Frequently Asked Questions

This list includes answers to questions that customers often ask about Castec products and services. The list is broken down into categories as follows:


If you do not find the information you need, call the Castec Sales Services Department at 800.828.2500.

General Questions

» Does Castec offer motorization?

Castec has offered motorization for almost 25 years.

We motorize our CFT Roman shades, Simple Solar Solutions shades, and Natural Woven Shades. We offer many motorization options, including individual and group controls, radio and infrared remote controls, battery-operated motors, and AC and DC motors. We also offer Lutron QED systems. For more information, call 800.828.2500.

» How do I make a template?

For Trackstar shades:

Refer to How to Make a Trackstar Template.

For arch-top windows:

Making a template for arch-top windows is similar to making a template for a Trackstar shade. Follow the instructions in How to Make a Trackstar Template. Make sure you extend the template beyond the curve of the window so we know where the curve ends.

For bay windows:

Again, use the instructions in How to Make a Trackstar Template as reference. You can trace from the floor rather than the ceiling; however, if there is molding, you must measure the thickness of the molding also, and take that into account in your calculations.

» How can I best manage my customers’ expectations?

Tell your customers in advance what they can expect from their window treatments, the fabrics they have chosen, our service, and so on, so that their expectations will be realistic. For example, natural fabrics such as silk do have flaws and it helps if customers expect that.

Learn as much as possible about window treatments and fabrics, and become familiar with Castec standards and construction methods.

» What are your policies regarding credit terms?

Credit terms are extended on a case-by-case basis, based on completion of the credit application section of the Customer Application Form. We consider such factors as trade references, years in business, and credit report.

» What are your policies regarding order changes or cancellations?

All Castec products are custom manufactured to your exact specifications. As such, once an order has been cut, it cannot be returned or refunded.

If a change is needed, consult with your Account Manager to see if the change is possible. If it is not too late to make the change, we will accommodate it. However, the request for change must be provided to Castec in writing. We cannot accept any verbal instructions.

» What are your policies regarding rush orders?

Please consult your Castec Account Manager to outline your specific requirements. Castec will review all requests on a case-by-case basis and determine what can be done to expedite your order.

» What are your policies regarding freight damages?

When you receive a Castec shipment, inspect the package for any visible damage. If the package is damaged, please do the following:

  1. Acknowledge the damage on the shipping documentation (also called a “bill of lading”).
  2. Do not remove the product from its original packaging.

    Note: If possible, take a digital photo of the damaged carton to send to us.
  3. Contact your Castec Account Manager within five business days to report the damage. He or she will determine how to move forward.

    Note: Castec reserves the right to determine whether rework or remake is the most appropriate resolution.
  4. In some cases, inspection of the damaged goods might be required. Please retain the damaged goods until the claim is settled. You might be required to send the goods back to Castec.

If the packaging is intact and undamaged, but you open the package to find that the product itself is damaged, please contact your Castec Account Manager to determine the next steps.

» What are your policies regarding returns, repairs, and remakes?

Products in the Custom Fabric Treatments program are guaranteed to be free of fabrication and materials defects for the life of the product, provided that the product is properly installed and is owned by the original purchaser at the time of the claim.

However, sometimes an order does not come out quite as expected or as it should have.

If Castec makes an error on a product, that error is corrected in accordance with Castec’s warranty. If a product mishap is based on dealer or consumer error, there is also standard procedure for correcting these errors.

Each case must be reviewed with your Castec Account Manager, who will determine whether the product should be repaired and made as new, or if it will need to be remade completely.

Note: Castec reserves the right to determine whether rework or remake is the most appropriate resolution.

If the product is to be returned, your Account Manager will send you a Returned Goods Authorization (RGA) form.

It is very important that you do not return any product to Castec without including a Returned Goods Authorization (RGA) form in the package and displaying the RGA number on the outside of the box.

» How do I return a product to Castec?

Follow the procedure given above for handling repairs or remakes.

We would like to emphasize that, regardless of the circumstances, it is very important that you do not return any product to Castec without including a Returned Goods Authorization (RGA) form in the package and displaying the RGA number on the outside of the box. This will help us to respond to and resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

» What are your policies regarding verbal orders?

We do not accept verbal orders. Accepting a verbal instruction leaves the order open to misunderstanding. Instructions must be received in writing by mail, fax, or e-mail.

It sometimes happens that a customer is out of the office when a change or clarification to an order is discussed. In this type of situation, a Castec Account Manager might write up the change and fax it to the customer for a signature. However, we cannot put the order into work until we receive back the signed approval.

» What is the warranty on Castec products?

Products in the Custom Fabric Treatments program are guaranteed to be free of fabrication and materials defects for the life of the product, provided that the product is properly installed and is owned by the original purchaser at the time of the claim.

This warranty is limited to rework or replacement only, and the factory retains the right to determine how a fabrication defect will be corrected. Replacements will be made to the original specifications only.

This warranty does not include conditions or damage resulting from normal wear and tear, sun damage, misuse or abuse, improper installation, reinstallation, or damage to fabrics caused by the use of cleaning solutions or applied chemicals. Nor does the warranty include collateral costs such as installation and shipping.

If you should have a problem with a product, contact your Castec Account Manager with a description of the problem, proof of purchase, and a request for a Return Authorization. No merchandise return will be accepted without a Return Authorization. Once the fabrication or material defect has been verified, the product will be repaired and re-shipped as soon as possible.

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Fabric Questions

» What types and colors of lining do you offer?

We offer the types of lining listed below, in white or ivory.

Castec Standard Lining

Castec’s standard lining is a blend of polyester and cotton. It is 54" wide.

Thermal Lining

Thermal lining is thicker than standard lining, and provides better insulation. At Castec, our thermal lining is a blend of polyester and cotton with a layer of acrylic latex foam, topped with flocked cotton with a sueded finish. It is heavier than standard lining.

Castec’s thermal lining is 54" wide.

Blackout Lining

Blackout lining is a special opaque fabric designed to stop light transmission through the treatment. It also has insulating qualities. At Castec, our standard blackout lining is a cotton/polyester fabric with a special finish. The blackout finish is three layers of acrylic foam and a final flocked layer that gives the fabric a soft sueded feel.

Castec’s blackout lining is 54" wide.


Interlining is a layer of flannel fabric sewn in between the face fabric and the standard lining. Interlining provides insulation and also adds a luxurious weight and softness, improves the drape of the fabric, and protects fragile fabrics. It is a popular choice with silk draperies.

Castec’s interlining is 54" wide, and is available in white or ivory.

The Custom Fabric Treatments program includes pricing for interlining in combination with Castec’s standard lining. Interlining can also be combined with blackout lining, although we do not recommend it. For pricing and additional information, call your Castec Account Manager.

» Which fabrics are considered “difficult,” and why?

Some fabrics are difficult to work with for certain treatment types or styles. There are many reasons for this—for example, the nature of the fiber itself, the weave, the print, or other properties such as the fabric thickness or nap.

The following fabrics are considered difficult: sheers, laces, plaids, geometric prints, horizontal stripes, heavy upholstery fabric, bonded or coated fabrics, imitation leather, felt, and loosely woven fabrics.

Whether or not a fabric is classified as difficult sometimes depends on the style for which it is being used. For example, lace is considered difficult fabric in a 103-Balboa structured Roman shade but not for a 201-Coronado balloon shade.

For information on a specific fabric and the treatments for which it is (or is not) recommended, consult the Fabric Codes on the swatch label. A full explanation of the meaning of the fabric codes is on the inside front cover of your Castec swatch book.

» How do I read a yardage chart?

Before figuring the yardage for a treatment, you must know the width of the fabric being used. Our Roman shade yardage charts provide figures for fabric 48" or 54" wide. Yardage charts for valances and draperies are based on 54" fabric.

You must also know the dimensions of the treatment.

Follow the instructions in the Custom Fabric Treatments Pricing & Ordering Guide (June 2006 edition):

Note: If your fabric is patterned, remember to add the applicable number of pattern repeats.

» How do I clean/maintain the product I ordered?

Follow the instructions given below for the fabric/type of treatment.

Roman shades, draperies, valances, and pillows

Treatments may be dusted or lightly vacuumed with an upholstery attachment for everyday maintenance. If heavy cleaning is necessary, please consult a professional drapery cleaner.

Rollstar and other Simple Solar Solutions products

Castec solar shading fabrics require a minimum of maintenance. Clean fabrics by using any of the following methods:

» How do I order fabric swatches or marketing materials?

To order swatches or marketing materials, call the Castec Sales Services Department at 800.828.2500, or e-mail your Account Manager.

» How do I know if a fabric is suitable for the product being ordered?

Check the fabric codes on the swatch label, and consult the Fabric Guide to determine whether a specific fabric is suitable for a treatment style. If you still have questions, your Account Manager might be able to provide additional information. However, the final responsibility for fabric/style choice is yours. If in doubt about whether a specific fabric will work, choose a fabric that you know will work.

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Rollstar Shades

» On my Rollstar order form, what does “tight opening” mean?

The tight opening is simply the width of the window opening.

If a Rollstar shade is made the same width as the window opening, the shade will not fit in the opening. Because of this, we deduct 1/8" from the tight opening for shades up to 120", and 1/4" for shades over 120", to arrive at the shade width. This clearance ensures that the shade fits within the window opening and can be moved up and down without interference.

For Roman shades the tight opening deduction for clearance is 3/8". It is important to use the correct value for the type of treatment being ordered.

Some customers know about this deduction, and already subtract it on the order form to calculate the shade width. However, we need to know if the customer has already made the deduction or expects us to take it. To be sure there is no misunderstanding, we ask for the tight opening measurement on the order form.

» What is the tip to tip?

For roll shades, the tip to tip is the measurement from the outside of one bracket to the outside of the opposite bracket.

For inside mount, it is the tight opening minus a small allowance for clearance.

The formula is:

For Rollstar shades up to and including 120": Tight Opening – 1/8" = Tip to Tip

For Rollstar shades above 120": Tight Opening – 1/4" = Tip to Tip

» What is the cloth width?

The cloth width is the width of the area you want the actual cloth of the roll shade to cover.

For an inside mount roll shade, it is important to remember that the cloth width must always be less than the width of the window opening. You must allow enough room on either side of the cloth to accommodate the shade hardware, such as brackets or cassette. The hardware always extends past the cloth.

The additional space on either side also allows the shade to be raised and lowered smoothly without rubbing against the sides of the window opening.

» When do I need to indicate a measurement on the cloth width?

If your Rollstar shade is outside mount, and you want the shade cloth to be an exact width, indicate this measurement in the Cloth Width box. We will add the allowances for brackets to arrive at the Tip to Tip Width; if fascia or headbox is indicated in the Valance Type box, we will also add the appropriate allowance to arrive at the Overall Width.

» On the Rollstar Order Form, what is the end cap? Do I always need to mark this column?

End caps finish off the fascia or headbox, covering the hardware at the ends.

Some types of fascias and headboxes have optional end caps that cover the ends of the brackets:

If you are ordering one of these top treatments, mark the boxes if you want left and right end caps.

» What are the various finishes for Rollstar fascias and headboxes?

We offer fascias and headboxes in Mill Finish (a metallic finish with a brushed, dull look). Because it has no coating, it is easier to paint.

In addition, most fascias and headboxes are available in these colors/finishes:

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Natural Woven Shades

» On an outside mount shade with valance, why is the valance wider that the actual shade?

On an outside mount shade with valance, we provide returns on the sides of the valance, made out of the same fabric as the shade and valance. The returns conceal the sides of the hardware and give the shade a finished look. Returns are not necessary on an inside mount shade. We have to allow some extra width for the valance returns.

We also have to allow some space for clearance between the shade and the valance so the shade can be raised and lowered smoothly without hitting the valance.

Because of these factors, we make the valance slightly wider than the shade. The actual allowance varies according to the fabric used.

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Roman Shades

» What is a top-down shade?

With a top-down shade, when the shade is open, the fabric stacks at the bottom of the window opening rather than at the top. A partially open top-down shade allows light through the upper part of the window. This style is popular in situations where privacy is an issue.

» What is a Top-Down/Bottom-Up shade?

With a top-down/bottom-up shade, the shade cloth can stack (fold up) either at the top as standard shades do, at the bottom as top-down shades do, or at any point in between. This is a very versatile design.

A standard top-down/bottom-up shade requires two lifting systems:

Note: a 3½" minimum headrail size is required.

We highly recommend a valance to cover the lifting system hardware. However, a valance may not be necessary if the shade is being mounted behind a soffit or other architectural structure.

This type of shade is also known as a “floating” shade.

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» I have the Area to Cover. How do I calculate the Pleat-To (Finished Width)?

Refer to Drapery Measuring Instructions for definitions of general drapery terms and instructions for calculating the Pleat-To.

This information is also in the Custom Fabric Treatments Pricing & Ordering Guide, in the Drapery Panels section.

» How do I calculate the number of widths for my draperies?

First, calculate the Pleat-To as explained in the Drapery Measuring Instructions.

Next, decide on the fullness for the draperies. 250% is a popular fullness for pleated draperies in regular fabric, and 300% or even more is popular for sheers. For drapery panels that do not have sewn-in pleats, such as the Tab Top Panel and Rod Pocket Panel, 200% is popular. Consult the Fullness Recommendation Table in your Ordering Guide.

Now, consult the correct Fullness Chart in your Ordering Guide. This chart will translate your Area to Cover value into the correct number of widths, depending on whether your order is for a panel or a pair.

Once you have that, you can easily pick up the price from the pricing charts for the appropriate style, using the number of widths and the fabric height.

For full instructions on placing a drapery order, refer to the Custom Fabric Treatments Pricing & Ordering Guide.

» What is fan fold? What is seam fold? And what is the difference?

The way in which draperies are folded in the workroom, prior to shipping, affects the way they will look when they are hung. There are two ways draperies can be folded: fan fold and seam fold.

Fan Fold

Fan fold means that the draperies are folded at the pleats. If the draperies will be installed by a homeowner or an unskilled installer, this is the easier option; fan folded draperies are easier to hang. However, with fan folded draperies, the creases tend to be sharp.

There is a surcharge for fan folding draperies.

Seam Fold

At Castec, seam folded draperies are folded seam to seam, with the face fabric on the outside, and then folded in half vertically. Since drapery fabric is normally 54" wide, this often results in folded draperies approximately 27" across.

Seam fold is a popular option for draperies that do not need to be shipped. The folded draperies take up more space, but are less likely to arrive creased. The installer hangs the draperies and then folds the pleats on the job.

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Decorative Hardware

» What rod widths are available?

Madison wood collection: up to 144"

Estate iron collection: up to 168"

Amalfi iron collection: up to 108"

For more detailed information on our decorative hardware collection, refer to Hardware Specifications.

» What are the dimensions of the panel and valance rings?

Madison wood collection: Outside diameter is 2¾", inside diameter is 1¾".

Estate iron collection: Outside diameter is 3", inside diameter is 2½".

Amalfi iron collection: Outside diameter is 1 7/8", inside diameter is 1½".

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CFT Valances

» On the Valance Order Confirmation that you faxed to me, under Width, the form lists Finished and Face. What is the difference between these two things?

The face width is the width across the front of the valance, from one side to the other. It does not include the returns.

The finished width is the width of the finished valance, before it is installed, from one end to the other. It is the face width plus the returns.

On the Drapery Valance Order Form for valances by the width, the face width and return size are both listed. When you enter these values, make sure the face width plus the size of both returns equals the finished width.

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