Wednesday, 22 January 2020

‘Valance’ lace curtains

I found these ‘valance’ net curtains in the Lace furnishings catalogue for the 1933-34 season. Unfortunately the catalogue does not include either a manufacturer’s name, although all the curtains are all ‘made in England’, or the name of a shop. There was probably an insert in the original including an order form which would have included those details. However, it gives an interesting glimpse into the styles of lace furnishings fashionable at the time. Six ‘valance’ curtains are advertised in a page at the end of the booklet ranging in width from 18 to 28 inches. The term valance is used with quotation marks round it in the catalogue. The name suggests that they were used at the top of a window dressing as a valance either with full net curtains hanging behind them or as a type of frill across the top of a window with no other nets. They could also have been used across the bottom half of a window like café curtains or in pairs across the top and bottom of a window. Three of them have eyelets at the top suggesting they would have been gathered but the designs are also suitable for use as flat curtains. They are all more deeply scalloped than the other curtains in the catalogue suggesting that they were used in a different way so perhaps they were all used as valances at the top of the window. It’s such a shame that the catalogue has no images of the curtains in room settings to give us a better idea of how they were used.

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