Curtain Trims or Passementerie

Curtain trims or passementerie are high quality decorative textile bands, which are an easy way to provide detail and smarten up a simple curtain or drapery. They range from tassels to cords, lace, velvet and ribbons. The most important thing to remember is to keep the scale, weight and proportion in keeping with the dimensions of the curtain.

To follow are a few types that are available, most come in natural fibers and synthetic fibers, the luxury end of trims are often made from silk or linen. Often rayon or viscose is added to cotton or wool to provide sheen to them.


Is a woven ornamental trimming that has two finished edges, it is a flat border. It was popular for placing over finished edges of upholstery on chairs.

Braid, a woven ornamental trimming


This has looped or scalloped edges and is a narrow type of braid. It is often used to cover over upholstery tacks on chairs.

Loads of trim used on the curtains in this period ballroom.

Loads of trim used on the curtains in this period ballroom.


Piping Is a product that can be stitched into the seam of a curtain. It is a fabric-covered cord in a pipe like fold over cord with a narrow flange. It provides a subtle detail to drapery and is a good way of introducing a highlight color. It is used extensively with cushions and not as popular with curtains because it is labor intensive to make.


Buttons can be covered in fabric or selected off the shelf, they are used to pull two pieces of fabric together for example a cushion pulled in the center, or create a design – the back of a chair can be buttoned creating a padded look i.e. Chesterfield.

With curtains they can be used with French Pleats to hold the pleat together at the base and create a stunning look if used in a contrasting color. They are often used on tiebacks, and are a decorative feature on valances when used to hold tassels.

Buttons are used here to create a padded look.


This comes in almost any fiber imaginable and multiple colors, is usually thick and twisted rope, generally used as a tieback, it can be used as a simple trim. It can be one color or several colors twisted together. It is used for tiebacks and tassels.

Jacquard Border

A flat braid, which has been woven on a jacquard loom.

Tassel Fringe

This is a looped fringe with a tassel skirting. It creates an effective finish to the leading edge of a curtain, the bottom edge of a blind and is frequently used on the lower edge of scarf drapery and sometimes decorative valances.


Loops of silk covered wire or wrapped cords of oriental decent.

Tassel fringe shown here on the edge of this table cloth.

A Tassel

This is a dangling form of ornamentation, it is a bunch of threads or cords tied at one end forming a heading and a skirt, and often hangs loosely from a cord. Small tassels are effective on decorative valances, and are often used on the end of bolster cushions combined with a fabric covered button.

Tassel Tieback

A tassel which is attached to a cord and gets fixed to the wall by a hook, it wraps the curtains and holds them off the window.


This ornamental edging is made in continuous form, by attaching twisted threads or cords to a band they hang down to form a fringe. They can be used on the leading edge of curtains, the lower edge of blinds, on swags and tails, and is most commonly seen around the edge of cushions or pillows.


Straight or shaped edges of flat patterned braid.


A trimming made in an ornamental openwork design, generally made from cotton, viscose or nylon.

A fringe shown here on the edge of a cushion.

Beaded Trim

A flat braid, which has a multibeading skirting. Very popular with contemporary colored sheers and on scarf drapery.


This is basically a piping cord, which is covered in fabric and sewn into the seams of curtains, tiebacks or valances providing a decorative element.

Bullion Fringe

A fringe trimming which is made of twisted loops of rope (wool or silk). Available in varying depths, combines well with heavy velvet fabrics and tapestry fabrics.

Bullion Fringe shown here on the base of a sofa.


A narrow band of fine ornamental material used for decoration.

Ribbon seen here as the tassel on this curtain tieback.

Seen here as the tassel on the curtain tieback.

Picot Braid

This is a bobble edging, fixed to a woven cotton braid and is available in varying widths.

Binding and Lipping

A band of contrasting fabric fixed to the edges of curtains, tiebacks or valances.

Binding and Lipping shown here

Curtain Weights

Lead weights are sewn into the vertical seams and each corner of the drapery width or panel. Chain weights are little beads threaded together forming a line along the hemline of sheers ensuring straight hanging and an even hemline.

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