Window treatments are interior products used around windows to provide privacy, insulation, shade from sunlight, and add a decorative, aesthetic look. Window treatments vary in size and form and can be designed to fit small windows that are inset into doors or very large window areas. They include products such as curtains, blinds, shades, shutters, panels, scarves, drapes, and other coverings.
Window treatments can be made out of soft fabric, rigid materials like wood or plastic, or can be a combination of materials with a variety of mounting techniques. In the case of curtains or drapery, window treatments are typically made of fabric that is sewn in a particular pattern to fit the space and to give a certain aesthetic shape around the window. Curtains are long panels of fabric that can be sheer or opaque to control the amount of ambient light in a room. Sheer or see-through fabrics allow in the most amount of light, but offer the least amount of privacy. Semi-sheer window treatments are only partially see-through and allow in a certain amount of light, while also providing some privacy. Semi-opaque window treatments are the most widely used form of curtains or drapery, allowing in some light while obscuring all but the shadow of the occupants from the view outside the building. Opaque window treatments block the most light and provide the most privacy.
Curtains and drapes are mounted to the window frame using hardware, including curtain rods and finials or pole ends, rings or hooks, brackets, and clips. Some window treatments are designed to be put on the curtain rods using loops sewn into the fabric itself, called tab tops. Some curtains are drapes are designed to be hung on hooks that sit on a moving bracket inside the curtain rod. These hooks can be moved using a string on a pulley system that opens and closes the curtains. Tiebacks and curtain clips are used to open curtains partially while they are in the closed position.
Window treatments also include blinds and shades, which are called hard window treatments. Horizontal blinds are composed of overlapping slats of rigid materials such as wood, plastic, or metal. Horizontal blinds are opened and closed using a woven lattice structure that is hung over a rotating drum at the top of the blind. Pulling a lift cord raises and lowers the slats, while turning a rod attached to woven lattice structure opens the slats to allow in light or closes them to block out light and provide privacy. Vertical blinds consist of wider slats of rigid material that rotate using individual geared carriers in the upper head rail housing, twisting all of the slats synchronously, either in the open or the closed, overlapping position. Shades are window treatments that are made of panels of material such as fabric, natural fibers like bamboo, or even paper. Shades are typically mounted on a rolling rod at the top of the window and are raised and lowered using a lift cord, or by using a mechanism in the roller that catches and releases the shade when the user pulls on it. Shades can also be mounted using tracks and sliding hardware. Honeycomb shades are panels of paper or light fabric that are glued together at certain intervals, giving the shade a cellular or honeycomb-like structure.