Monday, January 15, 2018

Word of the Week - Drapes

Yet another Word of the Week inspired by my weekend activities. ;-) I confess: I'm not a decorator. Most of the decorations in my house are books, LOL. (The best decorations, if I do say so myself.) Things like curtains...meh. I've put them up in most rooms, simply to block the light when necessary, but I'd never bothered in my kitchen. I don't know. I just...didn't.

But upon taking down the lovely garland I'd strung over my windows at Christmas, they looked so bare. So I decided, "It's time to get curtains." Or, upon looking up what I actually wanted, make them.

Of course, making curtains reminds me of one of the frequent goofs I've made in my British-set books: referring to those window-hangings as drapes. Apparently they don't ever call them that in the UK. So it's high time I look it up, right!

While doesn't denote drapes as being an American usage, it is rather recent. Though the verb, "to hang with fabric," is from the 1400s, it didn't turn into a noun at all until  the 1660s, and it didn't at that point have the particular meaning of "curtain." That didn't come about--pluralized, drapes, not just drape--until 1895. It's a direct derivation--the draping of fabric over windows, and drapery is a similar derivation--so logical. But apparently not universal. ;-)

I just finished sewing my cheerful calico curtains, now draped over my windows. How about you? What kind of drapery do you fancy as window treatments, or do you like bare panes of glass?

And since everyone keeps asking in the comments, I'm adding a photo of my newly-stitched curtains...


  1. I love sheers and curtains, both for privacy and for being able to adjust the light that comes in. And, well, when I was young, I saw the (1945?) black and white French movie, La Belle et la bete, and there's a scene in which long, pale curtains move like beautiful ghosts in the breath of air from the windows. Totally captured my imagination. Then, a friend's mom had long curtains, and in the summer, she would close them but leave the windows open, and their house stayed cool. The house we first lived in here in Ohio, my sheers and (eh-hem! :) ) drapes blocked sneaking drafts of frigid air, AND they were easy to clean in the washing machine. Blinds are a nightmare to scrub! Now that we live in an (awful :( ) apartment, I wish I could also have them for the light filtering, especially since the apartment building across the street has frequent emergency visitors. The police, ambulance and fire truck lights, which flash through the cheap blinds we are allowed to put up, aren't conducive to good sleep.

  2. I’m glad you got the kitchen curtains done! Where’s the picture? Did Xoe help?. We have heavy curtains up to block the light and cold or heat but I made a Velcro band to put around the middle to catch some light. We also have mini blinds.

  3. We recently moved into our new home - our dream home in the Ozark Mountains. At present, we don't have drapes up. Have always had them but we are really enjoying the view and being able to see the amazing wildlife we have so not sure if or when we will put up drapes. :)

  4. Very interesting. In one home, we decided not to use any curtains in the living room, just plantation shutters. Another time, we opted for heavy drapes for the windows. I think it all depends on the way the sun shines through the windows. I love bright light and always want the curtains open so the sun can shine brightly.

  5. We have mini blinds everywhere. I have valances I made in my quilting room but that’s the only window coverings we use. I agree with Paula. Where are the pictures of your curtains?

  6. Pretty! I'd have anything on my bedroom windows because I don't know what to put there. I do have something on the living room window. No kitchen window. The patio door something like a shade that you pull back.