Concealed rods. The most familiar type is the adjustable white metal lock-seam rod, though other, more stylish choices in various metallic finishes are available -- and with those, you won't mind if some of the hardware is visible. With a standard lock-seam rod, you insert one piece into another, then snap the ends onto brackets that you affix to the wall or window frame. Single flat rods are made with projections (the distance they stick out from the bracket) ranging from about 11⁄4 to 6 inches. Those with deeper projections, allowing them to clear other treatments beneath them, are sometimes called valance rods. Double and triple rods accommodate layered treatments.
Other common concealed options are the sash rod, which holds sash or hourglass curtains neatly against French doors and casement windows, and the tension rod, which has a spring mechanism to keep the plastic- or rubber-tipped ends snugly within the window frame.
Yet another type is the wide-pocket rod, available in widths up to 41⁄2 inches. Inserting the rod into a heading on an abbreviated panel is a quick, easy way to make a shirred valance. An optional foam fascia that snaps onto the rod can be covered with fabric for an instant cornice. Special corner brackets allow you to use wide-pocket rods in bay windows.
Other concealed rods include flat types hinged to fit corner and bay windows, and custom-bent and flexible rods to follow curves on arched windows. Purely functional swing rods are also available.
These adjustable rods are used for draperies that open and close with a cord or a wand. The rod contains sliding holders, called carriers, into which you slip the drapery hooks. When the draperies are closed, the rod is hidden; when they are open, the rod is visible unless cloaked by a top treatment.
A two-way traverse rod, which moves the panels from the center to the ends and back, is standard. A one-way traverse rod, which moves only one panel in one direction, is used over sliding patio doors or where two windows meet at a corner. Custom traverse rods for bay or other odd-shaped windows can be special-ordered from drapery suppliers. On all types, you need a center support, which fits over the rod and screws into the wall, for rods wider than about 41⁄2 feet.
Decorative traverse rods work the same way as conventional types, but they're designed to be seen whether the treatment is open or closed. The draperies are attached to rings that slide on a concealed track. Many people prefer a decorative stationary rod and rings to which they attach curtain hooks or clips. The greater choices in stationary rods makes up for having to move the fabric panels by hand.