Measure for Curtains Without Mistakes
There is a lot of confusion on how to measure for curtains. It’s not that difficult if you follow some very simple instructions. We decided to cover this subject again after visiting a local country club to see how their renovation turned out. We are working on a different country club project and this was just a field trip. The club was beautifully decorated and very impressive. However, we noticed right away how awful the curtains turned out. Not the curtains themselves, but the measuring and installation. Take a look at the image below. Can you spot what they did wrong?
If you see it, then you either know how to measure for curtains or read our measuring guidelines. If you didn’t spot it, then here is the answer. Look at the rod in relation to the top part of the window molding. The rod is below the molding. This is a GIANT mistake. The rod needs to be above the window casing. As a minimum, we recommend 4”, but you can go higher in the right circumstances. Can you believe this was done by a professional? The same mistake was done on all the windows with drapes throughout the club. This is one of the worst mistakes you can make. There is no way to fix this. You can’t make the drapes longer nor can you have your drapes 6” short from the floor. They either have to be totally remade or you live with it. In this case, the remake would have cost several thousand dollars. They decided to live with it.
If you make your drapes too long, you have options. You can puddle the drape on the floor. This is done all the time with high-end silk drapes. It is very elegant. Your other option is to shorten the length. Yes, just like a long pair of pants, you can get them hemmed. It’s no big deal. Long – you have options. Short – unpleasant options.
Measuring for curtains is not that scary if you follow simple guidelines. Make sure you go 4” higher than the window molding (casing) and 4” out on each side of the casing. You can find a lot more information by clicking here.
What is a Drape Return?
With many drape style, you will have the option for a drape return. When you do, we highly recommend that you include the standard 4″ return. Returns can be made longer as well. You would need a longer return if you are using a 6″ extended bracket. Then you would need a 6″ return.
The drape return gives a nice finished look on the site of the drape and covers the drapery bracket. Drape returns are most common on pleated drape styles. Several drape styles do not have a return. They are: Grommet, Rod Pocket, Flat Panel, Sculpted Tab and Tab Top.
A Drapery Pin is “hook” that is added to the back side of your drapes for hanging on drapery hardware. You will see in the video that the pins can be moved up and down to fine tune the adjustment. When you order your drapes, it is important to let us know what type of drapery hardware you are going to be using. The options are: decorative hardware, standard traverse rod, decorative traverse rod, ceiling mount hardware, cafe rod. We use industry standards to set the pins from the top of the drape header depending on the specific drapery hardware you are using. For example, the pins are set in a different position for a traverse rod versus a decorative rod.
Remember the pins are movable and you should not worry if you have to do some small adjusting when hanging the drapes.
Grommet Top Curtains
Grommet Top Curtains
are one of our favorite header style for curtains. If you haven’t seen Grommet Top Curtains up close, we will explain how they are made and what makes them so popular.
The fabric is hemmed on the sides and bottom to give them a very nice professional finish. The drapery lining is sewn into the hems as well. We never make curtains without drapery lining and you should never ever buy them that way. The fabric simply will not stand up to the damaging UV rays over time. People tell us all the time that there is no direct sunlight, but the damage will still occur. Also, unlined curtains look cheap and don’t “hang” very well.
The Grommet Top Curtain header is where the functionality and beauty of this product is created. A stiff material called Buckram is sewn into the header. This gives the header a stiff yet flexible material so the header maintains it shape and also supports the grommets.
Grommets are made from metal. They come is different sizes, shapes and finishes. The most common is the round 1-9/16″ inside diameter grommet. The inside diameter is the most important measurement to note. The rod you select cannot exceed 1-3/8″ in diameter. The difference in size will allow you to easily slide the grommets over the rod without any trouble.
Because the the Grommet Top Curtains popularity, grommet manufactures have added larger sizes to the line. There is now a a 2-1/2″ grommet that will work on a rod that is 2″ in diameter. In addition to round grommets, they now come in square shapes as well.
One last point on Grommet Top Curtains. There are several grommet finishes you can get select. They range from black to antique bronze and everything in between. The first and most important decision is what color finish works best with my room decor? If you are modern, then a satin nickel might work best for you. Remember, it is highly recommended that you match your grommet finish to your rod, finials and brackets so it looks like you hired a professional.
One of the most asked questions we get is what kind of window treatments for french doors should I use? French doors are one of the easiest windows to dress and most often we use simple drapery curtains on rings as side panels and you can layer the look with a fabric roman shade. If you have the space above the door to put a roman shade or even a bamboo shade, it will give the window a more finished look.
In this picture to the left, we are showing you how elegant a very simple custom window treatment looks on an ordinary french door. A simple rod across the top and two drapery panels will give you a custom look and the price is not completely outrageous.
Window Treatments for French Doors
You can find a variety of fabrics online at www.fabricworkroom.com. I like the texture in this drapery fabric as it is a linen blend. The flat roman shade is more textured fabric to give contrast. The drapes are simple ring top panel in 2 widths of fabric.
Based on how much light you want to come in or how much privacy you would like, you can either make your panels 1 width wide each which will be approximately 50″ wide flat or you can have them made in 1.5 widths of fabric which will make them 72″ wide when they are flat. Remember that they will pleat down to 1/2 of that which measurement. Just think of it like this. One width of fabric which is 50″ wide will cover about 25″ of space. Generally on window treatments for french doors we will have them made in 1.5 width of fabric so it covers about 36″ of the side of the door. This is a very nice custom look. If you need to pull them shut completely, 1.5 or 2 widths per panel is the best. In general French doors are about 78″ wide but you would have to measure to see what size your actual french door is.
We offer free design help and measuring tips at www.fabricworkroom.com or you can call 8800.377-9182 or live chat.