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What are Tab Top Curtains?

Last Updated Jul 20, 2011 · Written by Rob Schneider

Although their name is often misunderstood, tab top curtains are one of the most commonly used types of curtain in the Australian home. Economical, versatile and always in style, they are well worth your consideration if you are thinking of making or buying new curtains.

What Are Tab Top Curtains?

The "tabs" on tab top curtains are the exposed loops (tabs) of fabric that you see on so many curtains. These loops are drawn through a curtain rod or pole. Long before curtain tracks and other manufactured curtain hanging systems were invented, tab top curtains were the only types of curtains available. Because of this, they remain the most popular style of curtain in country style homes. However, there use is not by any means confined to country style homes. Creative curtain designers have found innumerable ways to use them in almost every imaginable setting.

Styles of Tab Top Curtains

Tab top curtains can be either sheer or lined and can be used as window treatments or as coverings for wider areas such as sliding glass doors. Of course, the tabs will need to be wider and thicker for heavier, lined curtains, but other than that, there are endless possible variations to choose from. For example, you can use a matching or contrasting fabric on the tabs or include decorative buttons as accents. Because the curtain rod is exposed with this type of curtain, it, too, becomes part of the overall design. Brass, timber or copper curtain rods with decorative finials combined with tab top curtains can make a striking decorator statement. On the other hand, the curtain pole can be painted the colour of the wall to make it blend in with the background, making the curtain tabs alone the feature.

Benefits of Tab Top Curtains

Aside from being the ideal type of curtain for many interior settings, tab top curtains are amongst the most economical curtains you can buy. Tab top curtains require far less fabric than pencil pleated, French pleated and other curtain styles that are gathered at the top and often require two to three times longer lengths of fabric than the width of the window. They are also the easiest to sew, if you want to make your own.

Are tab top curtains the right curtains for you? The only way to find out is to compare all the available styles and look at some of the ways others have used them. If you feel you need professional advice, find a curtain supplier in your local area for help on choosing the perfect curtains for your home.
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