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Drapery Width Explained

What is drapery width is one of the most frequent questions we are asked. Drapery width is a behind the scenes technical term used in the workroom for how much fabric is needed to start a drape or curtain fabrication. However, the term is often used by industry professional in conversations with their clients. We also use the term for ordering decorative drapes or panels in specific departments on our site.

Fabric is manufactured by the mills and the machinery used to make decorative fabric for drapes and home decor is primarily 54″ wide. So when we speak of a width of fabric, we are talking about 54″ wide. In making drapes, 8″ of the 54″ is needed for the hems on both sides, so we are left with 46″ of face fabric. Then in the fabrication of the drape, we use a minimum of 2 to 1 fullness to create the beautiful drape header. That simply means if you want a finished drapery panel to be 50″ wide, we will need 100″ of face fabric or two widths of fabric (54″ x 2 widths = 108″ less 8″ for hems = 100″).

Fortunately, you as the customer do not need to know the gory details of how the workroom determines the width and the math behind it. However, when you order decorative drapes on our site where we use width specifications, you should know what the finished product is going to look like. Below you will find the finished width measurement for common decorative sizes. We have also provided a chart to help you determine what width is right for your particular window.

Finished Drapery Width

1 Width Panel – the finished width of a single 1 width panel is approximately 20″ to 27″ wide. The width of two panels (pair) is approximately 40″ to 54″ wide.

1-1/2 Width Panel – the finished width of a single 1-1/2 width panel is approximately 25″ to 40″ wide. The width of two panels (pair) is approximately 50″ to 80″ wide.

2 Width Panel – the finished width of a single 2 width panel is approximately 36″ to 54″ wide. The width of two panels (pair) is approximately 72″ to 108″ wide.

Window Size Recommendations
Below is a general guideline for ordering the right drapery width for your window sizes. If your window is outside these measurements, stationary panels will still work, but you may want to call us to discuss your project.

Window Width Widths of Fabric
28″-48″ 1 Width/Panel
49″-72″ 1.5 Widths/Panel
73″-98″ 2 Widths/Panel


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