As experienced Interior Designers, we offer a high quality making up service for beautifully hand made curtains and blinds and other soft furnishings

How to request a quote

  • First select the fabric you require
  • Click the 'CURTAIN & BLIND CALCULATOR' button to the right hand side of the fabric image
  • Complete the drop down list and receive your quote

More information on curtains and window treatments

 

Curtain Designs

The style of curtains to be used will be governed by the style of the room e.g. traditional or contemporary, the shape of the window, the height of the curtains and the fabric itself, as well as by your personal likes and dislikes.

The curtain heading used should be chosen to show off the fabric to the fullest, ensuring that any pleating falls in such a way that the pattern of the fabric is highlighted. This is where using the services of a professional Interior Designer or Curtain Maker is to be recommended.

Consider adding trimmings or borders down the leading edges of the curtains, or panels in a contrasting fabric at the top or bottom of the fabric to add further interest and create a more contemporary look.

Consider the depth of any pelmet or valance heading - classic proportions suggest that these should generally be around one fifth to one sixth of the overall finished drop of the curtains.

Think about the functionality of your curtains - do they need to protect furniture from the sun during the daytime? Do you want blackout curtains in your bedroom?

If you have a lot of window area to dress, consider a less expensive fabric, but then dress it up with gorgeous trimmings or a border and maybe a stunning pole too.

Wherever possible, use interlining in your curtains - an absolute must with silk or finer fabrics, as this really adds body to your curtains and helps them to hang much better. Always use the best quality lining, as this will help protect your fabric from the effects of the sun.

 

Traditional window treatments

Traditional window treatments such as swags and tails look wonderful in a period home, but can be out of place and too fussy for a modern home, where a simpler design can be far more effective.

Fabrics to consider in a traditional scheme include damasks, silks and embroidered floral silks and velvets. The colours are also important - rich reds or deep blues and purples will give a very opulent period feel to a room.

Poles can be very decorative and elaborate - heavy wooden poles with beautifully carved finials and holdbacks.

Headings to choose from would include goblets, swags and tails and curtains with attached valances - either goblets or pleats.

Pelmets can be more detailed - shaped pelmets as elaborate as you wish to be!

Trimmings can be very much a part of a traditional window treatment - fringes and braids can be used to edge both the curtains and any pelmet, and tassels can also be incorporated - smaller tassels within a pelmet design and larger tiebacks to sweep the curtains back. An attached valance can look very effective with a bullion fringing along the bottom.

 

Classic window treatments

Classic curtains tend to be simple and unfussy, and in fabrics that will not date.

Consider textured fabrics such as silks, linens and velvets, damasks.

Plain fabrics or those with simple two tone / two coloured patterns.

Headings should be kept simple too - pencil pleats, box pleats or double / triple pinch pleats work well, hung from a simple pole with a wood stain finish. Also consider a simple rectangular pelmet in the same fabric, or a contrasting plain - this plain contrast could also be introduced as a border on the leading edges of the curtains.

 

Contemporary window treatments

The adage ‘less is more’ holds true here.

Often Roman Blinds are considered as an alternative in a contemporary setting, but curtains certainly have their place too - well made, lined and interlined curtains will always be more effective in insulating a room against cold in the winter and heat in the summer, and they absorb sound more effectively too.

Keep the window treatment very simple - eyelets are a popular choice, but also consider a cartridge heading hung from a sleek pole - maybe chrome / steel or a light wood stain - beech for example. A plain rectangular pelmet also works well, and in contemporary interiors, a shallow rather than a deep pelmet can look very smart.

Fabrics to consider would include plains, textured plains or a mix of different plains together with bands or borders in contrasting colours.

Colour has made its way back big time, in defiance to the years of neutrals and creams.

Do bear in mind that strong colours with dominant patterns can take a while to get used to, and you may tire of these more quickly. The bolder the colour and pattern, the more you must simply adore the fabric and be sure you can live with it!

 

Country/rustic window treatments

As with contemporary window treatments, keep it simple.

Curtains with an attached floppy valance work well (the valance can be in a contrasting fabric), as do pencil and pinch pleats.

Fabrics to consider are fresh floral printed cottons and chintzes, checks and stripes - ginghams for example - don’t be afraid to mix these.

Poles can be oak or pine with simple finials.

Keep away from fussy trimmings - consider simple braids or button braids.

Keep tiebacks in the same fabric as the curtains.

Fabric Pattern Matching

What are pattern repeats? What is a half drop repeat?

All patterned fabrics have a repeated pattern down their lengths - this is the pattern repeat and is measured from a point in one pattern to the same point in the next pattern.

Regular horizontal repeat: The pattern repeats across the roll and is positioned at the same place at each selvedge, allowing a straight match for each cut of fabric.

Half drop repeat: The pattern repeats across the roll half way down the vertical repeat, usually to make the design repeats more interesting. Every other horizontal repeat (from side to side) is dropped down one half of its length i.e. the design repeats itself on the diagonal rather than the horizontal. This normally means allowing extra fabric for curtains (an extra pattern repeat for every other drop of fabric) and cutting very carefully.

Fabrics which are made in modern Mills tend to have very precise pattern matching.

Fabrics which are hand made / produced on hand looms or hand finished / hand embroidered will not have the same uniformity as a machine produced fabric. Please bear in mind that it will be more difficult to pattern match these fabrics.

What does railroaded mean?

The term 'railroaded' refers to the orientation of the fabric's pattern as it is woven on the fabric roll.

Regular fabric: The design is orientated to run along the length of the fabric and is the correct way as it comes off the roll.

Railroaded fabric: The design is orientated to run along the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge) so that you must turn the roll 90 degrees to show the design running the correct way. The width of the fabric is then used for the curtain drop.

Some stripe designs and wide width curtain fabrics are often railroaded avoiding the need for seams.

Measuring Up

How do I take window measurements for curtains?

We would always recommend that you fit your track or pole before measuring for your curtains. In our experience there are occasions when you can't put the pole / track fixture where you originally intended due to a poor fixing or the opposite a solid lintel.

Poles are usually fitted 10 – 15 cm above the window, depending on the depth of the wall between your window and the ceiling.

WIDTH

Tracks / poles extend past the width of the window, usually by 15 – 25 cm either side of the window. This measurement depends on how wide the window is – if you want to have the curtains drawn back off the windows during the day, you will need more room to stack back a bigger, fuller curtain, than for a smaller window with a less bulky curtain.

When measuring for curtains you measure the width of the track / pole, not the width of the window. If you are using a pole, it is the measurement from one finial to the other which is used.

Track width

Pole width

If you are fitting a pole or track with an overlap arm in the middle, then you need to measure the overlap and add this amount to the pole / track length (A plus B).

Overlap arm

Floors can be uneven, so we would always advise that 3 measurements are taken for the drop – one at each end and another in the middle. The shortest measurement is usually used, otherwise the curtains at their longest will drag along the floor. If these 3 measurements are greatly different, or you are using certain fabrics with a lot of movement in them such as silk velvets, we would recommend that the curtains are pooled or puddled on the floor, rather than trying to work to an exact floor length curtain.

DROP

The overall drop of the curtain is the complete length of the curtain, top to bottom, including the heading height.

Curtains are usually finished to a choice of 3 lengths:

(i) cill length (usually 1 cm above the cill)

(ii) below cill length – usually 15 – 20 cm below the window cill, unless there is  a radiator etc. to take into account.

(iii) floor length (usually 1 cm above the floor)

If you are using a track, we would recommend that the curtains sit just above the track, so you would measure from the top of the track, plus one cm or two, down to where you wish the curtains to finish.

Heading height

Track drop

If you are using a pole, the measurement will depend on the type of heading you are having and how you want your curtains to hang:

Pencil pleat, Pinch pleat, Goblet etc. – measure the drop from the eye (small metal ring on the curtain ring) so that your pole will be seen above the curtains..

Pole drop

Eyelet Curtains

1. Measure pole length.

2. Your curtains will need to have 3cm above the pole as in the image. Measure from the TOP of the pole.

3. Then measure down to the bottom of the curtain. Tab or tie top - measure from the top of the pole.

How do I take window measurements for blinds?

Sidewinder

Cord and cleat

The first thing to decide is whether you want your blind to sit inside or outside your window recess.

If the blind is to sit inside a recess:

Inside recess

WIDTH

Measure across the window recess in three places – top, middle and bottom, as windows often aren't square. The smallest measurement is the one to use, so that the blind can move smoothly. NB Take into account any tiles or window fixtures which may impede the blind.

DROP

Measure the length from the top of the recess to the bottom, again measuring in 3 places. Again, usually the shortest length is taken as the finished drop.

If the blind is to sit outside a recess:

Measure the required width and drop of the blind, allowing an overlap at each side (usually 3 – 5 cm).  We often recommend that if you have a window cill that extends beyond the window, then use the cill width as the width of the blind too, and have the blind sitting on the cill  for a neat finish.

Outside recess

Fabric - How do I calculate how much fabric I need?

1) Measure the width of your curtain pole or track, as explained in the previous section.

2) Multiply this width by the fullness required for your heading:

Goblet pleat/Triple pleat : multiply your width by 2.5 x

Gathered / Slotted / Eyelet / Tabbed top / Tie top : multiply your width by 2 x

Pencil pleat : multiply your width by 2 x – 2.5 x

3) Divide this number by the width of your chosen fabric and round up to the nearest whole number. This is the number of widths of fabric required.

4) Measure the finished length of the curtains you require, as explained in the previous section.

Add 30 cm for turnings, and this gives you your cutting length.

5) Multiply the number of widths by the cutting length. This is the amount of fabric you need to buy if the fabric is plain.

6) If you are buying a fabric with any kind of pattern, you will need to pattern match the fabric, so that when the curtains are drawn together, the pattern is the same on both curtains.

To allow enough fabric for pattern matching, add the following calculation:

Take the cutting length you have calculated and divide this by the pattern repeat. Round the number of pattern repeats up so that your cutting length increases.

Use this new, final cutting length and multiply by the number of widths. This is the amount of fabric you need to buy for fabric with a pattern repeat.

We usually recommend that you add an additional pattern repeat to the overall quantity, so that you can choose how to place the pattern on the first and subsequent widths.

Remember the golden rule – Measure twice – cut once!

If you are still at all unsure as to how much fabric to order, please request a curtain quote and we will work it all out for you.

© Wesley Barrell Interiors 2017. Company registration number: 00286568.