When it comes to choosing a curtain pole there are lots of things to consider when making your final decision. You will need to choose a curtain pole that not only does the job you need it, but that also matches your colour scheme or decor and the style of the window or period style of the house. And even though your choice of curtain pole may initially be influenced mainly by its colour or finish, the most stylish and eye catching part of any curtain pole is undoubtedly its finial. So what is a finial? A finial is a decorative trimming which caps the unfinished end of a curtain pole.
The purpose of finials
It would be an easy mistake to make to think that finials are solely for decoration on a curtain pole, but they do play an important part on curtain poles that are going to be used with working curtains. The finials not only act as a decorative end piece to the curtain pole but also as an end stop. Once they are securely attached to each end of the curtain pole, they create a secure space between the finial and the end brackets of the curtain pole where the first and last curtain pole rings sit.
The finial stops the curtain ring from falling off the end of the curtain pole and the bracket stops it from sliding any further along the curtain pole when the curtains are pulled into the closed position, so that the outer edge of the curtain doesn’t move. As well as doing this important job, Finials are the part of a curtain pole that give it its style or specific look.
For example very simplistic and slim, metal finials on a metal curtain pole would look very modern and minimalistic, whereas a beautifully turned and profiled wooden urn shape on the end of a robust and chunky, wooden, curtain pole would look lavishly regal, opulent or even ostentatious. More modern materials like twisted, beaded wire, crackled or blown glass and leather or stone are also popular these days for decorative finials and serve to create a more glitzy, glamorous or arty style.
One final consideration to make when choosing your style of finial, is what type of curtain heading you are going to use with your curtain pole. As a general rule of thumb, curtain headings that will be attached to the curtain pole with curtain hooks (for example, any gathered- taped headings, pinch pleat heading or goblet pleat heading), can be used with any style or size of finial.
As long as the finial is substantial enough to keep the last curtain ring in place on the end of the curtain pole, there is little limitation in your choice of shape, style or size of finial. If however, your curtains have an eyelet heading (metal rings stamped into the top of the curtain, sometimes called grommet or ring-top) or fabric tab-tops (straps of fabric made into loops at the top of the curtain) then you will need to think about whether or not the finial is big enough in diameter to prevent the first eyelet ring or fabric tab from falling off the end of the pole. Neither of these headings requires the use of curtain rings or curtain hooks as they thread directly onto the pole.
With these two curtain headings, the first and last eyelet or tab sits in the secure space between the finial and the end bracket, to anchor the back edge of the curtain. If the diameter of your chosen finial is smaller than the diameter of the first eyelet ring or tap then it is likely that that they will pass over the finial quite easily and slip off the end of the pole. This will not only look untidy (not to mention be a little annoying) but will mean that the outer edge of the curtain is not anchored at the end of the curtain pole and will move along the curtain pole when the curtains are pulled into the closed position.
So, when it comes to choosing the perfect finial to complement your new curtain pole, go for taste and style first but give some thought to whether or not that final is practical for the type of curtain heading you are using. The same consideration applies too if you already have your curtain pole and finials but are looking to buy new curtains. The style and size of finial that you have will affect the type of curtain heading that you choose.