What is "Pelmet" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 11-Mar-2023 (1 year, 2 months, 18 days ago)
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The purpose of this article is to provide a detailed understanding of the term "pelmet" in textile, including its meaning, types, history, tips for handling, and profiles of top international users or manufacturers. This information follows the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition style guide and is intended for advanced readers.

Meaning and Definition

In the textile industry, a pelmet refers to a decorative and functional window treatment that is placed at the top of a window frame. It is a fabric valance or cornice board that extends horizontally across the top edge of a window, typically covering the curtain rod or track. Pelmets are primarily used for aesthetic purposes, adding a touch of elegance and style to window decor, while also serving practical functions such as concealing curtain hardware and blocking light from entering through the top of the window.

History and Origin

The use of pelmets in window treatments can be traced back to ancient times. The concept of using fabric valances to decorate and enhance window openings has been prevalent in various cultures throughout history. In medieval Europe, pelmets were commonly used as decorative elements in grand castles and palaces. The design and style of pelmets have evolved over time, influenced by changing architectural trends, cultural preferences, and advancements in textile manufacturing techniques.

Types of Pelmets

There are several types of pelmets available, each with its own unique design and style. Here are some common types:

  1. Box Pleat Pelmets: These pelmets feature fabric panels with pleats that create a structured and tailored look. The pleats are usually arranged in a box-like formation, hence the name.
  2. Swag and Cascade Pelmets: Swag and cascade pelmets consist of draped fabric arranged in a swag-like manner, creating elegant and flowing folds. They are often used in formal or traditional window treatments.
  3. Shaped Pelmets: Shaped pelmets are custom-made to fit specific window frames and can be designed in various curved or scalloped shapes, adding a decorative element to the window treatment.
  4. Scarf Pelmets: Scarf pelmets involve draping a long piece of fabric across the top of the window, creating a flowing and romantic effect. They offer versatility in terms of styling and can be adjusted to achieve different looks.

Tips for Handling Pelmets

When working with pelmets, it is essential to consider the following tips:

  1. Ensure Proper Measurements: Accurate measurements of the window frame and desired pelmet size are crucial for a proper fit and visual balance.
  2. Select Appropriate Fabric: Choose a fabric that complements the overall decor style, considering factors such as color, pattern, texture, and light-blocking properties.
  3. Installation and Maintenance: Follow proper installation techniques to securely attach the pelmet to the window frame. Regular cleaning and maintenance, such as dusting or vacuuming, help keep the pelmet looking fresh and appealing.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

Several international users and manufacturers incorporate pelmets into their window treatment offerings. Here are some prominent examples:

  1. Hunter Douglas: Hunter Douglas is a renowned manufacturer of window coverings and treatments. They offer a wide range of pelmets, including box pleat pelmets and shaped pelmets, known for their quality and design innovation.
  2. Graber: Graber is another reputable brand specializing in window treatments. Their collection includes various pelmet styles, such as swag and cascade pelmets, providing customers with elegant and customizable options.
  3. Kirsch: Kirsch is known for its extensive range of window hardware and treatments. They offer pelmets in different shapes and designs, catering to diverse style preferences and window sizes.
  4. Smith+Noble: Smith+Noble is a luxury brand that offers high-quality window treatments. Their pelmet collection features sophisticated designs and fabric options, adding a touch of elegance to any window.


In summary, a pelmet in textile refers to a decorative and functional window treatment placed at the top of a window frame. It adds elegance to window decor while concealing curtain hardware and blocking light from entering through the top of the window. Pelmets have a rich history and are available in various types, such as box pleat, swag and cascade, shaped, and scarf pelmets. When handling pelmets, accurate measurements, appropriate fabric selection, and proper installation and maintenance techniques are important. Top international users and manufacturers of pelmets include Hunter Douglas, Graber, Kirsch, and Smith+Noble. Overall, pelmets are an essential element in creating visually appealing and functional window treatments in the textile industry.

Decorative strip above window: a narrow piece of fabric or board attached above a window for decoration and to hide the curtain rod. Early 20th century. Probably alteration of French palmette "stylized palm leaf" (see palmette)

Some other terms

Some more terms:

Barre 37
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A weft double knit fabric in which a Jacquard type of mechanism is used. This device individually controls needles or small groups of needles, and allows very complex and highly patterned knits to be...
cotton, linen, nylon. Plain weave, some made with a crosswise rib. A strong canvas or duck. The weights vary, but most often the count is around 148 x 60. Able to withstand the elements (rain, wind...
Warp stripes that occur at regular intervals across part or all of the fabric width as the result of tension variation in the sections during section warping or because of differential dyeability of...
General term for a chair with a wooden seat and separate leg assembly and spindle back. Originated in the 17 century around Windsor, England and also popular in America. For other types of chairs,...

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