Top Tips for Choosing the Best and Most Appropriate Curtain Trimmings

You’re finally ready to choose curtaining for your new home or you’re revamping your existing home. Having always wanted to invest in quality curtain trimmings, you begin to browse online. There are so many different kinds of trimmings available, and you simply don’t know what to choose, or even how to choose. 

Don’t despair! With this trimmings buyer’s guide, you can choose the best trimmings for your curtain choice and your lifestyle too. 

Curtain Trimmings Buyer’s Guide

There are many kinds of trimmings, and not all of them will be suitable for your curtain type or your needs. These are some of the top considerations to keep in mind when choosing curtain trim:

The Look You Are Creating 

Trimmings are beautiful. They come in a mass of glorious designs, but trimmings aren’t suited to any and all design looks. Modern or minimalist design schemes will not feature well with trimmings, or if you do choose a trimming to use, it needs to be understated to help you maintain the original design look. 

Tip 1: Ensure you place your design needs before the visual appeal that trimmings offer. Tassels may be pretty, but consider where you will be using them and why. 

The Practical Gremlins 

A sad reality is that trimmings require care. They need to be washed correctly, and they don’t do well in high-traffic areas. If you have a little rugrat crawling around or a puppy that’s teething, then a string of beautiful fringes on your new curtains won’t survive for long. 

Likewise, if you are choosing a curtain that will be washed frequently, you would be better advised not to opt for trimmings, which aren’t as resistant to frequent water exposure as some fabrics are. 

Tip 2: Keep your choice practical to your lifestyle.

The Cost

Trimmings can be quite a bit more expensive than the actual fabric for your curtains. This is quite understandable as some curtain trimmings are hand sewn or woven using traditional methods, which are quite labor intensive. This increases the cost substantially. 

Some curtain trimmings can’t be skimped on. If you choose a row of tasseled fringes, then you need to apply this design element throughout the room’s curtaining. It can’t simply be featured on one window only. 

Likewise, you can’t apply expensive trim to a “low-budget” curtain that looks cheap and is an inferior quality. This would be like wearing a wedding dress with a set of miner boots instead of pretty stilettos. 

Tip 3: Match the quality of your trimmings to your curtaining to get a well-matched set. 

The Care

When you choose curtain trimmings, you need to be aware they will require special care. It’s not a simple case of popping your trimming edged curtain in the wash and, voila, all done. Some trimmings are so delicate they need to be removed before the curtain can be washed. Other trimmings should be cleaned with soft bristled brushes or microfiber cloths. 

If you lead a busy lifestyle, you may not be able to perform weekly maintenance to ensure your curtain trimmings remain spotless. Trimmings also need to be inspected frequently to fix broken threads and reattach taping that has come loose in high humidity or heat environments where the threads easily snap. 

Tip 4: Only choose a trimming you have the time to care for.

Fabric Weight Vs Trim Weight

Choosing your curtain trim is also a case of balancing the fabric weight with the trimming weight. While you may want to use a heavier trimming to help a medium fabric hang better, it’s not advisable to use a heavy trimming on a lightweight or sheer curtain as this may lead to ugly drag lines instead of lovely folds. 

Tip 5: Your trimming should never outweigh your fabric.

Other Trim Selection Considerations

In addition to the above buyer’s guide considerations, you should keep the following in mind to ensure you choose the best and most appropriate trimmings:

Pre-Shrunk Trimmings

Most trimmings, especially those that are made with an internal cord such as corded tapes and tassel trims are pre-shrunk, which is great if you intend to wash the curtain you will be attaching the trimmings to. 

Some trimmings such as flat edge tapes, ribbons, and other delicate trimmings may not be pre-shrunk. This means you would have to wash the trimmings before you attach them to the curtain to prevent shrinkage when you do wash the curtain. 

If you don’t pre-shrink your trimmings, you will end up with shrinking trimmings that will cause ugly pull-lines when you wash your curtains. 

Likewise, ensure your curtain fabric is pre-shrunk too, as the same could happen should you sew your pre-shrunk trimmings to fabric like linen that will shrink in the wash. 

Tip 6: Pre-shrink all trimmings that aren’t already shrunk. Pre-shrink fabric that will shrink in the wash before sewing on trimmings.

Purpose of Trimmings

Most homeowners think that trimmings are only added to curtains to create a statement or match a particular style. Some see trimmings as a sign of opulence. However, trimmings can help you achieve a certain look, and you can easily use them to help address a natural “flaw” in your room. 

You can add trimmings to curtains to:

Elongate Short Windows

Add long fringe or tassel trimmings to the tops and bottoms of shorter curtains to create an elongated look. You can also add more rows of curtain trimmings to the bottom of the curtain to balance the visual weight. 

This is exactly why the ruffled “petticoat” look is so popular in white curtains where the color is often so light as to let the eye get lost to the ceiling. These ruffles are a type of curtain trim that helps to anchor the eye near the floor. 

Widen a Narrow Window

Some windows are so narrow they trap the eye against the ceiling. In this case, you can use rows of trimming near the middle to bottom of the curtain to help balance the curtain, widen the window’s impact, and visually weigh the fabric better. 

Examples of popular trim features are to use laser cut flowers that are attached at a gradient from the bottom to the middle of the curtain. You can also achieve this effect with rows of corded tape where the space between rows are closer together at the bottom and further apart as the rows move up the curtain. 

Tip 7: Give your trimmings a purpose. 

A Final Word on Trimmings

Have fun with your trimmings, but be sure to stick to these 7 top tips. When you choose wisely, your trimmings will last as long as your curtain choice, sometimes, even longer.

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