Guide to Soft Furnishing Making Terms
Adjusted Cut Drop:When joining patterned fabric or matching 2 patterned fabric panels the fabric cut drop needs to be adjusted (increased) so it is a whole number of pattern repeats. Although calculated in cm, it is always a whole number of pattern repeats. So each cut drop will always finsh at the same point in the pattern. Note this can be different if using half drop pattern repeat fabric.
Fabric Cut Drop:The length of fabric that is cut from the roll to make a blind or curtain. Cut drop is the sum of the Finished curtain or blind length plus heading and hem allowances.
Fabric Cut Width:The width the drop of fabric is cut to, to make a blind or curtain.
Fabric Width:Fabric width is the width fabric is supplied on the roll. Fabric usually comes in widths of approx 137cm. Sometimes though it may be supplied in double widths approx 280cm, these are useful to avoid making fabric joins.
Finished Blind LengthThe length of the blind when hanging down. (from blind top edge to bottom)
Finished Curtain Length:The length of the curtain once made (finished). The length if you measure from the top of the curtain to the bottom when it is hanging.
Finished Curtain Width: Finished Curtain Width = The width of the made up curtain panel after it is pleated.

DO NOT confuse this with the width of the curtain panel before it is pleated which is much wider.

Fullness Ratio

Fullness ratio is used to determine how gathered the finished curtains are. The higher the fullness ratio the more gathered and heavier the curtains will be.

Guide Ratios:

  • Pencil Pleat Curtain : 2.4 to 2.5 (not more than 2.5)
  • Double Pleat Curtain: 1.9 to 2.2
  • Triple Pleat Curtain: 2.5
  • Cartridge Pleat Curtain: 2.0 to 2.2
  • Goblet Pleat Curtain: 2.2

Fullness ratio is the ratio of the width of the curtain before pleating to its finished width when pleated or gathered.

Heading Allowance

The length of fabric that is used to form the heading on a curtain.

Headrail Allowance
Hem Allowance
(Blind Fabric)

The length of fabric that is used to form the hem on the bottom of the blind.

  • 9cm Lined Roman Blind
  • 9cm Interlined and Blackout Roman Blind

Hem Allowance
(Blind Lining)

The length of fabric that is used to form the hem on the bottom of the blind lining.

  • 9cm Lined Roman Blind
  • 0cm Interlined and Blackout Roman Blind (note 2cm of the blind length is used to turn the lining up - see tutorial)

Hem Allowance
(Curtain Fabric)

The length of fabric that is used to form the hem on the bottom of the curtain.

  • 16cm Sill length Curtains
  • 20cm Floor length Curtains

Hem Allowance
(Curtain Lining)

The length of fabric that is used to form the hem on the bottom of the curtain lining.

  • 12cm Sill length Curtains
  • 16cm Floor length Curtains

Hook Drop:Hook drop is the distance from the hook on the curtain down to the bottom of the curtain.

When measuring the hook drop from the curtain pole, it is the distance from the curtain ring eyelet where the hook attaches down to the bottom of the curtain.

When measuring the hook drop on the curtain, it is the distance from the curtain hook on the curtain heading down to the bottom of the curtain. (note you are measuring from the point of the hook where it connects with the curtain ring eyelet)

Hook to TopHook to top is the distance from the curtain hook (point on hook where it attaches to curtain ring) to the top of the curtain. This measurement will affect whether the curtain can stack back under a curtain pole or track.
Leading Edge

The distance from the last pleat of a hand pleated curtain to the inside leading edge of the curtain. This forms a flap on the leading edge of the curtain. With a pair of curtains these flaps overlap when the curtains are pulled together.

We generally use a LEADING EDGE of 8cm on our curtains.

Overlap

The distance a pair of curtains cross over at the centre. The overlap helps exclude light and draughts.

Pattern Repeat

The length before the pattern repeats itself veritcally on the fabric.

NOTE - our calculations are based on standard fabrics with normal vertical pattern repeats that can be joined at the same position in the pattern on each side of the roll. If your fabric has a HALF DROP PATTERN REPEAT where the pattern doesn't match exactly on each side but is shifted down half a pattern repeat (drop) where it ends on the sides, please read our article on HALF DROP PATTERN REPEATS for information on how to deal with calculating fabric quantities and how to cut and join the HALF DROP REPEATS.

Pleat Depth

Pole Length

The length of pole the curtain rings run along. Pole Length does not include the finials or end caps.

Rod Pocket

A rod pocket is formed on the lining on the back of a blind for the rods to slide in to and help the blind hold it's shape.

There are 2 types of rod pocket

  1. Traditional rod pockets formed from the lining of the blind. You will need slightly more lining fabric with this type.
  2. Rod pocket tape sewn directly onto the lining

Return

The return is the flap on the outside edge of a curtain. It is the distance from the last pleat to the outside edge of the curtain.

We generally use a RETURN of 8cm on our curtains unless the curtain is being returned to the wall.

Top Section Size (Roman Blind)

The top section is the depth of the blind when it is pulled up, it is longer than the other fold sections because it includes the headrail allowance.

Trimming Allowance

The allowance added to the cut drop to trim each fabric/lining/interlining drop when making.

Note we do not include a trimming allowance for a patterned fabric as you almost always have spare fabric from the adjusted cut drops.