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How to measure curtains

Knowing how to measure curtains is a great skill to have. Although it’s actually quite simple, it’s always good to know the basics so that you can benefit from the added interior design aesthetic, noise-cancelling properties, and general warmth they offer.

Knowing how to measure curtains is a great skill to have. Although it’s actually quite simple, it’s always good to know the basics so that you can benefit from the added interior design aesthetic, noise-cancelling properties, and general warmth they offer.

There are various types of curtains on the market, such as eyelet, rod pocket, tap-top, window scarf and pleated. Our guide will help you measure for any design, so read on for our top tips.

How to measure curtains

How to measure curtains with a tape measureMost homeowners like to mount their curtains outside their window frame and not inside it. However, if you want to measure for curtains inside the frame, then these steps are mostly the same.

Tools you’ll need for the job

Before you get started, make sure you have a notepad, pencil, tape measure and footstool handy. Once you’re equipped, follow our step by step guide below.

How to measure for curtain width

Step one: Decide on the length of your rod/track

There are three types of rod/track mount to choose from: inside trim, below trim and above trim. Most rods/tracks are secured 3 inches past either side of the window; however, some shorter and deeper windows prefer an inside trim mount. Let’s look at the ideal mounts below.

  • Inside trim mount: Good for drapes or curtains for short, deep windows such as bay or curved.
  • Below trim mount: Great for homes with intricate moulding that you don’t want to cover up.
  • Above trim mount: An ideal and common placement that sits around 6-12 inches above the window frame, depending on the space you have available and the size of your wall.

Step two: Measure your curtain width

Now you’ve decided on your rod length and where you’re mounting it, it’s time to work out how wide your curtains need to be. This is a simple calculation that involves measuring your window width and multiplying it by 1.5 – 3 depending on the ‘fullness’ you require.

Top tip: For a fuller feel, multiply your window width by 3.

How to measure windows for curtains

Step three: Decide where you want your curtains to sit

Once you’ve worked out the width of your curtains, it’s time to measure your window to determine the length. You either want your curtains to sit above or below the sill or you want them to reach the floor.

Step four: Measure your curtain length

The length of your curtains extends from the rod/track pocket to the floor. Some homeowners like their curtains trailing along the floor, others prefer that they hang a cm above it, and others want a perfect fit. Whatever your desired aesthetic is, be sure to double-check your measurements to account for any mistakes.

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How to measure fabric for curtains

Measuring curtains and blindsUsing our above calculation, multiply the rod/track width with your desired fullness. For example, a 160cm rod length X 1.5 fabric width calculation will give you less bunching, which is great for gossamer curtains. Whereas, a 160cm rod length X 3.5 fabric width will give you greater bunching and a thicker feel, which is great for coarser fabrics like linen.

How to measure eyelet curtains

As eyelet curtains are pleated, to ensure the right finish, you simply need to double the width of your rod/track length. So, a 160cm rod/track will require an eyelet curtain width of 320cm.

How to measure for pencil pleat curtains

As folded pleats are the desired aesthetic, when it comes to measuring the width, make sure you multiply the track/rod by at least 2.5 to get the right finish.

How to measure a bay window for curtains

Bay windows are a tricky shape to hang curtains and often require a bespoke design. As most homeowners opt to hang their curtains inside the window, we recommend measuring each inside section individually and then adding up the total to determine the width. Then, once you’re happy with the placement of your track/rod, measure it from the top to the bottom of your bay window to determine the length of curtain you require for a snug fit.

If all this sounds a little complex and fiddly, then we have just the professional for you! Don’t hesitate to hire a professional to ensure a perfect finish.

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How do I know what size curtains to buy?

This all depends on the design aesthetic you’re going for. If you’re not sure, why not ask one of our interior design experts to help? They’d be happy to offer advice for an outcome that suits your style, taste, and decor.

Should I hire a professional?

We always believe that if you want a job done well, call in a professional. Not only will they measure and fit your curtains, but they also give you peace of mind and the satisfaction of a perfect finish.

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