Should I use rods or tracks for my curtains?


Curtain tracks and rods or poles (collectively known as 'curtain hardware') are far more than just functional accessories to attach curtains to windows, they also enhance interior design, add decorative appeal and, ultimately, are the finishing touches to your home. They can even make, or break, a design scheme.

While you might be tempted to choose your curtain hardware as an after-thought, you should be thinking about these items when first weighing up your curtain and blind options . That way, you'll ensure the consistency of your vision.


Rods & Tracks - What Is The Difference?

When it comes down to it, rods and tracks both serve the same purpose but there are some limitations as to what they can do.

For instance, curtain tracks can only hang pleated curtains, while rods can hang both pleats and eyelet curtains.

Tracks have a corded drawing system for closing and opening your curtains easily but some people find this option a safety hazard, especially if there are young children in the home.

When choosing curtain styles, you should be mindful of the attachment each curtain has in its header, because this may reduce your choices and force you to choose tracks over rods and so on, which might then also alter your design objectives.

Use Rods Or Tracks
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What Goes With Which Curtains?



Use Rods Or Tracks
Use Rods Or Tracks
Use Rods Or Tracks

Eyelet Curtains

Eyelet curtains have metal or plastic ringed "eyelets" (sometimes called grommets) at the top of the curtain. They are hand operated and easy to open and close.

Tracks or rods?

Metal or wooden rods thread through the eyelets and can be finished with either a traditional or contemporary bracket and finial to stop the curtains sliding off.

Choose them because...

No hooks or tapes are needed! Simply gather the curtain in an "accordian" style, thread the rod through the eyelets, and you're ready to go!

Tab Top Curtains

Tab top curtains have exposed loops of fabric (tabs) that you can see on the curtain.

Tracks or rods?

Metal or wooden rods threaded, just like eyelet curtains.

Choose them because...

You have decorative rods that you want to show off. They are not gathered in pleats, so they don't have to be as wide as other curtains, which might save you some cash. No hooks, eyes or other fixings are needed.

Pencil Pleat Curtains

Pencil pleat curtains (also known as tape top curtains) are the traditional standard heading for curtains and valances, and take their name from the closely gathered folds of the fabric that look like pencils laid out side by side. Three draw cords at the back of the heading tape keep the folds in place, and tighten or loosen the folds.

Tracks or rods?

Either, depending on the look you wish to achieve and whether you'd like your curtains to be cord drawn or not.

Choose them because...

They are great for keeping out light, especially if you use blackout curtain fabric, and for climate control across different seasons.

Use Rods Or Tracks
Use Rods Or Tracks
Use Rods Or Tracks

Pinch Pleat Curtains

Pinch pleat curtains have one or two (or even three) folds sewn into the header of the curtain. Given they don't have cords in the header, unlike pencil pleats, the width of each fold cannot be adjusted.

Tracks or rods? Either, depending on the look you wish to achieve and whether you'd like your curtains to be cord drawn or not.

Choose them because... They are great for keeping out light, especially if you use blackout curtain fabric, and for climate control across different seasons.

Rod Pocket Curtains

Rod pocket curtains have a similar look to pleats, which is created by gathering the curtain fabric around a simple 'pocket' in the header.

Tracks or rods? Only rods, which is why they are called rod pocket curtains.

Choose them because... They are the simplest kind of curtain you can make, while still looking great.

Cafe Curtains

Cafe curtains are a curtain that is hung only part-way up the window. Some have a matching shorter curtain, more like a valance, to decorate the top of the window. Cafe curtains are often made with a rod pocket panel, which is installed with a tension curtain rod.

Tracks or rods? Rods, especially if your cafe curtains have a rod pocket panel.

Choose them because... They are a decorative way of bringing curtains, rather than blinds, into the kitchen, while welcoming light and keeping out prying eyes.



Do You Prefer Visible or Hidden?

You can make a statement with your curtain hardware - or not - so the first thing you need to ask yourself is this:

Do I want my curtain hardware to be visible or hidden?

You might answer 'yes' because you have decorative ends to your curtain accessories or you've matched the poles with some other element of your room (e.g. brass, wrought iron, etc.). You might answer 'no' because you want the attention to be on your curtains themselves, especially if you have a fancy fabric.

Put it this way, rods are generally used when you want your curtain hardware to be visible. Tracks are used when you want your curtain hardware to be invisible. No answer is right or wrong - it's just a matter of your taste and design objectives.

A selection of curtain holdbacks, rings, clips and numerous other curtain accessories - as well as fancy trims and tassels - contribute to the overall effect of your new window furnishings. So let your imagination run wild.

Use Rods Or Tracks

Still not sure what to do with your window furnishings?

Our Made to Measure service makes choosing your curtains, blinds, shutters and outdoor awnings easy. Book a free at-home measure and quote with an expert online now or call 1300 662 742 today.

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