Measuring up for curtains is a tricky beast - it all depends on the type of header you’re going for and what type of fixture you’re using. When it comes to pinch pleat curtains, you have two options, attaching your curtains via a track, or a pole.
Not sure where to begin? We’ve pulled together this handy measuring guide to take you through every step of the way.
measuring + fitting your pole.
Whatever curtain heading you’re opting for, fitting the pole or track to the wall has to be the first step. This will make everything else much easier, as well as being more accurate - and you’re more likely to be happy with the way your window dressing turns out in the end.
Your curtain pole or track should be at least 15cm longer than your window on each side. This should give you plenty of space to draw your curtains back completely and not block any of the light from your window. If your chosen fabric is particularly thick, then leave up to 30cm on either side.
The height you hang your pole or track makes all the difference. Too low (we’re talking on the window frame), and it’ll make your whole room feel small and enclosed. Too high, and your curtains will just look ridiculous. The perfect height? Somewhere between halfway and two thirds up the wall between the ceiling and the top of your window frame. This will leave your room feeling spacious and open.
measuring the width.
The easy bit! Once your curtain pole or track is fixed in the correct place on the wall, you’re ready to start measuring. Simply measure your curtain pole or track from one end to the other, making sure to exclude any decorative finials on either end. Don’t measure your window, as you’ll end up with curtains that don’t meet in the middle.
Got a bay window? They can be tricky to measure. However, if you’ve already got your pole or track fitted, then the best way to do it is to measure each straight section of your curtain pole individually, then add them all up at the end.
measuring the drop/length.
This is where your choice of track or pole comes into play. If you’ve chosen to fix your curtains to the wall via a track, then to measure the length of your curtains, you start at the top of your track. If you’re using a pole, you’ll need to measure from the eye of your curtain rings.
The length of your drop is entirely up to you, your home decor style and the practical things you might have to consider. Lets go through the options.
Short curtains usually sit slightly above (1cm) or slightly below (up to 15cm) the window sill. This drop is perfect for keeping your curtains clear of sticky fingers, muddy paws and radiators that might lose heat if covered with fabric.
floor length curtains.
For a sense of elegance and formality, floor length curtains usually end just 1cm before the floor. They can also just kiss the floor, but you have to be very confident with your measurements for this. Having your curtains this length allows you to fully appreciate the pattern of your curtains - especially when closed - because there’s nothing to break up the design.
'Puddled' or 'pooled' curtains look relaxed and effortlessly romantic - but they aren’t the most practical. The effect works best with heavy, textured curtains like velvet or jacquard - but it does mean that they need tweaking and adjusting every time you open or close them.
You’ll need to add an extra 10-20cm to your floor length measurement, depending on how much of a puddle you want to create.
You should now have all the measurements you need to order your new made to measure curtains!