Decorative braids & trimmings, homewares & light pulls

History of the Curtain Tieback

History of the curtain tieback

Many of the ways we decorate or use our houses often go back much longer than we think, and curtain tiebacks or drapery holdbacks certainly go back a long way. 

The eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum was certainly bad news for those living there, but the super-heated gasses carbonised and froze everything in a moment of time, giving archaeologists a snapshot of life 2000 years ago. Amongst the items unearthed are the remains of 'Portieres' at Pompeii, which are curtains that cover doorways to stop drafts or keep the house cool. There are said to be fragments that could be hooks for tying the curtain back - early tiebacks or holdbacks!

Once glass was invented and used in glazing, people started to use woven fabrics in place of wooden shutters. In Europe in the 16th Century, people started to use simple holdbacks to pull the curtains out of the way when the weather was good.

Very soon people made their tiebacks more decorative to match the decoration of their homes. These are examples from the 18th Century with decorative tassels and an ormolou metal tieback from 1900 :


18th century decorative curtain holdbacks  ormolou metal curtain holdback from 1900


Today curtain tiebacks or holdbacks are practical ways to pull drapes away from the window, allowing more light to pass as well as design statements in their own right.

At New House Textiles we have always thought good tiebacks should never be annonymous, but subtle focal points in room design. Our ethos has always been quiet good taste that combines high quality materials with hand-crafted English design and manufacture. 

Our main business is fabrics and accessories for roller blinds, but many people have curtains or drapes in the same window as a simple roller blind. That's why we make our holdback designs similar in design and colour as our braids, decorative trimmings or blind pulls, so the window can have a complete look.  

Here are a few of our designs that are available today :


brown real leather luxury curtain tieback whitewashed wooden ball tiebacks

double cylinder wodden curtain tieback or holdback natural jute curtain tiebacks or holdbacks

punk-skunk soft woolly curtain tieback in pink leather ball drapery holdback

wooden pebble curtain holdback in natural wood bronze luxury drapery holdback

air twist crystal glass curtain holdback charleston classic curtain holdback


Our tiebacks are sold in high-end stores in London, California, Zurich and Berlin.  




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New House Textiles Ltd
How Caple Court, Hereford,
Herefordshire, HR1 4SX UK

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