Curtain Fabric

Learning how to make curtains is very straightforward and will save you a lot of money, but planning which curtain fabric to use where in your home takes a little longer.

Typically, heavier fabrics such as jacquard, heavyweight cottons and damask are used for common areas like the living room and dining room as they drape beautifully whilst reducing drafts. In contrast, a child’s bedroom with blackout blinds may just need a simple cotton or poly/cotton fabric. You could get your child’s help with fabric ideas here by taking him/her to the market and search for colorful fabric that is either cheap or on discount. They will feel that the decision is theirs and they will love them.

Lined curtains may be more suitable for both teenager and adult bedrooms, but it would be a sensible choice if you can stay with a washable cotton fabric – the lining fabric should have either the same washability or they should be left unattached and treated apart. Voile fabrics are ideal for damp areas where it is more important to dress the window to look pretty rather than for reducing drafts.

Making up curtains can be a simple task if you approach it properly. You are going to want to buy curtain fabric by the yard, some matching thread and some tape for hanging the curtains. Don’t forget to decide if you are going to have a lining and whether or not you are going to have it attached or sewn in because that will affect the type of curtain tape you buy.

Basically, you need at least one and a half times the width of each curtain allowing a little extra for hems widthways and about six extra inches for hems lengthways. The width of the curtain also has to take into account length of the track/pole and the length is where you want the curtains to drop to. So, a window that is 40 inches wide with an extra six inch extension either side for the pole would need a total width of 52 inches. For each curtain that is approximately one width of curtain fabric that is 44 inches wide.

The length from curtain pole/track to where you want your curtains to fall such as the floor or just below the window sill will need to be doubled and then divided into yards. Err on the side of caution here and if you need just about two and a half yards, get three – you can always make a couple of tie backs or cushions with it.

Buying the right length of curtain fabric is important, but beware of cutting the fabric badly. Once you have cut your fabric, sew a simple seam down each side and then prepare to attach the curtain tape. If you attach the hooks to the tape now, it is easier to pin up the right size of hem for your curtain.

Whichever curtain fabric you choose, making your own curtains will certainly save you a lot of money and give you the satisfaction of a unique window dressing.

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