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Made to Measure Measuring Guide: Pencil Pleat


Perfect for traditional and formal spaces, pencil pleat curtains are a versatile heading. So how do you measure for them?

You've decided on your fabric, and your pencil pleat heading - and now all that's left to do before you can order your new curtains is get the measurements correct. There's nothing like a pair of perfectly-fitted pencil pleat curtains, so use our handy measuring guide to get it right first time. 

what are pencil pleat curtains?

Pencil pleat curtains are made using tightly gathered folds of curtain fabric to create neat and uniformed pleats that look like a line of pencils, hence the name! They can be fitted onto a pole or a track - though if you use a pole, you will need curtain rings.

They're super versatile, fitting in well with both traditional and modern homes. 


measuring + fitting your pole or track.

The first step before you can measure for your pencil pleat curtains is to measure and fit your pole or track to the wall above your window. To start with, your pole or track should be at least 15cm longer than your window on each side. This will make sure that your curtains can fully open and not block any light from the window. For thicker fabrics, you can leave up to 30cm on each side.

Then, there’s the height to consider. The right height can make your room look beautifully spacious, with high ceilings - and who doesn’t want that? To get this perfect, take a look at the space between the top of your window and the ceiling. Your curtain pole or track should be between halfway and two thirds of the way up that space for the perfect curtain height.




measuring the width.

Once your curtain pole is the right length and is fixed at the right height, it’s time to start measuring for your curtains. We’ll start with the width - simply measure the width of your track or pole, excluding any finials (decorations) on either end. Don’t measure your window, as you’ll end up with curtains that are too small. 

Measuring bay windows? It can seem a bit daunting, but we promise it’s easy. Assuming you have your track or pole already up, then all you have to do is measure each straight section’s width, add them all together, and voila! You have your width measurement.




measuring the drop/length. 

Now the important bit - the length of your pencil pleat curtains. The place you start measuring from depends on whether you have a pole or a track. If you have a pole, you’ll need to start from the centre of a curtain ring. If you’ve gone for a track, then start your measurement from the top of it. 

The length of your curtain is entirely up to you. You have three main options:

short curtains.

A perfect practical option, short curtains are ideal for busy households. They usually sit 1cm above or 15cm below the window sill, keeping them out of the way of sticky fingers, muddy paws and furniture. 

floor length.

Floor length curtains drop to 1cm above the floor, and give any space an instant lift. Whether they end above the floor or just kiss it, they allow you to take full advantage of the pattern you’ve chosen, as it won’t break or fold horizontally. 


This is where the curtain fabric drops an extra 10-20cm from floor length, creating a 'puddled' or 'pooled' effect on the floor. It’s romantic and relaxed, but this length is for curtains that don’t get moved too much. Every time you open or close them, you’ll have to rearrange the bottoms of them so they are aesthetically pleasing. They are perfect for heavy, textured fabrics like velvet and jacquard, as the puddling effect will help them catch the light.



In our made to measure curtains collection, you've got 250 fabrics, four heading options and four different lining preferences to choose from. You can order free samples, as well as get a quote and order your fabric - making buying made to measure pencil pleat curtains online simple and easy.