Fancy drapes: banding and ruching

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banded curtains
Banded curtains are decorated with a strip of coordinating or contrasting fabric
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Banding and ruching can spruce up your drapes

Drape banding and ruching are both appropriate options when you're looking for an elegant touch on your window treatments. Whether you like understated curtains or fancy drapes, banding and ruching can work.


How Window Treatments Fit Your Overall Look


In today's world, nearly any style of home decor can work, if you're consistent. When choosing window treatments, you have to consider the fabrics, furniture, decor, and lighting fixtures already in the room.


What Drape Banding and Ruching Are


Fancy drapes, banding and ruching aside, have always been popular in some type of decor, but certain things about those fancy drapes (types of headings, pleats, certain fabrics or colors, and so forth) come in and out of vogue. At the moment, drape banding and ruching are two design elements you may see quite often if you go shopping for window treatments.


Banding combines a coordinating or contrasting strip or "band" of fabric with the main color. The band may run at the top or bottom of the drapes or even along the inner or outer sides. Banded drapes can be a good way to bring out accent colors in your room's decor.


Ruching draws the fabric up into a tighter space to create a gathered look, but ruched fabric looks a little less structured than pleats.


Where Drape Banding and Ruching May Appear


Drape banding and ruching can go together, or they can appear separately. Ruching produces a dramatic effect, so ruched drapes look more at home in rooms with an elegant, more upscale sort of look. It could also work in Old-World types of decor, but it usually does not fit in with country decorating or modern styles.


Banding is more versatile. It can appear on an otherwise plain set of panel curtains that are popular in contemporary styles. Banded drapes can also add a special touch to rich fabrics such as silks that are typically seen with ruching or other dramatic elements.


How You Can Introduce Drape Banding and Ruching to Your Home


Both drape banding and ruching can be done at home, if you prefer making your own curtains. If you don't sew, you can also find plenty of banded and ruched drapes at retailers of window treatments and home furnishings.


As mentioned above, the window treatments you choose should depend on the existing decor. But if you're starting from scratch, you may need help determining what style you should pursue. If so, check out the Home Decorating Basics section of HGTV's website. You can browse hundreds of photos of popular styles to see what resonates with your tastes.


When you've identified an overall look you like or a style you've already begun in your home, look to see the types of window treatments that appear in these rooms. Don't just pay attention to drape banding and ruching. Also look for types of fabrics, lengths of curtains, styles of curtain rods, and more.


While you probably won't exactly reproduce a picture in a magazine or a shot from a home decorating show, browsing what others have done may give you more ideas to choose from. The more ideas you have, the more confident you can be when you make your decisions about drapes and curtains. Consider whether fancy ruched drapes, banded drapes, and other fancy fabric techniques may fit into your decorating scheme. If not, continue browsing books, magazines, and home improvement shows until you find the perfect window treatments for your home.

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