How do I measure for ready made 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.

Top Tip: If you look at the product page of the ready made curtains you'd like to buy, then you should see a Size Calculator Button. If you click on this button, follow the instructions and enter your sizes then you will be given an accurate suggestion on what size to order.

Step 1: How to measure curtain width

All our ready made curtains are sold as pairs, and the sizes stated refer to the size of each curtain. For example, in a pair of curtains 46" wide x 54" length, there will be two curtains, each measuring 46" wide. To calculate the size of curtain you require, the total width of the curtains should be no less than one and a half the width of your window. To achieve a full and luxurious look, we recommend increasing the fullness to double the width of your window.

Track/Pole Width Recommended curtains width (each)
Up to 46" (122cm) 46 inches (117cm)*
46"-66" (122-168cm) 66 inches (168cm)*
66"-90" (168-220cm) 90 inches (228cm)*
90"-132" (220-335cm) 132 inches (335cm)*

Note: For the above sizes, we are advising that each panel should be the recommended size. So for a 46 inch wide pole you will need a pair of curtains, with each panel measuring 46 inches wide. That way the two panels combined will be double the pole width to give you the required fullness. For ease we sell all of our curtains in pairs, so in this instance you would just need to order a pair of curtains that are 46 inches wide. 

Measuring the width of your pole or track

So, you should now know how curtain sizes relates to pole or track width. The next step is correctly measuring your pole or track so that you can order the right curtains. Knowing how to measure for curtains can prove difficult as there are a number of techniques available for getting the right curtain measurements for your poles and tracks. Here we cover a variety of techniques which are applicable to both ready made and made to measure curtains.

Measuring The Width Of Curtain Poles

It is important to measure the correct rail width for curtain poles.
  1. Measure the full width of the pole between, but not including, the finials at each end of the pole.
  2. Add 2.5 -3 cm to the curtain measurements for ease and overlap.
Curtain pole

Measuring The Width Of Curtain Tracks

  1. Measure the full width of the track from end to end.
  2. If the aluminium curtain track is in two pieces which overlap in the centre; measure both tracks separately and add the two measurements together.
Curtain track

Step 2: How to measure curtain drop

Note: Before deciding on the drop (length) of your curtains, we recommend you fit your poles and tracks. Before measuring for the length, you must decide whether your curtains should fit to the sill, below the sill or to the floor. When measuring for the length of your curtain we recommend the following should be taken into account:
  • Sill length-  curtains should finish approximately a half inch (1.5cm) above the sill.
  • Below sill length - curtains should finish approximately 4-6" (15-25cm) below the sill for the best effect.
  • Floor length - curtains should finish approximately a half inch (1.5cm) above the floor.

The allowances below taken into account whether you are using a pole or track and will ensure you get the best from your curtains.

Measuring drop for a regular curtain pole

When using a regular curtain pole you will need to measure from the eyelet on the bottom of the rings (where the hook is inserted), to where you would like the curtain to finish. If you would like to completely hide the bottom of the ring and the eyelet, add 1" to the final measurement. We recommend this as it gives a better appearance.

Readymade curtains with HEADING TAPE

Measuring drop for a curtain track

When using a curtain track you will need to measure from the top of the curtain track, to where you would like the curtain to finish.

Readymade curtains with HEADING TAPE

Measuring drop for an eyelet curtain pole

When using an eyelet curtain pole you will need to measure from the top of the curtain pole to where you would like the curtains to finish. Please note: when using eyelet curtains, there must be at least 1.5"-2" clearance above your curtain pole.

Readymade curtains with eyelet heading

Step 3: Using our curtain size calculator

If you still need a little help then we do have a handy curtain size calculator, that can be found here. This calculator will take into account the measurements you enter and advise you of the best curtain size for your needs. This calculator is also available on the product page of all of our ready made curtains. 

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