Using tiebacks correctly
Curtain tiebacks are used for holding drapes back from the window to allow more light in and to stop the curtains blowing around on a windy day. In addition to tucking the curtains out of the way when they are open, tiebacks are also an attractive window finishing.
Tiebacks made out of the same fabric as the curtains are usually bought with the curtains as part of a matching set. Tassel curtain tiebacks are made of threads braided into a rope with tassels on the end. They are usually available in a range of colors so that you can either match your curtains or pick a contrasting color.
Traditionally tiebacks are positioned two thirds of the way down the curtain so the hooks to hold the tieback in place are screwed about half way down the length of the wall. However you can have a curtain tieback around the center of the curtain or attached to the curtain rod, pulling the curtain back from about a third of the way down. You would need to use longer tiebacks to achieve this effect.
Ornamental wooden or metal tiebacks screw into the wall next to the window and the curtain can be tucked behind. Metal curtain tiebacks are available in different finishes such as brass, bronze or iron and finials are attached to the end for decoration. Wrought iron tiebacks have striking designs and are sculptured into detailed patterns. If the curtains are plain, you can get away with ornate, unusual tiebacks which are a feature in their own right. Finials can be attached the ends of plain metal tiebacks for decoration. These can be bought to match the finials on the end of the curtain pole.
Antique tiebacks from the Victorian age were designed like a door knob with a metal plate that screwed into the wall or window frame and a long pin with a flower (or other design) for the head made of glass or wood. These can still be found - unfortunately the condition they are in can always be a bit of a gamble, with many of them being damaged.
Modern reproductions are made in ornate styles taking their inspiration from 19th Century Venetian palaces and French chateaux.