Pencil Pleat Curtains & Window Drapes

If you’re thinking of shopping for custom curtains with us, one of the key decisions you’ll have to make is regarding the heading/pleat style for your drapes. Each heading style has a unique construct, a distinct visual appeal, and consequently, an exclusive set of pros and cons. If you’re keen to get your curtains stitched in a style that looks attractive without going overboard, pencil pleat curtains could be a great choice. To know more, keep reading.

Pencil Pleat Curtains: Rustic, Unique & Elegant

The header of the curtain stitched in this style looks like a row of pencils, hence the name. Pencil pleat curtains are hung using drapery pins and rings. Although considered classic and traditional like the pinch pleats, pencil pleats look casual whereas pinch pleats are usually found more fitting for formal rooms.

Pencil pleat panels hemmed on four sides have a header tape on the back with strings. The strings can be pulled to gather/ruche the drapery until the panel has the desired width. The ends are then tied and neatly tucked into a pocket in the header. The header forms long cylindrical pencil-like pleats which can be manually adjusted to form uniform folds. Drapery hooks are inserted in the header top and then the curtain is hung on rings.

To see handy images of this classic style, see our detailed Drapery Headings Guide.

The unique feature of pencil pleat curtains is that the width of the drapery is highly adjustable. The header is an attractive feature even though its construction is a very simple process.

The pleats are neither too rigidly formed as in the pinch pleats variety nor too minimal in their visual appeal like the flat tops.

Why We’re Fans of Pencil Pleat Curtains

Unique Construct: Of all the various styles of pleating in drapery, pencil pleats are easily identifiable because there is no other style that resembles it. The header, resembling a line of pencils, adds an element of visual interest to the drapery without making it too ornate, and is a unique feature of this style.

Easy Movement: As pencil pleat curtains are hung with rings or clips, their ease of movement is guaranteed. This makes them a good choice for frequently used windows.

Versatile: Whether you like the old-fashioned drapery rods or the modern technologically advanced tracks, don’t worry about pencil pleats; they go with both.

Forgiving with Measurements: The adjustable width comes in handy for those who worry about not being able to measure with precision. A small level of miscalculation of width won’t create much trouble as in the case of the stitched-in styles.

Rustic Appeal: For a curtain style that has been around for as long as curtains have been around, the pencil pleat style is truly a classic. The casual spaces in traditional homes were never complete without pencil pleat draperies. And yet, this rustic style which is very much at home in informal settings of country homes is welcome even in modern interiors due to its simplistic construct.

Good for Rentals: For those who stay in rented apartments or temporary setups, pencil pleats can prove a versatile pair of draperies. When you move from one home to another and have to deal with windows of various measurements, often window treatments with flexible widths can prove a godsend.

Sleek with Added Benefits: Curtains that go behind another set of curtains as the second layer need to have relatively flat, unobtrusive headers. Since pencil pleat curtains have very sleek headers, they are a great option for double-layered curtains.

The Flip Side of the Coin

Pencil pleat curtains have no real constraints that hinder their functional efficiency, however, they are not the best choice for all kinds of interior settings.

Even though the header is quite decorative, it has a minimal construct. This may not suit too formal and dressed-up interiors. Hence, pencil pleat curtains are often confined to casual, informal spaces.

Being strongly associated with country homes and rustic spaces, pencil pleats are not a ready pick for all interior design styles and may fail to blend cohesively with the neat finishes of modern and masculine design schemes.

How to Make the Best of Pencil Pleat Drapes

There’s always a special knack with each style of drapery that expert home decorators have learned with experience. And ours have these fantastic tips to help you make the most of pencil pleat drapes.

Valances for more dress-up: If your rooms are too ornately decorated to accommodate simple styles like pencil pleat curtains, top them with a nice stylish valance. This way, you get to benefit from the best of both.

Solid fabrics: Pencil pleat drapes are good to go with all kinds of fabrics and designs. But if you want to highlight the richness of the header and their cozy vibe, go for plain fabrics which can show them in the best light.

Maximum fullness: As with most other heading styles too, it is the fullness that brings out the best of drapery. 2x fullness is apt for pencil pleats; more than that can cause the fabric to bunch up and reduce its mobility. For sheer drapes, 3x fullness is recommended to ensure more privacy. For details on how to calculate fullness and panel widths, browse our detailed Curtains Measurement Guide.

In Closing

Pencil pleat curtains – with their old-fashioned charm – have a loyal fanbase. Not just their unique selling point of adjustable width, their cozy appeal is anything but resistible for a home that wants to instantly look like a home. So, if you find this style suitable for your decor style and your needs, get shopping right away with Spiffy Spools today.