Measuring Up for Blinds & Top Treatments

Measuring up for your window treatments should be one of the first steps, and probably one of the most important, you make. Get this wrong and no matter how well you sew your curtains the desired effect will not be achieved.

The first step is to decide how and where the blind or top treatment is to be attached to the window. Once this decision is made it is advisable to fix the track, batten or pelmet board in position before any measurements are taken.

A valance track or pelmet board needs to be between 4" and 6" (10 and 15 cms) above the window frame, perfectly horizontal and should be approximately 8" (20 cms) wider.

It is advisable to make a plan of each window and transfer all the measurements onto it for future reference. Never presume that 2 windows are exactly the same size even if they look identical.

Take all the measurements in either inches or centimetres. DO NOT MIX THE TWO.

Measuring up for blinds and top treatments image

Measuring Blind Widths Outside the Window Recess

  1. Measure the width of the window sill or window frame (F), whichever is wider, and multiply by the fullness needed for the particular blind you wish to make.
  2. Divide that by the width of the fabric, normally 48" or 54" (125cms or 137cms), and round up to the next whole number to give the number of widths required.
  3. A full width of fabric is always positioned in the centre with equal part widths added to each side of the blind.

Measuring Blind Widths Inside the Window Recess

  1. Measure the width of the window recess (E) and multiply by the fullness needed for the particular blind you wish to make.
  2. Divide that by the width of the fabric, normally 48" or 54" (125cms or 137cms), and round up to the next whole number to give the number of widths required.
  3. A full width of fabric is always positioned in the centre with equal part widths added to each side of the blind.

Measuring Blind Length Outside the Window Recess

  1. Measure from the top of the wooden batten or blind track to the bottom of the window sill or the required length (B) and add the hem allowances. To this measurement add any extra length needed for the style of blind you wish to make.
  2. If more than one width is required and a patterned fabric is to be used then extra fabric will be needed in each length to match the pattern across the widths.

Measuring Blind Length Inside the Window Recess

  1. Measure the length of the window recess (C) and add the hem allowances. To this measurement add any extra length needed for the style of blind you wish to make.
  2. If more than one width is required and a patterned fabric is to be used then extra fabric will be needed in each length to match the pattern across the widths.

Measuring the Width for Top Treatments

  1. Measure the width of the pelmet board, box board or valance track including the returns (sides) (A).
  2. Make a note of the overall measurement.
  3. For pelmets and swags & tails it is necessary to make a note of the front width and the widths of the sides as well as the overall width.
  4. Divide the overall width by the width of the fabric, normally 48" or 54" (125 cms or 137 cms), and round up to the next whole number to give the number of widths required.
  5. A full width of fabric is always positioned in the centre with equal part widths added to each side of a pelmet or valance.

Measuring the Length for Top Treatments

  1. Measure from the top edge of the pelmet board, box board or valance track to the desired length (D).
  2. All top treatments should be in proportion to the rest of the window treatments, approximately 1/6 of the length with a minimum of 6" (15 cms).
  3. It is advisable to cut a piece of paper to the required length and pin it in place before making a top treatment. An old roll of wallpaper is ideal for this. The length of the paper can be adjusted easily until the desired effect is achieved.
  4. If more than one width is required and a patterned fabric is to be used then extra fabric will be needed in each length to match the pattern across the widths.

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