Should I Puddle my Drapery Panels?

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the term “puddling” in drapery lingo. It’s a funny term but it is a feature to be decided upon when getting custom drapery for your windows. Puddling is the result of the excess fabric length when lies on the floor. I ran across this question recently and I thought about what I would advise if I were consulting today.

When I last decorated our home I chose not to to puddle any of my drapery panels. I prefer to have them barely off the floor or just grazing the floor. Maybe I was tired of all the puddled fabric panels I had sold over the years.

Years ago when I was a decorator selling custom drapery, it seemed much more in fashion to puddle your drapery panels. When swags were in, and the draped pole swag look was popular, fabric pooling on the floor was a great look. But you rarely see that anymore. There is a place for puddling with certain styles and interiors. Especially for opulent high end drapery styles, the lavish look of extra fabric pooling on the floor just works. Picture silk taffeta.

There are different degrees of puddling, and depending upon the look you desire, one of those might work.

Breaking Panel

Add just a few inches to your length and the fabric will “break” on the floor. Its a subtle way to make the statement.

Moderate Puddle

Usually between 6″- 8″ of fabric is added for a moderate puddle. This allows the panels to fan out on the floor. There is also the option is to turn the bottom edges under.

Voluminous Puddle

For a lavish puddle, you would add 12″-24″ of extra length. It is a dramatic look when there is excessive fabric spreading out on the floor. One problem is that when you need to move the fabric (to vacuum, for example) it would always need rearranging. My trick was to tie the bottom ends together from the inside. Then the customer could lift and lay back down the panels with little fussing.

So the for next drapery project you tackle, consider the puddle. Happy decorating!

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