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Formal interior with timber pelmets from which the curtains and swags are hung
External decorative pelmets fitted within a brick and stone window opening

A pelmet (also called a "cornice board") is a framework placed above a window, used to conceal curtain fixtures. These can be used decoratively (to hide the curtain rod) and help insulate the window by preventing convection currents.[1] It is similar in appearance to a valance, which performs the same function but is made of fabric. A pelmet can be made of plywood, and may be painted, or fabric covered.

Exterior timber pelmets are a feature of some historic buildings, fitted on the outside of a window. These may be plain or decorative, with complex fretwork in some examples. These may be purely decorative, or serve to conceal an external blind mechanism.

Due to the appearance of a pelmet, the term is often used to describe an extremely short skirt. Skirts of this brevity are however more clearly referred to as "greyhounds," a reference to dog-track racing days when greyhounds were only an inch or two away from the hare. [2]


  1. ^ "How Pelmets drop your heating bills dramatically". YourGreenDream. Archived from the original on March 19, 2018. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  2. ^ Arnold, Sue (20 March 1999). "There are worse things than a pelmet skirt". The Independent. Retrieved 13 October 2013.

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