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How to measure curtain width

Curtains can be confusing sometimes. Style, design, size, fabrics, and where to buy are the major things we need to consider when buying at any fabric shop. Somehow, not all curtains can be of the same size as our windows, it can be too long or short, or even narrower to be used for our individual window treatments. Nevertheless, we always have to be careful and think of the factors that would make the best possible drapes we decorate and let it flow in our rooms.

Curtain size is one of the most confusing things we need to take into consideration before purchasing any curtain. With the wrong size, your curtain might end up in a mess, or your newly purchased drape might go to waste. Even more, it's frustrating to go out again curtain shopping just because we forgot to measure our windows and got the wrong fabric size.

Yet, no need to frown; here are some tips you may want to take note of when measuring the right amount of curtain fabric specifically for your room!

When making the right decision on what curtain size to buy, one factor to consider is the fullness of the curtain. Your curtain must achieve fullness to be able to bring out the beauty in making your curtains more compact, even when it drapes full or half. The fullness of the curtain is measured by the size of the rod from where it is hanging from, and it should be of the same width as well. However, it still depends on your preference on how the fullness is; either full (x2) or ultra full (x3).

To be able to do this, have a measuring tape and measure the size of the rod, not the window panes. Rods usually exceed both panels of the window whereas if you only measure the window size from left to right, you might get a fabric that's shorter in width. Always follow the rod or pole length to match that of the curtain, or even a little bit longer. For example, if you have a pole that's 30cm long, buy 2 curtains that are 30cm long; in this case, you'll have 60cm width for both curtains that will be perfect to cover as a window treatment. 

It is recommended for homeowners to choose curtains that are twice the size of the curtain rod so it would hang compactly which can also prevent it from hanging flat. Curtains must have curves and waves as well while covering the window fully from side to side. Who would want a curtain that's inadequate for anyone's windows? Don't skimp on your curtain fabrics!

It's another story for those who want to buy their own fabrics and make their curtains. If it ever happens that you want to sew your curtains with pleats, here are our tips:

If you want to add more volume to your curtain fabrics than usual, having pleats can come to the rescue. Pleats are very much popular than ever before, as it makes a stylish start from the top, making your curtain look more elegant up until the end of your fabric. However, it is with utmost importance to remember that pleats should have extra width if you're buying just the fabric. If it happens that you do buy a piece of fabric with no additional width, your pleated curtains might look less and end up being a mess.

For starters, a standard pleated curtain must have 5 pleats per 54cm fabric. Meaning, a pleat should have at least 10.8cm or 11cm average space per pleat, or can have some extra centimetres depending on your preference. Yet again, a 54cm pleat is not the standard size for windows. Thus, you should also measure the width of the pole, not including the finials (where the pole length stops; usually the designed and curved sides before the end of the pole). If the pole is 110cm long, it must have a fabric twice as much the pole length, say 220 cm in width. For this, you must have a maximum of 20 pleats because again, a standard pleat is at least 11.8cm or 11cm long. The pole actually decides how much curtain fabric you should get before being sewn into pleats. 

The maths might be confusing for you but you can check with the Yorkshire Fabric Shop for pole length and desired pleats, and it will measure how much fabric you'll be needing to sew your own pleated curtains. It's going to be worth the effort in the end.

Before we even forget, for those wanting to buy fabrics and sew their own curtains, you also have to consider the right size of hems, both for the width and length. The standard curtain hem is about 7-10 inches long, depending on the curtain length that you opt to have. Hems are designed to furnish the sides of your curtains, as just cutting it will have fabric strands and can cause the entire curtain to ripple off. 

Moreover, it is recommended that hems should match the curtain size. That is, if you have shorter curtains, you can have hems that are not too big or just about 2cm to 5cm. For bigger curtains, the standard is 7cm to 10cm.


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Getting the right curtain might be confusing, more is sewing it on your own. Homeowners must always look at intangible factors to be able to hang their curtains beautifully, without a doubt. It should always be two times the size of the pole and must have a little extra to be able to accommodate hems and pleats. 

Curtains must not be skimmed when it comes to their fabric, as fabric alone gives the curtain more life. Furthermore, it's best to always look into details when buying curtains or just fabric alone, as certain factors that might be forgotten can also lessen its efficiency; both to its beauty and function. Always remember the tips to make your room more sophisticated, elegant, and fashionable on brighter days ahead. 


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