How and When to Use Traverse Curtain Rods by Continental Window Fashions
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How and When to Use Traverse Curtain Rods

How and When to Use Traverse Curtain Rods

When deciding on window coverings, the curtains themselves aren’t the only thing you’ll need to figure out. Depending on the windows, the drapery fabric, your personal style and how you want the curtains to hang, you also need to select rodding.

Decorative poles and rings or grommet curtains are good choices for some windows, but there are situations where only traverse curtain rods will do. How do you know when to use a traverse rod?


First of all, what is a traverse curtain rod?

Traverse rods have clips or eyes that move along a track embedded in a slot in the rod. The eyes have a small opening for the curtain pins and they’ll run evenly across the rod, with the number of eyes dependent on how long the rod is. A cord runs through the rod, too, and is attached to a master slide or pulley. The cord extends beyond the rod so that you can use it to open and close the curtains.

Custom drapery that’s made for traverse rods sometimes comes with the pins or hooks sewn into the fabric. Most times, however, you’ll need to buy drapery pins along with the traverse rodding.

 diagram of how a traverse rod works


When should I use traverse rods?

  • Are the curtains meant to be functional? If you want drapery that opens and closes, traverse rods are a good choice. With regular rods and rings you’ll find yourself using your hands to open and close the curtains; it’s awkward and causes more wear and tear on the fabric. Traverse curtain rods with a cord allow you to open and close curtains to your heart’s content.
  • Is your window wider than thirty-six inches? Rods that long need a center support bracket, which prevents the curtains from closing completely. For larger windows, French doors, patio sliders and any other large opening, traverse curtain rods with a pull cord will allow you to open and close the curtains smoothly.
  • Are you layering window treatments? If you’re layering sheers and another fabric or adding a valance, you’ll need double curtains rods. Rather than stacking two separate rods, which uses up a lot of depth, makes installation tricky, and can look cluttered, a double traverse curtain rod hides all of the working parts and still gives you the layered look.

 double traverse curtain rod


  • What’s your style? Are you planning on pinch-pleat curtains or curtains with a complicated header? Use traverse rods and pins to show off the fabric without also showing off the hardware. Do you prefer a clean, minimalist look? Traverse rods and pins will do that, too.


I’m sold on traverse curtain rods; what type should I choose?

Standard traverse rods, like any of these from Kirsch, come in various weights and diameters, depending on how heavy your curtain fabric is. You can choose from a center open traverse curtain rod or two-way draw. These rods are not meant to be decorative and none of the hardware will show.

Do you have a bow window or angled bay window and despair of finding a way to hang those gorgeous curtains? There’s a traverse rod solution for that and you can even customize it so it fits your window perfectly.

 traverse curtain rod for bay window


“I want functional curtains on my extra-wide windows and love decorative rods.”  You can have that, too! There are decorative traverse rods, even those with rings, which are constructed with hidden slides to give you the best of both worlds. You can choose metal or wooden poles, with or without rings, depending on your style.

 modern traverse curtain rod

 source: Loom Decor


Quick guide to choosing the right traverse curtain rods

Here’s a quick 1-2-3 to help you make the right choice.

  1. Decide what kind of curtains you want.
  2. Take into account the width of the window, whether curtains must open and close and the curtain hardware style that best complements your décor.
  3. Choose the traverse curtain rods that will get the job done:
  • Standard traverse rods if you want to keep the hardware hidden and show off the detailing of the curtain header.
  • Decorative traverse rods of you love the look of rods and rings or if the curtains you’ve chosen must be hung from rings.
  • Double traverse rods if you want to hand two layers of drapery or if you plan to use a valance.

It’s easier than you think to select the traverse curtain rods that will make your window treatments hang perfectly and look just right.


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