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Wave curtains

Key considerations when specifying wave curtains

By: Oli Birch Category: Curtains

Wave curtains are a neat and stylish heading system, created through a combination of wave glider cords and a specially designed heading tape.

Though commonly known as a wave curtain, some suppliers have their own names, like Lutron’s ‘Ripplefold.’

With any type of wave curtain, the heading is held in place by fixed distance gliders and evenly spaced hook positions, which then determine the size and finish of the wave depending on the hook count and glider position.

Glider cord spacing

The track can be supplied as assembled, with either the 60mm or 80mm spaced wave glider cord.

The 80mm offers a deeper wave with a larger distance from the front to the back. The 60mm wave is shallower and smaller front to back, which lends itself to smaller recesses, though it will have a slightly larger stack back.

Curtain hook spacing

This is the space between the two curtain hooks, defined by the number of empty pockets on the heading tape, known as the pocket factor.Wave curtain spacing

The pocket factor will affect the depth and stack sizes of the curtain. For the majority of installations we would recommend the 80mm glider cord with a pocket factor of 7 (80mm spacing).

The finished appearance gives a neat, sinuous effect, with the fabric hanging neatly directly below the track. This means the heading style often pairs perfectly with a recessed track system to have a nice flush finish with the ceiling.

What are the advantages of wave curtains?

Wave has some key advantages over traditional curtain heading styles:

  • Minimised curtain stack (approximately 20% of the overall curtain size would be in the stack vs approx. 30% for a standard curtain finish)
  • Simple curtain dressing
  • Form throughout the curtain drop (as long as you follow the fabric suitability testing!)
  • Minimalist appearance
  • Suits traditional and modern interiors

What are the best fabrics for wave curtains?

There is no standard test that indicates whether a fabric is suitable for wave. However, our experience suggests the below tend to be best fabrics:

  • Voiles
  • Lined cotton
  • Interlined Silk
  • Blackout lining
  • Borders

The soft curves of wave curtains do not lend themselves to:

  • Stiff fabrics
  • Heavy embroidery
  • Irregular vertical stripes
  • Metallic threads

Recommended tests

If you’re unsure what fabric to choose for your project, we recommend a simple test to indicate whether wave will be suitable.

Wave curtain test

Simply hold the top of the fabric as shown above to see the curtain follows a soft wave pattern without too much effort. Even wave curtains will require some dressing and training. The extent of this will depend on the flexibility of the weave of the fabric chosen.

If you would like to discuss wave curtains for your project, or you have any questions, then please contact us here and one of our expert team will assist.

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