What’s the Best Way to Hang Your Drapery?

 

How to hang drapery panels

Curtains are often the finishing touch in your decor. And with the right combination of color, pattern and texture, the right pair of panels can really set the mood in a room and influence how you and your guests will feel. How you hang them also affects the overall feel, which is an often overlooked detail. So let’s take a look at the different ways you can hang your curtains and the considerations that go into choosing your best option.

Rod Pocket

Hanging drapery panels using a rod pocket

The most classic and common of all methods of hanging drapery, a rod pocket is a sewn-in pocket, or casing, at the top of a drapery panel that easily slips over a rod and conceals it. 

Hanging drapery panels using a rod pocket

Drapery panels hung this way bunch nicely and have a simple, casual look. All of our drapery panels can be hung using this method, and you don’t need any additional pieces or hardware (aside from your rod and finials) to make this look work.

Hanging drapery panels using a rod pocket

One thing to consider is how often you’ll want to open and close your panels. For drapery you’ll be opening and closing a lot, you may want to consider either ring clips of pin hooks, as rod pockets tend to be a little stubborn to adjust.

Hidden Tabs

Hanging drapery panels using hidden tabs

Hidden tabs are an easy way of hanging panels, while giving you a neat, pleated look. They feature a row of hidden flat tabs, or loops, sewn along the back top of the drapery panel that threads over the rod, making the curtain appear to float on the rod.  

Hanging drapery panels using hidden tabs

The pleated look that hidden tabs create are great for people who love a tailored look without hardware, and because the tabs are spaced apart, you’ll have a more even pleating than with a rod pocket.

Hanging drapery panels using hidden tabs

Like a rod pocket, hidden tabs are great for panels you won’t be moving often. Because the fabric touches the drapery rod directly, it can be a bit more difficult to move in comparison to a ring clip or pin hook.

Ring Clips

Hanging drapery panels using ring clips

One of the most popular methods for hanging drapery is ring clips which are clipped to the top edge of the drapery panel with rings sliding over the rod.

Hanging drapery panels using ring clips

You can use this method to hang any type of drapery panel, since you simply clip the ring to the panel. If you want a little bit more length out of your panel, ring clips are a great way to add 1-2 inches, since the clips means the fabric hangs just below the drapery rod.

Hanging drapery panels using ring clips

We like ring clips because they’re just so easy to move, which means that on a window where you may open and close the panel daily, you won’t have a problem moving the panel.

Hanging Pins

Hanging drapery panels using pin hooks

We’re excited to now offer panels that can be hung using hanging drapery pins. This method has a super tailored look due to the plastic thread that creates loops on the back of the panel. Use a pin that loops through the plastic thread and hooks onto the ring.

Hanging drapery panels using hanging pins

Hanging pins create a look that’s polished from the front — no toothy clasps on your panel — and they move smoothly over your drapery rod.

Hanging drapery panels using hanging pins

You can see the clear plastic loops that securely hold the panel. Pins loop through the plastic thread and then hook to our standard ring clip, but because of the plastic thread, you won’t see the clasp and the weight of the panel is more supported.

We prefer using hanging pins for panels that are especially heavy (like Velvet panels), as they’re more secure.

Tie-Top

Hanging drapery panels using tie tops

Tie top panels have a romantic look, created by fabric that is tied at the top of the drapery panel directly to the curtain rod.

Hanging drapery panels using tie tops

The ties at the top of the panel have a pretty, organic look that works really nicely in rooms where you want to create a casual feel.

What’s Next?

Now that you understand how each of these methods works, let’s talk about the the different details you should consider before selecting a treatment.

Use ring clips to hang drapery in rooms where you'll open and close your curtains

Function

In room where you’ll be opening and closing your drapery on a daily basis, we strongly suggest using hanging clips or ring clips. Because you’ll want to control the amount of light, you’ll want to be able to effortlessly slide the curtains along the rod. Curtains hung by tabs or rod pocket are more difficult to move back and forth. However, if the sole purpose of your drapery is to add a layer of softness while framing your window, then any of the options will work.

Heavy curtains (like velvet) require sturdy hanging methods, like hanging pins or rod pockets

Curtain Weight

But before you go all in with hanging clips, make sure the weight of your drapery can handle it. A  heavier curtain, such as velvet, may not be fully supported with ring clips, which can pull or pop off the edge of the fabric. In this case, you’ll want to hang your drapery by either pin hooks or rod pocket method, which is designed to hold the full weight of the fabric without sagging.

What's the best way to hang your drapes?

Curtain Length

The various hanging styles can let you cheat an inch or two in length in either direction. (Ideally, you want your drapes to just graze the floor.) If you find your curtains are a smidge too long, hanging them from the hidden tabs or rod pocket will raise the hem up a bit. Conversely, hanging your curtains with clips lowers them below the rod, bringing the hemline down.

For a light, airy look, we recommend tie top curtains which have a casual feel

Desired Look

The decorative element of hanging drapery is obviously a huge consideration. You want the style of your curtains and the way they drape to echo the look and feel of your room.  

Want a more relaxed and breezy vibe? Consider tie-top panels, like in a easy, breezy bedroom above.

By contrast, rod pocket and hidden tab styles offer a more formal, or dressy, presence, with rod pocket being the most traditional. Both methods will result in soft, vertical folds that are pleasing to the eye.

Somewhere in the middle are hanging clips. Curtains attached by ring clips loosely slide back and forth on the rod, creating a less uniform drape in the process. The result is naturally a more casual, lived-in feel. But, keep in mind, you can instantly change the look and dress things up or make it modern with a showstopping rod, since the curtains will hang below it.

Shop all of our drapery panels here, and find more designs inspiration on our Pinterest boards.

Did our hints help you decide on the best top treatment for your drapery? Tell us in the comments below.

 
Patricia Palermo

Patricia Palermo

Patricia Palermo has been writing about home décor and design since 1999, which is when she first learned the term faux bois. She's passionate about helping others find their design style, because she believes with a little know-how and inspiration, anyone can decorate with confidence. Patricia has a degree in Journalism and lives in Atlanta with her husband and four-year-old twins.

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16 Comments

  1. Reply

    Brittany

    November 14, 2016
     

    Thank you so much!

  2. Reply

    Brittany

    November 6, 2016
     

    I am so glad to have found this article! Great information! I am making 18ft drapes for our living room, and having a tough time deciding the hanging method to use. What are your thoughts on using pins? I am a bit nervous due to the height creating more weight to the curtain. Thank you!

    • Caroline McDonald
      Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      November 7, 2016
       

      Brittany,
      Pins should work fine, even on 18 foot drapes. They are very small and shouldn’t add much weight.
      Best of luck!

      • Brittany

        November 11, 2016
         

        Thank you so much! So you feel the clips along with the pins will hang them sufficiently without falling off from that height? Do you think I would even need the pins?

      • Caroline McDonald

        Caroline McDonald

        November 14, 2016
         

        Brittany,
        Generally speaking, pins are more secure. The clips could slid a bit, but pins should work well!

  3. Reply

    Marita padavich

    October 27, 2016
     

    I have a window. It takes 4 separate panels. Do these panels need sewn together or can they hang separately.

    • Caroline McDonald
      Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      November 11, 2016
       

      Marita,
      I think that’s really a personal preference. If you won’t be opening and closing the panels a lot, letting them hang separately would be fine. If you think you’ll be using the panels for light control, it would probably be best to have them sewn together!

  4. Reply

    Lillian Schaeffer

    September 23, 2016
     

    Thanks for sharing this post! I really like your suggestion to use a pleated look to hide hardware when hanging curtains. I’m redecorating my living room, and I want to take the blinds out in favor of curtains. I’d prefer to have the rod hidden, so I’ll definitely look into hanging the drapery with a pleated style.

  5. Reply

    Luzette Lightfoot

    August 18, 2016
     

    I love the your use of the plastic thread that creates loops on the back of the drapery panel so that a drapery pin can be looped on the back of the panel through the plastic thread and onto the ring. Where can I buy plastic thread as you suggest? I’ve never heard of it before, this will slove my problem. Can’t wait to hear from you!!

    Lu in Tampa, Fl

  6. Reply

    Elizabeth

    March 23, 2016
     

    I have the SK heavy linen panels and plan to use ring clips. Very basic question: Where do I place the ring clips (ie, spacing)? Are there placement guides on the panel itself or should they just be evenly space without regarding to existing folds in the fabric?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      March 25, 2016
       

      Elizabeth,
      This is a great question. Our trick is to take the panel by the top corners (where you’re placing the clips), fold the panel in quarters. Then place a clip at each end, in the middle of each fold, then in the very middle of the space between the end and the fold. This should space 10 clips evenly along the top of the panel.
      Does that make sense?
      Caroline

  7. Reply

    Tiffany

    March 5, 2016
     

    Love your article, thanks so much. I have your panels 54″ x 108″. In burlap, do you think they will be okay with the ring clips? Or too heAvy?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      March 7, 2016
       

      Tiffany,
      Ring clips should work just fine!

  8. Reply

    Alli

    January 21, 2016
     

    So, so helpful for someone who is clueless when it comes to decorating. Thank you!

  9. Reply

    Jodi

    January 2, 2016
     

    I am so excited to read your article on hanging options for panels. I currently have drapes with drapery pins and would like to replace them with your linen drapes. Do any of the linens drapes have the loops on back for drapery pins? I love the look of the drapes, but have been struggling with how i would hang them.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      February 9, 2016
       

      Jodi,
      Thanks for your comment. We’re happy to hear you liked this article! Unfortunately we only offer the option for hanging pins on three different panels, our Velvet Drapery Panels, Dupioni Silk Panels, and Jardin Toile Panels. However, you can often find hanging pins online or in your local fabric store that have a very pointy end that makes it possible to use pins on almost any panel since the pointy end can puncture through the fabric and slip over your ring. Does that make sense? We think that might be an option for you!
      Hopefully that helps.
      The How to Decorate Team

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