My Take On A Wave Heading.

Handmade wave headed curtain

This is a sample curtain which is hanging up in my showroom. I thought I would share with you all how I achieved this simple wave heading effect.

Position of curtain hooks

The curtain itself is traditionally handmade and interlined. I made it up to the point of inserting the buckrum and finishing the top as normal. I then calculated the pleating and spacing measurements.

Instead of sewing in the pleats, I inserted a pin hook at each of the pleat and space positions. I left the heading completely flat.

Close up of 2 curtain hooks into one curtain ring

After inserting the pin hooks into the buckrum I simply put the first two hooks into the first ring on the pol, this effectively creates a pleat. Hooks 3 and 4 went into the second ring and so on. This was a two width curtain which has 4 pleats per width and 8 pleats in total so it needed 16 pin hooks.

Side view of the heading showing the wave effect

And voila! The result gives the curtain a wave heading without using  “tape” or visible stitching lines.

Wave heading

I had to train the folds into place by dressing the curtain with bandages for a couple of days but the result is a really contemporary looking curtain.

Finished full length curtain with handmade wave heading

The fabric in this curtain is Harlequin Florine Natural and Red.  The curtain stacks back really nicely in straight folds. I love the look of this treatment and think  it would suit any random pattern because of it’s clean simple lines.

This pic shows the stack back

This shows the stackback of the curtain really well. You can see that I have set the folds with bandages the same as I would with another design of curtain.

23 thoughts on “My Take On A Wave Heading.

  1. Very pretty!
    Sleek, streamlined drapery styles are becoming very popular so it’s good to see a new look.
    Does it open & close easily or do the folds need dressing?

    • Hi Deborah
      Thanks for your comments I have now added an extra picture to the post to show the curtain stacked back.

  2. Fabulous – wish I had seen this before I used Rufflette wave tape which turned out to be an absolute disaster, the curtain now has pencil pleats.

    Many thanks for future use.

  3. Excellent idea! I hate the way the stitching is so visible on stitched “cartridge pleats” and your panel looks so much cleaner and neater, and the fact that the hooks do the work for you is a terrific labor saver, too.

  4. I am working with a young client right now who is in an apartment. I suggested rod pocket panels so she could easily reuse the fabric when she moves but this idea is SPECTACULAR for such reasoning. If you move, you have a flat panel that can easily be recalculated to fit new space.

    Love it!

  5. Thanks Sarah!
    The idea is a really simple one and often the simplest treatments are the most successful.

  6. This a a great idea. I am making semi-sheer (burnout) draperies. For my first mock-up I used featherweight interfacing in the header because I am clipping the panels onto a track (rather than using curtain hooks and rod) and I didn’t want the clips to tear the fabric. Here is my question. . .
    If I use buckram instead of the fusible featherweight will I be able to get the same effect clipping the panels at the top on a similar spacing that you show? I am concerned the buckram might be too heavy weight for the fabric, but I would really like them the hang evenly spaced. Thanks for any help you can give!

  7. OMG! I am SOOO stupid! I just got on the ladder and clipped a “pleat” in at the top, evenly spaced and it’s perfect! Maybe the heavier buckram would help, but I LOVE YOU for this idea!!

  8. I have a client this look is perfect for, but they do not want the rings showing. Do you think it would work using longer hooks or placing the hooks lower down so the rings can be hidden, or would this cause the fabric to flop a little forward at the top? We would also be using much smaller metal rings, so easier to hide them.

    • Dear Esme
      This type of heading is really only suited to be underslung beneath the rings. I do not think it will work if you lift the heading up to hide the rings.
      However you could try it out and decide for yourself if you sre still unsure.
      Good luck with them.

  9. I have rings that fit over a 2″ rod with a tiny eye-ring attached to each. Is there any danger of the two hooks not fitting in the tiny ring together? Also the header has an existing large pocket, double faced, and the fabric is sturdy but unlined so am wondering if I am okay without facing it?

  10. Hi there. What a helpful, clearly explained site.
    I have just had blinds installed, and wanted to soften the look for nighttime by using existing conventional curtains (beautiful fabric) over the top. Have tried using pinch (triple) pleat heading, but the stack-back is too bulky, intruding over the blind and impeding its movement, ie the stack back space available is 710cm, window width 2440cm.
    So now I’m investigating alternative headings – can you advise whether the wave style you’ve detailed would fit the stack-back space available? In other words, what is the ratio of fabric to window size? Failing that, have you any other suggestions – please?

    • Hello Jan
      I do understand your dilema, firstly before you go to the expense of changing you curtains, try pulling the spaces forward in between the pleats, this is called breaking the spaces forward this should stop the fabric of the curtains touching the blind behind.
      My wave headiing is not suitable for the situation you describe unless you make you spaces smaller than the distance you have between the curtain pole and the blind.
      You could try a pencil pleat headig where all the fullness sits on the front of the pole.
      Alternative project your pole forward by placing a “spacer” or block of wood between the wall and the bracket. This will give you a bigger projection. The blocks of wood will be hidden by the curtains.

      hope that helps.

    • Sorry for the delay in replying. I just found this.
      You’ve probably solved it by now but I don’t think I could have advised you anyway without seeing the panels and rods
      I hope it looked good in the end 🙂

  11. Hi Penny.

    I need your advice. Im making some wave curtains with the buckram (from your excellent idea). They are going to hung on a ceiling fitted track. the thing is that there are going to be 2 curtains which will have to hung in a L shape, so they will have to meet and leave no space in the corner.They are double sided curtains.

    I made the flat panels, but am not sure how to space for the pleats.Each curtain have to finish in 105cm width. And the flat panels are 201cm.
    Would you kindly advice me how to space the pleats so they meet in the corner without leaving any gap?

    Thanks in advance


    • Seri

      I’m sorry for the delay in replying. I’ve just found some old comments including yours.
      You’ve probably solved this by now but I think I would consider making one big curtain rather than two panels as it will be very difficult to achieve no gap in the corner.


  12. What a great idea! I’d like to do this on ready made flat panels that I need to shorten and my wave does not hang evenly spaced when open. Instead of rehemming from the bottom, I am going to shorten from the top by make a new header and adding some buckram so that the pins will have something more to go into(even though these are velvet and quite thick fabric all ready). One question: how did you attach your buckram to the curtain? I don’t see any stitching line in your pictures.

    • Teresa

      Sorry for not replying sooner. I hope your project has gone well.
      The curtain in the blog was done using a double sided fusible buckram and when slip stitching the lining closed at the top, we put in stab stitches at intervals through the layers to keep the buckram in place.


  13. Hi Penny,

    You are right, i was able to figure it out… I zig zagged the 4 panels together and was lucky that the seams fell on the concave part of the wave! the spacing of the pins sent me over the edge since I am not a professional window treatment person.
    I am on a roll and doing this in may rooms of my home but with less expensive rods and rings, store bought curtains and buckram.

    As others have inquired in this thread, how do you figure the spacing of the pins. I have been doing this with the frustrating trial and error method. It is very tricky to have the return hide the inside of the drape. Any advice?

    Is there a way to send you a picture of what I did?

  14. Wow, what a find, thank you! My very thick and heavy full length curtains look great and hang perfectly. The curtains were made with deep pencil pleat tape, which I kept flat, and made working out where to put the curtain hooks really easy and holds the pleats really well.

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