Installing custom window treatments in your home creates a unique atmosphere in each room. It also allows light to continue to flood in for practicality. They can also express your individuality, making a room more comfortable by adding drama or privacy. Whatever the case, they certainly add a sense of unity to the décor of the whole home. Well-fitting, well-chosen window treatments are a must for any home, so we have provided a guide for you to measure your windows correctly, which will help you create the perfect solution for your windows.
Measuring your window for drapes and window treatments is relatively easy when you know how! We have broken it down into easy to follow steps, but first a few general tips to consider before you start the task:
STEP ONE: Installing the track or rail.
Measure the window recess – measurement ‘A’ below. This is the size of the window with its immediate frame, not the molding around it. You will be able to clearly see the ‘recess’ of the window as it is set back from the surrounding wall.
Next, measure between 6-8 inches each side of the recess measurement (A). This is measurement B. By adding this amount of space, you have enough movement in the drape to pull it back and let the maximum amount of light into the room.
To get the correct length of the pole or rail, add measurement A to both measurement B’s (one ‘B’ from each side). Remember this is the length of the pole or track only. If you want to add finials, which are decorative stoppers at the end of the pole, they will make the pole longer. If available space is tight, make a note of that too as it will mean the difference between having a final or not!
STEP TWO: Measure for fabric gather.
This is a critical measurement for the look of the drape and is often measured incorrectly. It is a wise idea to embrace the old tailor’s maxim of, ‘Measure twice, cut once’ for this measurement.
Frist decide on how much gather you want in a curtain, and whether you want two drapes or just one.
For a standard gather in your fabric, which is great for heavily patterned or heavy drapes, take your pole measurement and multiply it by 1.5. Make a note of this as this is the width of fabric you need to cover the window. This means you have one and half times the amount of fabric as you have pole.
For a full gather, which gives a much more luxurious look and is great for thin fabrics, take the pole measurement and multiply it by 2.5. This is your fabric width measurement. Again, you have two and half times the amount of fabric as you have pole.
If you want only one drape or panel as the window treatment, then this measurement is the width of fabric you need to cover the window.
However, if you want two drapes at the window (one at each side), you need to divide this measurement in 2 – one for each curtain.
Now that you have the width measurement all written down, it’s time to tackle the length.
STEP THREE: Measuring the fabric length or `drop`.
The length of a drape is often referred to as `the drop`. If you have already installed your pole or track, you can accurately measure the length of fabric you need, but if you have yet to mount, or purchase, your pole, it may be wise to add a few more inches to makes sure you have enough if the pole or rail needs to be moved for secure mounting.
Before you measure you need to decide where you want the curtains to fall. You can have your drapes any length you desire, but the three usual cuts; sill, below sill (often referred to as apron length) and floor length.
Sill length drapes:
With sill length drapes your panels will end just above the recessed window sill, usually leaving about ½ an inch gap between the sill and the fabric.
Below sill or apron length drapes:
The choice is yours as to where the panels end with apron length drapes, but the standard measurement is 6 inches below the sill.
Always allow for a one-inch gap above the floor covering for floor-length window treatments. Anything lower may drag as you open and close the panels which will wear the curtains and the floor covering over time, not to mention be an annoyance every time you have to move the fabric.
The way you measure for each style is the same. Place the tape measure an inch above the top edge of your rod or rail and measure to your desired length. Don’t forget the label it and write it down.
If you plan to use eyelet curtains, add another ½ and inch to the measurement as this is the length of the eyelet to the fabric.
Now you have all these important measurements figured out and written down you are ready for the fun part! Choosing your fabric! Come and see us! We can do all the other measurements you need, and can make beautiful window treatments a breeze!
What are you waiting for?
We’re ready to help you have the most beautiful curtains for your space.