Well if your angle is a tri-angle, you're right in vogue because the triangle is one of the hottest trends in window coverings.
Some triangles are long and skinny, while others are short and wide. They are used under, over and even sideways as in Photograph 1. Triangles are being mounted on rods, poles and boards. Some are used individually while others are used in combination with many other triangles. And some of the triangles aren't even triangles!
Let's take a look at a few innovative uses of this trendy trio.
Over the Top
One large triangle can be used as a valance all by itself. The two outer corners of the triangle are at each corner of the window with the third corner pointing down into the window. This unusual look, however, can present design challenges: the overall drop would not cover the window trim and the triangle would not provide a return. If either of these issues is a problem, both are readily solved by adding a smaller right triangle at each corner under the large center one. These added triangles create a crossover similar to using multiple swags, and the end triangles can be wrapped around to form returns.
A single large triangle is especially dramatic when used on a decorative pole. Trim can hang down from the corners and around the perimeter of the triangle creating a rather medieval feel.
Smaller triangular flaps can be butted side by side on a pole or a board to form simple, inexpensive valances. Another layer of triangles staggered beneath and between the triangles of the first layer would create yet another interesting look while filling in the open spaces of the first layer. These flaps can be created from a combination of triangles in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors.
Because jabots already have a triangular shape, they are a natural to combine with multiple triangular flaps. The angle of the jabot blends beautifully with the angles of the flaps.
Triangular flaps must be lined or self-lined to avoid having to sew unsightly hems on all the edges. It may not lay as ripple-free as desired. To add more body, place a layer of lining, interlining, wide buckram or iron-on stiffener between the flap and its lining.
Triangle valances can be stiffened and formed into three-dimensional shapes. They also can be embellished in several ways. Trim or banding can be applied on all three edges. Trim can be looped at the upper corners to soften the sharpness of the angles. Sewing tassels or chandelier crystals to the bottom point is especially impressive. The top edge of triangular valances can be adorned with a variety of techniques, including ruffling.
Are large, flat triangles too geometric? Not all triangles have to be flat. Some are gathered horizontally with rod pockets or shirring tape. Some are elongated at the top and gathered vertically. How about gathered or box pleated layered valances that are shaped into triangles along the bottom edge?
Triangles are used in several ways on cornice boards. The bottom edge can be cut into triangles. The bottom edge can be straight with triangles of fabric layered over the face of the cornice. These flaps can be the same drop as the cornice or can hang down longer for a completely different feel. Triangles can be cut out of the face of the cornice. The cutouts can be left open or faced with flat, gathered or pleated fabric.
Even swags have been affected by this trend phenomenon. We're seeing lots of swags pointed on the bottom edge, rather than softly rounded. They are used in all of the same wide variety of styles as typical swags. They also are used in combination with triangular flaps.
A large contrast color triangular-shaped insert or appliqué adds a lot of character to what could otherwise be a rather boring, flat Roman shade. And, when the shade is pulled up, the sloping sides of the triangle create an especially effective staggered look along the shade's folds.
The triangular shape can be combined with bell-shaped folds of fabric similar to those in Kingston valances.
Scalloped cutouts along the top edge of café curtains between the pleats is an age-old style. Why not use triangular cutouts instead? Triangles aren't just for adults, either. Multi-colored triangular appliqués of varied sizes conjure a delightful theme for a kid's room.
Even more styles are being created by slightly modifying the triangle. The bottom points can be squared off, or they can be slightly rounded. The angled sides of the triangle can be slightly rounded to form a totally different shape that's still using the basic triangular lines.
The illusion of triangles can be formed by an unusual installation technique using simple top and bottom rod pocket panels and four rods instead of two. One rod is placed behind the other at both the top and the bottom. The first panel is shirred onto the front rods at the top and the bottom. The second panel is shirred onto the back rod at the top and the front rod at the bottom. The next panel is shirred onto the front rod at the top and the back rod at the bottom, and so forth.
Another simulation of triangles is formed by box pleats sewn into the top and the bottom of a valance. The bottom is then brought up behind the valance creating a self-lined affect. The fabric within the pleat is then pealed back, opening up the pleat into a triangular shape.
Virtually no styles have been unaffected by this rampant geometric shape, from simple valances to hem lines to tiebacks. So, brush up on your high school geometry and join the fun! Make your latest angle a tri-angle.
Cheryl Strickland is owner of Professional Drapery Seminars. She is an internationally-acclaimed speaker with more than 20 years experience in the window coverings industry. She is the publisher and editor of Sew WHAT?, an international monthly newsletter for professional drapery workrooms. Strickland also is the author of A Practical Guide to Soft Window Coverings and the Designer's Sketch Pad, which are available through Draperies & Window Coverings magazine.