Selecting New Curtains
Author: Cinta Detisur
Deciding what type of curtain or window treatment to put up in your home is not always an easy decision. Many things need to be considered before making the choice. Factors such as sun exposure, type of room, and interior decor play a big part in choosing what will be best for your windows.
When a room faces east or west it gets most of the direct sun exposure in the home. If you live in an area that is very hot in the summer, you should choose a curtain that will block out a lot of these rays so that you won't heat up the room so much. There are curtains specifically designed to deflect rather that absorb the sun's heat.
In bedrooms, some people choose to use what are called room darkening curtains. These can come in a variety of types, like cellular shades, for example. These kinds of curtains in the room darkening variety are great especially for windows that face east, to keep the maximum amount of morning sun out of the room. Curtains like these are available in a wide array of colors, to it is very likely that a color is available to suit just about any decor. Since this kind of window treatment is used to cover the window, it is an option to also put up some other kind of curtain to dress the window up, like sheer panels or a window valance.
Kitchens are traditionally rooms that are full of natural light and warmth. However, you may also have concerns about privacy. One suggestion is to get blinds that allow light in when it is desired and can be closed for privacy. Then, hang a simple decorative curtain over the blinds to give the kitchen a finished, homey look.
Sliding glass doors present a different challenge. If the sliding glass door is one that you will be using frequently, you may not want a full length curtain that will be getting in the way. This is where vertical blinds are helpful. You can also decorate the top of the door with a swag, valance or cornice in colors that complement the room and decor. If the door is not used often you can choose to hang a curtain as long as it is one that can be moved if it is necessary to use the door.
In the bathroom, depending on the size of the window and whether or not there's a privacy issue, some people choose to either cover the window with a light curtain on a rod, cover the window with a vinyl shade or something similar, or even not cover the window at all.
Curtains can give your home a lot of personality and appeal. They can also provide you with privacy and even energy savings. Choosing curtains should be a matter of careful consideration, but also a matter of creativity and fun.
Measuring for Ready Made Curtains
Select your desired curtain rod first. This will be your guide to the length of your curtain.
Standard curtain rods are hung 6" above a window frame with an allowance of 2"-3" on each side of the window . The length of your curtain panels will depend on your bottom point and any of these numbers can be adjusted to enhance a window.
When measuring use a metal rule for accuracy.
To measure the width, measure the full length of you curtain rail / pole including any overlaps.
To measure the drop, measure from where you want the top of your curtains to sit on the rail / pole to where you want them to finish.
For tab top curtains the drop includes the tab length.
For eyelet curtains the drop is from the eyelet rim at the top, to the bottom of the curtain.
The curtain measurement stated on the web site refers to the width and length of each curtain.
95% of our curtains are sold in pairs. When sold separately - this is stated in the description
- Unpack the cords at one end of the tape and tie them in a knot. Unpick the cords at the other end of the tape and pull until you create evenly spread pleats, reducing the curtain to the desired width.
- To maintain the pleats, tie the loose cord as close as possible to the edge of the tape.
- Do not cut off any surplus cord; tie it into a loop which can be undone when the curtains need cleaning.
- Insert curtain hooks at regular intervals along any of the pockets on the tape.
Glossary of Curtain Terms
A pencil pleat heading is the most common for curtains and valances. It is a 3” tape that gathers the curtain or valance into neat folds. This is the most common type of heading. This type of curtain or valance can be hung on a pole or curtain track. There are usually 2 or 3 lines of “ loops”, so linings can be easily attached.
Double the width of your track or pole for this style for softly gathered curtains.
A loop of straight fabric hangs the curtain on a curtain pole. This style is a contemporary, straighter style that can only be hung on a pole or rod. Multiply the width of your pole by 1.5 for tab top curtains.
Eyelet or Ring Top
Known by both terms this is the most popular curtain heading at the moment. Metal rings are punched through the fabric in a nautical style. Eyelet curtains can be hung on a pole or rod. Multiply the width of your pole by 1.5 for a straighter contemporary look.
Voile curtains are made from a sheer fabric either cotton or polyester that can be used similarly to nets or as side hangings. Voile curtains are available in 2 styles of heading. The gathered type is usually made with a 1” heading tape so they will hang neatly beneath heavier drapes on a track. Tab top voiles are very popular and can be hung from a rod or pole.
A valance is decorative. Normally gathered with a 3” heading tape it can be straight or shaped.
Valances are more suitable to traditional styles. Double or treble the width of your pole or track for maximum effect.
Tie backs when sold with ready made curtains are usually straight or curved lengths of stiffened fabric. They do exactly as suggested and “tie back” the curtains or voiles.
Loose black out linings are thermal and light resistant. These can be attached to most unlined curtains with a pencil pleat heading. The majority of ready made curtains are fully lined.
Linings should be the same width as your curtain but are made 1-2” shorter so they can be hung from a lower level on the curtain tape.
Curtain measurements converted from centimetres to inches.
Curtains are made up of widths of fabric, therefore measurements can vary slightly depending on the width of the fabric.
Basically ready made curtains are available 1 width x 54”,72” or 90” long, 1.5 widths x 54”, 72”, or 90” long, 2 widths x 54”, 72” or 90” long.
Extra sizes are available in a few designs such as 350cm / 138” wide the equivalent to 2.5 widths or 274 / 108” long.
Below are conversions for the most common sizes.
- 112 x 137cm = 44 x 54”
- 112 x 183cm = 44 x 72”
- 112 x 229cm = 44 x 90”
- 163 x 137cm = 64 x 54”
- 163 x 183cm = 64 x 72”
- 163 x 229cm = 64 x 90”
- 224 x 137cm = 88 x 54”
- 224 x 183cm = 88 x 72”
- 224 x 229cm = 88 x 90”
- 114 x 137cm = 46 x 54”
- 114 x 183cm = 46 x 72”
- 114 x 229cm = 46 x 90”
- 114 x 274cm = 46 x 108”
- 165 x 137cm = 65 x 54”
- 165 x 183cm = 65 x 72”
- 165 x 229cm = 65 x 90”
- 165 x 274cm = 65 x 108”
- 229 x 137cm = 90 x 54”
- 229 x 183cm = 90 x 72”
- 229 x 229 cm = 90 x 90”
- 229 x 274cm = 90 x 108”
- 117 x 137cm = 46 x 54”
- 117 x 183cm = 46 x 72”
- 117 x 229cm = 46 x 90”
- 168 x 137cm = 66 x 54”
- 168 x 183cm = 66 x 72”
- 168 x 229cm = 66 x 90”
- 229 x 137cm = 90 x 54”
- 229 x 183cm = 90 x 72”
- 229 x 229cm = 90 x 90”
- 350 x 137cm = 138 x 54”
- 350 x 183cm = 138 x 72”
- 350 x 229cm = 138 x 90”
- 350 x 274cm = 138 x 108”