Discover the Various Types of Roman Shades for Your Home Decor


Are you looking for a timeless window treatment that will never go out of style? Well, then, Roman shades are just what you need! They can be made from any curtain fabric of your choice and suit most styles and home interiors.

In this article, we will give you as much information about Roman shades as possible so that you can make an informed decision.

What is a Roman Shade?

What is a Roman Shade

Roman shades are window treatments designed to shade a room from the sun. Unlike other window coverings, they stack up in even-sized panels as you raise them.  When lowered, these shades create a smooth look. Generally, you use cords to raise and lower these shades. While they come in different solid colours, these shades also use fabrics bearing patterns that are revealed when closed.

What is unique about them is that you work with fabrics and other materials, like wood. The most common types of wood used in these shades are reed and bamboo. The best type of fabric for Roman shades are cotton, linen and silk. The answer to what type of fabric is apt for Roman shades also depends on the weight and structure of the fabric.

They are usually the focal point of a room and create an impression.

Why are They so Popular?

01. They can be Motorized

In a world where most things are automated and motorized, it would make sense that those that don’t offer convenience will be discarded eventually. The beauty of Roman shades is that their mechanism is simple enough to allow for motorization. With just the touch of a button, you can raise or lower the shades to suit your needs.

02. Can be used in Place of Full-length Drapes

Full Length Roman Shade

These shades are a great alternative if you have windows that don’t suit drapes, such as in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and other similar rooms.

03. Timeless Style

Using modern fabrics and materials makes these shades suitable for modern homes. You could make them “old-timey” by making them out of the appropriate materials. These shades have been in style for decades and will continue to stick around as they are tweaked to evolve.

04. Doesn’t Consume much Space

By nature, Roman shades are compact and don’t consume too much space or fabric. However, they are as good as regular curtains regarding performance.

05. The Choice between Blackout and Sheer Options

As these shades can be made of almost any fabric, you can customize them to suit your needs. For example, you can use opaque fabrics if you want a blackout effect or sheer fabrics to allow sunlight to filter into the room.

06. Goes well with Other Curtains

You can add dimension and texture to your room by pairing these shades with other curtains for a layered effect. You can pick contrasting colours for each window treatment to make it stand out, or you can make them complement each other by giving them a subtle colour theme.

When are they not the Best Choice for Your Home?

Roman shades fold like accordions and form a stack at the top of the window when open. It makes them a poor choice for floor-to-ceiling or long windows.

5 Major Types of Roman Shades

If you want to know what are the different types of Roman shades, types of Roman shade folds, roman shade types, types of Roman shades for windows here are five different types of Roman shades listed below:

01. Flat Fold

Flat Fold Roman Shade

Flat folds are one large piece of fabric without seams. They are perfect for attaining a sleek look or if the curtain material has a beautiful pattern you want to display. As the name suggests, flat fold Roman shades stay flat and seamless when lowered and take up limited space when raised.

02. Plain Fold

Plain Fold Roman Shade

These shades are similar to the flat fold. However, they have seams every few inches. As the plain fold is more durable, it is best suited for bedrooms and living rooms where draperies are frequently opened and closed. The seams in a plain fold shade add durability without adding bulk. They are thus a great addition to narrow windows.

If your curtain fabric is one solid colour, the seams will add texture and interest.

03. Hobbled or Soft Fold

Hobbled or Soft Fold Roman Shade

Hobbled folds come with loops of fabric that show even when they are completely lowered. They give a waterfall or soft ruffle effect. You can use soft fold shades on windows that need a bulkier look. You can also use them to plump up your existing window treatments.

These shades look beautiful on large windows and are perfect in rooms where you need to block out more light and heat, as they are fabric heavy.

04. European Fold

European Fold Roman Shade

These shades curve up when raised as the sides get pulled up. While they give off a relaxed vibe and a soft look, they are quite striking in a luxurious setting. Small stitches attaching the cord rings create this unique look of unsymmetrical folds. The initial pleats of the shades are made when they are raised for the first time and left for days to set.

By their nature, one of the best and decorative roman shades types are European fold shades. They should not be raised and lowered frequently.

05. Tulip Fold

Tulip Fold Roman Shade

Like the European fold, the tulip shade has a curve when raised, although it is more pronounced. This gorgeous look is achieved by carefully handcrafting inverted pleats along the shade’s head rail.

Much like the European fold shade, the tulip shade is decorative and should not be used frequently. It is an elegant statement piece and not a daily-use object.


Roman shades are a perfect and classier alternative to short curtains and door window curtains. So, don’t be afraid to switch up your draperies and give these timeless window treatments a chance. We promise that you won’t regret it!

Now that you know about different types of Roman shades, are you curious to make the right choice between window curtains, blinds and shades? If so, here are some suggestions from our blog to help you make the best decision:

Moreover, there are few points to note while choosing window treatments. Here’s to know them:

5+ Points to Choose the Right Window Treatments to Suit Your Home!

Image Courtesy: Image 2, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8

Author Bio

Andrea Noronha – Andrea Noronha is a content writer and editor with over 4 years of experience. Although she comes from a finance background, Andrea is passionate about blogging about interior design. Her other interests include travelling, baking, and digital marketing.

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