The style of curtain you choose will make a big impact on your room. From eyelet, pinch pleat and wave headings to a pooling or puddling style, there are many options to suit your home.
Choosing the right length is important too. Whether you opt for a “kiss” or “float” look or prefer curtains that puddle on the floor, the following tips will help you measure for curtains correctly.
Getting the right length of curtains is critical to their appearance. Choosing a length that is too short can leave your curtains looking like they are missing something, while one that is too long will make them look oversized and unfinished. Ready-made curtains come in only a few standard curtain sizes: 64″, 84″, 95″, 108″ and 120″.
To choose the best length for your curtains, you must first decide what style you’re going for. If you prefer a look that floats or “kisses” the floor, use your height measurement for the width of the curtain and subtract 3/8 to 1/2″ to get the length.
For a look that is slightly more formal, you may want the curtains to “break” at the bottom and create a tailored look. This style is also sometimes referred to as the kiss, sill or apron style of drape. To measure for this style, you should use a metal tape measure to ensure the most accurate results (fabric measuring tape can stretch and droop, leading to inaccurate measurements).
For a fuller look, you can opt for the puddle or floor length of curtains. This is a more dramatic and luxurious look, but it’s not recommended for homes with children or pets since the extra fabric can collect pet hair, dust and other debris easily. To measure for this style, you must add 6-10″ to your height measurement.
The width of your curtains will depend on how much fullness you desire and how they’ll be hung. Ideally, your curtains should be twice as wide as the window to create a beautiful draped effect when open and closed.
Once you’ve figured out the length and width of your curtains, it’s time to consider where they will be mounted. Sill, below sill and floor hanging are the most common options. For a good drape, your curtains should be around 1cm above the window frame or sill and if you want them to “puddle” on the floor add a few inches more.
You may also choose to mount them on a rod or track, either inside or outside the window casing. In this case, the curtain will be a little longer as you need to take into account the width of the pole or track and allow for the header fabric above it.
If you’re choosing a pole or track, measure the width of your track or pole from end to end and then add 6″ per side (or 12″ in total) for each of your curtain panels. This will ensure the curtains hang well when open and closed, maximising light into your room. If you’re going for a gathered look, double the width for pencil pleated windows and multiply by two for eyelet and tab tops.
Curtain fullness (or gather) is a major factor in how your curtains will look. Less fullness will produce a tailored or casual look, while more fullness will create a richer, more opulent appearance. Fullness is determined by multiplying the finished panel width or window width by a specific number to get the desired amount of fabric used. This is a personal choice, and will vary based on your style and fabric choice.
We recommend that you choose a header style, and work through the fullness calculator with that header in mind. This will help to ensure that your curtains will match the other windows in the room.
When calculating the required fullness for your curtains, you should also take into account any pattern repeats that may occur in the fabric. To determine this, divide the final height of your curtain by the vertical repeat (listed on the fabric’s product information). The resulting quotient is how many widths of fabric will be needed to ensure that the pattern lines up perfectly across panels.
When deciding on the desired fullness of your curtains, it is important to keep in mind the type of room they will be in and how much privacy you require. For example, living room curtains will benefit from a standard amount of fullness, while dining room or bedroom curtains would likely require a little more fullness to block out light and create a more luxurious look.
Curtains not only block light, provide privacy and muffle noise but also add a sophisticated aesthetic to any room. Properly hung curtains can make a space look larger and more elegant, but they also need to be the right height to achieve that effect. One of the biggest pitfalls is having them hang too low, which can make a room look small and squatty.
When it comes to rod length, you can go with a wide range of options depending on the style and function of your home. Sill and below sill curtains are typically clip rings with a pinch or a wave heading, while eyelet and tab tops can be either pencil or plain pleated. Curtains that need a track or pole can be measured at the track/pole height to get a measurement or at the ceiling to determine the rod to floor length.
The general rule is that a curtain should be 1.5 to 2 times the width of the window for fullness. To get this measurement, mark from the end of your window casing on both sides and add 6″ per side or 12″ in total. Then divide this number by the number of panels you wish to order, which is usually two. Then order your curtains in this width to ensure they have a nice, full appearance when hanging.