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Sash Window Anatomy by Mighton Products

In order to do justice to your windows during any restoration or maintenance projects, you’ll need to be aware of the terminology of the different parts that make up a sash window. Our sash window anatomy tells you everything you need to know, so read on to discover the different components – from parting beads to sash cords. You’ll find it all explained below!

The sashes

Sash Windows have 2 panels, most often a top and a bottom sash, both moving vertically up and down.  When the windows are closed, the edge at the bottom is called the bottom ‘rail’, the two edges where both panels meet in the middle are called the ‘middle rails’, and the edge at the top of the window frame is called the ‘top rail’. The edges to the left and the right of each window are called the ‘sash styles’.

How do they move?

The string which you can sometimes see, or will sometimes be hidden within the structure, is attached to the lower sash – this is called the sash cord. The sash cord is attached to a weight (often steel or lead sash weights) within the frame of the window which runs up and down the side within the ‘channel’ behind the plaster. This cord feeds into the sash pulley at the top of the window frame.

The sash lifts will be hook type structures attached to the windows which simply make it easier to move the sashes up or down. The sash fastener will typically be placed atop the lower sash, and it fastens to the bottom of the upper sash when the windows are closed and the edges meet together.

Keeping the sashes in place

The structure of sash windows needs to house the sashes, and keep them in the correct position to effortlessly glide past each other. The front edge of the window frame, from an interior perspective, is called the ‘staff or stop bead’, and it’s a bit like the front edge of a groove, which the sashes sit behind. The ‘parting bead’, as the name suggests, sits between the two sashes to keep them apart from each other.

To view a video showing all of these different parts, and other helpful How To videos, visit our Knowledge Hub!