Before We Begin, Gather Your Tools
We recommend that you use a metal measuring tape for accuracy.
Also, a pencil and paper is a good idea so you can write down your measurements.
Measuring for curtains is easy, just follow these simple steps.
Measuring for curtains doesn't have to be intimidating. With a few tools and a few simple steps you can measure like a pro.
Before you get started we have a couple of tips:
- First, gather your tools. We recommend a metal measuring tape for accuracy and a pencil and paper to record the measurements.
- Next, write down the measurements right away so you don't get confused. First measure the width of the window and then the length and record them in that order: width x length.
Step - 1
Decide how you are going to use your curtains;
If you are trying to add some color or a design element and you don't really need the curtains to function, chances are you are looking for a decorative set of curtains. This means you don't really need to pay too much attention to the width of the window, just the length.
If you need to solve a problem like too much light, a lack of privacy or drafty windows, chances are you are looking for a functional set of curtains. This means you need to pay attention to both the width and the length.
Step - 2
Measure for width:
If your rod is already in place, measure the length of the rod, not including the finials. This is your Width. If your rod is not already in place, measure the window from the outside of the trim to the outside of the trim from side to side. This is your width.*
*If you like, you can add a few inches to the width if you intend to extend the rod beyond the actual width of the window.
Measure for length:
If your rod is already in place, measure from the top of the rod to the floor. This is your length.
If your rod is not already in place, measure above the window trim, at the point you intend to mount the rod, to the floor. This is your length.*
*We recommend mounting your rod a minimum of 4 to 6 inches above the window trim if space allows.
Step - 3
What Type of Panel to order: Pleated vs Flat
Pleated curtains have small sections of fabric at the top of the panel, (the header) which have been folded or gathered and sewn into place to create fullness. Examples of Pleated curtain headers: French Pleats, Goblet Pleats, Inverted Pleats, Parisian Pleats.
Flat curtains are un-pleated along the top, (the header) with no fullness sewn into them. Examples of Flat curtain headers: Pole Pocket, Back Tabs, Tab Tops, Pole Pocket with Hook-belt and Ruched.
The type of header you choose is a personal design decision. Pleated panels are classic and easy to use, flat panels are modern and less structured.
Step - 4
Using your measurements to order: Width
Pleated curtains should be ordered to fit your rod length. If your rod is 50 inches long you need a minimum of 50 inches in width to cover the rod. You may choose to have two 25 inch panels for a center draw or one 50 inch panel for a one way draw.*
*If you want a return, (the end of the curtain that wraps back toward the wall to cover the bracket) and you want the panels to cross over each other at the middle, add 5 inches to each width.
Flat curtains should be ordered at least 2 times wider than the rod length. If the rod is 50 inches long you need a minimum of 100 inches of width to cover it. You may choose to order two 50 inch wide panels for a center draw or one 100 inch wide panel for a one way draw.
Using your measurements to order: Length
How you hang your curtains and what kind of rod you install can affect the length of your curtains.
A rod that does not use rings or tabs to install your drapes can be used with pole pocket, tab top or back tab curtains. Measuring from the top of the rod to the floor is how to find the correct length for this type of rod.
A rod that uses rings or tabs to install your drapes can be used with pleated drapes or curtains with a pole pocket and hook belt. Measuring from the bottom of the ring or tab to the floor is how to find the correct length for this type of panel.
Measuring for Window Shades
"Measure twice, cut once," This saying is also an important step when ordering a custom roman shade. This advice and these guidelines will help you accurately measure for a custom roman shade and avoid costly mistakes. We will show you all the tips and techniques we have learned to get the best measurement results.
Step - 1
Decide whether you are measuring for an inside or an outside mounted shade.
A shade that is mounted within the window frame, where the trim will be visible once the shade is installed, is called an inside mount.
A shade that is mounted on the outside of the trim, where the trim will be covered once the shade is installed, is called an outside mount.
Step - 2
To achieve an accurate measurement for an inside mount shade, follow these steps.
Measure the inside of the frame, from side to side, at the top, middle, and bottom of the window and record the SMALLEST measurement. This is your width.
Measure the inside of the frame, from top to bottom, at the far left, the middle, and the far right of the inside of the window and record the LONGEST measurement. This is your length.
We will make all deductions necessary for the shade to be installed and operate properly.
Step - 3
To achieve an accurate measurement for an outside mount shade, follow these steps:
Measure your window width from the outside of the trim to the outside of the trim. Then determine how far beyond the trim you want the shade to go on each side, add that to your measurement. This is your width.
Measure the top of the trim to the bottom of the sill. Determine how far above the window you want to mount the shade and how far below the sill you want the shade to fall, add this to your measurement. (Be sure to add at least two inches at the top to allow for installation hardware.) This is your length*.
*If you want to maximize privacy and light blocking properties, you should extend the shade at least 2 inches beyond the trim in all directions.
Need More Help, See Our Videos
Our videos are here to help walk you through the measuring & hanging process of various drapery styles.