Window valances are short fabric curtains. Unlike traditional curtains that cover the whole window, valances only cover the top third of the window. The main function of valances is to conceal hardware. For this reason, they are often combined with blinds, tiers or panels. Since valances are decorative, they also function as independent window treatments. Although there are many styles and shapes, listed here are a few of the more common types of window valances.
Rod Pocket Valances
The rod pocket valance is a shorter version of a traditional curtain panel. It has a casing stitched to the top so that the valance can slide along a rod.
Tab Top Window Valances
The tab-top is a curtain with loops attached to the top to wrap around a drapery rod or pole. A variation of the tab-top is the tie-top, which requires strips of fabric or ribbon be tied to the rod.
Festoon Window Valances
The festoon is identified by folded fabric that hangs in a curve shape and frames the top of the window.
Jabot Window Valances
A jabot valance consists of three pieces of draped and tapered fabric. The two side pieces hang down the sides of the window. The center piece adjusts to fit the width of the window.
Cornice Window Valances
The cornice valance is mounted to a wooden support called a cornice board. The fabric is a flat, padded or pleated panel.
Swag Window Valances
Swag is a style of fabric that hangs in semicircular folds. The swag can be formal and draped or casual and ruffled.
Renee Vians has been writing online since 2008. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism and language arts certification from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Her articles have appeared on various websites.