Measuring & Hanging Curtains

Terry Baskeyfield | Posted

Putting up curtains can be daunting. With so many things to take into consideration, it is perilously easy to make a time consuming and costly mistake. Successful window dressings start long before the fabric is chosen. Correct decisions have to be made at each and every step; a break in the chain could spell disaster. Should you choose pencil pleat or eyelet and what about lining? To help you properly measure and fit your curtains simply follow the simple guide below and your window dressing are sure to be the envy of the neighbourhood.

Curtain pole position

The first thing to do is correctly position your curtain pole. A properly placed pole should sit in the centre of the space between the top of the window or door frame and the ceiling so make sure you make adequate measurements. Ceilings and the tops of windows are not always 100% horizontal, when fitting the pole, line it up to the parallel lines of the ceiling and the window rather than the spirit level so that it looks correct to the eye.

The next step is to measure the curtain pole. Use a soft pencil to mark the wall the intended position of the track or pole and take measurements from this line. The track or pole is usually 10 - 15cm longer than the window on either side in order to allow the curtain to be pulled right back.

Adjusting your pole size

Unless have ready made curtains, you will need to cut them to size. The dimensions of the actual curtain will depend on quite a few variables. The width of the curtain will depend on whether you have pole or track. If you have a pole, simply measure from the first eyelet on either end or, if your have a track, measure the full length of the track. If you don't yet have a pole or a track, measure from the line drawn as recommended above.

Poles and tracks that fit inside the window recess will obviously need less curtain material than ones that sit outside of the recess. The length of your curtains depends on whether you intend them to stop at the level of the window sill or continue down to the floor. Whichever option you choose, remember to start your measurements from the metal curtain track or pole and not the top of the window recess.

Curtain lining considerations

Before hanging your now-perfectly-cut-to-size curtains you may want to consider including some form of lining fabric to make them much more effective when closed. Blackout lining completely blocks out all light. It also provides good heat and sound insulation. It will keep your room cool in the summer and retain the heat in the winter. Interlining bulks the curtains to provide a thicker and more insulating curtain, ideal for draughty windows and delicate fabrics. It's very effective for retaining heat and protecting against noise. Interlining is strongly recommended for silks to protect it.

Once your curtains are hung, you may want to finish them off with a heading to give them that professionally made look. There are lots of headings to choose from, including Tape, Fixed and Eyelet, all giving a different effect.

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