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.

Materials
  • - Fabric
  • - Lining
  • - Interlining
  • - Thread
  • - Velcro Loop Tape
  • - Cord
  • - Rods
  • - Bottom Bar
  • - Rings
  • Tools
  • - Sewing Machine
  • - Tape Measure
  • - Needles
  • - Scissors
  • - Set Square
  • - Straight Edge
  • - Invisible Marker
  • Options
  • - Wooden Batten
  • - Velcro Hook Tape
  • - Screw Eyes
  • - Acorn
  • - Cleat Hook
  • - Cord
  • - Staple Gun
  • or
  • - Headrail Kit
  • - Hacksaw
  • Step 2: Calculate the Blind Dimensions

    You now have the finished blind width and length. Next you need to calculate the number of folds in the roman blind as it is pulled up. The blind will have standard folds where the folds lie on top of each other when the blind is pulled up.

    STANDARD FOLDS CALCULATION

    First we need to establish the Headrail Allowance

    The headrail allowance must be sufficient to cover the batten face and allow enough room for the blind to pull up underneath the batten without it hitting the batten/eyelets before it is fully up (with all the folds hanging inline with each other).

    As a general rule use an absolute minimum headrail allowance of:

    Traditional batten: Batten face + 3.5cm
    Headrail mechanisim: Headrail depth + 2.5cm

    Please see our BLOG entry HEADRAIL ALLOWANCE EXPLAINED for more detail

    • Deduct the headrail allowance from the finished blind length to give the amount of fabric to be folded.
    • Decide on the approximate depth you would like the folds to be when the blind is pulled up*. Folds are usually 10cm to 25cm.
    • Divide the length of fabric to be folded by an odd number until you get an answer closest to your ideal depth of the folds.
    • The odd number that was closest is now your number of pleat sections and the answer in (3.) is now the depth of your folds.
    • The number of rod pockets = (number of pleat sections -1) divided by 2

    *Note the depth of the blind when pulled up will be equal to the headrail allowance plus the depth of the fold (one pleat section).

    Alternatively try our online calculator.

    Extra Help & Comments

    ann whettingsteel
    am making a recessed roman blind with bobbles on the drop edge. Do i have to make the blind smaller so the bobbles just touch the windowsill.Also so the bobbles show when the blind is fully up do I have to put a dowel rod pocket nearer the bottom of blind.
    Sew Helpful
    Make the length of the blind the drop you measured in step 1 minus the size of the bobbles. Calculate your pocket and folds based on this shorter length. Then attach your bobbles to the bottom of the blind.

    The total blind length including bobbles should now be your measured drop. So the bobbles will just touch the sill when the blind is down. When the blind is pulled up, all the folds will be in line and the bobbles will just hang below at the front.

    The bottom of the blind has a bar in it already.

     
    Caroline Warwood
    Hello I'm confused about the head rail allowance...do you not just measure the depth of the roman blind cassette attachment. I normally deduct 5cm. Is that right?
    Sew Helpful
    We add a lttle bit more than the depth of the cassette attachment (x 1.5) to allow for some room for the rings of the blind to pull up underneath when the blind is fully pulled up.

    The tutorial is also for a traditional wooden batten headrail with ring eyelets underneath. The extra room underneath is more important here as the rings only pull up to the eyelet not the bottom of the batten.
    Jenny Knight
    I am making three blinds to fit a bay window. How much do I have to reduce each blind width by in order that they still operate smoothly?
    Sew Helpful
    If you are making the blinds so they hang right alongside each other in the bay, we would generally go for a 1cm gap between the blinds so they dont catch on each other as they pull up and down. We would advise the following for blinds in a bay window.

    1. TO GET IT MEASURED RIGHT - Cut and fix the battens in place and then measure. (beacause the blind inevitably sits slightly in from the window if you measure from the face of the window you will make your blinds too wide)
    2. TO HELP POSITION THE BLINDS WHEN HANGING - Make the battens slightly shorter (about 1cm) than your blind width, which will leave a gap between the battens so you can laterally adjust the position of the blind on the batten sideways without exposing any velcro of the batten. Then you can get the gaps between the blinds on each side the same and just right. It wont matter if the blind slightly overhangs the end of the batten on the velcro.
    Vicki
    Hi

    I have a door, frame measurement is 2.420wide and 2.065long. I want the blind to sit above the frame when open - how long should the finished blind be please?
    Sew Helpful
    That is a design decision you have to make yourself based on what size blind you think will look best for the room. There is no secret formula, just judgement.

    If the door opens inwards under the blind you will need to make sure the blind is high enough and clear of the top of the door when pulled up.

    If the door is opening outwards you will need to consider you don't knock your head into the blind when it is pulled up walking through the doorway.
    Vicki
    Hi

    I have a door, frame measurement is 2.420wide and 2.065long. I want the blind to sit above the frame when open - how long should the finished blind be please?

    Sew Helpful
    As I said above the size of the blind pulled up and hence where you will need to fix it to avoid the top of the frame when pulled up is a design decision you have to decide yourself based on how it will look in the room relative to the ceiling above etc. 
     

     
    Rachel
    I would like the blind to be a waterfall one as I am using an ombre fabric how do I work out where the blind tape should be? The total drop is 130cm?
    Sew Helpful
    I think you are refering to a cascade blind which is essentially the same except you calculate different rod pocket positions. Unfortunately I have not written instructions for how to calculate this yet and it is not something easily explained in a few lines of text.
    KIRSTY
    will this tutorial be the same if i use a cassette side winder blind kit rather than a batten?
    thanks
    Sew Helpful
    Yes the making up of the blind is the same, When you come to the batten and hanging in STEP 10 and STEP 11 the instructions tell you how make it with a cassette side winder blind kit or a batten. There is a slight difference between the minimum headrail allowance between the 2 types.
    Margaret Craig
    Hello again,

    I'm just about to make 2 interlined Romans for my lady. They are to face each other opposite a large kitchen. However, they have different sized drops as follows: 

    Large: 188cm width x 1.27 cm drop
    Small: 128cm width x 1.25 cm drop

    Both have a headrail allowance of 5cm.

    Using your online calculator (which is fab by the way) I have come up with a different calculation for the headrail allowance.

    Large is 8cm
    Small is 6cm

    Will this prove to be too different or should I jiggle to get them both the same? Or would the fact that they are opposite each other not cause an issue?

    My lady is quite particular and I wouldn't want to make a wrong decision but I trust your opinion.

    thank you so much for your help and I'm looking forward to following your wonderfully calm videos again. Really does help how your put it all across and takes away the "frightening" element of making these tricky blinds.

    Margaret
    Sew Helpful
    We would jiggle figures them to make the blinds as simllar as possible. eg

    127cm Blind
    5.5cm headraill allowance 9 folds 13.5cm   (top panel 19cm)

    125cm Blind
    5.3cm headrail allowance 9 folds 13.3 cm  (top panel  18.6cm)
    Margaret Craig
    Hi there, thank you for your response which has been very helpful. It's a patterned material, so your help has been invaluable.
    Margaret
    Margaret Craig
    Hello again,

    I'm a bit concerned about having 4 rods with interlining and only a 18.6 top panel. When they are drawn up wouldn't they be too thick?

    The interlining my lady bought was medium synthetic as she is also having curtains too and didn't want the 160g weight.

    Before I cut anything I would just like your opinion as I'm concerned they'll push out when stacked.

    thank you again.
    Sew Helpful

    That may well be the case we only use light weight interliners in our blinds and never use linings and interlings supplied by someone else.

    Please note this is a design decision that only you can make and there are many factors to take into account. including

    1. How big the you want the top section (to block/not block light, show or position a pattern on the fabric, how it will look relative to the overall size of the window, what you may want this section to cover - particularly when outside recess)

    2. Number of folds ( affects thickness when pulled up,)

    The figures given are an example, fewer folds may well be better in your case.  Ultimately if we are unsure we would make up a small mockup.

    Here are a few images to show you how thick the interlined blinds may be.


    3 rods


    4 rods 

    wendy
    I'm making a blind that will be fixed out of the recess. The drop to bottom of sill is 142cm. Is there a rule on where the bobble trim should finish? i.e should it be below the sill line, on the sill line or in line with bottom of sill? Once the blind is fixed onto the cassette it will hang outside the depth of sill. Thank you
    Sew Helpful
    No Rules, this is a design decision. With your blind hanging away from the sill we would make the blind so it came down level or below the sill to block the light and have the bobbles hanging below the sill line.
    Heather C
    Hi, I'm making a 2.7 m wide blind to sit outside the recess at a bi-fold door.

    I was planning a headrail allowance of 3cm per rod/row of rings, in addition to the depth of the head rail itself. This, I'm thinking will ensure the front fold is deep enough to cover the stacking folds behind. Is that correct? How much allowance would you recommend?

    Just to add, I've found the tutorial videos incredibly helpful - both confidence building and new techniques learnt. I've already made one small blind, with 3 large ones yet to do - than you!
    Sew Helpful
    Hi Heather

    Go to our blog and there is an article "Roman Blind Headrail Allowance Explained". You will see the 3cm you are allowing is very close to the absolute minimum for a headrail and not enough for a wooden batten. Even then we cant guarantee it will work on the headrail because we dont know how big the rings you are using etc.

    We dont tend to go to the absolute minimum values as there is no wriggle room, on a headrail we usually use a minimum of 4cm (not 2.5cm)  unless absolutely necessary.
    Luisa Thorpe
    Hi there

    I have used your tutorials and they are fabulous. I was already making blinds, but not the the quality that I have learnt from your videos. I have a question about fabric - I am trying to make blinds from voyage arielli plain and no matter how hard I try the fabric moves so much it seems impossible to get a straight edge. Are you able to advise or recommend another brand of plain fabrics that you have found particularly good to work with? I am looking for a soft pink plain.

    Many thanks

    Luisa
    Sew Helpful
    We use alot of Villa Nova "Geneva" and Sanderson "Papavera" Plains. They make up well for blinds, Also Vanessa Arbothnott Fabric is a stable fabric.

    I guess the fabric you have is quite a loose open weave. If so the other thing you can do with your existing fabric is pull a thread. By this I mean, from the selvedge near the bottom of the fabric panel, find a thread that runs across the width and pull it (all the way out if you can). This will leave a straight line across the bottom of your fabric that you can work with as a straight bottom edge.

     
    Luisa Thorpe
    Thank you for the reply. I will try the Villa Nova as they have a nice range of colours. Would you interline such fabric? The blinds will be in my lounge, which is very sunny, but I also want them to look sumptuous.

    Many thanks
    Sew Helpful
    We make them interlined and lined with that fabric. Interlined would be more sumptuous.
    Luisa Thorpe
    Thank you for all your advice.
    Luisa Thorpe
    Hi there

    I have used your tutorials and they are fabulous. I was already making blinds, but not the the quality that I have learnt from your videos. I have a question about fabric - I am trying to make blinds from voyage arielli plain and no matter how hard I try the fabric moves so much it seems impossible to get a straight edge. Are you able to advise or recommend another brand of plain fabrics that you have found particularly good to work with? I am looking for a soft pink plain.

    Many thanks

    Luisa

    Debs
    I have a stripped pine window - it looks so great that I want to show as much of it as possible. I can position the cassette on the wall above the window (which is behind an arch)so that my roman blind is folded as high as possible above the window. Ideally I would like the width of the roman blinds to be the inserted width so you can still see the wood when they are fully descended. Could this work?
    Sew Helpful
    I'm afraid these are design decisions and it really is very difficult to say what will look right without being in the room and looking at the window. Pinterest can be a good place to look for images of what other people have done.

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