Over the next number of blogs, we are going to look at the styles of pleats that are available for curtains.
Choosing a pleat is usually simple, but it is important to remember that not all pleat styles suit all windows or fabrics. This is when you need a curtain expert to advise you on what can be successfully achieved.
The first style we will discuss are Wave folds/ S-Folds/ Ripple folds
Three names for ultimately the same style; although sometimes the hardware used can vary. We will refer to this style as S-folds for simplicity.
S-Folds are a relatively new pleat to the marketplace and work well in contemporary or classic homes; definitely not a traditional look! They can look equally impressive on narrow windows and wide and can sit above the floor or be successfully puddled.
The main trick is to use fabrics that have a great deal of drape ability so that they fall nicely into the folds. Any stiffness in the fabric will ensure a less than desirable fold pattern which may not necessarily be “trained” into place. Light weight sheers and polyesters, linens and light cottons all work well, as do some soft velvets and poly/cottons. If the curtain is to be lined, the lining must also be a soft handle.
The actual weight of the curtain doesn’t really matter with s-folds, as long as heavy duty hooks or the stud system are used to hold the weight. We don’t recommend using the stud system if it can be helped, as these are a major pain to install, and even worse if you ever wish to take down the curtains for cleaning. In our opinion, the hook system is easier and achieves exactly the same look.
To a certain degree, you can control the fullness on an sfold as some can be 100% fullness or 80% fullness (if you are on a budget). Visually, its hard to tell the difference. One thing you cannot change is the drop; once the s-fold is made up, the hook position cannot be changed without a remake.
Another thing to consider is the amount an s-fold curtain will project into a room. This style takes up more space than other pleats, so you must ensure you have the room to accommodate them. If you are doing a double track with s-folds, it’s important to know that the curtains will take up at least 20cm of floor space. For this reason, sfolds can be successfully teamed with smaller pleats to take up less floor space.
If you have large windows or sliding doors we suggest you consider s-fold curtains.