What is a Valance?

what is a valance?

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As you evaluate your home decoration, window treatments like blinds, curtains, motorized shades, and draperies are what most families compare and consider. These all have advantages and disadvantages, but one will probably stand out as right for your home.

What is a Valance?

Before deciding if you should get a valance for any window treatment, you’ll need to know what a valance is. The short answer to the question “what is a valance?” is a decorative topper that cleverly disguises the hardware of draperies and blinds. Another advantage of a valance is that it adds a finished look and frame to the window whether it’s open or closed.

Some Valance History

Valances have also been called window top treatments. They were common in the Victorian era, especially with fabric matching the draperies. As blinds have become more common, valances have been used more with them. In fact, most blind companies offer matching valances. Thus, valances range from the basic to the glamorous.


Most valances are usually a piece of fabric that attaches to a metal or wood rod. The type of fabric could be a light weight cotton, silk, leather, or almost any type of material. For blinds it’s often more of a rigid box. It’s attached to the rod with brackets. As a result, valances come in different dimensions, but most are some type of rectangle.

There are numerous valance forms from balloon to swag & tail. For instance, with a balloon valance, a lightweight fabric is used to create a “ballooning” out appearance to it. A swag & tail has the shape of a sideways “C” with a tail of fabric coming down on each side. These are just a couple examples but numerous others exist.

If you want to discuss valences and how they can accentuate your home, don’t hesitate to contact our window treatment experts at Armand’s Drapery.