"La tenda"

Is this term used in Italian to describe both "curtain" and "drapery"? I'm a little confused, because in my language (Romanian), there are two separates words, with different meanings - "perdea" for "curtain" and "draperie" for "drapery".

Thank you in advance.

December 21, 2018

  • 1064

Ciao Cristina, they have a different meaning in Italian:

  • tenda -> it can mean curtain for windows, theatre curtain, camping tent ect; also you say tenda/tendone speaking of a pavilion, circus tents...

  • drappeggio -> it comes from drappo i.e. fine cloth for clothes/decor of the house ect. and drappeggiare, to drape, and it is a broader concept. It indicates a cloth, or better an artistic decoration with pleats made using a cloth and generally placed on the wall, on a table, on a window, on an altar ect but it can also be a decorative motif of curtain for windows or dresses. So, drapery in English.

Then, tenda can properly be defined as a type of drappo to obscure the windows and can be decorated with a drappeggio, you say tenda a drappeggio.

Tenda means "curtain" and "tent".
Depending on how a drapery is used, it could be called tenda if it shades a window, or divides a common space into two parts. Otherwise it can take different names:




telo, panno, drappo (cognate)


I'm, somehow, still confused :( What's the Italian word for Romanian "perdea"?

In un'intervista Kusturica usa il termine perdea per indicare il sipario.
Sipario = Tenda usata in teatro per separare il palcoscenico dalla sala del teatro, viene aperta e chiusa all'inizio e alla fine dello spettacolo o per separare le varie scene.
Ma ... dalle immagini che hai postato penso che tu con perdea ti riferisca alla tenda, non al sipario. :-D

I Googled the word with Google Images and what I see is definitely tenda.
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Cristina rereading I understand why you are confused, there is a problem at the origin of your discussion English, when using (only) the plural form of drapery , i.e. draperies, you could also mean a long curtain, read here, so only in this specific case you could translate it with tenda in italian, or even better tendaggio because it's a more general word just like draperies; but speaking of the singular form drapery, as you wrote above, is excluded.

Considering now only italian, the difference is more marked between the two words tenda and drappeggio/i, because the first one is a cloth to obscure the windows (which can also have a drappeggio, pleats), the second one is a cloth to decorate anything in a house, also a window/curtain ,as I already wrote, read here if you're referring to that decorative cloth saying "tenda", it can be only in a casual way, not so precise. And, as for romanian, in according to what you and Civis wrote, there is a difference like in italian. Then tenda is equal to perdea. I also read this.

Ok, changing the discourse, I wish you buon Natale, crăciun fericit...I wish you all, Civis, Linda, MtItalia buon Natale. Bye

Grazie a tutti! Buon natale e felice anno nuovo!

Grazie Cristina! Grazie Emy!
Vi auguro un sereno e felice Natale!

Some comments explain some words well, e.g. the difference between tenda and drappeggio.

But now the possibilities seem to be multiplying. So could someone please comment on the following list?

la tenda, la tendina, tendaggio, sipario, cortina, drappeggio, panneggio.

Would there be a name distinction between a small sleeping tent and a circus tent? Particularly, since I am a musician, I want to be clear about stage curtain.

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