Hi, I'm making curtains with a single pleat (New York) 1.8 fullness, the fabric is a light weight woven sun filter, the lining is quite a heavy blackout thermal drape. I have 2 queries
1. Regarding working out the pleat size, can I use the same calculation as double pleats?
2. Would it be better to cut my lining at the finished blind length, & only fold the fabric over the buckram - rather than folding and tucking lining over which would create double thickness, I'm a bit worried that my pleats may not sit & stack nicely??
I hope that all makes sense and very much look forward to your amazing curtain making wisdom! Many thanks for your time :)
1. Make a mock pleat to see what your ideal pleat and space size is, then calculate to get as near to that as possible.
2. Yes that would reduce the bulk 1n the heading.
I have two calculations for pinch pleating
Each curtain panel is 132cms
For double pinch pleating
6 pleats at 10.75cms
5 spaces at 10.3cms
For triple pleats
5 pleats at 12.9cms
4 spaces at 12.8cms
This is allowing 8cms for return and 8cms for leading edge making 16cms
Do you think it best to do double pleats or triple pleats based on my calculations
Thank you for you assistance
That wont be enough for a triple pleat. We would go for double pleats.
I have got myself in a muddle. I am trying to make double pleats as each curtain is only 131 cms wide. 262 cms for the pair.
Should I make triple pinch pleats instead or will I not have enough material to do this
We can't answer that with the info you have supplied. If your fullness ratio is more than 2.2 then we would consider triple pleat.
I am doing curtains with double pinch pleat but trying to match a pattern. Have worked it out with pleats 18cm and spaces 15cm. Is this too big for pleats and spaces? Only have 6 pleats per curtain 197cm (PAN)width to go on pole 150cm long. Have 2 curtains. Will this look O.K.
That pleat size, space ratio sounds perfect for a triple pleat but too big for a double pleat in our experience
I have used two widths in my curtain panel. One of my pleats sits where they join. Should I have worked out my NP, PS and SS so that the seam sat in a space when marking out my pleats? The seam sits on a fold pointing into the room and I am not overly happy with it. I'd like to unpick the pleats but I'm guessing the buckram will be too bent. Any advise
We try and avoid the join down the centre of a pleat when marking out
and calculating, (its not always possible). If you unpick and remake you
may find small pinprick holes in the fabric heading being the problem
rather than the buckram being bent.
HI, I've just your site so much...thanks.
quick question though...I'm making 1 curtain (for a door). I've ended up with 10 pleats (5 in each of 2 widths). PS =10cm....whereas SS= 17.4.
My previous understanding is that these 2 figures were in the end very similar...mine seem too far apart. HELP!
Not enough pleats and big gaps, implies you haven't used a high enough
fullness ratio (ie your panel to pleat up isnt wide enough) Looking at
your figures we are guessing you have a pole approx 170cm wide. With
your 2 widths of 137cm. That gives you a fullness ratio of approx 1.6
If you had used 2.5 widths your fullness ratio would be just over 2 which would be about right and have given you 15 pleats approx 11cm with approx 11cm spaces.
I put in the measurements for a curtain using double pleats with a ratio of 2. Bearing in mind that you recommend a ratio of 1.9 - 2.2 I find it strange that you came back with the fabric calculated using a ratio of 2.6 - far too much!!! How can that really be correct?
Hi Carolyn I assume you are talking about the curtain fabric calculator.
It rounds up the number of widths by default. With the number of widths
you have a choice of rounding up or down to the nearest whole number
when making the calculation, thus increasing or decreasing the fullness
ratio. I am currently working on the calculator adding interlined
curtains, I will add the choice to round up or down.
A more advanced method is to actually make your curtain panel to be pleated to an exact width (rather than a number of fabric widths) to give you the exact fullness ratio you want which we sometimes do when pleating to pattern repeat, that is beyond the scope of this tutorial though. We did put that information in initially but it made the instructions very complicated and confusing trying to have 2 different options running at the same time.
I have made a lined and interlined curtain and I'm in the process of doing double pleats. Someone told me that where the panels/widths are joined you should try keep it to the side of the pleat and never in the middle of the space as it looks better like that. Does it is apply to you as well? I currentlyI have a curtain made of plain linen fabric and the joints are in the middle of the space and I don't have a problem with that. The new curtain are in a patterned fabric. Is it down to personal preferences as well?
You have to work with the panel you have and the pleats and spacing you
have calculated that will work best. We generally try and have a join in
a space, as it sits at the back of the wave of the curtain and can be
bulky in a pleat. But sometimes it doesn't work out that way.
If you are really particular about where you want to place a join, you would have to work out your pleats and spacing before hand and make the pre-pleated curtain panel to a specific width with the join in your calculated position. Generally we only do that kind of extra work when we are looking to pleat a curtain to pattern repeat (get each pleat to fall in the same position on the horizontal pattern).
I'm making curtains across a door and window and the pole is very offset (total pole width 269, but split in 96.5:172.5), would you calculate the pleats over the total, or each separately, possibly giving different pleat/space measurements?
Over the total, keep the pleat and space sizes the same, You may have to trim one panel down to get this right.
In your experience, does it work best to have fewer, bigger pleats with larger gaps or a larger number of smaller pleats/gaps? I know my fullness is only just OK (around 1.9), using beautiful vintage William Morris fabric and I can't get any more. It's annoyingly narrower than modern fabrics, which I didn't realise. I am determined to make this work!
Really our advice on this is above in the tutorial at 6 pleats per
width. Big gaps (a low number of pleats) can look odd. At that
relatively low fullness ratio it will probably be about 11cm pleats
12cm gaps (make sure the gaps stack back not forward for a better
I've got an entire house to make curtains for. In the past I've made curtains and had them dry cleaned later only for them to shrink.
Is shrinkage a one-off phenomenon? If so, could I get the fabric and lining dry cleaned before I make up the curtains, and then if they need cleaning again in years to come shrinkage wouldn't be an issue? Or will they shrink every time they're cleaned?
Also, what would happen to the tops? I've heard buckram tape might not dry clean well. Is rufflette tape any better, and again do the tapes need pre-cleaning? Thanks, Emma
I‘m afraid we do not get involved with dry cleaning curtains due to all
the problems with shrinkage you list above as well as potential fading,
change in lustre of the fabric etc. The linings, buckram and fabric can
shrink at different rates causing puckering.
We have never sent fabrics and linings to be dry cleaned before make up, then dry cleaned the curtains after making so can’t advise on how effective that is.
I am so confused! Going by your way of calculating the pleat/space sizes, my pleats would only be 7” with a 10” space. That honestly looks ridiculous.
1. It looks like you are not using enough pleats as your pleat size is too big, the instructions say vary the number of pleats until you get the right pleat size. try using more pleats and the pleat size and space size will reduce.
2. Also what fullness ratio are you using? it should be about 2, it looks from those figures your fullness ratio is quite a bit less than that so you may not have enough fabric.