Tab-Top Curtains

Over centuries, many window treatment designs have proliferated–such as the relatively recent tab-top curtain designs. Tab-top curtains are a casual, contemporary style of fabric window treatments. These curtain drapes offer a handy, inexpensive, yet fashionable way to enhance interior home decor.


Tab-top curtains consist of a panel of fabric that has “tabs” at the top for hanging. The curtain has a tab at either end of the curtain, with more located progressively between the two every 8 inches or so depending on the size and style of curtain. They are typically hung from wood, metal or plastic rods.


Tab-top curtains are relatively informal and come in a whole range of fabric materials. The most common, however, are sheer materials like voile and cotton twill. These are the most popular, due to the ease of hanging and because they help the curtain retain its desired appearance.


Because tab tops allow for precise movement and placement, these curtains slide easily across the curtain rods from which they hang. Tabs can be made from the same material to match the curtain or in contrasting colors and textures. The tabs vary widely in design to enhance the chosen décor, but all fall into one of three broad categories: strip tabs, bow-tie tabs and button-down ties.


Strip tabs represent the tab-top design at its most base form. There are simple, hemmed loops sewn along the top of each curtain panel, creating a non-fussy, streamlined curtain.

Bow-tie tabs include two tie pieces that are sewn along the top of the curtain, most often by hand, then tied around the curtain rod to “hang” the curtain. These types of tabs are often made from ribbon or narrow strips of fabric.

Button tabs are exactly what they sound like. There are pieces of material that are sewn into the back of the curtain and buttons sewn onto the front. The tab of material is laid over the curtain rod and buttoned to the existing button. Decorative and unique, this design can be changed with varying button types, sizes and designs–from the simple for a minimalist theme to exquisitely detailed buttons that add an air of elegant luxury.


The length of tab-top panels is governed by personal preference and whether they are used for privacy or enhancing the windows as well. This type of curtain ranges from floor-length designs to short valances that skirt the top of the window frame. Multiple curtain panels are sometimes used as a way of drawing attention to ornate woodwork around the windows and as a way of showcasing that artwork made of wood.