Although not an exciting part of drapery construction, buckram does make a difference in your final product!
Buckram heading is a strip of white or translucent stiffener that helps add a more defined shape to a drapery header. It comes in several sizes and weights and hides between layers of fabric and lining to create a sturdier header. This stiffener often backs a pleated style, such as pinch pleats, goblet pleats and Euro pleats, for example. With buckram pleats stand up stiff and hold their shape. It also is great for making the small side pieces for outside mount roman shades and valances. All buckrams, except for translucent are white.
If the curtain includes interlining, the buckram attaches to the interlining between the fabric and outer lining. If the curtain has no interlining, the buckram stays encased with the sewn pleats. Some buckram styles include a narrow adhesive strip with a paper backing for a no-sew attachment. Buckram also inserts into the side openings of a frill above a gathered rod pocket header to prevent sagging and achieve a crisp, polished look for your window treatment.
Light weight is suitable for light weight fabrics, sheers and semi sheers. Standard weight is 33% heavier than light weight and works with medium weight fabrics. Heavy weight is 30% heavier than medium weight and works best with heavy weight fabrics and velvets. Heavy weight is also good for bumped panels.
Polyester Permanent Drapery Buckram is available either as sew on or iron on and in either light, standard or heavy weight. Common sizes for each are listed below:
Light weight: 2”, 3”, 4”, 5”, 6”
Standard weight: 2”, 3”, 3.75”, 4”, 5”, 6”
Heavy weight: 2”, 3”, 4”, 5”, 6”
Non-woven Permanent Drapery Buckram with the sew on type available in standard and heavy weight and the iron on in standard weigh only. Sizes listed below:
Iron On: standard weight, 3”, 4”, 5”
standard 2”, 3”, 4”, 5”
heavy 3”, 4”, 5”, 6”, 8”, 10”
Pressure Sensitive Buckram has a small strip of adhesive tape on one edge that allows it to be attached to the cloth. This buckram makes fabrication go faster since it keeps the buckram from shifting while folding the fabric over. It comes in both polyester permanent and non woven as a standard weight and 4” width.
Translucent buckram is woven polyester and is used with sheers and semi sheer fabrics to give the fabric stability while not showing through the fabric. When applied to the header it is practically invisible. It is also great for shower curtains and is available in 2”, 3”, 4” and 6” widths.
Choosing the correct buckram for the fabric you are using is important so that you get the best results when fabricating window treatments. It will take a few times of using different types of buckram before you find your favorite. But once you do you will produce beautiful products!