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What Curtains to Use with a Traverse Rod?

By: Katie Barton |

If you ever wished you could shut your curtains with a pull of a string, traverse curtain rods might be right for you.

While a standard straight rod is currently the most popular, traverse rods are practical and can easily fit with your home’s style.

Which might have you wondering – what kind of curtains to use with traverse rods? The easy answer is pinch-pleat curtains, but there’s more to consider.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Traverse Curtain Rod?

1. What is a Traverse Curtain Rod

Traverse rods work on a pulley system. 

Inside the rod is a track with clips or “sliders” coming out of it. A pin in the curtains goes through eyelet holes in the sliders. (Although some traverse rods have clips that allow you to clip them directly on the curtain fabric.)

After securing your curtains, you can easily slide them across the rod with your hand or a cord, depending on the style of rod you use.

Most traverse curtain rods come in adjustable lengths, and you can get them corded or cordless.

You can also find double traverse curtain rods. These allow you to use two sets of curtains – typically a sheer set underneath and a more decorative set on top.

What Kind of Curtains Do You Use with a Traverse Rod?

You use pinch pleat curtains with a traverse rod. 

Pinch pleat curtains typically come with a hook or drapery pin. You thread the drapery pin hooks through the eyelet hole of the traverse rod’s sliders. This allows the curtains to open and close without snagging or becoming uneven.

Some pinch pleat curtains don’t come with pins. So you’ll need to purchase a set and add them to all the pleats in this instance.

But there are also traverse rods that come with clips rather than eyelet holes. So, if your traverse rod has a clip, you won’t have to worry about drapery pins to attach them.

Best Curtains to Use on a Traverse Rod

If you’re looking for pinch pleat drapes, here are the five best curtains to use on a traverse rod.

Try Velvet Solid Black Out Pinch Pleat Curtain

2. Try Velvet Solid Blackout Pinch Pleat Curtains

If you’re looking for a blackout curtain that still packs in the style, this one is a great option. It’s velvet and comes in four colors: midnight blue, silver gray, porcelain white, and alabaster beige.

Each panel is 25 inches wide, and you can get them in various lengths, including 84, 96, 108, and 120 inches.

Use a Linen Curtain for a More Casual Room

3. Use a Linen Curtain for a More Casual Room

You often see traverse rods and pinch pleat curtains in formal rooms. But they look just as good in a casual space – you just have to find the proper drapery.

This linen curtain from Wayfair is an excellent option for casual rooms and works with most decor styles. The curtain comes in four colors: natural (pictured), white, pearl gray, and shale.

Add a Glam Touch to Your Room with Rich Velvet

4. Add a Glam Touch to Your Room with Rich Velvet

If you like a touch of glam or richness in your room, these velvet curtains from Wayfair pack a punch. They feature a beautiful combination of velvety blue and gold.

These come in a set of two. Each panel is 48 inches wide, and you can get them in three different lengths: 84, 96, and 108 inches.

Go for Something with a Pattern

5. Go For Something with a Pattern

Like any other type of curtain, you can use a patterned drape with your traverse rod.

If you like bright and cheery floral prints, this one is a good option. These curtains are semi-sheer and come in a set of two. Each panel is 45 inches in width and comes in three lengths: 84, 96, and 108 inches.

Stick with a Simple White Pinch Pleat Curtain

6. Stick with a Simple White Pinch Pleat Curtain

If you want something basic to match your decor, a simple white pinch pleat curtain will do the trick.

This curtain from Wayfair is thermal and blackout. Each panel is 25 inches wide and comes in three lengths, including 84, 96, and 108 inches.

Can You Use Regular Curtains on a Traverse Rod?

You cannot use regular curtains with a traverse rod. This is because regular curtains will not hang evenly or look right.

If you have a standard curtain that you want to use with a traverse rod, you’ll have to alter it. To do so, you’ll need to evenly sew pleats at the heading of your curtains and attach a drapery pin to the pleats.

How Do You Hang Back Tab Curtains on a Traverse Rod?

Since back tab curtains have tabs on the back, you might think they’d work with a traverse rod. But, unfortunately, without making alterations, they won’t.

If you want to hang back tab curtains, you’ll need to add small pleats to hold drapery pins. To do this, you’ll need to sew pleats into the heading of the curtain.

Can Grommet Curtains be Used on a Traverse Rod?

No, grommet curtains won’t work with a traverse rod. For a regular curtain to work with a traverse rod, you need to make alterations, adding pleats to the heading. However, since grommet curtains often have large grommets in their heading, it is tough to alter them.

Where Should You Use Traverse Rods?

As convenient and beautiful as traverse rods are, they aren’t for every space. Here are the best places to use traverse rods:

  • Large windows
  • Double windows
  • Double doors
  • Windows that span a corner

For smaller single windows, a standard curtain rod is the better option.

Final Thoughts

Traverse rods can add an elegant touch to your room, but they’re not only for formal spaces. They can work for any room, depending on the curtain you use. They’re perfect for large windows and double doors, allowing you to open and shut your curtains easily.

Just remember, you can’t use a regular curtain with a traverse rod without making alterations. So instead, look for pinch pleat drapes.