Pinch pleats are a classic and structured pleating method that’s commonly used to create a gathered valance. This popular pleat can be hung in three ways:
- You’ll most often come across pinch pleats that are hung from drapery rings, which are usually 2 inches in diameter.
- But if you prefer to keep the hardware to a minimum and as invisible as possible, you could also hang the valance on a traverse rod. The pleats already have metal pins in the back, which can be used to hang the valance this way as well.
- Although it’s less frequently found, a pinch pleat valance can also be stapled on a wooden board without needing any drapery rods or drapery rings at all. This is what we call a board-mounted window valance.
Now that you know a little bit about this style of valance and how it can be installed, let’s take a look at some examples of custom pinch pleat valances, and some extra upgrades you may wish to consider.
Upgrade the Drapery Hardware
This pinch pleat valance features deep pleats, which are a must when you have a busy fabric with a pattern like this. Stay away from shallow, small pleats whenever possible. This colorful valance is a great example of how pinch pleated window treatments are hung, whether that’s a drapery or valance. You’ll often come across a drapery pole with a diameter of about 1-5/8 inches like this and matching 2-inch drapery rings.
Even though the window here is only 24 inches wide, rich drapery hardware like this makes the whole window look more luxurious.
Add Trim to the Bottom of the Valance
Trim is a great finishing touch to any valance. A trim-heavy bottom hem is also a great trick to balance out the heaviness of the pinch pleats on the top of the valance. In this traditional master bedroom, 3-inch long gold tassel trim was used to complement the gold silk fabric used for the valance.
Consider Banding in a Contrasting Fabric
A straight bottom hem can sometimes require some extra oomph when it comes to this style of window treatment. You’ll commonly come across banding. The pink and green paisley fabric above had thick banding at the bottom. Pick a contrasting color when choosing the right fabric for the banding. Solids are best. Other small-scale fabrics will work as well, but the contrast between the two fabrics won’t be as pronounced.
Banding isn’t just for the bottom of the valance. Here, a contrasting fabric was added to the top of the valance where the pinch pleats are. The valance was hung with 2-inch rings on a 1-5/8-inch drapery pole. Since there was no room for decorative finials on either side of the window, simple end caps were used on each end of the drapery pole.
Add Other Accents Like Buttons and Corded Trim
The base of each of the pinch pleats can often be decorated. You’ll often see fabric-covered buttons, as in the valance above.
Each pleat can also be wrapped into a knot with braid cord fringe. Notice how the board-mounted valance above has matching cord and tassel fringe. If you’ll be shopping for your own fringe to sew your own valance or to provide it to a workroom, make sure that it’s pliable and soft enough.
Create the Illusion of a Cornice with a Board-Mounted Valance
Once the pinch pleat valance is fully completed, the workroom will usually insert small metal pins in the back so that the valance can be hung on a drapery pole. However, the valance won’t need any of this hardware if it’s installed on a board like the kitchen valance above was. You’ve seen a few examples of pinch pleat valances to get your creativity going. Which one of these did you like the most?