Thursday, 2 June 2016

Some curtain terminology

My research last week sent me back to the textile dictionary to check on the meaning of various curtain terms. Like many textile words they are often used with slightly different meanings by different groups but I’ve found Clive Edwards’ ‘Encyclopedia of furnishing textiles, floorcoverings and home furnishing practices 1200-1950’ to be both comprehensive and informative. It seems that casement curtains refers to the lightweight casement cloth used to make them rather than the shape of the window. Brise brise is lace curtaining used for hanging across the lower part of a window using a rod or wire. While store curtains are lace curtains that are hung flat against the whole window and usually have an outer narrow border enclosing a single large design – the ones in the image are taken from a 1926 catalogue. Waterfalls seem to be corner edges of lace to fit the window frame, which are decorative rather than functional; but I have yet to find that term in the dictionaries so there’s still plenty of work to do!

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