How to make -
Blackout Roman Blind
WORKROOM METHOD
BLIND SAFETY
Blind Safety

This website is viewed globally and at the last time of looking had been used by people from 136 different countries.

The instructions and videos on this website show you the traditional methods of making a roman blind. Many countries have introduced safety regulations with respect to child safety, to reduce the threat of injury or strangulation to young children from the cords of roman blinds.

It is your responsibilty to find out what the regulations are for your country and modify these instructions to make your blind compliant with those regulations

Examples of safety advice and rules used by some countries of the world are:

  • Do not place furniture or beds near windows where children can climb up and access the blind cords.
  • For roman blinds with rod pockets greater than 20cms apart at any point a breakaway device must be used on each cord.
  • The cleat must be 150cms from the floor and accumulate all/most of the cord – only a single cord of no more than 20cms can hang below the cleat.
  • The bottom loop of the chain or cord must be 150cms from the floor and secured with a safety device OR If the operating chain/cord has a breakaway device then the bottom loop of the cord/chain can be 60cms from the floor.
  • Some countries require that all the blind's components have been tested and certified when used together.

BLIND SAFETY
Blind Safety

This website is viewed globally and at the last time of looking had been used by people from 136 different countries.

The instructions and videos on this website show you the traditional methods of making a roman blind. Many countries have introduced safety regulations with respect to child safety, to reduce the threat of injury or strangulation to young children from the cords of roman blinds.

It is your responsibilty to find out what the regulations are for your country and modify these instructions to make your blind compliant with those regulations

Examples of safety advice and rules used by some countries of the world are:

  • Do not place furniture or beds near windows where children can climb up and access the blind cords.
  • For roman blinds with rod pockets greater than 20cms apart at any point a breakaway device must be used on each cord.
  • The cleat must be 150cms from the floor and accumulate all/most of the cord – only a single cord of no more than 20cms can hang below the cleat.
  • The bottom loop of the chain or cord must be 150cms from the floor and secured with a safety device OR If the operating chain/cord has a breakaway device then the bottom loop of the cord/chain can be 60cms from the floor.
  • Some countries require that all the blind's components have been tested and certified when used together.

Step 6b: Insert the Blackout
Printable Worksheet
Printable Worksheet

CUT THE BLACKOUT LINING

  1. Cut the BLACKOUT to the BLACKOUT CUT WIDTH (finished width of blind - 2mm)
  2. Check the 2 sides are cut straight and parallel
  3. Cut the bottom of the BLACKOUT exactly square (6cm trimming allowance in Blackout QTY for this)
  4. If using standard Blackout, check it is at least as long as (Blind length + 5cm). (it will be trimmed it to the correct length later in the process when making the header)
  5. If using Combined Blackout/Interliner, cut it to (Blind length - 2mm).

Included in this video
  • How to cut the bottom square with no T-bar.

INSERT THE BLACKOUT LINING

If you are using combined blackout/interliner please also read the extra instructions at the bottom of the page for this stage.

INSERTING STANDARD BLACKOUT LINING

  1. Lay the fabric panel right side down.
  2. Open out the side turns and hem
  3. Fold the 4cm hem fold up.
  4. Lay the blackout panel on the fabric panel (blackout rubbery side down)
  5. Align the bottom of blackout panel in line with the bottom of the fabric panel and in line with the creases of the side turns.
  6. Trim off the corners of the blackout where it lays over the diagonal fabric corner folds.
  7. Lift the 4cm hem fold flap so the blackout lining now falls into the 4cm fold .
  8. Lift the diagonal corner folds of fabric and encase the blackout.
  9. Now fold up the second 5cm hem fold and pin.(the blackout is now encased in the hem)
  10. Fold the side turns in and check that the blackout is not pushed in or puckered. If it is then readjust the position of the blackout or if it is too wide it may need trimming down. (check the width with side turns folded in)

Included in this video
  • How to ensure the blackout doesn't pucker

HERRINGBONE STITCH THE BOTTOM & TOP

  1. Herringbone stitch the hem to the blackout.
  2. Smooth the layers of the blind out.
  3. Make sure the heading is opened out and laying flat.
  4. Trim the top of the blackout so it sits 2mm below the bottom of the velcro.
  5. You should not need to do this if you have used COMBINED BLACKOUT/INTERLINER because that was cut to the (blind length -2mm) before insertion.
  6. With the heading still folded out flat, herringbone stitch the top of the blackout to the fabric on the underside of the velcro.

PRO TIPS:
  1. Beware DO NOT stitch through to the face fabric with all herringbone stitching
  2. Take care not to stitch too deep into the hem as you will not be able to insert the bottom bar later.

HERRINGBONE STITCH THE SIDE TURNS

  1. Fold in the side turns and pin in place.
  2. Herringbone stitch the side turns to the blackout.
  3. Remove pins.
Included in this video
  • How to Herringbone stitch the side turns ensuring the layers stay flat

INSERT BOTTOM BAR & CLOSE THE MITRES

  1. Cut the bottom bar just over 1cm shorter than the width of the blind.
  2. Insert the bottom bar into the hem pouch through the open mitres.
  3. Ladder stitch closed the mitred corners.
Included in this video
  • How to acheive a professional finish closing a mitre

  EXTRA INSTRUCTIONS


INSERTING COMBINED BLACKOUT/INTERLINER - DIFFERENCES

There are a three differences at this stage when using combined blackout/interliner rather than standard blackout.

  1. Combined blackout/interliner is not folded into the hem as it would be too bulky
  2. Combined blackout/interliner is herringbone stitched in at the very bottom to hold it in place.
  3. Combined blackout/interliner has already been cut to the blind length so the top will not need trimming down.

INSERTING COMBINED BLACKOUT/INTERLINER

  1. Lay the fabric panel right side down.
  2. Open up the side turns and hem
  3. Lay the blackout panel on the fabric panel (fleece side down)
  4. Align the bottom of blackout panel with the fold line in the fabric panel that marks the bottom of the blind and in line with the creases of the side turns.
  5. Herringbone stitch the bottom of the combined blackout/interliner to the fabric panel across the width.
  6. Fold up the double hem and pin.
  7. Fold the side turns in and check that the blackout is not pushed in or puckered. If it is then readjust the position of the blackout or if it is too wide it may need trimming down. (check the width with side turns folded in)
  8. Now rejoin instructions at HERRINGBONE STITCH THE BOTTOM & TOP.

Included in this video
  • How to stitch the combined blackout/interliner to the bottom of the blind

Questions & Comments

Ann

Thank you for the tutorial, it is great. I am using combined blackout lining (which I now regret!) and have sewn the rod pocket tapes on. I have put the combined blackout lining on the fabric and l am now about to turn in the side hem of the blind. However I am concerned I will then not have access to the sides of the rod pockets as the side of the blind will be covering them? Do I put the rods into the combined lining BEFORE turning in the sides of the blind? Thank you.

SewHelpful:  

Are you following the videos? There was one in the "USING ROD POCKET TAPE" dropdown at the bottom of STEP 5 when you attach it to the lining. The rod pocket tape should not be attached to the combined blackout lining (that is sandwiched inside the blind using this method).

Daisy

Thank you for very informative tutorial. When using the combined blackout/ interliner and you 'Herringbone stitch the hem to the blackout' will pin holes of light show through or as it hangs below the windowsill that becomes ok. Bit confused as I am trying to avoid pining and pin holes.

Many thanks

SewHelpful:  

You have to herringbone the lining in place - there is no other way although you are very welcome to try.

Later in the make up process you will have to stab stitch through all the layers to join them together, otherwise the blind will not pull up properly. This will create tiny spots of light if the blind is down in daylight.

There is no other way to make the blind that will make it usable and made to a high standard. Your only option is to buy a blackout roller.

Annette

Hi

I am using a patterned fabric which has rows of elephants, and each row is going ever so slightly downhill.

Should I cut following the grain of fabric or the rows of elephants?

Many thanks, Annette

SewHelpful:  

It is always so frustrating when a fabric is not printed straight - particularly when the pattern is very regular and you’re making a blind as there is no hiding the “drift”.

I have returned fabric to manufacturers in the past for this very reason as it can ruin a finished blind.

You have to cut straight to the side edge (if you cut straight to pattern along the top, the elephants will be on the wonk down the sides). I have “pulled" a fabric into shape before for a pair of curtains but I would not do this for a blind as it may not stay where you pulled it and the blind could twist back when made.

Can you live with this “drift”? If so, cut straight with the edges. If not, return the fabric to the seller. Sadly, there is no way round this problem other than choosing an alternative fabric. You have my sympathy as this is one of my pet hates with fabrics.

Good luck and please send us a photo of the finished blind. Cindy

Vic

Hi, really helpful set of tutorials, thank you. My next blind will be over two metres wide, so I'll need to join the lining fabric and face fabric, which I think I understand how to avoid too many hems overlapping, but how would you recommend joining the interlining? Would I simply machine sew them together down the centre? Or is there a better stitch to avoid an overlap? Thanks very much

SewHelpful:  

For interlining, to avoid bulk we butt the interlining panels up against each other, herringbone stitch then together. Then lay a strip of lining down  the join and straight machine stitch it down each side.

Note for blackout we would lay one panel over the other then straight machine stitch.

Lucy

My herringbone stitch seems to be visible at the very bottom of the blind - is that to be expected?

SewHelpful:  

No you've made them too deep.

Jane Morgan

Thank you for your great tutorial, this is the third Roman blind I am making. I noted that from one of your photos you made a blind using Peony & Sage fabric, Falling Feathers in the Duck Egg colour way. I am slightly colour blind and am having a problem finding a matching Duck Egg thread, would you be able to advise what one you used please as I am beginning to pull my hair out!

Many thanks

SewHelpful:  

I'm afraid we don't know which one we used and haven't got any of that fabric in the workroom. You'll need to take a sample of the fabric into a haberdashery shop with a range of threads and I'm sure a staff member will be able to help you colour match.

Ida

if you are stitching through the combined blackout/interliner in all these places - my past experience with this fabric is there are many pinholes of light showing through at every stitch. In my innocence in making a previous blind with interlining I lockstitched it as for curtains. If I did this locking just the fluffy layer would it hold it still?

SewHelpful:  

No the front face fabric will sag and not pull up evenly. You have to stab stitch through all the layers.  

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