SOLUTION: Terminology, sometimes, can be confusing. This is definitely true in this case, but I would like to offer clear definitions of these treatments.
Cascades are fabric treatments that fall from the top of the drapery or top treatment in folds that look like zigzags.
The term jabot refers to a very decorative and high-end custom treatment in which the fabric is hung over seams or between swags on a valance. Jabots can include tie shapes, cone shapes and also may be rounded on the bottom of the high-end custom treatment. I also like to refer to a jabot as a necktie for a window treatment, either single or double tiered.
A swag is a length of fabric that hangs in arches from a drapery pole or mounting board as a top treatment.
The jabot, specifically, is a beautiful high-end treatment that will dress up any window. It is used interchangeably with cascades and swags. From a simple textured antique satin to a more detailed lightweight to medium weight damask, this treatment is elegant and appealing. If you find the treatment is too formal for your client’s room setting, dress it down a bit with a small floral or checkered cotton fabric.
As with any high-end custom treatment, drapery workrooms might not always offer this type of treatment as part of the collection of window treatments they fabricate. A few of my favorite resources that offer great illustrations are “The Encyclopedia of Window Fashions,” by Charles T. Randall and published by Randall International and the EZ Decorator System, by Cheryl Howard. The EZ Decorator System is not a book, but a tool for window treatment professionals to use as a creativity application for illustrations and sketches they may want to create for a client (www.ezdecorator.com).
I hope this clarification will assist you and your client in choosing a great window treatment that will enhance the interior space.
Editor’s note: This is a continuing series of articles written by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business. If you have a question you would like Anderson to address, please send it to:
c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
1724 E. Grand Ave.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
Fax: (847) 356-9013
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience in the residential and commercial areas of interior design. She is currently a faculty member at two Southern California colleges. Anderson has been featured in numerous books and publications.