What are back tab curtains?

back tab curtain

Back Tab Curtains for Easy Elegance

Simple or decorative window treatments made possible with a curtain and a curtain rod are varied and endless. In fact, the easiest way to complete or add an elegant ambiance to your living room is with the use of back tab curtains.

Curtains with back tabs hanging on a rod fall in vertical folds, giving the classic appearance of far more expensive pleat-top curtains on the sliding track of a traverse rod system. Tabs are tubes made from strips of fabric sewn a little below the top edge of the curtain at even distances apart. They may be made from the same fabric as the curtain itself or something that works with it, and are placed approximately two inches wide. Both ends are sewn to the back of the curtain to form a loop that cannot be seen from the front.

Hanging Curtains with Back Tabs

A curtain rod is inserted the loops of the curtain(s) and placed in its holder. The curtain can then be adjusted to the desired width and consequent fullness of the vertical folds. This is the best method if your window treatment is intended to be entirely decorative. Drawing back tabbed curtain together across the window is not as easy as with curtains hung by rings or grommets on a curtain rod. Pinch-grip rings can be attached over the tabbed areas of lightweight curtains and the rod inserted through them instead. While this allows them to be drawn back and forth more easily, it also makes them more liable to slide unintentionally so that the vertical folds may not remain as uniform as with tabs. Since the rings are visible, it also imparts a more casual appearance.

Window Treatments with Back Tab Curtains

The width of the verticals folds created by back tabs can be increased by inserting the rod through every second tab depending on the distance between the tabs. Decorative finials at each end of the curtain rod will complete the desired elegance. Placed under a valance or pelmet, back tab curtains create a fine ornamental addition to a room.

Installing Your Back Tab Curtains

Back tabs are best hung on flat rods to keep the tabs straight. When the curtain rod is inserted through back-tab curtains, the top edge of the curtains is an inch or two above the rod. This should be taken into consideration when positioning the rod’s holders. If rings are used instead of the tabs, they attach to the top edge of the curtain so that it falls from below the rod. A pole-style rod with ornamental finials is required since the rings are visible. To prevent light penetrating above the curtain, the rod will need to be placed above the top of the window.

Determining the method you use the hang your curtains requires consideration being given to the fabric, i.e. the weight of the curtains. Using rings with heavy curtains can be disastrous. The curtains will not hang properly and are likely to pull and tear on the ring clips. Back tabs are designed to support heavy fabric and will enable your curtains to hang in the beautiful even vertical folds you desire. If it is really necessary to open and/or close them, perhaps is best to modify them by making small pleats between the tabs and inserting pins to enable them to be hung from a traverse rod.

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