In part 1, we looked at traditional curtain tapes. In recent years other types of heading and matching bathroom shower and window curtains have come to the fore and have resulted in the decline in sales of the traditional curtain tape.
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The most significant of these is the Eyelet heading. Eyelet headings now represent approximately 40% of the market, whereas 5 years ago they were virtually unheard of.
Most eyelet headings have individual metal eyelets that are painstakingly crimped into the curtain fabric using an eyelet press. Eyelets must have the front and back pieces individually loaded into the press, having first carefully measured and marked where the eyelets are to be positioned across the top of the curtain and to be matching bathroom shower and window curtains.
Once created, the eyelet curtain does not use curtain tape hooks or curtain pole rings, as the curtain pole threads through the eyelets themselves.
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People like eyelets because they give a refreshing new look and are available in a variety of metallic (or potentially any) colors. The look of the eyelets is complemented by the uniquely wide curtain pleats that they create, which are regarded as modern and attractive. They are also much easier to dress than pleated curtains, which can take about 10-15 minutes.
The curtain trade like eyelet curtains because they are labor-intensive, and so can command a higher price and can generate a decent cash margin for the maker and for the retailer. The consumer in turn is happy to pay this price because of the modern new look, the matching bathroom shower and window curtains and the time saved in dressing and fiddling with hooks and rings.
Some manufacturers such as Rufflette have attempted to make the eyelet making process a bit easier by making an eyelet tape. However, this is not much of a short-cut and so has not really caught on. Others have latched on to the wide modern pleats and have come up with often ingenious ways of recreating these in the absence of eyelets. This was started in the USA, and has been adopted by Silent Gliss (with their “wave” system) and Speedy Products (with their Perfect Pleat system) with a degree of success.