Layered valances can be very unique. They appear as if you’re getting two valances in one, but are they really as luxurious as they sound? They can be, of course. But at the same time, many buyers are disappointed by this style, as you might tell from some of the bad reviews on the internet. Here are a few things you should look for and avoid when buying your own so that you’re a happy customer.
What Does “Double Layered” Mean?
Manufacturers use this term loosely and sometimes it has no place in the product title whatsoever. It isn’t uncommon for some curtain manufacturers to say that the valance is double layered, only for the customer to receive a single layer valance that happens to be attached to a curtain. Others will tell you that a valance is double layered, yet when you receive it, you’ll realize that they just tucked in a small strip of fabric on the bottom hem for contrast.
A good quality valance should be lined anyway, so beware of lining being used to market a valance as double layered. It should be a given. So, what a double layered valance really means is this: The valance itself has two layers of home decor fabric spanning across the entire fabric panel of the valance, from left hem to right hem, from rod pocket to bottom hem. Each layer of fabric itself is lined.
The gold fabric in the back of this custom valance is fully behind the red floral fabric. It wasn’t attached at the bottom. Since each fabric must be lined, a true double layered valance in reality has to have four layers. That’s right, a real double-layered window valance has four layers of fabric overall. It should look like this when you peek behind it:
#1 Thing to Look For:
A double layered valance has four layers overall. Two layers of home decor fabric, with each of those fabrics having its own layer of lining behind it.
Are You Getting That Ugly Seam Line?
Home decor fabrics are a lot more expensive than lining. For that reason, you may come across a valance where the accent fabric is only partially inserted into the valance. Unfortunately, this creates an ugly seam line when the sun shines through your window. Notice how the gingham check fabric is showing through on the back of the valance below, all because the valance was poorly constructed and wasn’t layered properly.
#2 Thing to Look For:
The accent fabric behind the valance must fully span across the entire area of the valance, or else you’ll have a noticeable seam showing through the valance when the sunlight hits it.
Is the Cording or Piping Trying to Hide a Flaw?
Look at how the valance flows across the two layers of fabric. You want to be able to see symmetry and attention to detail, as in the picture below. Stitches should be minimally visible here.
Now, sometimes the valance may have accents in this area, like cording or piping.
Cording and piping are decorative ways to trim the edges of a window treatment. Your valance may have a twisting braid cord or piping made in the same fabric as the valance. Both cording and piping can be a double-edged sword sometimes. On one hand, they’re a beautiful finishing touch and a sign that the workroom went to great lengths to create a good quality valance for you. But on the other hand, they may be a sign that the workroom was trying to cut corners and hide flaws.
Pay special attention to cording or piping if you’re purchasing a gathered valance. Thick cording or piping around the bottom hem of the valance can make an otherwise soft valance very stiff. So while your valance may be the right fit around the top on the rod pocket, it can be stretched out too far from the window at the bottom hem. There’s no point of having a nice, tailored fit around the top of the window, only to have the bottom of the valance extend out 4 inches or more from each side of the window. This makes the valance appear too wide, so it will be a poor fit no matter what. Check this resource to help you measure your valance for the correct width.
#3 Thing to Look For:
Cording and piping can hide flaws, so look around this area for stitching errors or uneven measurements. Stiff cording or piping can also unnecessarily push your valance out, so it may become too wide for your window at the bottom of the valance.
Lastly, I’d like to leave you with some examples of double-layered valances for inspiration.