How to make -
Hand Pleated Interlined Curtains
Materials
 Guide
Tools
Step 2: Calculate the Curtain Dimensions
Printable Worksheet
Printable Worksheet

FINISHED CURTAIN WIDTH

For a pair of curtains the Finished Curtain Width for each curtain is half the pole length plus a figure for ease and overlap*.

We use the following for ease and overlap per curtain on a pair of curtains.

Pole Length Ease + Overlap per curtain
120cm7cm
160cm8cm
180cm8.5cm
200cm9cm
220cm9.5cm
240cm10cm
260cm10.5cm
280cm11cm
300cm11.5cm
320cm12cm

*Note if you are returning your curtain to the wall (continuing the outside flap of the curtain from the pole to the wall) you will also need to add the distance of the curtain pole to the wall to the finished curtain width.

Curtain NOT returning to the wall
*Curtain returning to the wall

FINISHED CURTAIN LENGTH

To calculate the Finished Curtain Length add the Hook to Top and Hook Drop measurements together: The calculation for the finished curtain length is then.

CHOOSE YOUR PLEAT DEPTH

The Pleat Depth
of the pleats you wish to make will determine the size of the buckram needed. The depth of your pleat is the depth of your buckram.

This is a design decision limited only by the sizes of buckram you have available to you. Note you can cut buckram down if needed.

For guidance generally we would make sill length curtains with a 10cm (4") buckram and floor length curtains with a 12.5cm (5") or sometimes 15cm (6") buckram.

PLEAT SIZES & SPACING

THE NORMAL PROCESS

When making a pair of hand pleated curtains we NORMALLY calculate the pleat and gap sizes in STEP 9. This is the process we follow.

  • Decide now how full you want your curtains to be. (see below)
  • Calculate to the nearest half width how many widths/half widths of fabric each curtain needs to be made with in STEP 3.
  • Make up the flat curtain panel (the approriate number of widths/half widths wide) ready to be pleated in STEP 9.
  • At STEP 9 measure the exact width of the made up curtain panel and THEN calculate the pleat sizes and spacing.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE FULLNESS OF YOUR CURTAINS

When deciding how full we want our curtains to be we talk in terms of Fullness Ratio. Fullness Ratio is the ratio of the width of the curtain before pleating to its finished width when pleated or gathered. The higher the fullness ratio the more gathered and heavier the curtains will be.

Recommended Fullness Ratios

  • Double Pleat: 2.2
  • Triple Pleat: 2.5
  • Goblet Pleat: 2.2
  • Cartridge Pleat: 2.0 - 2.2

In this tutorial demonstration we are making a douple pleated curtain. We recommend a Fullness Ratio of 2.2, in our opinion 2.5 is too much for a double pleat. There is some wriggle room in the fullness ratios if you don't want to go into the next width.

Questions & Comments

Lynn Huntingford

When doing a return to the wall do the curtains naturally turn back or do you attach a fixing to the wall and add some velcro to the curtain to hold it in place?

SewHelpful:  

We tend to add a block of wood covered in lining with hook velcro on the outside edge to the wall towards the top of the curtain. Then sew loop velcro on the inside of the curtain to attach the return to the wall.

Another method is to use a screw eye or vine eye into the wall or a wooden pole and hook into place.

Kay

I notice there is no mention of pencil pleated interlined curtains here - why is this?

SewHelpful:  

Because we haven't made the tutorial yet.

Becca

Hi, my pole length is 460cm - do I keep going up in 0.5cm increments to every 20cm of pole length to calculate my ease and overlap per curtain?

SewHelpful:  

Yes we would do that.

Jeorgia Ludlow

Hello

I am making a interlined and lined curtain using plain linen fabric.

Unfortunately it will go on a track and I was thinking of using buckram and do a double pleat.

Someone said to me that if I use a 2.2 fullness ratio my spaces will look bigger once the curtain is stacked back because it’s a track.

What would you advise?

The width is 362 and the drop is 135.5 to the window sill and it’s a recessed window.

I have purchased a few of your videos before and really enjoyed them.

Many thanks,

Jeorgia

SewHelpful:  

We cover this in the first step measuring the window (there is a video to watch). If you want the track covered when you close the curtains, the spaces will push forward when the curtains are open and stacked back. If the spaces are too large they will stick forward too much.

We tend to hang our curtains under poles and tracks for this reason. If you  decide to reduce the spaces between the pleats you will need more pleats. This means smaller pleats for a given fullness ratio, or you will need extra fabric (increased fullness ratio) for the extra pleats needed to reduce the space sizes. 

Im afraid we dont make calculations for people. If you make up a mock header you can vary the pleat and space sizes to see what will look best and work backwards from that.

Annie

So if my actual pole is a total of 260cm. Do I then halve it, to 130, and use your guide per curtain i.e approx 7.5 per curtain for ease and overlap.

SewHelpful:  

No, if you look at the example calculation. The figure given is the ease and overlap per curtain for a pole length. 

So each curtain would be 130cm + 10.5cm 

Don't worry if you have done it the other way it will still work it is just a guide. 

Fiona

I am making a small floor length pair of velvet, blackout, double pinch pleat curtains. Is 2:03 fullness ratio enough for a nice pleat depth? This saves me going into an extra width but worried it might not look full enough?

SewHelpful:  

We would make them fuller and go into the next width, they would come up too skimpy for us and velvet being thick is difficult to make small pleats with.

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