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Types of Curtain Fabrics

By Joel W. Woodard, eHow Contributor

Silk or wool? Linen or cotton? Synthetics perhaps? Beautifully dressed windows transform a room and add a finishing touch to your home. Selecting the proper fabric for your window treatments need not be confusing or intimidating. This article will assist you with understanding the five basic fabric types from which residential draperies are typically constructed.

1. What Look Are You Seeking?


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Living rooms, dining rooms and master bedrooms tend to be the dressiest areas in a home. Family rooms, libraries, guest bedrooms and children's rooms are usually more casual. Just as silk taffeta in boys' bedrooms won't fly, neither will burlap in most living rooms; however, there are no hard-and-fast rules. Window treatments can be expensive, even if you do them yourself, depending on the types of fabrics you select. Learning about the characteristics of major fabric categories can be a great aid in making wise selections.

Silk
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The "king" of fabrics, silk has a refined quality, especially when woven using a satin weave. Silk can, however, have a more rustic appearance when woven as a matka or dupioni, the latter having slubs running across the goods. Silk woven into a crisp taffeta is a good selection for dressy window treatments and can be successfully made into full-length panels, roman shades and balloon shades. Silk takes color in the dyeing or weaving process beautifully. The main disadvantages of silk are that it can rot in direct sunlight, especially quickly if unlined, and it can be expensive.

Cotton
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Cotton is arguably the most versatile of fabrics. The weaving of cotton fibers can transform them into an array of finished goods--from a sleek fabric, using a satin weave, to a more casual one, using a plain weave. Cotton has great versatility and can be successfully used for the most dressy looks or more minimal effects. Cotton tailors very well and is easy to clean but window treatments made from cotton tend to hang better when they are lined. Cotton fabrics are generally more affordable than silks and wools.

Linen
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Use of linen for draperies has become very popular. Linen draperies billowing in a soft summer breeze conjure thoughts of restful, lazy days. The weaving of flax fibers into linen can yield a fabric that is refined (when a tighter weave is employed) or casual (when a larger weave is used). Lighterweight linen makes extraordinary sheers for windows but when a heavier weave is used, linen can easily be made into full-length panels as well as soft or roman shades. Linen is very moistureabsorbent and lining linen window treatments is usually advised to help them retain their shape. Linen usually sells in a medium price range and is affordable to most; however, it can wrinkle easily. Therefore, linen draperies are best when used in less formal rooms. It is advisable to only dry clean draperies made from linen.

Wool
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Nothing hangs as beautifully as wool for window treatments. Wool's strength, especially when woven into heavier fabric, enables it to easily handle applied embellishments and trimmings. It can also be woven into lighter-weight fabrics which can be suitable for year-round use on windows. Like silk, wool takes color very well in the dyeing process.

Cost for woolen fabrics depends on a variety of factors, including what type of wool is used. Wool is gathered not only from different breeds of sheep, but also from camels, vicunas, llamas, alpacas, cashmere goats and angora goats. Wool is also moisture-absorbent, like linen, and is not a good choice for damp or humid climates. Draperies made from wool are generally dry clean only, which can add to their overall expense.

Synthetic Blends
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Nylon, acetate and polyester (or combinations woven into a fabric) are among some of the synthetics that can be used for window treatments. Major disadvantages to using synthetics are a "plastic" feel and look; however, synthetics tend to be very stable due to their generally tighter weave and do not not grow or shrink the way animal or plant fiber-based fabrics can. That stability can also make synthetics a good choice for curtain linings, especially in damp environments.

Fabric Needed for Curtains



By Charlie Johnson, eHow Contributor updated March 13, 2011

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The amount and type of fabric needed for curtains depends on the type of curtain, as well as the overall decor of your room.

The amount of fabric needed for a curtain will be determined by the size of the window as well as the type of curtain that is needed. The type of curtain used will often be determined by the weight of the fabric, the type of window coverage desired, and the size of the window. The fabric needed for a curtain will also depend on what the curtain is to be used for --- certain uses require more or heavier fabric than others.

1. Valances
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Valances are shorter curtains that are used on their own as very simple curtain treatments. They can also be used as part of more elaborate curtain designs. Valances are usually no more than 1 to 2 feet long. Used on their own, they are ideal for windows where you would like to maintain easy visibility (such as garages, back doors or upper level windows). Valances can also be used to cover the top of a longer curtain, so that a more decorative effect is achieved. Valances are often made of lighter fabrics that are still able to hold their shape well; options include lace and polyester blends.

Half-Curtain

A half-curtain is when only the top or bottom half of a window is covered with a curtain. This type of curtain treatment uses less fabric than a full curtain, and provides a more casual effect than a full curtain would. A half-curtain is often used to maintain some visibility while also providing the option of privacy. These types of curtains are popular for kitchen, bathroom or laundry room windows where a less formal decor is needed.

Paneled Curtains
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Paneled curtains can be made of single or multiple panels. The number of panels needed is often determined by the size of the window. However, even numbered panels are preferred as they provide a degree of symmetry to the overall design of a room. Paneled curtains are usually floor-toceiling in length and provide a dramatic decorative effect. The type of fabrics that can be used varies depending on the interior design of the room and what the curtains are used for. For more visibility and light, linen or lace fabrics are popular options. For a more ornate effect, velvet panel curtains are a classic choice.

Lined Curtains
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Lined curtains provide insulation as well as visibility options for curtains. Curtain lining uses a solid colored, lightweight fabric such as sheer polyester or a cotton blend. Lined curtains can give the option of full or partial visibility as they can be paired with heavier fabrics. When more light is desired, the heavier fabric can be drawn away. For full window coverage, both the curtain and its lining can be used. Lined curtains also provide a consistency when seen from outdoors. Rather than having curtains of many designs and colors in each window, all the windows can have a similar color scheme when seen from outdoors. Lastly, lined curtains provide extra insulation as there is

additional layer of fabric.

Curtain Tie Back

Curtain Heading Styles


Curtain headings are a way of customising and styling blinds and valances so that the overall width of the fabric is reduced, creating a range of pleats or folds. You will find a few of the more popular detailed below, many more are listed in our EBooks.

Ready Made Heading Tape

Some headings can be created using various types of tape that is sewn close to the top edge of the window treatment and, by pulling up gathering cords, different effects can be achieved. Some heading tapes incorporate Velcro at the back so they can be used in conjunction with grip tape that makes it possible to attach top treatments and blinds to battens or pelmet boards.The number of cords and the way the cords are threaded in the heading tape makes the pattern of pleats. The pleats are sharpest when the cords are drawn up tightly. There can be 2, 3, or 4 cords for drawing up the pleats. Most tapes have more than 1 row of pockets for the hooks to adjust the height of the heading.

Box Pleated Headings

Box pleat heading tapes give a very tailored look and drape into deep folds down the full length of the curtains. The pleats butt onto each other with no interval between them. Multiply the track width by 3 when estimating for fabric. For a more professional finish these headings can be made by hand. Although very time consuming it is well worth the extra effort. As the finished width is critical, but not easily adjusted I recommend that the width of the pleats and spaces are worked out before the curtains are made so that the width of the flat curtain can be adjusted to suit. Allow 3 times the window width when estimating for fabric. Suitable for tracks and poles.

Cased Headings

A simple cased heading is used mainly for nets and lightweight fabrics that are not to be opened and closed frequently. A casing or channel sewn across the top is left open at the ends. A slender curtain rod or plastic covered spring wire slots through the channel and fits onto hooks or into sockets at the side of the window. Multiply the rod or wire length by at least 2 when estimating fabric.

Eyelet Headings

For minimalistic look, a narrow rod, pole or wire is threaded through eyelets that are inserted close to the top edge creating deep folds. Suitable for light to medium weight fabrics. When estimating for fabric allow twice the rod width.

Goblet Pleated Headings

Goblet pleats make a very elegant heading for longer lengths. Pleats fall from each goblet that can be stuffed with tissue paper or cotton wool to retain their shape. This heading tape has 2 sets of cords and is suitable for medium to heavyweight fabrics. Multiply the track width by 2 to 2.5 when estimating for fabric. Suitable for tracks or poles. For a more professional finish these headings can be made by hand. Although very time consuming it is well worth the extra effort. As the finished width is critical, but not easily adjusted I recommend that the width of the pleats and spaces are worked out before the window treatments are made so that the flat width can be adjusted to suit. Allow 2 to 2.5 times the window width when estimating for fabric.

Pencil Pleated Heading Tape

This stiffened tape is available in several depths from 2.5" to 6" (6 cm to 15 cm). A lightweight version is suitable for sheer fabrics. Some tapes have three rows of pockets for hooks. Use the top row if the treatment is to hang below a pole. Use a lower row to make the heading stand up the required amount to conceal a track. Multiply the track width by 2 - 2.5 when estimating for fabric. Suitable for both tracks and poles.

Tab Top Headings

A modern, less formal heading is created with loops of matching or contrasting fabric that are stitched onto the top edge of the treatment omitting the need for heading tape. Suitable for all weights of fabric. You should also remember to take the length of the tabs into consideration when measuring. This heading is only suitable for poles. Remember that each of our e-books contains a comprehensive sewing guide which goes much further that these pages will permit. Over 40 pages, including 87 colour diagrams, including additional subjects such as applique, frills and quilting. Each E-Book is priced at only 10.00 with fantastic savings (up to 60%) when purchasing the bundle/package.
Attached Valance Cafe Curtains Hourglass Curtains Lined Curtains No Sew Curtains Tabtop Curtains Unlined Curtains

Curtains with an Attached Valance Instructions

Attaching a valance to the top of curtains means that you can have the enhanced look of a double layer without the need for two tracks. This is especially useful where space is a premium There are a number of ways of adding a valance to the top of curtains. A separate valance can be added to the top of each curtain and instructions for this method are included in our ebook. This style is used when the curtains need to be opened and closed. When a single valance is attached across the top of a pair of curtains they will need to be held open with tie backs or hold backs as the heading is stationary. Both these styles of valance are usually unlined whether they are attached to lined or unlined curtains. This cuts down on the bulk of fabric along the top edge and can be used with most heading styles. They can be made to match, coordinate or contrast with the fabric of the curtains and to accentuate the edge of the valance, fringing or cord can be attached to the bottom edge. Another way is to make the curtains much longer than is necessary and turn the top over to represent a valance. Single or double layers of fabric are usually bound around the edges for this style. This style is covered in our e-book.

The instructions below are for a single valance attached to a pair of curtains with fringing on the bottom edge.

Requirements:
Fabric for the curtains. Lining for the curtains. Matching or contrasting fabric for the valance. Matching thread. Fringing, enough for the bottom edge. Pencil pleat heading tape, enough for the flat width of both curtains. Pair of tie backs and tie back hooks.

Measuring and Estimating Fabric Quantities:


For the Curtains:
1. Measure the track or pole and multiply by the fullness ratio. Divide this figure by the width of the fabric to be used and round up to the next whole number. This is the number of widths of fabric required. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The number of widths of lining will be the same as the fabric. Measure the finished length required. To calculate the cut length, add 8" (20 cms) to the finished length for hem allowances. If patterned fabric is used, extra will be needed for pattern matching. The length of the lining will be the same as the fabric minus any extra for pattern matching. To calculate the amount of fabric required for the curtains, multiply the number of widths by the cut length.

For the Valance:


1. The flat width of the valance will need to be the same as that of both curtains to which it will be attached, adding 4" (10 cms) for side hems. 2. The length should be approximately 1/6th of the finished curtain length, with a minimum of 6" (15 cms). However, this can be adjusted to suit your own preference. To calculate the cut length, add 3" (7.5 cms) for the top and bottom hems to the finished length. If more than 1 width is required, extra will be needed for pattern matching where necessary. 3. To calculate the amount of fabric required, multiply the number of widths by the cut length. To calculate the total amount of fabric required, add the amount required for the curtains to the amount required for the valance.

Making the Curtains:


1. Cut the fabric to the required size for each curtain. If more than 1 width is required, join widths together with a flat seam making sure to add any half widths at the outside edges. 2. Cut the lining 4" (10 cms) narrower and 3" (7.5 cms) shorter than the fabric. If more than 1 width is required, join widths together with a flat seam making sure to add any half widths at the outside edges. 3. Turn up a double 2" (5 cms) hem at the bottom edge of the lining and stitch.

4. fabric and pin. 5. 6.

Turn up a double 3" (7.5 cms) hem at the bottom edge of the Lay the fabric on a flat surface, right side up, and lay the lining on top, wrong side up, so that the top folds of the hems are aligned. Pin the side edges together matching the raw edges. Stitch down each side edge, 0.5" (12 mm) in from the raw edges. Stitch down the length of the lining but do not stitch through the hem allowance on the fabric.

7. 8.

Turn right side out, rolling 1" (2.5 cms) of fabric to the wrong side at each side edge. Mitre the corners of the hem on the fabric and slipstitch the hem in place.

Making and Adding a Valance to a Pair of Curtains:


1. Cut the fabric to the required length. If more than 1 width of fabric is required, join widths together with a French seam. Make sure to add any half widths to the outside edges and match the pattern where necessary.

2. 3.

Turn in a double 1" (2.5 cms) hem down both side edges and along the bottom and pin. Mitre both bottom corners, stitch the hems in place and press. Pin the fringing along the bottom edge, close to the fold, turning in 1" (2.5 cms) at each end to neaten. Backstitch in place.

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Place the valance on a flat surface, wrong side up. Place both curtains on top, wrong side up, matching the outside edges. Make sure the curtains butt together in the centre and the top edges are aligned. Turn down 1" (2.5 cms) at the top edge and press. Free the cords at both ends of the heading tape. Place the heading tape along the top edge, close to the fold, on the wrong side. Turn under 1" (2.5 cms) at each end to neaten and pin. Place a cord tidy bag under the bottom edge of the heading tape, 2" (5 cms) in from each outside edge. same direction to avoid puckering, attaching the cord tidy bags.

10. Stitch the heading tape along both edges, through all thicknesses. Work both lines of stitches in the 11. Pull up the cords on the heading tape from both ends, to the required width, and secure them with sliding loops. Roll up the excess cords, place them into the cord tidy bags and adjust the gathers evenly. 12. Insert curtain hooks into the heading tape and hang. 13. Fix the tie back hooks at a convenient height at each side of the window. 14. Drape the curtains, adjust the folds and hold in place with the tie backs.

Cafe Curtains Instructions

Cafe curtains are an economical way of screening the lower part of a window to give privacy. They can be used in any room of the home but are ideal in the kitchen. Rods, decorative poles or curtain wires can be used to hang cafe curtains and they are positioned inside the window recess, either halfway down the window or at the height of a glazing bar. For a layered look, matching cafe curtains can be made with 1 positioned at the top of the window, to represent a valance, and 1 positioned halfway down the window. They can be made to overlap, giving total privacy or the top one can be made shorter to leave a gap in the centre to allow light into the room.

The instructions below are for an unlined style of cafe curtain which can be made in lace, sheer or lightweight fabric with a fullness ratio of between 1.5 and 2.5 depending on your own preference. The rod, pole or wire is slotted through a casing to gather the curtain. It is positioned 1" (2.5 cms) down from the top fold forming a frill along the top edge.

Requirements:
Fabric. Matching thread. Rod, pole or curtain wire to fit inside the window recess.

Measuring and Estimating Fabric Quantities:


1. 2. Position the rod, pole or curtain wire at the required height and fix.

Measure the width, inside the window recess. Multiply this by the fullness ratio and divide by the width of the fabric to be used. Round up to the next whole number. This is the number of widths of fabric needed.

3.

To calculate the cut length, measure from the top of the rod, pole or wire to the required length [usually 0.5" (12 mm) up from the window sill]. To this measurement add 6" (15 cms) for hem allowances. If patterned fabric is used, extra will be needed for pattern matching.

4.

Multiply the number of widths by the cut length to calculate the amount of fabric required.

Making a Cafe Curtain with a Cased Heading:


1. Cut the fabric to the required size. If more than 1 width is required, join widths together with a French seam and matching the pattern where necessary. Position a full width in the centre with equal part widths at the outside edges of the curtain. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Turn in a double 0.5" (12 mm) hem down both side edges and pin. Turn up a double 1" (2.5 cms) hem along the bottom edge and pin. Mitre the bottom corners and stitch the side and bottom hems. Turn down 1" (2.5 cms) along the top edge and press the fold with your fingers. Turn down another 2" (5 cms) along the top edge and pin. Stitch the top hem in place close to the bottom fold.

8. the diameter of the rod, pole or wire. 9.

Work another row of stitches across the width, 1" (2.5 cms) down from the top fold and press. The position of this line of stitches can be adjusted to accommodate Thread the rod, pole or wire through the casing between the 2 rows of stitches, gathering the curtain as you go.

10. Adjust the gathers evenly and hang the curtain.

Hourglass Curtains Instructions

A flowing sheer curtain covering the glass on a door can be a nuisance as it tends to get caught when the door is used. Adding a second rod at the lower edge solves this problem but when it is tied in the centre with a bow of ribbon you can create a focal point from an ordinary door. To achieve the best results allow 2 2.5 times the width of the rod and cut the top and bottom of the fabric on a curve.

If using a lace fabric with shaped or scalloped selvedges, adjust the fullness ratio to accommodate the width of the fabric. They are also ideal for covering French or patio doors and windows. However, if the door or window is very wide, I would suggest making more than 1 curtain across the width.

Requirements:
Sheer, net or lightweight fabric. 2 net rods or wires. Matching thread. Ribbon, approximately 2" (5 cms) wide and long enough to tie in a bow around the waist of the curtain, approximately 1 metre.

Measuring and Estimating Fabric Quantities:


1. 2. 3. Attach the rods approximately 1" (2.5 cms) above and below the glass.

Measure the vertical length between the rods. Call this CL (centre length). Mark the glass half way between the rods.

4. 5. 6. 7.

Determine the width of the "waist" and mark the glass. To calculate the outer length of the curtain measure the curve from the end of the top rod to the end of the bottom rod curving the tape in to the end of the marked "waist". Call this OL (outside length). To calculate the cut length, to the outside length (OL) add 8 (20 cms) for hem allowances. To calculate the number of widths required, measure the length of the rod or wire and multiply by the fullness ratio. Divide this figure by the width of the fabric to be used and round up to the next whole number.

8.

To calculate the amount of fabric required, multiply the cut length by the number of widths.

Making the Hourglass Curtain:


1. Cut the fabric to OL plus 8" (20 cms) for hem allowances, this includes a 1" (2.5 cms) frill at the top and the bottom edges. If more than one width is required, join widths together with a French seam. Position a full width in the centre with equal part widths added at each side.

2. double 0.5" (12 mm) hem and stitch. 3.

To neaten the sides, if necessary, turn under a Fold the curtain in half width ways right sides together.

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Measure a distance equal to OL minus CL divided by 2, down from the top along the folded edge and mark. Draw a curve from this mark to the outer top corner. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the lower edge. The distance between the marks should equal CL plus 8 (20 cms). Cut along the curves at the top and the lower edges. To sew the casings turn under 1" (2.5 cms) and then another 2" (5 cms) at the top and the lower curves and pin. Work a first row of stitches 1" (2.5 cms) in from the fold and another row of stitches 2" (5 cms) from the fold, following the curve. Do this at both the top and the lower edges. Press.

10. Thread the net rods between the rows of stitches and adjust the pleats evenly. 11. Tie a ribbon bow around the centre of the curtain to form the "waist".

Lined Curtains Instructions

Adding a lining to curtains not only enhances the look but also can extend the life of them by protecting the face fabric from sunlight.

There are a number of linings to choose from depending on the location of the window. For example blackout lining for bedrooms and thermal lining for living rooms. Most curtain headings are suitable for lined curtains including tapes and handmade headings. Lined curtains should be dry cleaned as the face fabric and lining can shrink at different rates if they are washed. The following instructions are for bag lined curtains (this is where the lining is attached at the top and sides of the face fabric, with the bottom hems worked separately) with pencil pleat heading tape and a fullness ratio of 2 (double the width of the window).

Requirements:
Fabric for the curtains. Lining for the curtains. Matching thread. Pencil pleat heading tape, enough for the flat width of both curtains.

Measuring and Estimating Fabric Quantities:


1. Measure the track or pole and multiply by the fullness ratio. Divide this figure by the width of the fabric to be used and round up to the next whole number. This is the number of widths of fabric required. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The number of widths of lining will be the same as the fabric. Measure the finished length required. To calculate the cut length, add 8" (20 cms) to the finished length for hem allowances. If patterned fabric is used, extra will be needed for pattern matching. The length of the lining will be the same as the fabric minus any extra for pattern matching. To calculate the amount of fabric and lining required for the curtains, multiply the number of widths by the cut length.

Making Lined Curtains:


1. Cut the fabric to the required size for each curtain. If more than 1 width is required, join widths together with a flat seam making sure to add any half widths at the outside edges. 2. Cut the lining 4" (10 cms) narrower and 3" (7.5 cms) shorter than the fabric. If more than 1 width is required, join widths together with a flat seam making sure to add any half widths at the outside edges.

3. lining and stitch. 4. 5. 6.

Turn up a double 2" (5 cms) hem at the bottom edge of the Turn up a double 3" (7.5 cms) hem at the bottom edge of the fabric and pin. Lay the fabric on a flat surface, right side up, and lay the lining on top, wrong side up, so that the top folds of the hems are aligned. Pin the side edges together matching the raw edges. Stitch down each side edge, 0.5" (12mm) in from the raw edges. Stitch down the length of the lining but do not stitch through the hem allowance on the fabric.

7. 8. 9.

Turn right side out, rolling 1" (2.5 cms) of fabric to the wrong side at each side edge. Mitre the corners of the hem on the fabric and slipstitch the hem in place. Turn down 1" (2.5 cms) along the top edge and press. the other end.

10. Knot the cords at one end of the heading tape, to the wrong side, and free them, to the right side, at 11. Place the heading tape along the top edge, close to the fold, on the wrong side. Turn under 1" (2.5cms) at each end to neaten and pin. Make sure the free ends of the cord are at the outside edge of the curtain.

12. (5cms) in from the outside edge.

Place a cord tidy bag under the bottom edge of the heading tape, 2"

13. Stitch the heading tape along both edges, through all thicknesses. Work both lines of stitches in the same direction to avoid puckering, attaching the cord tidy bag.

14. Repeat for the other curtain, making sure to position any half widths, the free ends of the cords and the cord tidy bag at the opposite edge. 15. Pull up the cords on the heading tapes to the required width and secure them with sliding loops. Roll up the excess cords, place them into the cord tidy bags and adjust the gathers evenly. 16. Insert curtain hooks into the heading tape and hang.

Making Tab Top Curtains Instructions

If you want a less formal, modern look to your window treatments then tab tops are the answer. They can be made in any weight of fabric from the finest sheers to heavyweights such as velvet and brocade.

These stylish curtains need at least 1.5 times the width of the window. The stack back width is the combined width of all the tabs. The tabs are positioned at approximately 8" (20 cms) intervals across the top of the curtain, with one at each end (6 or 7 tabs per width of fabric). The length and width of the tabs can be adjusted to suit your own preference, however to obtain the best effect, the top of the curtain should cover the top of the window frame. There are a number of styles of tab top curtain including, button tabs (both lined and unlined), box pleated and gathered which are usually lined. The instructions below are for simple unlined tab top curtains, this style has both ends of the tabs stitched into the top hem and needs a fullness ratio of at least 1.5. The tabs have a finished width of 1.25" (3 cms) but this width can be adjusted for your own preference. The other styles are fully covered in our e-book.

Requirements:
Decorative curtain pole. Suitable curtain fabric. Matching, coordinating or contrasting fabric for the tabs. Matching thread.

Measuring and Estimating Fabric Quantities:


1. 2. Fit the pole above the window in the required position.

To calculate the number of widths of fabric required, measure the pole between the finials and multiply by the fullness ratio. Divide this number by the width of the fabric to be used and round up to the next whole number.

3.

To calculate the cut length of the fabric for the curtains, measure from the top of the pole to the required length. Deduct the length of the tabs, this should be the length from the top of the pole to 1" (2.5 cms) above the top of the window frame. To this figure, add 7" (17.5cms) for hem allowances. If pattern fabric is used, extra will be needed for pattern matching.

4.

To calculate the amount of fabric, multiply the number of widths by the cut length.

5.

To estimate the number of widths of fabric for the tabs, decide on the number of tabs required for both curtains and multiply by the cut width of each one [3" (7.5 cms)]. Divide this number by the width of the fabric and round up to the next whole number.

6. 7.

To calculate the cut length of the tabs, take the finished length and double it. To this figure add 4" (10 cms) for seam allowances. To calculate the amount of fabric for the tabs, multiply the number of widths by the cut length.

Making the Tabs:

1.

Cut the required number of pieces of fabric, each measuring

3" (7.5 cms) wide. Cut the length to twice the length required plus 4" (10 cms) seam allowance. Example: if the required finished length of the tabs is 3" (7.5 cms), the tabs need to be cut 10" (25 cms) long. 2. 3. Fold each piece in half width ways, right sides together, pin and stitch 0.25" (6 mm) in from the raw edges down the length. Turn right side out and press with the seam in the centre of one side.

Making Simple Unlined Tab Top Curtains:


1. Cut the fabric to the required size, allowing 4" (10 cms) for side hems and adding 8" (20cms) to the length for top and bottom hem allowances. If more than 1 width is required join widths together with a 0.5" (12 mm) French seam, matching the pattern on the fabric where necessary and adding any half widths to the outside edge of each curtain. 2. 3. 4. Turn in a double 1" (2.5 cms) hem at each side and pin. Turn up a double 3" (7.5 cms) hem at the lower edge and pin. Mitre both bottom corners.

5. 6. 7. and pin.

Machine or slipstitch all the hems and press. Lay the curtain on a flat surface, wrong side up. Turn down a double 1" (2.5 cms) hem at the top edge Fold the tabs in half lengthways to make loops, with the seamed side innermost and pin at approximately 8" (20 cms) intervals along this edge slipping the raw edges into the hem. There must be a tab at each end with the others spaced evenly and at right angles to the top of the curtain.

8. 9.

Check the length of the curtain including the tabs and adjust if necessary. Machine stitch or slipstitch the tabs in position close to the top and bottom folds of the hem.

10. Repeat for the other curtain, making sure to add any half widths to the opposite edge. 11. Thread the pole through the tabs and hang the curtains, adjusting the folds if required.

Making Unlined Curtains Instructions

Unlined curtains are the simplest form of window treatment and are the ideal project for the beginner. They can be made in all weights of fabric from fine voiles to heavyweight tapestries, fitted inside or outside the window recess from a pole or a curtain track. Unlined curtains are ideal for a kitchen or bathroom where steam may be a problem and easy laundering is essential. Always check that the fabric is washable when it is purchased. The following instructions are for curtains with pencil pleat headings and a fullness ratio of 2 (double the width of the window).

Requirements:
Fabric of your choice. Matching thread. Pencil pleat heading tape, enough for the flat width of both curtains.

Measuring and Estimating Fabric Quantities:


1. 2. 3. Fit the track or pole in the required position.

Measure the required finished length. To calculate the cut length of the fabric, add 8" (20 cms) to the finished length for hem allowances. If pattern fabric is used, extra will be needed for pattern matching.

4.

To calculate the number of widths required, measure the length of the track or pole and multiply by the fullness ratio (2). Divide this number by the width of the fabric to be used and round up to the next whole number.

5.

To calculate the amount of fabric, multiply the number of widths by the cut length.

Making Unlined Curtains:


1. Cut the fabric to the required size, allowing 4" (10 cms) for side hems and adding 8" (20cms) to the length for top and bottom hem allowances. If more than 1 width is required join widths together with a 0.5" (12 mm) French seam, matching the pattern on the fabric where necessary and adding any half widths to the outside edge of each curtain. 2. 3. 4. 5. Turn in a double 1" (2.5 cms) hem at each side and pin. Turn up a double 3" (7.5 cms) hem at the lower edge and pin. Mitre both bottom corners. Machine or slipstitch all the hems and press.

6. 7. 8. 9. other end.

Turn down 2" (5 cms) at the top edge and press. Knot the cords, to the wrong side, at 1 end of the heading tape and free them, to the right side, at the Pin the heading tape on the wrong side of the curtain, close to the top fold, turning 1" (2.5 cms) under at each end to neaten. Position the end with the free cords at the outside edge of the curtain. Insert a cord tidy bag approximately 2" (5 cms) in from the outside edge of the curtain. the same direction to avoid puckering.

10. Stitch the heading tape in place along the top and bottom edges making sure to stitch both sides in 11. Pull up the cords on the heading tape and adjust the pleats evenly. 12. Secure the cords with a sliding loop and place them in the cord tidy bag. 13. Insert curtain hooks into the heading tape and hang the curtains.

No Sew Curtains Instructions

Curtains that are sewn together in the traditional way are sturdier and last longer but serviceable, unlined lightweight curtains can be made with no sewing at all. A modern bonding web (Bondaweb is probably the best well known, but there are others) is applied with a hot iron and a damp cloth and takes the place of a needle and thread. There are a number of curtain heading styles which are suitable for no sew curtains. These include, cased headed, eyelet, heading tape and curtain clips. The instructions below are for no sew curtains using curtain clips, there are full instructions for the other styles in our e-book. If more than 1 width of fabric is required in each curtain a bonding strip can be used to join the widths together.

No Sew Curtains using Clips:


This is the easiest way to hang curtains. A double hem is formed at the top of the curtains to which clips are applied and hung from a narrow pole or curtain wire. There are numerous designs and finishes of curtain clips available to blend in with your existing dcor.

Measuring and Estimating Fabric Quantities:


1. Decide whether you would prefer a wire or a pole and fit it above the window in the chosen position. 2. Measure the wire or pole and multiply by the fullness ratio (at least 1.5), allowing 1.5 (3.75 cms) for side hems. Divide this figure by the width of the fabric to be used and round up to the next whole number. This is the number of widths required.

3.

Measure the length. Remember the length of the clips must be taken into consideration when estimating the finished length. To do this, thread the curtain clips onto the wire or pole and measure the finished length from the top of the clip.

4. 5.

To calculate the cut length, add 4 (10 cms) for the bottom hem allowance plus 4" (10 cms) for the top hem. If patterned fabric is used, extra will be needed for pattern matching. To calculate the amount of fabric required, multiply the number of widths by the cut length.

Joining Widths of Fabric Together:


1. Lay the first cut length on a flat surface, right side up, and place 0.5" (12 mm) strip of bonding web along the selvedge edge that is to be joined. 2. Turn in 0.5" (12 mm) seam allowance down the selvedge of the second cut length and press.

3. 4. 5.

Place the second length on top of the first length, right side up, with the seam allowance over the bonding strip, matching the pattern on the fabric if necessary. Press with a hot iron over a damp cloth to seal the seam. Join other cut lengths in the same way, if necessary. Make sure to add any half widths to the outside edge of each curtain.

Making the Curtains:


1. 2. 3. Turn in 0.5" (12 mm) and then another 1" (2.5 cms) at each side edge and press.

Place a bonding strip, 1" (2.5 cms) wide and the length of the curtain, under the fold and press in place with a hot iron over a damp cloth. Turn up 1" (2.5 cms) and then another 3" (7.5 cms) at the lower edge.

4. seal. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Place a bonding strip, 1" (2.5 cms) wide and long enough for the width of the curtain, under the top fold of the hem and press with a hot iron and a damp cloth to Turn down a double 2" (5 cms) hem at the top edge and pin. Check the finished length of the curtain and adjust if necessary. Place a bonding strip, 2" (5 cms) wide and long enough for the width of the curtain, under the top fold. Press with a hot iron and a damp cloth to seal the hem. Attach the curtain clips to the top fold and hang the curtains.