Window Curtains | Pinch Pleat Drapes

Pinch Pleat Drapes

Pinch pleat drapes are one of the most timeless and elegant styles of window curtains. The pinched pleats give them a slightly formal look but they are versatile enough that the finished style of your window treatments actually depends on the curtain fabric you choose and the way you hang your drapes, including the style of curtain rods or poles. If you choose a crisp fabric to form the pleats then pinch pleat curtains go very well with formal rooms and tailored furnishings, whereas if you have a softer fabric and hang them from a decorative pole then they take on a more casual look.

The pleats which are also know as triple pleats or French pleats are formed in groups of three pinched together. The triple pleats are spread evenly across the width of the curtain panel with gaps in between.

A pinch pleat drapery panel gives a neat finish because when the curtain is opened the fabric stays neat – the pleats close in concertina fashion.This means that they drapes are less bulky during the day and have a simple uncluttered look.

The Complete Photo Guide to Curtains and Draperies: Do-It-Yourself Window Treatments

The Complete Photo Guide to Curtains and Draperies: Do-It-Yourself Window Treatments

Making Your own Pinch Pleated Drape

To create the design, you need two to two and a half times the width of your window in fabric for the necessary fullness. Creating your own pinch pleat drapery designs can be tricky if you make the pleats by hand as you need to work out where to put each pleat and space them properly so the math can get quite complicated.

However, you can cheat to make a perfect pinch pleat drape no problem at all!

For this you need to buy pleat tape like Ruflette tridis tape which you stitch to the wrong side of the curtain. This has draw strings which you pull to neatly form the pleats. You can then add a stitch to keep the pleats tight or even add a decorative fabric colored button to the “pinch” to emphasize the design.

If you want to explore the whole world of curtain headings and making your own beautiful drapes “The Complete Photo Guide to Curtains and Draperies: Do-It-Yourself Window Treatments” is a great book to help you. You’ll find it at a discount here.

Ready Made Pinch Pleat Drapes

Don’t worry if you don’t possess any sewing skills. You can buy pinch pleat drapes online and in local stores, ready to hang at your windows or if your windows are not a standard size, order ready made pinch pleat draperies including both window valances and curtains, which are custom made to fit.

When measuring for curtains, you need to know the width of the rod on which you will hang your drapes and the measurement from the rod to the final length of the curtains, whether that is just longer than the window or floor length.

When choosing drapes, look for a medium weight fabric which will create well defined pleats and hold them well especially if you are aiming for a formal tailored look. (Of course, if you are looking for voile curtains with pinch pleats, that will not apply).

Remember to always check whether there are single or a pair of curtain panels in any pack you buy so that you have enough to cover the whole window.

Hanging Your Pleated Drapes

Once you have your curtains, make sure that you hang them properly. Pinch pleated draperies look best if they hang clear of the rod or track across the top of the window. This helps the pleats form neatly without interference from the rod. The exception is if you are using a pinch pleat valance which can then cover the rod entirely. In fact, such a window valance is ideal if you want to cover an ugly plastic curtain rod.

A Selection of Pinch Pleat Drapes

Here are a few pinch pleat drapes on sale, to give you a few ideas for your home. If you are looking for patterned drapes you will get a better selection by buying custom made curtains but the low pricing of these solid colored online drapes is difficult to beat.

pinch pleated drapes

Fireside Pinch Pleated Thermal Insulated Drapes


Quality thermal pinch pleated drapes in 100% heavyweight cotton with foam backing available in several sizes and colors to match your room and furnishings. Easy to hang. Click here for further information on colors and sizes.

Park Ave Pinch Pleated Insulated Drape

Park Ave Pinch Pleated Insulated Drape (CLICK IMAGE FOR DETAILS)


Machine washable polyester low cost pinch pleat drapes offering great value for money especially as they are insulated too. Sold in pairs. Click here for further details.



These sheer pinch pleat drapes hang beautifully from a rod or pole to provide an elegant window treatment. 100% easy care polyester voile. These curtain panels are sold in pairs. Click here for more information.


Elegance Sheer Pinch Pleated Drape (CLICK IMAGE FOR DETAILS)

Elegance Sheer Pinch Pleated Drape (CLICK IMAGE FOR DETAILS)

Courtyard Pinch Pleated Drape

Courtyard Pinch Pleated Drape (CLICK IMAGE FOR DETAILS)


Each pinch pleat drape has a foam lining to help keep your home warm and light out. Panels made from easy care washable polyester and sold in pairs. See discount and further details here.



Attractive floral curtains with 100% cotton face and foam backing for insulation. These pinched pleated drapes will hang beautifully at your windows and add an elegant touch to your home. Many sizes and two colors available. Get all the details here.


Fireside Floral Pinch Pleated Thermal Insulated Drapes

Fireside Floral Pinch Pleated Thermal Insulated Drapes (IN TWO COLORS - CLICK IMAGE FOR DETAILS)

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2 Responses to “Pinch Pleat Drapes”

  1. Robin Miller on March 1st, 2011 6:41 am

    I was looking through, ‘This Old House’ deciding I really need to do something with the wall of windows in the Living/Family Room. They are quite lovely but if anyone wishes to watch tv before the sun goes down it’s difficult. Each window has a ‘Window Arch’ and this I was thinking of making into a fan with the bamboo. If it still needed more l though carrying the bamboo on to the other like window s. Even There still would be some missing… we could just wait and see… as I said, it is an idea + I happen to love natural, especially bamboo that we have growing in parts of our back yard. I do nøt want to give you false hope of me being a huge customer right now but I would certainly like to hear more from you and any ideas you may have. I would be glad to send a picture of the windows that I am dressing tomorrow? Take Care Now, Robin;)

  2. Jan on March 1st, 2011 8:11 am

    Arched windows are often difficult although you can get custom made blinds to fit from some blind companies. Many homeowners simply give up and fit standard curtains with valances hiding their beautiful windows but it is a shame to do that. Shaped valances following the curve of the window can help accentuate them however rather than completely hiding the shape and then you can use standard curtains. Your bamboo fan idea sounds good if you can get something to fit your arch.

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