What are rod pocket curtains?

rod pocket curtain

The Simplicity of Rod Pocket Curtains

Just a curtain and a curtain rod can inspire a limitless number of ideas for window treatments – way beyond the original requirement for a means to privacy and absorbing drafts! The rod pocket curtain is probably the simplest of window covering, but it has the potential to also create the most intricate of window treatments.

The rod pocket curtains also called the pole top curtains, have a pocket along with their top edge. This pocket may be a single stitched fold or, more often, the top is folded to provide for two horizontal lines of stitching, forming a pocket at the desired width an inch or several inches below the top of the curtain. They can be hung in a number of ways – in layers, under a valance, over a blind, over a sheer panel – on a decorative or a flat rod, or with pinch-grip rings attached to facilitate easy opening and closing.

Hanging Rod Pocket Curtains

A round or flat curtain rod is inserted into the pocket leaving enough of the rod exposed either end to fit into the holders. Decorative finials create a more finished look unless tops of the curtains are going to be hidden under a valance or pelmet. The fullness of the gathered top created is then adjusted to best present the curtains.

Window Treatments with Rod Pocket Curtains

A single rod pocket curtain is best for the fixed side of sliding doors while, unless they are proportionately narrow in terms of the wall, windows look better with two panels, whether or not it is intended that they open and close. Rod pockets are great for creating that touch of class that flounce or swag valances atop sheers bring to your room’s décor, and a rod panel valance and tier treatment is attractive and convenient for a kitchen window. Sewing on pleating tape can create variations in the way the curtain hangs.

Corded pleating tape will only retain the original gathered look but will facilitate the addition of pin hooks to allow the curtains to be drawn more easily. Pocket tape can be used creatively to make either pinch pleats or vertical folds depending on whether you use single- or multi-pronged pin hooks. Either way, you’ll need snap-open curtain rings fitted with small metal rings to hang them from the curtain rod.

Installing Your Rod Pocket Curtains

When rod pocket curtains are used on larger windows, it is often suggested that they are hung from the top of the wall just below the ceiling, creating a uniform ceiling to floor look. Otherwise, the curtain rod should be installed slightly above the window frame for the best effect. While the amount of pleating depends on how you envision the end effect, the rule of thumb is a curtain width of twice or two and a half times the width of the window.

Rod pocket curtains may be difficult to open and close in which case, pinch-grip rings can be attached to the tops. This creates a quite different look and may need the rod to be placed a little higher above the frame to prevent light creeping in above it. To further facilitate opening and closing, rod pocket curtains can also easily be converted to create uniform vertical folds by sewing on pleating tape and using pin hooks to hang the curtain from a traverse rod.

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