Curtains and Window Panels: Any Differences or the Same Thing?

Curtains and window panels are two terms frequently used in window treatment. In most contexts, they can be interchangeable to each other. However they are far from the same thing. Mixing them up sometimes could result in confusion in many people. So what’s the difference between window panels and curtains? It is necessary to clear up notions involved now, especially these different two.

When a window needs to be isolated from the outside world, it tends to be covered with something, among which curtains or drapes are of course the choice of most users. Actually this covering act itself, in designers’ minds, belongs to a form of treatment. And the specific purposes can be privacy, wind and light blocking, heat insulation, keeping warm, noise elimination, and improving the bedroom environment. That is to say, it is just one of common means of window treatments.

Defined by Rental Decorating Digest, a window panel refers to any quadrilateral hanging against the windows. The initial purpose of the invention of a window is believed to improve accessibility and ventilation. Later some people wanted to observe the world outside of it freely while deliberately hidden from views. Then there comes the curtain. In its early days, it could be so simple. Usually it tended to be a bed sheet fastened with two nails on top left/right-hand corners. However, this is an ever-changing world, so does the industry of curtains and drapes. It evolves under the pressure as modern life asks for more and more as every day that goes by. So the designs are much more complicated now in order to reduce the monotony of a room and offer more functionality at the same time.

At this point, you probably already know that the relationship between them – window panel is considered an integral part of curtain, drape, or any other treatments. Curtains may consist of one or multiple panels as required. In general, each window needs two panels for the easier opening and closing. But it really depends.

To sum up, compared to curtains, window panels are a relatively narrow notion, so to speak, just like the relationship between tableware sets and dinner plates. In other words, a panel can be the simplest form of a curtain but the curtain, in its true sense, is more than that and should consist of panels and other elements like valances, liners, tiers, and swags, etc.

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