There are several different options available, all of which offer their own benefits and can be used to create different styles & moods. Here are a few of the most popular treatments:
Wave Fold or S-Fold
Wave Fold headers are an elegant, contemporary style which allows the curtains to hang in a continuous wave, which is smooth, simple and sleek. Sheers lend themselves particularly well to this style. Wave Fold curtains need to be used in conjunction with a specific track, which can be a double or single track.
Eyelets give a minimalist and contemporary look.
Metal eyelet hole reinforcements are punched into your chosen fabric and then a rod is passed through. Most commonly the eyelets are matched to the colour of the rod and work especially well when other fixtures in the room are of a similar metallic tone. Eyelet drapes can only be used on rods.
Classical gathered heading which creates a series of straight, evenly spaced pleats across the entire top of the curtain. This pleat resembles a row of pencils. It is a casual look and can be used on both tracks and rods. Pencil pleats are versatile and are especially good if a drape is being installed behind a low pelmet or deep ceiling recess, as they do not protrude far from the window.
Single Pleat or New York Pleat
A single gather that gives a clean, contemporary look. This heading uses only a small amount of fabric and stack back when compared to the double or triple pleat headings. This is a good style to consider if there is not much wall space beside the window.
If you are looking for a more affordable option that uses less fabric, this header is a good solution. Can be used with tracks and rods.
Double Pleat or Dutch Pleat
A twin pleat, like the New York Pleat, but with an extra pleat and therefore greater fullness, giving a superior finish visually. It has groups of double pleats spaced along the top of the curtain.
This style balances casual with traditional, which is perfect for many styles of home. Can be used with tracks or rods.
Triple Pleat or French Pleat
This is a classical header style. It has a fuller and more formal look and uses more fabric, therefore needs greater stack back than the single or double pleats.
This heading consists of groups of three pleats evenly spaced along the top of the curtain and because it requires much more fabric than a single pleat, it will therefore cost more.
Thick and heavy fabrics are not suitable as the fabric will not fold into even pleats. Can be used with tracks or rods.
A very modern look, which creates a simple neat style. Inverted pleats use less fabric than other styles and have a smaller stack back.
Plain fabrics or those with a textured weave are complemented best by this treatment, as some patterns can be interrupted by the pleat style. Can be used with tracks or rods.