With so many drapery styles and drapery headers available, it can be daunting sometimes to figure out what to choose to hang on your own window.
Luckily, flat panel draperies are among the simpler choices when it comes to drape styles.
But what is a flat panel drapery anyway? It’s simply a drapery that hangs from drapery rings or a traverse rod and has a flat header. It isn’t hung from a rod pocket and it doesn’t have any pleats.
It looks like this:
Double-wide (100-inch) flat panel drapery made with an embroidered faux silk fabric in red. Drape is lined and interlined, and hung from 2-3/4-inch round wood rings on a 1-3/8-inch drapery pole.
Hanging the Flat Panel Drapery
The flat panel drapery (like most other drapes) can be hung on a drapery pole with rings, or on a traverse rod.
When it comes to hanging the drape on a drapery pole, the quick way to do it is just by using clip-on rings.
But to really make the drape look professional and polished, and to reduce the gap between the drape and rod that clip-on rings create, use standard drapery rings that loop through a metal pin that’s in the back of the drapery.
Clip-on rings are more casual, but to give your window the look of custom, go with standard rings and metal pins.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the loop has to be hidden from view.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen expensive drapes in million-dollar showhomes with the hardware sticking out from the top of the fabric.
Always make sure that the metal pins are inserted lower in the back of the drapery so that the loop of the drapery rings are hidden from view. That’s about 3/8″ or 1/2″ from the top of the drapery.
Flat panel drapes hung on traverse rods will also need metal pins in the back. The metal pins are usually inserted about 1-1/2″ down from the top of the drapery in most cases.
Flat Panel Vs. Rod Pocket Drapes
If you’re going the ready-made route, you may notice that the manufacturer primarily creates a rod pocket drape that happens to be able to be converted into a rod pocket drapery.
This is a great feature, just understand that rod pocket and flat panel drapes don’t necessarily have the same fullness, even if you’re looking at the same drapery.
Let’s say you purchase a standard 50-inch wide drapery panel.
First, you hang it as a rod pocket. By the time you bunch it up on the rod, you realize that the panel comes out to about 24 to 28 inches of width at the top.
But take the same drapery and hang it using rings, you may realize that all of a sudden it can only cover about 18 to 24 inches of the rod.
Keep this in mind. The fabric on flat panel drapes is gathered with more depth than a rod pocket drape is, so you’ll lose some of the fullness.
And as always with drapes, hang them high and hang them wide. Drapes should frame the window and open up the room.