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How to Measure for Curtains

How to Measure for Curtains

Creating a perfectly tailored atmosphere in your living space begins with the right curtains. To ensure a flawless fit that complements your interior design, accurate measurements are essential. This guide will walk you through the simple yet crucial steps of measuring for curtains. Whether you're dressing a window with an existing curtain pole or track, or starting from scratch, our instructions will help you achieve a stylish and seamless look that transforms your space.

Understanding your Window Type

Before we discuss how to measure for curtains, let's shed some light on understanding your window type. From standard single and double windows to bay windows, each window type comes with its own set of considerations when it comes to choosing and hanging curtains.

Standard Window with Hanging Curtains

Standard Windows

A standard window typically refers to a traditional, single or double-pane window that is flat against the exterior wall of a building. They are versatile, suitable for any room but are commonly found in bedrooms and smaller spaces. It's a straightforward design, providing a simple and classic look and can be found commonly in homes across the UK.

Standard windows are incredibly easy to measure for curtains thanks to their squared off, flat design. Window dressings for this style of window are also widely available as you can find them online in both made to measure and ready made styles, making it easy to personalise your space.

Bay Window

Bay Windows

A bay window is a more distinctive architectural feature that extends outward from the main walls of a building, creating a bay or alcove. Typically, bay windows consist of multiple window panes, including a central fixed pane and and angled windows on either side. This design not only adds character to a space but also allows for increased natural light. Commonly found on Victorian and Edwardian homes, they add real charm to the interior and exterior of your home.

When dealing with bay windows, there are a few extra things to consider when it comes to measuring and hanging. Due to their unique angles and dimensions you may require a custom track or pole to ensure your curtains fit perfectly. Opting for made to measure curtains is generally the more practical solution for bay windows as they often present sizes that can be challenging for ready made options.

If you're wondering how to measure a bay window for curtains, you can follow the same steps in our guide below once you have your custom track or pole fitted.

Measuring the Width
Measuring Curtain Width

Obtaining your width measurement is a straightforward process. You'll want to measure the complete length of your curtain pole or track, as illustrated below. If you haven't set up the pole or track yet, we strongly advise against making assumptions on measurements. We always recommend fitting your track or poll first to ensure your measurements are accurate.

Measure the Width of a Curtain Pole

Measuring your curtain pole is easy, simply measure the entire length of the pole in between the end caps.

Measure the Width of a Curtain Track

For a standard curtain track, you should simply measure the entire length of the track.

Measure the Width of Overlapping Tracks

If your track happens to have an overlap in the centre, how you measure the width is slightly different. You will need to measure the full length of track A, and then do the same with track B. Once you have measured both tracks, you should add both measurements together to give you your total width.

Please Note
Before you Buy

Please Note: To ensure proper fullness and allow for a generous gather, we make all necessary adjustments and calculate how many widths of fabric you require. Please DO NOT make these adjustments yourself.

Measuring Drop
How to Measure Curtain Drop

Moving on, it's time to measure the drop of your curtains. The method you use for measuring the drop will vary based on the type of curtain heading you've selected and whether you have a track or pole. Further details are provided below to guide you in this process.

Measuring the Drop for Pencil Pleat or Pinch Pleat Curtains with a Pole Heading

If you’re using a curtain pole to hang your blinds, the measurement should be taken from the bottom side of the rings to the desired endpoint of the curtain. Typically, this endpoint would be either the floor or the windowsill.

Measuring the Drop for Pencil Pleat or Pinch Pleat Curtains with a Track Heading

If you have a curtain track, the measurement should be taken starting from the top of the track, extending down to the point where you intend the curtain to end.

Measuring the Drop for Eyelet Curtains

If you are measuring for eyelet curtains, you can simply measure from the top of the pole, down to where you want your curtains to finish. Our range of eyelet curtains accommodate poles with diameters of up to 40mm.

Choosing the Right Length for your Curtains
Floor Length Curtains Pooled Curtains

The length of your curtains is ultimately up to you and depends on what look you are trying to achieve. You should consider your décor style as well as practicality and functionality, taking into account any obstructions like radiators. Let’s explore your options!

Floor Length Curtains

Curtains that extend to floor length create a refined look by hovering 1cm above the floor, instantly elevating the ambience of any room. Whether they conclude slightly above the floor or gently graze it, these curtains enable you to fully showcase your chosen pattern, ensuring it remains uninterrupted and unaffected by horizontal breaks or folds.

Short Curtains

An exceptionally functional choice, shorter curtains prove to be a great fit for households with a bustling pace. Typically positioned either 1cm above or 15cm below the windowsill, they effectively stay well out the way of any mucky pets or adventurous little ones. This makes them a convenient solution to your shading needs.

Pooled Curtains

An incredibly stylish option, pooled curtains cascade an additional 10-20cm beyond the standard floor length, fashioning a charming 'pooled' look upon the floor. This style exudes a sense of romance and ease, although it's most suitable for curtains that experience minimal manipulation. Each time you draw them open or shut, a bit of adjustment will be required to ensure their visual appeal. This length is particularly well-suited for weighty, textured fabrics such as velvet and jacquard, benefiting from the way the arrangement captures and reflects light.

How to Measure for Curtains for Window with Radiator Underneath

In many modern homes you may find that your radiator is placed beneath your window and you might be wondering the best way to hang your curtains given this obstacle. The most important thing is to ensure that the fabric of your curtains isn't left covering your radiator while the heating is switched on. 

If you'd like your curtains above the radiator, we suggest hanging them with at least a 4cm gap. For safety reasons you should never tuck your fabric behind the radiator as this could become a fire hazard or damage your curtains. When the radiator is on, draw the curtains closed to let warm air circulate freely without it escaping out the window, creating a cosy atmosphere.

If you prefer, you can still hang longer curtains over radiators but it's important to keep them tied back when the heating is on. This not only ensures safety but also allows their floor-length elegance to shine without compromising efficiency. It's important to note, that you should only draw your curtains closed once your heating has been turned off.

View our handy guide for more tips and tricks for new curtains.

Lining Options

Once you’ve learned how to measure for your new curtains, it’s time to think about customising them to suit your space. When you choose made to measure curtains you can select the fabric lining that works best for you. At Voyage Maison we offer a range of light filtering, blackout, and thermal linings for your curtains, ensuring you get exactly what your space requires. Find out more when you browse our Curtain Buying Guide.

Now that you've mastered the art of curtain hanging it's time to elevate your space with confidence. Ready to turn inspiration into reality? Explore our curated collection of luxurious made to measure curtains, designed to complement your style effortlessly. Your journey to a perfectly personalised home begins now.