On Track

When deciding on the right window furnishings, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the colour or pattern of your material is all that really matters. This trap becomes considerably more precarious when dealing with curtains, where the sheets of material used are the most obvious and memorable feature. But as we recently learned looking at headings, the look and indeed the feel of a curtain depends on more than just fabric choice.

Headings, we know, affect the ‘hang’ of a curtain as well as impacting a curtain’s overall function. Another essential aspect when choosing curtains for any space is what kind of track to use, as they not only affect the way a room will look, but also the very way you use your curtains. There are different types of tracks and the look of the tracks can be tailored to suit your preferred style.

First off, let’s distinguish between tracks and rods. Curtain rods are, like the name, long rods which run along the length of a window. The rod is typically a metal pole – though they can also be made from plastic or wood – with rings running along the length of the poles from which a curtain can be suspended.

Tracks involve an internal track system and a sequence of hooks from which a curtain hangs, typically hidden behind a pelmet and placed above a window either within the frame or above it. It’s important to consider these details early in the design phase. A track hidden in a bulkhead or a pelmet will mean extra architectural detailing, but will also add finesse and sophistication to any space.

ontrack Pinch Pleat on Rod

Pinch pleat curtains hanging on a rod.

Your choice of tracks or rods will determine other decisions made about your window furnishings. Pencil pleat curtains, for example, can be placed on a rod or a track, whilst eyelets can only be hung on a rod, much like S-Fold curtains, which require a track. Design-wise, the two are also different, with rods being bolder and more decorative and tracks more streamlined and subtle

There are two main types of curtain tracks: corded tracks, which use a pull cord to shift the curtains along the track and uncorded tracks, which are effectively hand-operated. Instead of pulling on a cord, you pull the curtain along the track.

When it comes to choosing tracks or rods, much of it has to do with personal aesthetic preference, as well as the size of the space and the window. It’s important to remember, however, that longer and/or heavier curtains will require heavier tracks to ensure ease of use. This is something that Lovelight designers can assist with.

Often homeowners and interior designers will choose tracks over rods because of functional considerations, since tracks allow a curtain to pull along the entire length of a window (longer rods will need a supporting bracket in the middle) and they can be installed anywhere, including around columns (see our Southbank Apartment project) or awkwardly placed windows.

To learn more about what options are best for your next project, get in touch with Lovelight today.

ontrack Eyelet on Rod

Eyelet curtains hang just above the floor, suspended from a rod.

ontrack Pencil Pleat on Rod with Rings photo by Brooke Holm

Similarly, here ringed pencil pleat curtains run along a rod.

Photo: Brooke Holm

ontrack Standard S Fold Track

Style meets function: white S-fold curtains run along a subtle track.

ontrack Streamline S Fold Track

S-fold curtains pulled along a track diffuse the light in this bedroom.
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