Curtain Valances in Modern Times – Are They Still Relevant?



If you have ever been to a play at a theater, you know that when the play starts the curtain opens and you applause. Right before the intermission, the curtain closes and you applause. Again after the intermission the curtain opens and finally when the play ends, the curtain is closed, you applause nonetheless. So, in a way you applause to the curtain. The curtain controls the play, it starts or ends it. For that reason, curtains are one of the most important decorations in a theater. But as the curtain opens or closes, one part of the curtain is always visible; the valance. It is always visible during the play and is included in the overall stage design. This is analogous to your house too, your opened curtains let you experience the outside world, closed curtains let you experience the curtains themselves but your curtain valances stay there at all times.



Curtain valances are basically short fabric curtains mainly used for decorative purposes in a room. Unlike curtains or drapes which cover the entire window, valances only cover about one-third of the window clearing. The main function of the valance is to hide the curtain fixtures. For this reason, they are usually combined with blinds or panels. Since the application is decorative, they also function as independent window treatments regardless of the window covering.

Are Curtain Valances Outdated?


Curtains, a must for decoration, are the source of elegance in the houses. And of course, if you are considering to install a curtain valance to your window, you have to think of your curtain and valance as a whole. Adding a pleasant atmosphere to our rooms, these textile products appear with many different varieties changing throughout the years. Curtain models are updated every year as well as the whole window treatment; you can see curtain pelmets coming back, to be followed by curtain valances in the next year. Thus it is difficult to say whether valances are outdated or not, as a new design may overthrow the current trend in even a month’s time. So all you can do is to pick your curtain treatment wisely and avoid making obvious mistakes and let the roller coaster of home fashion trends unfold. For this, we need to pay attention to the points below, one by one, we advise you to take these points into consideration while making your choice.

The first thing you need to pay attention to is the style you want to achieve in your room. So you should choose the curtain style that is compatible with your seats and other accessories in your room. Furthermore, curtains are often drawn and the most dominant feature of the window becomes the valance. So picking your curtain valance requires consideration.

Of course, the second point is color. Combine your curtain and its valance in accordance with the colors of your room. A model should be chosen according to the wall paint, floor color tone, furniture colors, etc. If you have a small room, dark color preferences should not be made. White or bright tones of other colors should be selected instead.



The size of your room should match the size and pattern of the curtain and its valance. An oversized curtain valance would grab all attention to it as they are usually the first thing you spot in a room among the monotony of the painted walls. Conversely, a miniature curtain valance would disappear in the room. Don’t forget the 1:3 ratio between the curtain and its valance; while not compulsory, it is a good rule of thumb to follow.

These are some points to consider when choosing curtain valance models to use in your house. The curtain and valance models should be picked in accordance with the style and patterns of your furniture, flooring, and walls. When you have, for example, light-colored floor parquets, you can pick light colors for your curtains and valances. You can provide a better decoration integrity by matching the colors of your room with your valances. The size of the room is also very important; if the room is small you can have a more spacious and bright room by using the curtain model in lighter tones. However, it may not always be the right choice to use curtain models with matching colors. Sometimes you can also find a great harmony of interior decoration with contrasting colors.

How Do You Hang a Curtain Valance?


Although they come in many styles and shapes, some of the more common curtain valance types are as such:

Rod Pocket Curtain Valances

Rod pocket curtain valance is a shorter version of the traditional curtain. There is a case sewn at the top of the valance so that the valance can slide along a rod. It conceals the curtain valance rod & any fixtures of it and looks as if the curtain valance is hanging in the air. The characteristics of the curtain rod is hidden so you don’t have to go expensive on the rod.

Tab Top Curtain Valances

The upper part of the valance has loops of fabric sewn on it. The curtain valance hangs from the curtain rod with these loops of fabric. As you can see the rod between the loops, the characteristics of the curtain rod starts to come out. So you have to choose a curtain rod depending on the look you are going after as the rod will be visible.



Festoon Curtain Valances

Festoon is defined by a folded fabric that hangs in a curved shape and framing the top of the window. The fabric overlaps itself vertically with curved repetitions to achieve its characteristic look. It has a dense, attention-grabbing look that can easily overcrowd a minimally decorated room. They tend to be more expensive as more fabric is used in the folds and the curves to cover up the same area with otherwise flat fabric.

Swag & Jabot Curtain Valances

A swag & jabot valance consists of three parts. The sides are covered with horizontally folded fabric which are called jabots. On the top of the window, swags span the distance between the jabots. This system of curtain valance is generally expensive and require good workmanship in order for it to look good. It is often difficult to remove and put back up and you at least have 3 pieces of fabric to wash and iron. I can say that swag & jabot curtain valances are quite inconvenient and if you don’t have a housekeeper tending to them it would be quite bothersome.



Types of Fabric Used on Curtain Valances


The main features of jacquard curtain valances are the details of their fabrics. Jacquard fabrics have many different densities and textures. In the past, jacquard fabric was used in furniture coating. But in time people started using them as curtains and their valances. One of the common features of jacquard curtain valances is the complex patterns and plenty of fine details. Especially synthetic and cotton ropes are used. Jacquard curtain valances are an ideal choice for lounges, living rooms, guest rooms, bedrooms, and offices. The 5 main advantages of these curtains are;

  • Jacquard curtain valances are easy to maintain and clean.
  • They do not fade even when exposed to sunlight.
  • Jacquard curtain valances and jacquard zebra curtain valances are durable products.
  • Models with jacquard weaving allow the creation of stylish environments.
  • Jacquard weave creates flexible patterns and creates an elegant environment.

Velvet curtain valances, which have always been among the options for curtain valances, have been decorating houses for hundreds of years, and still used as decorations with ever-changing looks as the years go by. 



Curtain valances designed with velvet fabric are especially preferred for living rooms, halls and bedrooms thanks to their colors and models. These curtain valances can give your room a luxurious, dignified, idealistic or an aristocratic touch. As its tactile sense is very soft to touch; using velvet adds a romantic flair to your bedroom. This property of velvet is appealing to the eye and is often associated with calmness. Velvet curtain valances are used in a variety of very stylish and decorative ways in complex curtain designs, and 7 of them are as follows;

  • Simple sliding designs
  • Italian style designs
  • Austrian style designs
  • Roman-style designs
  • Luxury and expensive-looking designs
  • High ceiling designs
  • Classic striped designs

Woven curtain valances are among the most preferred curtain valance models of people who do not want to buy ready-made curtain models. These curtain valances, which are frequently used in the old times, appear with the same pattern as the napkins and tablecloths used in the kitchen. Woven curtain valances are generally designed with floral motifs, plant motifs and ornate patterns. Particularly the rustic woven curtain valances express themselves as a masterpiece due to their intricacy of patterns and the handiwork quality. Knitting is often part of a country’s heritage thus has an association with the roots of the culture and the old ways. For that reason, woven fabric is an indicator of naturalness and manual labor and can be used in your decorations aiming for a rustic look. It would be a wrong choice to use a knit pattern in a very modern and bright living room or kitchen.



Woven curtain valances, especially the ones used in kitchens, require meticulous care. The odor and the fumes from cooking in the kitchen can stink up or stain your fabric. So if you are dainty, woven fabric will add an extra chore as it is not easy to keep clean. You should decide on the usage areas of these hand made curtain valances according to the surrounding decoration and the room you are using it in.

Damask patterned curtain valances draw attention with their original designs. Curtains are generally one of the main parts of the interior design. Curtain valances complete the design of a window and curtains. Therefore, the curtain valance models you want to select should be selected within the scope of stylish and elegant patterns. Damask patterned roller blinds and tulle curtain valance models, which are rising on the trends recently, provide the creation of stylish spaces with their numerous styles.

Patterned transparent organdy models used in Damask curtain fabrics enable the sunlight to pass through, thus increasing your overall illumination in the room. In addition, damask curtain valance types designed from organdy can be designed from synthetic fabric, viscose, fiber, silk, and polyester. Embossed patterns, self-patterned fabrics provide excellent aesthetic differences. Damask patterned curtain valance models provide convenience in terms of maintenance; they are easy to wash as they are lightweight and don’t require ironing due to the inherent qualities of damask patterned fabric.



Linen curtain valances offer a unique beauty thanks to its natural look. People who want to achieve a natural look in their living environment should use linen fabric for window decorations. With its elegance and natural beauty, linen fabric creates gentle environments. Linen fabric used on curtains and curtain valances create a healthy environment because they let the light in a controlled manner. The directionality of the texture ensures that the sun’s rays are not absorbed by the fabric thus creating a smooth, non-glare light influx through your windows. Also, it is known that linen fabric helps eliminate the radiation emitted by electrical appliances.

Linen curtain valance models are sensitive to dirt. However, it is easy to wash and easy to maintain. Linen curtain valances do not wear out easily because of the fact that the durability of the fabric is very high. But pulling may occur during washing of linen fabric. Moreover, since it is not advised to use detergents on linen fabrics, persistent stains will remain.

Today, curtain designers offer linen fabrics with different and exciting lines of products. Linen curtain models are often used in remarkable interior designs. Linen fabrics are preferred more often in rural and summer houses, but you can use them in your home as well. Just pay attention to the pattern of the fabric as durability and the look of your curtains and curtain valances depend on the density of the fabric.

Savaş Ateş

I like home decoration. I have a good interest in carpets and curtains. I have visited a lot of manufacturers and stores. I have lots of friends in this area. I like to share my experiences with it.

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