well. Sometimes when the design of the window contains a paneled space below, long curtains just escaping the floor are more consistent with the type of window than those of sill length.
Valances hung between curtains are appropriate only when these curtains are not to be drawn; in such cases they should be of the same fullness and should hang in the same sort of folds as the curtain. Valances should preferably be extended across the whole window and should hang on a separate rod in order not to interfere with the independent adjustment of the curtains. The valance usually hangs from the same height as the curtain; but in the case of a window with a transom, the valance may, if the construction of the window allows, hang from the top of the transom and fall only far enough to cover comfortably the top of the curtains.
Fig. 23. - Three types of valance and curtain arranged to cover the trim. A, a simple gathered valance; B, a simple type of formal fitted valance; C, a type of valance in which the figure governs the method of hanging.
Portieres are hung in the same general way as curtains; sometimes on the trim but more often between the door jambs.
Measuring draperies for windows and doors.
The space to be covered by the drapery should be measured accurately. Every measurement should be taken with a yardstick or four-foot rule. A tape-measure is liable to stretch. A diagram of the window should be made and the measurements indicated upon this.
The space that the curtain is to cover from the top of the heading to the bottom of the hem when finished should be determined. An allowance of 5 or 6 inches should be left for "crawl" and for the making up of any unlined curtain that is to have a shirred heading, a run for the rod, and a 2-inch hem at the bottom. If the curtains are to be washed frequently, and especially if they are of material with a coarse mesh, more should be allowed for shrinkage. This extra length may be disposed of by making three thicknesses in the hem. If sewed by hand, the hem can be ripped easily and rehemmed after washing. If there is no heading, only 4 inches need be allowed for making. In estimating the quantity of material, allowance must be made for the "repeat" of the pattern in matching the design. Sometimes when there is a large design and considerable waste, the parts cut out can be used in the valance. If the pattern has a figure conspicuous in size or shape or color, the drapery should be planned so that this figure comes at the same distance from the top in both curtains of one window and preferably in all the windows in the room. The drop in different patterns varies from a few inches to several feet and is an important consideration in measuring and cutting figured materials.
Materials suitable for window drapery come in many widths, from 31 inches to 52 inches or even 72 inches. For windows of average width, 50-inch material may be used to good advantage if pattern and texture permit, by cutting it in two lengthwise and making both curtains in the pair from one length of drapery.
Window drapery should, theoretically, be sufficiently wide to cover comfortably the whole window even if it is seldom necessary to do this. The width of the whole space plus from one-third to one-half the space to be covered, according to the thickness of the material, furnishes an agreeable fullness. When the curtains are purely decorative, as is sometimes the case with the outer drapery, or when only one pair is used with a valance in a group of windows, less fullness may be sufficient.