Triple Pinch Pleat Curtains & Window Drapes: A Complete Guide

Triple pinch pleat curtains


When plush chairs with ornate floral prints sit against a wainscoted wall, it often takes a sightly pair of triple pinch pleat curtains at the window to complete the picture. With its flowery stitched-in pleats, this exquisite drapery heading proffers that decorative touch and tailored appearance that is so characteristic of traditional formal spaces. 

A timeless classic, triple pinch pleat curtains prove that functional accessories need not stop at performing a function but can make a bold aesthetic statement too. And, in this age of mass-produced decor, this handcrafted marvel stands out as a wholesome visual treat put together with human labour, old-world meticulousness and time-honoured artistry. Besides this made-to-order extravagance and formal elegance, triple pinch pleat drapery is also appreciated for its uniform gather, sumptuousness and beautiful fall.  

If you love to decorate your home with bespoke decor and luxurious touches or own a perfectly aged period home that calls for a curtain heading style becoming of its seasoned glamour, linger on. Explore our triple pinch pleat custom curtains - the one window treatment that might get all your boxes ticked.

What are Triple Pinch Pleat Curtains?


Triple pinch pleat curtains


Triple pinch pleats - also known as three-fold French pleats - feature three finger-like folds in each pleat which are pinched at the bottom of the header. These ‘fixed’ pinch pleats are sewn and spaced evenly apart on the curtain header allowing for a uniform gather and a controlled fall.


Triple pinch pleat heading style


Making W-shaped flower-shaped folds both upward and downward, this drapery is especially well-suited to a maximally embellished formal space. The pleats add an artistic element to the drapery that can make even a plain drapery fabric look maximally adorned.

What are the Reasons to Choose Triple Pinch Pleat Curtains?


What are triple pinch pleat curtains


Triple pinch pleats have ruled the world of drapery for centuries now and for all good reasons. They are elegant, classy and tailored in visual appeal. And, while three-fold French pleat drapes offer drama and ritzy splendour, they do not compromise functional ease. This is what you’re signing in for when you order triple pinch pleat drapes.

EMBELLISHED, TAILORED LOOK: Elegant pleats spaced equally and formed neatly to offer a uniform gather and graceful fall are specific to triple pinch pleat curtains. The perfection, uniformity and fullness of this drapery are what make them irresistible for formal decor.

BESPOKE DECOR: The very fact that triple pinch pleat curtains are made-to-order by skilled artisans to specifically dress a particular home places them far above the ubiquitous set of curtains tucked up by a machine. No better way to achieve an elevated bespoke look for your windows than triple pinch pleat curtains or any style that falls in the broad category of pinch pleat drapery!

EASE OF FUNCTIONALITY: Since triple pinch pleat curtains hang on rings, they glide easily on the pole/track making for a fuss-free movement when you open and shut the drapes.

VERSATILITY: Three-fold French pleat drapes can be hung on poles as well as tracks. So, whatever the hardware installed in your new home, you can go for these drapes carefree. Besides, unlike most heading styles that either fully cover or expose the hardware, with pinch pleats, you can decide the look. Hang them a bit high if you wish to cover the hardware or low to expose it. 

FULL COVERAGE: Unlike tab top curtains that have intervals between their tabs or grommet tops that have eyelets, pinch pleat headers feature a no-leaks, continuous coverage through which light cannot break in. 

ADDS VISUAL INTEREST TO PLAIN CURTAINS: The decorative folds of the curtains offer a  sculptural element to the drapery. That’s why pinch pleats are very well-suited for plain fabrics. Velvet drapery in a fabric like Thrush or a silk curtain like Margaric are showstoppers, no doubt, but when designed in triple pinch pleats, they do even better.

What are the Factors to be Considered When Dressing a Window with Triple Pinch Pleat Curtains? 


Traditional living room


While three-fold French pleat drapes are a masterfully crafted set of curtains that can elevate a space with a designer appeal instantly, there are factors you must consider before you make the choice. These are our recommendations:

FORMAL TRADITIONAL SETTINGS: By their structured and decorative appeal, three-fold French pleat drapes are staples in formal spaces, maximalist homes and traditional decor styles. They do not gel as well with the casual aesthetics and pared-back settings of minimalist decor styles. 

DECORATIVE HARDWARE: A dressed-up drapery certainly needs complementing hardware and accessories that live up to its grandeur. Be it material, palette or design, everything about the drapery poles and supporting accessories must have that luxe feel to it that the drapery conveys.

DRESSY FABRICS:  While any fabric can be used to stitch curtains in this timeless heading style, it is statement fabrics that serve their interest the best. Fabrics like velvet, silk or jacquard echo luxury with the same gusto as this style of header.

PRECISE MEASUREMENTS: Since triple pinch pleats are a ‘fixed’ heading style, with their pleats secured by stitches, the three-fold French pleat curtains cannot be stretched beyond their header’s span. So, you need to be very precise when measuring the width of your drapery panels.

STACKING ROOM: The stitched-in pleats of the drapery ensure sumptuous fullness but that also means that they need more room to stack. Therefore, extend the drapery pole sufficiently on both sides of the window trim so that the drapes can be cleared off the window when not in use.



What are the Hardware Options for Triple Pinch Pleat Curtains?


Triple pinch pleat curtains


Triple pinch pleat curtains are a very versatile style of drapery that is compatible with both tracks and poles. Accordingly, you may need to invest in appropriate hardware accessories such as drapery pins and eyelet rings for poles and drapery hooks for tracks.

How are Triple Pinch Pleat Curtains Measured?


French pinch pleat curtains


Despite the elaborate form of pleating that three-fold French pleat curtains offer, the math behind placing their orders is simple. Here’s how you go about it:




How to measure curtains and drapes


If you're mounting your three-fold French pleat curtains from a decorative pole with rings, and would like the show-worthy hardware to be visible, start measuring length from just below the curtain ring, up to the desired end point.

If mounting from a track, most clients prefer to hide the hardware. In this case, we recommend measuring length from the top of the track to the desired end point. 

While you may choose your drapery to stop at the window sill, or a recommended length of 10-15cm below the window sill, for ornate styles like French pinch pleats, we recommend going for floor-length or puddled drapes that match the opulence of the style.

Ultimately, the curtain fall length comes down to the taste of each client. While French pleat curtains are best donned in long lengths, one may choose other endpoints based on the space available, or personal preferences.



Since triple pinch pleat curtains have ‘fixed pleats’ that are stitched in and cannot be adjusted, specifying panel widths accurately is quite important. And depending on the kind of hardware you have in place or plan to purchase, the end widths of your three-fold French pleat drapery panels may vary slightly.

The three key hardware options are: curtain tracks, standard drapery poles, and French return drapery poles. Let's go over steps to measure drapery panel widths taking into account each of these hardware options.


Types of curtain rods


CURTAIN TRACKS/ STANDARD DRAPERY POLES: Start by measuring the length of your track or pole (finial to finial). Then based on whether you're planning to mount a pair of curtains or one single panel to drape the track/pole, follow the sizing guidance below:

For a single panel of triple pinch pleat drapery, add 10cm to the measured length of your pole/track to reach the final width of your drapery panel. This extra 10cm is to ensure a safe margin for full coverage of the pole. For a 100cm pole/track, for example, we advise final panel width of 110cm for a single drapery panel. 

If ordering a pair of curtains for the same curtain track/pole, add 20cm to the length of pole/track. Then halve this total measurement to reach the final width of each drapery panel. The extra width of 20cm ensures sufficient panel width for curtains to sufficiently overlap when drawn together, thereby preventing any light leaks in the middle. 

To explain with an example, if your curtain track/pole measures 100cm, add 20cm to this measure, reaching 120cm. Based on guidance above, the final width of each of your drapery panels should be (100+20) ÷ 2 = 60cm each. 

FRENCH RETURN DRAPERY POLES: Also known as wraparound curtain poles, French return drapery poles feature curved or angled ends. Drapery mounted on this style of poles seals the gap between the wall and the pole, thereby eliminating light leaks from the edges.

For French return poles, the panel measurements need to factor in extra width to cover the returns, which typically are 10cm on each side.

Start by measuring the pole end to end, including the returns on both ends. Then, follow the sizing guidance offered above for tracks/standard poles, taking into account whether you're mounting a single panel or a pair to cover your pole. 

Bonus Tip: In case you have drapery tracks/poles without returns, but would like to enjoy the clean designer look and light-blocking benefits offered by the French return drapery poles, we highly recommend the hook and eye hack

While we hope that with the above instructions, you will be able to measure up your required drapery width with ease, in case there’s a hiccup along the tape, be assured you'll find us just an email away to assist you! 

How to Hang Triple Pinch Pleat Curtains & Drapes? 


How to hang pinch pleat curtains


Triple pinch pleat curtains can be hung on both tracks and poles using drapery pins. However, while tracks are more popularly used for modern pinch pleat styles like the Euro pinch pleats, we recommend show-worthy poles with decorative finials for traditional styles like triple pinch pleat curtains. 

Regardless of the hardware you use, below is our step-by-step guide to hang triple pinch pleat curtains:  

STEP 1: On the backside of your three-fold French pleat curtains, you’ll find a 10cm wide heading tape sewn at the top. Our heading tape features three different pin insertion points, offering three ‘levels’ to insert drapery pins. This provides the flexibility of being able to choose the exact height you’d like your drapes to sit. Choose the level that you’d like to use for the best possible height/look for your drapery, while factoring in if you’d like your track/pole to be visible or hidden. 

STEP 2: Start inserting drapery pins along the entire length of the tape, aiming for one drapery pin behind every ‘pinch’. Ensure that the pins are inserted securely and evenly spaced across the width of the curtain.

STEP 3: Once all the drapery pins are inserted in the heading tape, hook the curved end of the pin into the eyelet of the drapery ring, clip, or track carrier. Ensure that each pin is firmly secured in the hardware to prevent any slipping or sagging of the curtains. And that’s it!

In Closing


Traditional living room


Whether you’re looking to add a very architectural element to the space or a bespoke appeal fitting to your decor style, triple pinch pleats curtains have everything you’re looking for. Shop three-fold French pleat drapery online and dress your windows in elegance to elevate the visual appeal of your home instantly. Look into our detailed Heading Styles Guide for more insight before you square down on any option. And if you have any queries, find us just a call away. Have a great time shopping with The White Window!
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