A majority of the time in the industry, designers and hotel owners are choosing between Ripplefold and Pinch Pleat drapery for their guestroom treatments. A majority of the time those same individuals are coming to us asking for the skinny on what is better for them, which can vary based upon a number of factors (cost, practicality, durability, hardware, style, etc.). Our answer is they both are and here is why…

These two pleat styles are the most common for a reason but they are different. The usual questions that we get are along the lines of… What exactly is the difference in them? Production wise? Price wise? Design wise? Since we receive this question so often, we’ve provided a quick list of each style and a simple pro-con list that may help in your decision.




A Ripplefold drape is a single continuous panel produced with snaps sewed into the top hem. The ‘pleat’ in this drape actually comes from the way the snaps connect with the hardware. As the ripplefold drape is snapped into the hardware it creates an undulating pattern. Price wise, ripplefold will be about 20% more expensive due to the hardware and installation cost.


  • Refined complex look
  • Middle ground pricing
  • A printed image on a fabric looks really good because it is produced flat


  • Drapery hangs below the hardware, therefore it is not concealed unless a top treatment is used
  • May take extra time adjusting the way the folds/pleats of the drapery lay
  • Its length cannot be adjusted at all once produced

Pinch Pleat

Pinch Pleat drapery also called French Pleat is the simplest pleat that we do and the most readily used across the hospitality industry. Created by gathering 3 folds of fabric every x amount of inches and tacking them together 4" from the top, this produces a small flare at the very top and a looser pleat running down the front. A drapery hook is placed behind each gathered pleat which hooks into the hardware. Pinch pleat tends to be the most popular choice because it is the least expensive option per foot.


  • Traditional look
  • The pin location can be adjusted (slightly lower or higher) upon installation
  • The drapery hangs in front of the hardware, hiding the drapery track


  • May not be considered an interesting or unique look, because it has become so common
  • If a fabric has a printed image, it will be distorted by the gathered pleats


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