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One example of drapery styles is featured in a kitchen with a large island and ripple fold drapery in a cream color
June 29, 2023

Your Guide to Different Drapery Styles & Types

Drapery has the power to transform a room, whether it’s creating the illusion of a taller ceiling or larger windows, adding a pop of color and texture to your décor, or framing a beautiful view outdoors. Dramatic or subtle, drapery inevitably gives your room a finished, inviting look and feel. And with a wide variety of drapery styles available, finding the perfect pleat, material and functionality is all within your grasp.

Drapery styles are typically defined first by their pleat. The pleat refers to how the drapery hangs and what kind of folds it creates. Different pleats can give you a different aesthetic style, from traditional elegance to sleek modernism.

To find the perfect look for your home, explore these drapery pleat styles with corresponding styling ideas to inspire your window treatment project.

Ripple Fold Drapery

One example of drapery styles is shown in a product image featuring ripple fold drapery with soft S curves

Ripple Fold Drapery creates beautiful S-curves whether stacked (pushed to the side of your window) or drawn open. This type of drapery is typically considered sleek and modern but is versatile enough to suit a wide variety of styles. Plus, with its track system, the drapery glides effortlessly back and forth for excellent functionality.

Contemporary Refinement: Ripple Fold Drapery

A modern living room shows an example of drapery styles in its sheer white ripple fold drapery which create an elegant look

Create a sleek, refined look with Ripple Fold Drapery. Whether a white sheer or solid blackout color, Ripple Fold creates subtle highlights and lowlights in its clean curved lines that are decidedly contemporary. To stick to the contemporary theme, be intentional about how you hang your curtains: Floor-to-ceiling curtains accentuate your ceiling’s height while framing tall windows or even glass doors perfectly. You can also create intentional contrast with your drapery hardware, by choosing a color and style that contrasts with the color of your walls and drapery.

Tailored Pleat Drapery

An example of drapery styles shown in a product image of tailored pleat drapery with three-fingered pleats pinched at the top

Tailored Pleat Drapery is a popular style of drapery and features three “fingers” pinched at the very top of the material. These carefully handcrafted pleats create a streamlined look from the top of the curtains to the bottom for a more modern appearance. Whether applied to a track system or rod and rings, Tailored Pleat Drapery is easy to operate for optimal functionality.

Modern Elegance: Tailored Pleat Drapery

An elegant living room features tailored drapery pleat styles that help elongate the curtains and create a sense of height

For drapery styles that blend modern design with a touch of traditional elegance, Tailored Pleat Drapery is a perfect choice. Thanks to its streamlined look, Tailored Pleat Drapery is ideal for tall windows or glass doors, or it can readily create the illusion of taller windows and walls when paired with shorter windows. To tie into your modern yet elegant décor, choose a material with a soft, pared-back pattern. The subtle pattern adds a touch of visual interest without being too ornate or taking away from other elements in your room like accent furniture or wall art.  

Pinch Pleat Drapery

One example of drapery styles is showcased in a product image of pinch pleat drapery with its three-fingered pleat

As far as drapery pleat styles go, Pinch Pleat Drapery is a classic that’s having a revival. With pleats pinched four inches from the top, the drapery creates a natural visual break with a simple, elegant shape. Similar to Tailored Pleat, Pinch Pleat Drapery is highly functional especially when used in a track system. While typically grouped with other traditional drapery styles, Pinch Pleat Drapery is versatile enough to be used in a variety of homes, from traditional to contemporary.

Classic Sophistication: Pinch Pleat Drapery

A contemporary dining room shows an example of drapery styles in its dark gray pinch pleat drapes for a transitional style

Choose versatile Pinch Pleat Drapery to add a touch of classic sophistication to an otherwise contemporary, minimalist room. Keep the drapery design simple with a solid-colored material in a neutral shade like grey, beige or white to maintain a sense of minimalism while also highlighting the elegant detailing of the drapery pleat styles. For a subtle sense of luxury, measure your custom drapery length a few inches longer than you need so the curtains trail gently on the ground.

Inverted Pleat Drapery

An example of drapery styles shows inverted pleat drapery with its flat federalist pleats pinched from behind

Inverted Pleat Drapery has flat, crisp pleats across the top for a look that’s formal and stately without being overbearing. Compared with other more functional drapery styles, Inverted Pleat Drapery is primarily used decoratively, as it doesn’t stack as nicely as other drapery pleat styles. If you love the look of Inverted Pleat Drapery but desire greater functionality, consider layering it with Roller Shades or Roman Shades that give you easy light and privacy control.

Distinguished & Chic: Inverted Pleat Drapery

Inverted pleat drapery in a warm greige color on floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors shows a type of drapery pleat styles

With its crisp, angular design, Inverted Pleat Drapery adds a distinguished aesthetic to any room. With its pointed, geometric shape, this style of drapery is ideal for aesthetics styles that champion linearity and symmetry, from modern design to neoclassical design to traditional design.

Pair it with sleek Roller or Solar Shades for a layered look that veers toward modernity, while allowing you greater control of your light and privacy. For a softer traditional or neoclassical look, pair the decorative Inverted Pleat Drapery with a functional Roman Shade design like Flat or Cascade Roman Shades.

Goblet Drapery

An example of drapery styles shows elegant goblet drapery with luxurious cup-like pleats for a feminine look

For romantic, feminine drapery styles, look no further than Goblet Drapery. With a handcrafted goblet shape at the top of the curtain, this type of drapery delivers luxurious elegance. Similar to Inverted Pleat Drapery, Goblet Drapery is best used in decorative applications where it won’t be opened and closed every day. This is because the goblets don’t fold as nicely on themselves as other drapery styles, so when the curtains are drawn open, you may lose a bit of the sophistication you love.

Ornate Luxury: Goblet Drapery

Goblet drapery in an elegant green color shows a type of drapery pleat styles in an eclectically style room

As far as drapery pleat styles go, Goblet Drapery delivers the utmost luxury to your space. This lavish style can elevate any room’s look, whether you have wall-to-wall drapery or just a couple panels around a single window or door. While typically lumped in with other more traditional drapery styles, you can strategically incorporate Goblet Drapery in a wide variety of spaces, include contemporary, neoclassical, or mid-century modern.

For even more opulence with this style, choose a natural, high-end material like silk with its soft, inviting sheen or linen with its billowy upscale boho look. Or opt for a more resilient material like cotton in an intricate pattern or with a metallic luster to give you the glamorous look you want with the durability you need.  

Grommet Drapery

An example of drapery styles shows grommet drapery with thick rings pressed into the fabric for a modern look

Grommet Drapery features rings pressed into the curtain material, about one inch from the top. Thanks to these rings, Grommet Drapery creates deep dramatic pleats that give you a modern, linear look. However, the rings make it somewhat difficult to move the drapery back and forth, meaning this style of drapery is best used for decorative applications.

Casual Modernity: Grommet Drapery

Grommet drapery in a brown color shows one type of drapery pleat styles in an ornately living room with tall windows

Add deep vertical lines to your design with Grommet Drapery. Used decoratively at the edges of your windows this type of drapery creates a streamline, unadorned look that is casual and modern. The relaxed style can help soften the look of more elaborate rooms for a more inviting ambiance. To accentuate the linear design of Grommet Drapery, choose a solid color material so the folds create alternating bands of shadow and color.

Rod Pocket Drapery

An example of drapery styles shows rod pocket drapery with fabric punched up in a casual yet inviting way over a rod

With a sewn pocket at the top, Rod Pocket Drapery accommodates typical curtain rod hardware. The design creates a gathering of fabric at the desired places across the width of the rod. As far as drapery pleat styles go Rod Pocket Drapery creates a very casual look with uneven pleats across its width, thanks to how the fabric gathers or stretches across the rod. This style of drapery is best for decorative applications.

Traditional Charm: Rod Pocket Drapery

Rod pocket drapery in a neutral color with a stripe pattern shows one type of drapery pleat styles in a casual room

Rod Pocket Drapery best suits more relaxed styles of homes thanks to its uneven pleats and informal aesthetic. Accentuate the relaxed look and feel with a patterned material featuring horizontal lines. The visual breaks in the linear pattern give the design a rustic charm ideal for a farmhouse style that embraces imperfections.  

Since it’s difficult to open and close Rod Pocket Drapery, it’s best to pair it with functional Roller, Solar or Roman Shades, that complement the drapery while delivering greater privacy and light control.

Cubicle Drapery

An example of drapery styles shows a product image of cubicle drapery with its simple grommets and hooks on a track system

Cubicle Drapery features small grommets a few inches from the top of the curtain that attach to hook carriers in a track system. This style of drapery is highly functional and easy to use. Plus, with wide, gentle waves and less overall fabric than other drapery styles, Cubicle Drapery features a very small, tight stack, ideal for smaller spaces. 

Simple & Sleek: Cubicle Drapery

Cubicle drapery with a golden color shows one type of drapery pleat styles in a bright open kitchen

Cubicle Drapery gives you soft, gentle waves that, like Rod Pocket Drapery, create a more relaxed vibe compared to more formal drapery styles. Thanks to its superior functionality and truly minimalist look, Cubicle Drapery is ideal for modern designs where form follows function.

Dive Deeper Into Drapery Pleat Styles

With inspiring ideas featuring a variety of drapery pleat styles, you’re ready to go further to find the right type of drapery for every room in your home. Visit one of our local showrooms to not only see different drapery styles but interact with the displays to experience how each functions and how they look when drawn open and closed. Plus, you’ll be able to explore all 650+ drapery materials to find the perfect match for your space.

A round white table with cream chairs sits in a custom window treatment showroom with drapery, shades and blinds displayed.


Visit your local showroom for interactive displays of all our products, 1,200+ premium material swatches and helpful Design Consultants ready to assist you.