Measuring for drapes requires you to account for several more factors than when taking measurements for shades or blinds. The drapery stack, break or puddle, and hardware type and location all affect the final order size for custom drapery. Keep reading to learn how to measure for drapes, as well as our tips for making the final product look its best in your space.
Start with Style and Functionality
The first step in determining how to measure your window for drapes involves deciding on the type of panels and how they will be used. You can order single panels, which could be used to cover a single window or be placed at intervals across a large wall or glass doors or windows. For traditional curtains, order a pair of panels, which consist of two equal sections of material that will flank your window on either side.
Then, choose whether these panels will be stationary, often used for purely decorative drapery, or functional, meaning they can be pulled open and closed. This will be determined by your décor style and privacy or light blocking needs.
Measure the Drapery Width
After you know what type of panels you need, you can measure for their width. We always recommend extending your drapery hardware as much as 6” – 12” on either side of the window to make the window appear larger and allow space for the drapery stack, or drapery fabric that pools together when the drapes are pulled back, to sit at least partially on the wall instead of obstructing the window glass and natural light.
Measure the entire width of the area to be covered, including the extended length on either side of the window. At The Shade Store, we will automatically account for drapery fullness and ensure your panels are wide enough to provide a substantial stack.
Measure the Drapery Length
The type of drapery hardware being used will determine how you measure for length. For ceiling mounted drapes, measure from the ceiling to the floor around your window.
For wall mounted hardware, plan on installing the hardware as far above the window as possible to draw the eye up, making your ceilings appear taller and the room feel more spacious. Measure from the top of where you want to mount the hardware to the floor.
With that measurement in hand, consider adding or subtracting for a puddle or clearance. Functional curtains that are opened often should hang about ½” off the floor. This helps keeps the drapes clean and makes them easy to pull open and closed. If you have uneven floors you want to disguise, add up to 1” – 4” for a puddle. Some natural materials such as wool and linen tend to stretch over time, and look best with some added length.
Our Design Consultants are happy to help if you have any questions about how to measure for drapes. Visit one of our showrooms or give us a call, and we can help with odd size and shape windows, hardware selection and placement, and drapery materials.
If you would prefer for us to handle the measuring process for you, we offer free measurements with our nationwide network of measure and install professionals.