How to measure for new curtains

Ordering made to measure curtains means that you can hang beautiful drapes in your home no matter what shape or size your windows are. However, it’s vital that you measure up properly and order the right size as many bespoke curtains can’t be returned to the store in the same way as off the shelf curtains can. If you’ve never measured your windows for new curtains before then read on as we explain the correct way to do so…

Fitting the curtain track or pole

Measuring for curtains is easiest when you’ve got a curtain pole in place already; so if it isn’t in place yet we advise that you fit it first. Start by measuring the width of the window, and allow an extra 8 to 10 inches to ensure your curtains will comfortably cover your window. Fit the pole around 6 inches above the window recess and ensure that the pole sticks out around 6 to 8 inches either side of the window.

Measuring curtain width

If you’ve fitted your curtain track or pole in the right position then it’ll be much easier to measure the width that your curtains need to be. If you’re using a curtain track then you’ll need to measure its entire length, using a metal tape measure for better precision. If you’re using a curtain pole then just measure the length of the actual pole, don’t include the decorative pieces on the ends.

After measuring the curtain pole you’ll need to calculate the width your curtains need to be. In order to achieve a soft, gathered look when the curtains are closed use the header type as a guide. With a pencil header the width will be the same as the track or pole; with an eyelet header the curtain width is track/pole width times two; a tab top header means the curtain width is 1.5 times the pole or track length. Add a further one inch to ensure that the curtains overlap when closed.

Measuring curtain length

First of all you need to decide where the curtains will end. If you want them to be window sill length they should finish about half an inch above the sill to prevent wear and tear of the hems; for a below sill length the curtains should sit 6 inches below the sill to block out light and draughts; floor length curtains should sit half an inch off the floor to prevent wear.

Measure the drop of your curtains by using the type of curtains as a guide. Pencil pleat curtains on a track should be measured from the top of the track, while pencil pleat curtains on a pole should be measured from the bottom of the pole rings. Eyelet and tab top curtains should be measured from the top of the pole.

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