Roman Shade Headers, Hardware and A Good Fit

Roman Shade Headers, Hardware and A Good Fit

A New Jersey resident inquired about replacing some sheer Roman shades in her sunroom.  She was unhappy with the gap between the shades and the window casings.  And wanted shades that operated with a chain loop instead of pull cords.

She sent a photo of the existing shades.  You can see the light and privacy gap along the side.  People could just look into the room at an angle.

Roman Shade Headers

In that photo, you can see that the shades are mounted inside the window trim.  She wanted the window casings to frame the shades.

You can also see the source of the gap.  The width of the shade header projects the shades beyond the woodwork.

Roman shades are mounted on a header - ususally a board.  It anchors the layers of fabric and forms a stable platform for the lifting cords and hardware.

Roman Shade Hardware Options

Roman shades raise and lower with cords attached to the back of the fabric layers.  The cords are held and controlled by several types of hardware.  The type of hardware dictates the minimum width of the header board.  

In her case, she had cordlock (pull cords) mounted on a 1 1/2" wide header.  And she wanted the chain loop lift hardware (also known as Rollease).  It has a 1 3/4" minimum header width for light weight shades.

Other operating systems such as cordless roller systems and motorized lift mechanisms work by 'reeling' in the cords running down the back of the shades.  They need header boards from 1 3/4" to 2 1/2" wide.

Shallow Casings and Wide Headers | A Cautionary Tale

Her window casings were shallow and narrowed as they stepped back from the window.  And she wanted hardware that would project the face of the Roman shades farther away from the casings than what she had.  She was stuck between the hardware and the gap.  

Rollease hardware equals big gap.  Not Rollease hardware equals less gap.  

Potentially much less.  

We sent her this photo of shades installed with a cordlock only option for shallow window casings

A Solution - Narrow Headers

Abandoning the chain loop hardware in favor of the pullcord method would give her a much better fit.

The cordlock hardware is small.  Some eyelets and a small locking cam.  It can fit onto a 3/4" board.  This allows for a narrow header - also known as an upturned headrail.

In her case, a narrow headrail would move the face of her shades 3/4" back into the casings.  Yielding the most flush fit and minimizing the gap.

She gave up the Rollease hardware (after MUCH convincing).  Here are her flat Roman shades just after we installed them. 

Sheer Flat Roman Shades.  New Jersey sun room.