Scarf Curtains: Window treatment ideas

Scarf curtains are often known as scarf valances, they can be draped over the curtain rail for a decorative finish. They are normally used in place of a fringe valance, this can look more modern and less traditional. Scarf valances don't require any curtain loops as they are literally just draped over the top of the curtain rail, they are decorative rather than functional and various fabrics can be used to create the desired look.

What are the best fabrics to use for scarf curtains?

The most popular fabrics used for scarf curtains are chiffon, silk, cotton and velvet. Each has its own pros and cons, both from design and price perspectives.


Chiffon is a light floaty material that is ideal for scarf valances. It comes in a variety of colours and can easily be draped over a window rail to create decorative look. Chiffon is actually made from silk, cotton, or polyester and the price varies accordingly.


Silk is slightly more expensive than most other options, however, if you opt for a light silk instead of a heavy silk that is more commonly used in lined drapes, it should be somewhat cheaper. You would only need one long piece of fabric, unless you are going to use it for more than one window treatment if you choose to go with silk.


Cotton can be used for scarf curtains, however it is not as effective as chiffon or silk. It is widely available though and you don't have to go to a specialist curtain store. You could go to a regular fabric store and purchase enough fabric to fit the window. You might have to cut it to size, wash and iron it before placing it on the rail.


Velvet can be used, however because it is slightly heavier than silk or chiffon, it requires more time and effort to achieve the best results. It's also relatively expensive. Velvet probably isn't the most practical choice, but if it's the best match for your home decor, the extra cost could be well worth it.

Can I hang scarf curtains myself?

This is a very common question, and the answer is yes! If you can't hang a pair of drapes yourself don't despair because you should be able to hang a window scarf. Some window scarves do not require anything else other than a decorative curtain rail with attractive rods to hang the scarf across. If you want to go for a more elaborate look then you could use valance sconces and pin the scarf in various places to make it look more attractive. This is an easy way of adding some spice to some old curtains without forking out for a brand new set.

Colour matching

When it comes to window treatments, colour is very important. Your window treatment must compliment the décor of the room not completely clash with it. If you were to go for white drapes you could opt for a various colours when it comes to your scarf curtains. You could go for black with a chrome curtain rail, if you have simple clean lines and neutral décor this would add something dramatic yet modern to your window treatment. You could also go for a simple white scarf with a black decorative curtain rail. There are so many options the thing to remember is not to go for something that completely goes against the theme of the room.

Fabric matching

If you have a pair of long silk drapes and you want to go for a window scarf instead of a traditional valance you could go for a sheer fabric scarf, the same goes for velvet. A dark colour velvet set of drapes works well with a white or cream sheer window scarf with a decorative gold or chrome curtain rail. Sheer or semi sheer drapes with a silk or cotton scarf is very complimentary especially with an elaborate curtain rail to go with it.

If you want your window treatment to look eye catching but light and airy then it is not advisable to go for a heavy drape and a heavy window scarf, if you want everything to match then it is best to go for a traditional valance. For a heavy curtain, choose a light fabric for the window scarf and vice versa, it not only compliments but it balances.

Finish the look

Finish the look with accessories such as tie backs, tie backs can be made from a matching fabric with a gold or silver hooks fixed to the wall, usually the hooks match the curtain rail. Or the tie backs are of the same fabric but a contrasting colour. If you opt for white drapes and black scarf curtains, then it is a good idea to go for matching black tie backs. A silver chrome curtain rail and tie back hooks would finish off the look.