Swags, Cascades and Jabots

Swags are the most formal of the valance treatments.  An uneven number ofswags results in the best look, but in some cases it is necessary to use an even number.  In this case, the swags should overlap in the same direction or they can just meet each other and have jabots between them.  Swags on all windows in a room should be as equal in width as possible.  This can be achieved by extending some windows as in balancing drapery fullness. 

Swags look best with some kind of trim on the bottom, even if only a piping.  Preferred is a tassel, fringe or bullion trim.  The fabric is cut on the bias to allow the pleats to roll gently instead of breaking at the low point.  For this reason, careful consideration should be used in choosing a fabric for swags.  Directional patterns and stripes cannot be turned so they aren’t the most ideal fabrics for swags.  A good workroom will give careful consideration to your pattern when laying out the fabric for cutting, allowing the best part of the pattern to be centered on the swag.

​Cascades are the finishing touch to either end of your swag board, placed either over or under your end swag.  They can be long or short, but should never be exactly half the height of the window treatment – one third or two thirds is best. Cascades can come to the floor and replace side panels of drapery, but if they do this, the treatment should be scaled so they can be pleated wider at the top. Cascades should be lined with a contrasting fabric to create depth and add to the design.  Like swags, cascades look ideal with edge trim. 

​Jabots are short double cascades used between the drops of swags when theswags do not overlap or when they meet in corners.  They must be self-lined.