Latest Curtain Design 2024

May 27, 2024

by Karen Chan

As one who has been involved in the curtains business since 2001, I must say that the best looking curtain design that has since evolved to date, and worth a mention and with least maintenance i.e. not having to hook them, even after removing them to clean or wash is the wave pleat design; otherwise also known as ripple fold curtains or even snake pleat curtains. The last one, obviously may be a slightly more repulsive reference for some. Hence, I would refer this as just simply “wave pleat” curtains.  


I think it is likely that this design will likely stay for quite sometime, and “overtake” other curtain designs as the preferred curtain design of the future. The only reason why this design wouldn’t be adopted would probably be a surprise to some. I would say in most of my work, this limitation is due to the pelmet design that does not have the proper space allowance for the pleats to gather.   In all likelihood, the space available is only for a single layer of wave pleat and not a double layer of wave pleat. 

It is notable that wave pleats can come in smaller or less depth wave as well as deeper folds of wave pleat. The latter requires additional fabric for construction and has greater visual appeal than the ones with lesser depth.

Some users may appreciate that certain installations of wave pleat designs do not use hooks, rather, they are attached to the tracks simply by way of buttons that snap right in.  


However, there are still wave pleat designs that utilize a single pin hook to keep this installation in place, depending on the type of track that is used.

  • There is, however, another curtain design which is the eyelet curtain or also known as grommet type curtain which probably originated the idea of wave pleated curtains. The eyelet curtain is threaded through a rod whereas the wave pleated curtains are hung onto a continuous track which normally enables the user to open the curtains wider than 6 ft. 
  • The rod option using the eyelet or grommet curtains necessitates the rod bracket interval to support the rod weight at approximately every 3 – 4 ft gaps. This blocks a continuous flow of the curtains, and inevitably allows a light gap that cannot be avoided unless a velcro option is used to snub out the gap. Even this may never totally eradicate the light gap, and possibly creating unnecessary nuisance to the user. So, do recommend with caution if the user specifies total darkness for the room. The additional considerations of weight and width capacity and space requirement for on the wall installations for eyelet curtains are other key weaknesses for using eyelet curtains on rods.

How about taking a look at Wave Pleat curtains vs Eyelet Curtains?

Key Features of Wave Pleat (Ripple Fold) Curtains:

1.    Hanging Mechanism:

  • Unlike traditional eyelet curtains that are hung on a rod through metal rings, wave pleat curtains are hung on tracks. This allows for a smoother and more uniform wave pattern.
  • The tracks can be ceiling-mounted or wall-mounted, providing a flexible installation option depending on your space requirements.
  • Traditional eyelet curtains require on wall installation using metal or wooden rods, which normally has limitation of up to 14ft max due to minimum brackets assigned for optimum rod use.
  • Limitation Danger Alert: Wave pleat curtains can be installed on wall or under the ceiling pelmet. Present track limits do not allow too heavy fabrics to be hung with double layers if installed on to the wall. This is because wall brackets have limitation on weight support. This may be particularly true if you do not utilize the highest wave track quality for the curtains – especially if due to budget constraints.
  • Pelmet Limitation Alert: Most designers overlook the most important part of the wave pleat curtains – the space requirement to install inside the recess of the pelmet. The minimum requirement for a double layer of wave pleat curtains may range between 11 inches – 14 inches to allow for comfortable movement of the two layer of fabrics. 

Collection / Flannel

2.    Appearance:

  • The curtains create a consistent wave effect from top to bottom, providing a tailored and contemporary look. A word of caution to note is that not every fabric can yield a consistent straight pleat from top to bottom. Normally, a medium weight fabric such as Acacia Fabrics® Vesta wide-width Dim Out may be a good pick for this contemporary design. Very high length curtains may need additional sewing support at the header in order to give a better wave look. Acacia Fabrics® has a team of experienced curtain specialists and curtain designers who can work with you on your project that needs to pay attention to this feature and more.

  • This wave pleat design ensures that the curtains hang evenly and stack back neatly when opened.
  • Additional caution to note: Our past experience has taught us to give additional width allowance to your wave pleat curtains so that fabric joints can be hidden safely for a continuous look. Once again, a curtain specialist should be roped in to ensure a successful implementation.


Collection / Starlight

3.    Fabric Choices:

  • A wide range of fabrics can be used, from light sheers to heavy drapes, making them versatile for different rooms and design preferences.
  • The fabric's fullness and wave depth can be adjusted according to personal taste and the desired effect.
  • It is good to note that Acacia Fabrics® have lovely curtain fabrics that can bring out the best in your wave pleat designs. Just to name a few – from our Fabric Library® Label – Sleepover FLE (blackout – 100%), and indeed one of our best sellers for the budget-wise. For sheers in this category is Harley. Other fabrics are Acacia® Blue Label- Vesta (Wide Width Dim Out), Night Owl (Dim Out), Provence (Drapery/Multipurpose), Acacia® Wide Width - Traverse (light/medium drapery), Upland (Sheers/Day Curtain), Acacia® Prestige Label - Chamonix (velvet drapery/ upholstery/ multipurpose), Opera (velvet), Lucent (Day curtains/sheers), Derain (Drapery), Gauguin (Drapery) and more. For more collections that can yield the look your project requires, do contact Acacia Fabrics® for more information.

4.    Functionality:

  • Wave pleat curtains glide smoothly along the tracks, making them easy to open and close. Weight considerations and the right tracks are essential to ensure the smoothness of opening and closure. It is great to note that one of our track partners, Toso® has just launched their latest “Toso® wave-click” that holds the wave pleated curtains in place.
  • Track Expert Insight: Mr Liu, Managing Director of Toso® tracks in Malaysia and Singapore, says, “Wave pleats currently do have a tendency of gap in the middle opening. The latest Toso® wave-click track addresses this issue quite well and was recently introduced at Germany’s Messe Stuttgart’s R+T 2024 exhibition earlier this year. We are indeed happy to offer it in Malaysia and it is now available for orders in KL”. We are also happy to be a collaboration partner to Acacia Fabric’s new Acacia Gallery which will showcase this track to potential users, interior designers, architects, fit-out contractors and more.  “Toso® motorized options and smart home applications will also be available for users to explore as part of the Acacia Gallery experience,” adds Liu.
  • They are ideal for large windows or sliding glass doors because the track system can support wider spans without the need for multiple curtain panels.

5.    Aesthetic Flexibility:

  • The clean lines and modern look of wave pleat curtains make them suitable for both residential and commercial spaces.
  • They can be customized in terms of color, fabric type, and wave size to match various interior design styles.

Comparison with Eyelet Curtains:

• Installation

  • Eyelet curtains are installed using a curtain rod threaded through metal rings at the top of the curtain. This requires additional space at the top of the window or door space. Unless the rod is meant for decorative purposes, the gap introduced using this method allows light to filter into the room. 
  • Wave pleat curtains use a track system that can be more discreet and integrated into the ceiling or wall. The minimalist look add to a modern feel and removes the inconvenience of width limitation and difficulty in removing the curtains for cleaning or for change.


• Aesthetic:

  • Eyelet curtains offer a more casual and contemporary look with visible rings that add to the design for enhanced decorative feature.
  • Wave pleat curtains provide a more seamless and continuous wave effect that is often considered more modern and sophisticated.

• Movement:

  • Both types offer smooth movement, but wave pleat curtains tend to move more fluidly due to the track system, which reduces friction compared to rods.

• Cost Considerations:

  • Eyelet curtains can offer reduction of fabric usage, which sometimes is a considerable portion cost of the curtain. However, if pleats are reduced, the closed look is less appealing, i.e. yielding a more flattish look. However, if this is not of key importance, the quantity of fabric used can be reduced significantly. Only when the curtains are opened, the pleats can be more pronounced.  The fabric quantity for eyelet curtains can be more for the top fold to create the grommet header. However, the closing curtain width can be reduced to 1.2 times of the window width, as opposed to a minimum requirement of 2.5 times for a proper yield of lovely folds required. 
  • Wave pleated curtains on the other hand, cannot be reduced as the system of the pleat arrangement has been proportionally fixed. A rough gauge of the fabric quantity is around 2.5 times of the window width. And the panel fabric height must be calculated proportionately for fold allowance. 


Collection / Sensuous

Trends in 2024:

• Minimalist Designs:

  • Neutral colors and understated patterns are in vogue, emphasizing the wave pleat design's clean lines.
  • Sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics are becoming popular choices. Acacia Fabrics® has a wonderful range of GRS (Global Recycled Standard) fabrics with world-leading certifications ready for your project or residential home use. One of these fabrics are Acacia® Green Label – Kidglove (Multi-purpose, Drapery and Upholstery) range with 60% of recycled polyester content, and 40% polyester content that feels so soft and cottony, yet durable for up to 50,000 Martindale fabric rubs (cotton-duck comparison).

• Smart Home Integration:

  • Motorized tracks for wave pleat curtains are increasingly common, allowing for remote control and integration with smart home systems.
  • Reinforcement of pelmet note: Do remember to do good reinforcement otherwise the noise coming from the hollowness of the pelmet construction will be the highlight, instead of the curtains. Our curtains specialist will be able to advise for these reinforcement requirements.

• Layering:

  • Combining wave pleat curtains with sheer layers or blackout liners provides both aesthetic and functional benefits, such as enhanced privacy and light control. As discussed earlier, space allowance for a double layering requires more space than conventional curtain types. Interior designers and architects need to take note of this as part of the design allowance. As an additional note, proper reinforcement of plaster ceilings need to be considered for heavier loads as wave pleat curtains require more fabrics in their fabrication, hence the added weightage.


Collection / Solunar

Wave pleat curtains are a stylish and practical choice for modern interiors in 2024, offering versatility, ease of use, and a sleek appearance that complements various design aesthetics. Readers may consider this stylish and practical option for your next interior design project.  

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