Curtain Rods > Glossary • Manufacturers
Curtain rods and hardware should complement the window treatment fabrics you intend to use, as well as the curtain style and the decor of the room where you plan to hang them. Most of today's curtain hardware is designed to be noticed. Curtain rods are made from wood, metal, or wrought iron. The rods may be stained, painted, or customized with fabric. Some of the most popular curtain rod choices have metallic finishes, like brushed nickel, bronze, or antique brass. Wood poles may be smooth, fluted, or carved to look like bamboo. Even clear plastic is available so the rod won't show through a sheer fabric. Of course, you can always design your own curtain rod from a tree branch!
The rods or poles may be single or double mounted. Most curtain rods are length-adjustable; however, wood poles are fixed length. Both rods and poles rest in brackets affixed to the window frame or wall.
The details on curtain rod finials can make a room memorable. Finial designs may be simple balls, squares, or knobs, as well as a myriad of other decorative shapes that fit your decor or theme. They may be made of wood, metal, glass, or ceramic. You may even want to cover them with fabric to match or contrast with your curtains. Since finials add to the width of the rod beyond your window treatment, make sure you leave enough room for them.
Some room styles look better with short, simple curtains. Cafe curtains or traditional cape cod curtains generally use a lighter weight rod. Other windows need more sunlight control. Draperies used in these areas are often hung with hooks on a draw or traverse rod.
Along with your curtain rods, you may need rings, clips, or pins to attach your curtains or draperies to the rods. Rings very often coordinate with wood or metal poles. Some rings have clips attached to them for holding a curtain panel; other curtains may have rings sewn onto the curtain itself. Curtains may also have loop tops or tab tops that slide right onto your decorative rod and require no clip or ring.
Curtain rods and accessories are available at discount stores, department stores, and home improvement centers, as well as in home decor boutiques and fabric shops that sell window treatment fabrics and accessories. Most curtain hardware sold by these retailers is manufactured by American companies such as Kirsch and Graber, or by Chinese manufacturers. For something more distinctive, shop online at the curtain rod designers listed herein, consult with an interior decorator, or find local stores that specialize in decorative hardware.
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