The realm of drapery hardware has its own special set of terms and descriptions just as any other business or field of expertise. Once you learn the terminology of the industry, it will be a whole lot easier for you to find the drapery hardware pieces that you need to complete your window treatment. It seems that working out certain measurements continually happens to trip customers up. That's probably due to the fact that the many measurements mean various things determined by which type of drapery professional you're speaking to. The three words that you have to be comfortable with are projection, clearance and return when you are considering picking the components for your drapery pole.

Projection refers to how far a component protrudes from the mounting surface in the drapery hardware community.

Sure, it does appear to be straightforward enough. If you really need to determine how far a part like a support or medallion protrudes from the wall or mounting surface, you'll need to determine its projection. If there are obstructions next to your window that you don't want your treatment to conflict with this dimension is important. And, you need to ensure that the projection of the rod won't keep the door from opening all the way if you're putting in a curtain rod on a door.

You'll need to combine measurements to determine the projection for some curtain rod items.

The projection is the specific distance from the face or front of the part to the surface it's mounted on. For a number of drapery hardware items, the projection could be a partial measurement. To illustrate, the post will identify a projection that does not incorporate the width of the actual decorative piece if you have a tie back or rosette that has a mounting post. You'll need to add the posts length to the width of the medallion or holdback to identify the projection in this case. You'll find the overall projection by combining these two measurements.

Projection is of great relevance if you're planning a swag style treatment with tie backs.

Don't just look at aesthetics when you decide on a projection. Take into consideration the functionality of your treatment. You might need to think about adding a few inches to allow for the fullness of your curtain even though you want a minimal projection. It's become popular to hang fabric across a number of rosettes or holdbacks to create a swag treatment with out using a drapery rod or pole. When your curtain is bunched together to create the swag or drape be certain that the projection posts you get with your medallions are long enough to accommodate it.

Don't mix up the projection dimension with the return.

Return and projection are quite often mixed-up by customers. Both sizes include the distance from the wall or mounting surface to a position on the window treatment. Return only identifies the point on the drapery hardware where the fabric or curtain will hang but, projection includes the measurement to the very tip of the hardware. If the distance from the fabric to the mounting surface is important to your treatment, getting these measurements mixed up might leave you with too little or too much material.

You'll make a much better decision about your curtain hardware if you recognize specifically what each type of measurement usually means. Your familiarity with these industry terms will keep you from making costly mistakes when you're finding and choosing the perfect pieces for your interior design.

Nathan Cole is Owner of Designer Drapery Hardware, LLC and has been assisting home decorators decide on the appropriate discount drapery rods for their projects for over 10 years.
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