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How to measure curtains

How to easily measure your curtains

As well as providing privacy and retaining heat, curtains can help tie the décor of a room together, adding the finishing touch to your window. Here are some tips on how to measure curtains, no matter what the fabric or curtain type.

Measuring curtain width

Before measuring curtains, you’ll need to take the measurements of your window. Your curtains should be between 2 and 2.5 times as wide as your window frame. This ensures that they will drape well, with a slight bellow, and overlap the window frame enough to stop light filtering through.

TIP: Generally, the wider the better, but sheer curtains (or voiles) can be slightly narrower than heavier drapes or more opaque designs, because they don’t need to bellow as much. This is especially true if they sit behind a heavier curtain. Decorative curtains (that is, curtains that frame your window and that you don’t intend to close), can be much narrower: around 1.5 times the width.

Measuring curtain length

Ideally, your curtains should go all the way to the floor (unless there’s a heater or windowsill in the way).

This is because curtains that stop short look awkward and untailored, and can dwarf your room, making the ceilings look lower than they actually are.

There are two optimal lengths for curtains: those that kiss the floor (or window sill), and those that have just enough excess to break at the bottom.

Those that just touch the floor look slightly more contemporary, and are great if they are curtains that are open and closed often. Extra long curtains that break at the floor (allow around a twenty centimetre excess) also look tailored: for a light fabric like linen or cotton, this look is relaxed and casual; for a heavier fabric like velvet drapes, the break creates a slightly more glamorous, luxurious look.

TIP: Remember to measure from where your rod will hang. Tab curtains (those with hanging loops stitched in) look best when they end above the top window frame, so the curtain proper covers the window. Once they’re hung, you shouldn’t see any glass between the tabs at the top.

Once you have found your perfect curtain measurements, it’s easy to buy curtains online ready-made, or have them tailored for your requirements.

How to measure voiles

Velvet drapes
How to measure linen curtains

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