To get those perfectly fitted curtains it is important to accurately measure your windows. It might sound daunting at times, but not to fear Yulki’s is here! This step by step guide will lead you and show you what needs to be measured. Moreover, you will find some great tips and tricks of the curtain making trade!
Which tools to use?
It is strongly recommended that you have a metal tape. This way you won’t get dangled by loose tapes, more importantly metal is less prone to bending hence giving you accurate measurements!
Pole and track installation.
Have your rods installed before measuring your windows. Adding tracks after measuring will just complicate the process of hanging up your new drapes. In order to mount your rod or tracks follow these two simple steps: measure the width of your window then add 12” (30 cm) to the width. For example, if your window is 50” (127 cm) add 12” (30cm). This way you will get a total width of 62” (157cm).
By adding the extra width to your window you will securely cover your whole opening and allow for the rods to extend the window trims. You will end up with a track or pole extending 6” (15cm) on each side of the frame. The track can be mounted up to 6” (15cm) above the top window trim. Important to note is that the position of the rod above the top window trim can be affected by the height between the window and ceiling. For instance, if the ceiling was 6″ (15cm) above the window, it would not make sense to place the rod 6″ (15cm) above the top window trim. You would need to place the track closer to the window, lets say 4″ (10cm) from the top of your window.
Measuring the width of your curtains.
1. Measure the width of your pole.
If you are planning to use a curtain track, measure the whole width of the track (left image). If using a pole for a tab top curtain or pocket rod drape measure the width between the finials, that is, the decorative pieces at the end of the poles (right image).
2. Calculate the width of your curtains.
The style of your curtain (pocked rod, tab top, pencil pleat, pinch pleat, etc.) is going to determine the needed width of your drape. So to make sure that you are getting the right size of your panel it is important to do a few calculations. If it happens that you don’t follow the suggested multiplications presented below, you will end up with a flat panel and no body to your new drapes. Here are some examples of how to compute the width of your panels:
Measuring the length of your curtains.
Now that you have determined your curtain width it is time to measure the length of your curtains. To do this you need to take under consideration where your curtain is going to end as well as what style of rod you have chosen for your new drapes.
Determining curtain length by position of the bottom hem.
In this example the curtain ends above the window sill. If you choose this look, the panels should end about 0.5” (about 1.25cm) above the sill.
Here the curtain ends below the window sill. If you choose this look, the panels should end about 6”-8” (about 15-20cm) below the sill.
The third image shows a floor length curtain. In general this is the preferred look by most designers, but again tastes differ and there is no definite rule for which length is right or wrong. With the floor length drapes the panels can end about 0.5” (about 1.25cm) above the floor. But again this is rule is not set in stone, floor length curtains can drape all the way to the ground (very popular with silk drapes!). However, floors can be uneven, so do make sure that you measure the length at a few points to find out if you need to cater to the uneven surface. Tip – if you notice that the floor is uneven it is good to get a panel that will go all the way to the ground!
Determining length by the different style of fittings.
If you are going to use a curtain track style for your pencil pleat or gathered look then measure from the top of your curtain track to the length of your choice (picture above). For instance if you have decided to buy or make a sill length pair of curtains measure from the top of the track down to 1.25cm above the window sill.
If you are going to use a curtain pole for your pocket rod, grommet or tab top look then measure from the top of your curtain to the length of your choice (picture above).
When it comes to curtain rings for your pinch pleat curtains then measure from the eye of the curtain ring to the length of your choice (picture above).
So there you go! You have measured your windows like a professional curtain maker! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. You could also leave notes in the comment section about your own tips and tricks of the trade! On the other hand you can also have a peek in my store where you can get some cool fabrics for your next curtain project!