Complete Guide to Curtain Rings Types
Many people spend a lot of time and money choosing exactly the right decor for their room. They will spend countless hours poring over store catalogs, mixing and matching color schemes, and finding the perfect fabric for their curtains and lounges. The end result can be spectacular, but unfortunately, many people forget the little things, and it’s these little accessories that really help to tie everything together.
Curtain rings are the perfect example. There are a never ending variety of styles that can be found, but usually they are chosen as an afterthought, or not chosen at all, but simply used because they came with the curtain rods. With a little more forethought and research, you will be amazed at what a difference can be made to your living room, bedroom or bathroom decor, with the right choice of curtain rings.
Curtain Ring Materials
Any interior design expert will tell you that there are specific materials that work better in specific room styles. Curtain rings have evolved to include all sorts of different materials that can be chosen to add flair to your window.
For example, if you are trying to create a warm country style atmosphere in your home, the obvious material choice is wood. A wooden curtain rod, coupled with matching rings, can really create that warm country atmosphere you are after. You can get wooden curtain rings in many different stains, or, if you are a bit of a “do it yourself” person, you can purchase them unfinished and stain, or paint, them yourself.
Another material that is widely used is brass, which creates an elegance and sophistication that is perfect for frilly net curtains. Curtains that are chrome plated are specifically designed to resist rust, and will last a long time.
For the bathroom, the most popular choice of shower curtain rings is plastic. The benefit of using plastic in this environment is to combat the effects moisture. A damp environment can very quickly ruin wood, and unless it has been specially treated for this purpose, you may find yourself replacing your rings on a regular basis. A plastic curtain ring need not look cheap however; there are many styles that mimic the elegance of wood and metal, while still benefiting from the durability of this material.
The bathroom is a great place to add a bit of flair to you curtains. Depending on the style you prefer, you can get shower curtain rings that are shaped and colored, making the room bright and cheery. A popular style, for example, are rings shaped like seashells, which are perfect for a “beachy” feel.
Ceramic is another popular material, but you need to be sure that you are buying quality rings when buying ceramic. The reason for this that the cheaper version of ceramic can shatter if dropped onto a hard surface, such as bathroom tiles. Ceramic rings can also be a little more expensive than other materials, but are great for blending into the bathroom, for those times when you don’t want your rings to stand out.
One of the biggest deciding factors when choosing your rings is matching them to the rod on which they will sit. Chrome plated rings on a ornate carved wooden rod, for example, will stand out and look out of place. Also take into account the curtain that will hang off your rings, and try and create a matching color scheme for the best effect.
Styles and Shapes
The most popular style of curtain ring is the plain round ring that slips over the rod. Once you delve into the world of curtain accessories, however, you will realise that there are a lot of other options available. One style that has become quite popular in recent times is the roller ring. This style of ring has 5 or 6 small ball bearings attached to the top of the ring, which roll freely as the curtain is drawn. The benefit of using these rings is that the curtain opens and closes very smoothly, as the ball bearings glide across the rod.
There are different attachments available for the bottom of the ring as well, depending on the type of curtain you are going to attach to it. For example, a small eyelet screwed into the bottom of the ring is used for curtains that have drapery pins attached to them. The pins slide straight into the eyelet, making it very easy to install.
For curtains that don’t have drapery pins attached, you may want to consider curtain rings that have clips attached to the bottom of them. These clips “grab” onto the curtain keeping it secure.
Some rings are permanently closed, and the only way to install these on your curtain rod is to slide them over the end. In some cases, particular with shower curtains, this is not an option, and you will need to use a ring that can be opened and closed. Usually this style of ring has a “push button” mechanism that clips it in place, similar to a press stud on a purse, for example.
You will need to be careful when using this type of ring, as some have a tendency to weaken over time, and work their way loose, particularly if you are hanging a heavy curtain. There are other attachments, such as ones that screw together, that will give you more strength if it is needed.
The size of your curtain ring depends on the size of the rod you are using. It is important that the ring fits snugly on the rod, while still allowing enough play for the ring to move slowly over it. A ring that only just fits will make it difficult to open and close the curtains.
Ideally, you want to have about 1/4 inch of room between the inside of the ring and the rod. If you have a large window to cover, you will need a longer curtain, and in turn, a stronger rod to hold it. Usually, a bigger rod looks much better with larger curtain rings to match, whereas the same rings will look out of place on a small window space.
As mentioned previously, it is important to keep the style of curtain and rod in mind when choosing your curtain rings. Another thing that will need to be matched is the finial, which is the attachment at both ends of the rod. There are many different ornate shapes that can dress up your window nicely and give it a finishing touch, and quite often, the finial and rings will come as a matching set.
Curtain Ring Manufacturers
There are many different manufacturers that deal in window hardware and accessories, and many of them create useful and unique products. The three biggest players in this industry are Levolor, Umbra and Croscill.
Levolor has over a century of experience in window treatments, furniture and accessories. Levolors main headquarters are in High Point, North Carolina, and is a division of Newell-Rubbermaid.
While Umbra does not necessarily specialise in window treatments in particular, they have been a leader in the industry of home design and decor for over 30 years. With offices all over the world, and a loyal client base, Umbra is a company that can be trusted to deliver on quality and style.
Croscill has been an industry leader for over half a century. In 1949 they introduced the much loved “Croscilla” window treatment style, which gave windows a new flair by covering the entire curtain rod. They have since branched out into bedding and other home accessories, but have held onto their values of quality in window hardware and treatments.
Alternative Uses of Curtain Rings
Usually, a curtain rings set comes in a packet of 12. When figuring out the number of rings you need, the general rule of thumb is 10 curtain rings for each meter of rod that they will be attached to. Quite often this means that you will have rings left over, and while it’s a good idea to have some spares in case you break one or lose one (it happens), there are some other unique ways of using the left over rings…
Curtain Gathers – Leftover curtain rings are perfect for gathering your curtain during the day, when you want to let some fresh air and sunlight into your room. Simply slip the ring over the bottom of your curtain and slide it up. The fact that the ring matches the ones at the top of your curtain gives your window treatment a professional and uniform finish.
Napkin Holders – Some people may think it strange to have napkins in a curtain ring, but to be honest, they do the job wonderfully, and if you don’t tell your dinner guests what they are, they will be more than likely none the wiser. Watch the video below for step by step instructions on turning your unused shower curtain rings into something useful and decorative…
Hand Towels – A curtain ring attached to the wall of you bathroom can be the perfect place to hang your hand towels. They take up very little space, and give the bathroom a unique look.
Hanging Clothing Accessories – Finding a place to hang ties and scarves neatly in your wardrobe has always been a problem. Usually, they are draped over a coat hanger and wind up lying at the bottom of the cupboard, lost and forgotten. Strategically placed curtain rings on the wall of you cupboard can alleviate this problem, keeping your accessories at hand, but out of the way.
Although there are many other ways of attaching curtains and draped to your window, such as tab tops, eyelet curtains, and curtain tracks, curtain rings will always hold a special charm and create a look in your home that is hard to beat, as long as you pay the proper attention to choosing the right style of ring.