There is an element of Hospitality and Healthcare Drapery that is rather essential but often times overlooked. That item is the drapery baton. It is used in every single manual traversing treatment and there are more options than you may think. Often times batons are not specifically specified by designers and drapery manufacturing project managers often times have to go back to the purchasing agent and on the designer to formalize exactly what is expected. Therefore, we ask a lot of questions about batons and get asked quite a few as well. In light of all that we wanted to share some details in regards to baton so that it might be easier to specify exactly what is needed.
Let’s start with the fact that there are two types of baton connections; the way in which a baton is attached to the drapery and/or drapery hardware. First, we have the adaptor style, which is a baton that hangs in front of the drapery offering easy access to a guest in the room. Its construction utilizes a plastic stiffener and a connection with both the drapery and the master carrier, resulting in a reinforced draw. (If you are unclear of what these exact components are please see our Resource Card on Drapery Components.) Second, there is a Clip baton which, uses a small clip that attaches directly to the master carrier hanging behind the drape and therefore is often referred to as a hidden baton. Clip batons are not recommended for use with large treatments as they are not as stable as batons with adapters and therefore may cause difficulty in moving the drapery.
Whether you are specifying a clip baton or an adaptor baton the more aesthetic decision that you need to make is the material of said baton as well as what color will couple well with the drapery. Typical batons come in three different types: Fiberglass, Acrylic, and Decorative. Fiberglass batons are sturdier than acrylic and come in five standard color options (white, black, silver, brown & gold) but may also be ordered in custom colors. Acrylic batons are clear and great for designs that limit detractors from the drapery. Decorative batons are not typically stocked and will usually be custom order based upon specifications for a select project. They may be made in wood or metal and come in various shapes and sizes.
Finally, the size of a baton is a very important element and will always be verified by the drapery project manager in regards to site conditions. Batons come in various lengths (36”, 48”, 60”, 72” & 84”) but are always either 3/8” thick (fiberglass) or ½” thick (acrylic). Their length is determined by the mounting height of the drapery in a room and whether that room is ADA complaint. Typical batons are specified to hang 60” off the floor, while ADA batons should be no higher than 48” above the floor. If something differing from these ADA and typical standards is desired it should be explicitly specified. See our Resource Card on ADA Standards.
In certain situations, it may be desirable to not use drapery batons but rather venture into the cord drawn or motorized options. We’ve included a quick overview below just so you know about your options.
Cord Drawn is an alternative especially with tall and wide treatments. It is recommended that all operable treatments wider than 15’ and taller than 12’ utilize assistance to operate. Cord drawn hardware utilizes a unique pulley system allowing treatments to be drawn via pull cords. This is not an ADA compliant option.
Motorized drapery hardware is available in two different options: plug & play, or hardwired. Motorized drapery is more expensive, yet is a great alternative for large treatments or ADA compliance, and works in conjunction with building automation systems. (Take a peak at our Motorized Hardware Resource Card.)