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How Much Fabric Do I Need For Curtains?

How Much Fabric Do I Need For Curtains?

0 comments Emma Hunter
How Much Fabric Do I Need For Curtains?

Calculating how much fabric is needed for a set of curtains, can seem a little daunting at first as there are a number of variables to take into consideration. However, our step-by-step guide is here to help you through that process!

How Do I Start To Measure For Curtains?

Ideally you want to have the curtain pole or track in place before you start measuring to ensure the accuracy of the final results. Use a metal tape measure to fit the curtain pole or track between 10-20cm above the window, allowing about 15-30cm of track or pole either side of the window. Select a height and width that has suitable proportions to the window size - you don’t want to have too much curtain either side of a small window. Measure the width of the curtain pole by measuring between the finials.

How Much Fabric Do I Need For The Curtain Drop?

Now, it's time to visualize your finished curtains as your choice of curtain style will influence how much fabric you need for the drop. Firstly, imagine where your curtain drop will finish - will your curtains sit just above a radiator, a few centimetres below a window sill, drape along a floor or hover just above the floor? It is quite common for full length curtains to finish just above the floor, in order to hang straight and avoid dirty hems but it is about your personal choice. After deciding where your curtains will finish, think above what kind of curtain heading you will use. 

If you are using a classic pencil pleat heading on a curtain track, measure the drop from the top of the track to where you plan your curtains to finish. However, if you’re hanging your pencil pleat curtains on a pole, measure from the eye of the curtain rings to the end of your drop.

For eyelet curtains, measure from the top of the pole to your finished drop and then add on another 5cm to allow for the eyelet. Eyelets usually sit 5cm down from the top of the fabric.

How Much fabric do I need for curtains

How Many Widths Of Fabric Do I Need For Curtains?

As a rule of thumb, you’ll need between 2 to 2.5 times fullness to create a luxurious look for your curtains. The style of curtain heading and fabric type will also influence the final look of the curtain's fullness. A heavier fabric will provide more fullness than a lightweight fabric and so bear in mind that the lighter the weight of the fabric, the more fullness it will require. Also consider the impact of the curtain heading, for example a pencil pleat or eyelet heading will look effective with 2 times fullness whereas a double or triple pinch pleat heading looks better with 2.5 times fullness.

When calculating the finished fabric order for curtains, there are different calculations for plain fabric and patterned fabric. If you have a fabric with a pattern repeat larger than 1 cm, then this will adjust the final amount of fabric you need to order. When working with pattern fabric, you will want to ensure that the repeat sits in the same place on each curtain when they are hung together. 
For example, if you are working with a floral fabric with a pattern repeat of 15cm, this means that the same point on the pattern is repeated every 15cm. To ensure the curtains mirror each other, you will need to carefully measure the curtains so that the pattern starts and finishes in the same place, bearing in mind the same measurements for hems. Therefore, unlike plain curtains, you won’t be able to continue making your second curtain by continuing to use your remaining fabric. You will need to measure where you need to start on your remaining fabric. To help with this, we sell sample strips of our fabrics so you can check the pattern repeat prior to placing your curtain fabric order. All details are on the fabric samples page on our website.

Calculating Your Fabric Order For Plain Curtains:

To calculate how much curtain fabric you need, follow these easy steps:
1: Start by multiplying the width of the track or pole by your chosen fullness (e.g. 150cm x 2 = 300cm).
2: Next, divide that figure by the fabric width. Our cotton poplins are usually 110cm wide (e.g. 300 divided by 110 = 2.73).
3: Round up that number to the closest whole number to calculate how many widths you need. In our example, we round up 2.73 to 3 widths.
4: Then, multiply the drop measurement (including hem measurements) by the width number to calculate how many metres of curtain fabric to order (175cm drop x 3 = 525cm). This would mean we need to order 5.5 metres of plain fabric.

Calculating Your Fabric Order For Patterned Curtains:

Follow the same easy steps 1-3, as for plain curtains:
1: Start by multiplying the width of the track or pole by your chosen fullness (e.g. 150cm x 2 = 300cm).
2: Next, divide that figure by the fabric width. Our cotton poplins are usually 110cm wide (e.g. 300 divided by 110 = 2.73).
3: Round up that number to the closest whole number to calculate how many widths you need. In our example, we round up 2.73 to 3 widths.
4: For the next step you need to recalculate the curtain drop number to take into consideration the pattern repeat. Start by dividing the drop measurement (including hem measurements) by the pattern repeat number, (e.g. 175cm drop divided by 15cm repeat = 11.7. Round this up to the nearest whole number of 12. Each drop will need 12 x 15cms, which calculates a final drop number of 180cm).
5: Finally, multiply the re-calculated drop measurement by the width number to plan how many metres of curtain fabric to order (180cm drop x 3 = 540cm). As the final measurement is so close to 5.5 metres, we would recommend ordering 6 metres of fabric, to allow you a little extra material to play with.

How To Choose The Right Curtain Lining:

In general, there are three types of curtain lining. A cotton blend lining is the most common. It is light-weight with a soft handle, ensuring that it drapes well and this type of lining complements most fabrics as well as providing great value for money. Our plain weave curtain lining is available in ivory, the most popular choice for curtain linings.

A blackout curtain lining is often referred to as a ‘3 pass’ lining, and will block out most of the light coming through the windows. The blackout lining has a coating applied to the fabric to block the tiny pores in the weave, ensuring light cannot penetrate through. Our 3 pass blackout lining also has thermal qualities, to prevent drafts and reduce the loss of heat. During summer, this can also help to keep the room cool during the day. Our 3 pass blackout lining is perfect for children’s bedrooms and hotel and guest rooms. This lining is available in white and cream colour ways. 

A dim-out curtain lining is the perfect option if you want to reduce light without having a totally dark room. Our dim-out lining has a smooth, coated finish with a layer of woven black fabric in the centre to provide the dim-out effect. It is available in both white and ivory to complement your main curtain fabric.

Curtain accessories header tape hooks curtain weights tie-backs

And Don't Forget The Curtain Accessories!

And don’t forget the other curtain essentials - the accessories! From curtain header tape and a huge range of colourful threads to curtain weights, tie-backs, curtain rings and hooks; we have the accessories you need to complete your project all in one place.

We hope this guide has been helpful. We always love to see our customers’ projects, so please share your creative handiwork with us on our Instagram page.



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