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 3: Calculate Fabric Quantity

    To calculate the amount of fabric needed to make the blind you need to establish the number of Fabric Widths to be used and the Cut Drop

    of the fabric.

    NUMBER OF WIDTHS OF FABRIC REQUIRED

    To calculate the number of fabric widths required to make your blind you first find the cut width of fabric. *Note most fabric is approx 137cm wide, so any blind less than 127cm wide will only need one width of fabric.

    FABRIC CUT WIDTH

    This is equal to the finished blind width plus a 5cm turning allowance for each side.

    • Cut Width = finished blind width + 10cm (5cm turning allowance for each side).

    NO OF FABRIC WIDTHS

    The number of fabric widths required is found by dividing the Cut Width by the Fabrc Width and rounding up to the next whole number.

    • No of Fabric Widths = Cut Width divided by Fabric Width
    • Answer rounded up to next whole number

    FABRIC CUT DROP

    To calculate the Cut Drop

    of the fabric add a 5cm heading allowance and a 9cm hem allowance to the finished blind length.
    • Fabric Cut Drop
      = Finished Blind Length + 5cm heading allwnce + 9cm hem allwnce

    Now we can calculate the quantity of fabric required to make a blind. Note it is a different calculation depending on whether the fabric is plain or patterned.

    FABRIC QUANTITY REQUIRED (Plain Fabric)

    To calculate the amount of plain fabric required to make a blind:

    • Multiply the "Number of fabric widths" by Cut Drop.

    *If covering the batten in fabric there may be enough excess fabric. Otherwise you will need 30cm of fabric per width used.

    FABRIC QUANTITY REQUIRED (Patterned Fabric)

    This tutorial is based on a normal pattern repeat fabric, if your fabric has a half drop pattern repeat please read HERE and adjust the instructions accordingly.

    When the fabric has a pattern we also have to take into account where the pattern will start at the top of the blind, that the pattern will need to line up where we join fabric and the pattern will need to be in the same position on each blind if making more than one blind.

    To enable this we adjust the cut drop so we can get a cut drop starting at the same pattern position each time.

    NOTE you do not always need this adjusted cut drop:

    If you are making a SINGLE blind with NO JOINED WIDTHS from a patterned fabric you do not need an adjusted cut drop and the fabric required will be the same as for a plain fabric plus an extra pattern repeat to place the pattern where you want on the blind.

    If you are making a SINGLE blind and it requires JOINED WIDTHS you will need to use adjusted cut drops. Plus add an extra pattern repeat to the total fabric order to place the pattern.

    If you are making more than one blind for the room and want all the blinds to start at the same point in the pattern (something we do ) you will need to use adjusted cut drops regardless of whether the blinds have joined widths or not. Plus add an extra pattern repeat to the total fabric order to place the pattern.

    ADJUSTED CUT DROP

    To calculate the Adjusted cut drop:

    • Divide the Cut Drop by the Pattern Repeat
    • Round the result up to the nearest whole number
    • Multiply the whole number by the Pattern Repeat
    • You now have the Adjusted Cut Drop

    To calculate the amount of patterned fabric required to make a blind:

    • Multiply the "Number of fabric widths" by Adjusted Cut Drop.
    • Add one pattern repeat to your total fabric order (this allows you to choose where the pattern starts)

    *If covering the batten in fabric there may be enough excess fabric. Otherwise you will need 30cm of fabric per width used.

    Extra Help & Comments

    Olaku
    Hi,
    I find your site is the most useful thing I stumbled upon this year so thank you. I just have a question about pattern matching on multiple blinds. If I am making 3 blinds for one window and like the outer two blinds to have their patterns lined up but the middle one starting at an alternate pattern point, how do I make adjustments for that when calculating fabric qty?
    Sew Helpful
    First just a quick tip, when we make blinds side by side in a window we always have the patterns lined up as we think it looks right to the eye.

    However with regard to the question.

    The calculation is based on making a single blind and includes an extra pattern repeat to position the fabric where you want on the blind. So if you have included an extra pattern repeat for each blind you could start each blind in whatever position you wanted on the pattern.

    However if you are making 3 blinds of the SAME LENGTH and are starting them ALL AT THE SAME POSITION in the fabric you will not need to buy that much fabric. You would only need to add 1 extra pattern repeat to position the pattern on the first blind, then cut the adjusted cut drops for the 3 blinds.

    In your case though with 2 blinds the same and one different, provided they are ALL THE SAME LENGTH, you would need to add 2 extra pattern repeats to the fabric quantity calculation. Use the first pattern repeat to set the postion for your outer blinds and cut the adjusted cut drops for those blinds. Then with the remaining fabric you will have another extra pattern repeat to postion the pattern for that one and cut its adjusted cut drop(s).
    Clare
    I am using a striped fabric so there is no vertical pattern repeat, it is horizontal. Do I treat the drop as having no pattern and just pay attention to the pattern repeat when calculating the 3 panel width?
    Sew Helpful
    Yes as there is no vertical pattern repeat treat the drop as having zero pattern repeat. Join the widths matching the pattern then pay attention that the stripes on each side of the blind are balanced.
    Louise
    This is a fantastic tutorial. I just have a small question about the size of the blind when making to fit inside the window recess... Is it advisable to make the finished blind size slightly smaller than the dimensions of the window? It doesnt mention this in the tutorial and Im not sure how much to adjust by. Would 1cm be ok?
    Sew Helpful
    Always measure your recess width in several places and use the narrowest width. You will be surprised how many recesses are not square and the width varies. We use this smallest width for the blind width. If you are worried it is going to be too tight there is no harm reducing your blind width by about 0.5cm. If you reduce the width by too much it will look ill fitting though.

    With an interlined blind you will find the finished width reduces very slightly on what you have measured due to the thickness of the side turns using up a small amount of fabric. 
    Sheridan
    Hi there, Does the interlined blind need to have mitred corners? Or is this just a design feature?
    Thanks
    Sew Helpful
    We mitre on the corners for a more professional finish and to reduce bulk. You are laying the lining on top with the interlined blind, not folding the lining up within a double  hem as with a lined blind.
    Sara
    I'm getting a bit confused with the calculating of the fabric cut drop. Where you mention the "heading allowance" is this the same thing as "headrail allowance" mentioned in step 2?

    The reason I ask is that my headrail allowance is 5.4cm (I am using 36mm batten). So would it be: Finished Blind Drop + 5.4cm + 9cm?
    Sew Helpful
    Heading Allowance and Headrail Allowance are completely different.

    The Headrail allowance is a measurement used when calculating the position of the folds and the dimensions of the blind.

    The Heading allowance is the excess lining or fabric you need at the top of the lining or fabric panel when making the heading of the blind.

    It should be: Fabric Cut Drop = Finished Blind Drop + 5cm + 9cm

    Rosie
    I want my blinds to be outside the recess and be interlined. Is it best to have fewer folds if they are interlined? I'm just trying to work out how far above the window they will need to be positioned
    Sew Helpful
    Interlined blinds are thicker than lined, the more folds you have the more likely they are to push out when stacked at the top. Up to 3 or 4 rods ( 5 or 7 pleat sections) usually works fine, on long blinds we have done more.

    The thickness of your fabric and the thickness of the interlining is a factor. You will see in the videos we use a fine interlining.
    Jan
    I need 4 blinds and there is sufficient width of fabric for 2 blinds. how do I calculate the pattern drop for this
    Sew Helpful
    I'm afraid we dont make calculations for people.

    If you are trying to get 2 blinds out of a width I guess they are quite narrow and your pattern repeat  is quite small or the fabric is wide. We position the pattern vertically and horizontally on the pattern when making a set of blinds so they all look the same. Consequently we do not often manage to get 2 side by side out of a standard width.
    sue
    I am making Roman blinds for a room with two different sizes of window. One blind is 80 cm long and the other is 112, and the windows also sit at different heights. The fabric is a check and the blinds are scalloped at the bottom. Should I try and pattern match and, if so, do I make the blinds match at the top edge or the bottom?
    Sew Helpful
    We would pattern match to the top of the blind, so the blinds look the same when pulled up.

    Depenant on the layout of the room and windows, If any of the blinds are outside the recess we would look to see if it  might look better raising the position of one above the recess so they are both the same height above the floor.
    Frankie
    Hi - I am making dress curtains (to go with a roman blind) and a bit stuck. Please could you advise if there is a general rule of thumb to calculate how much fabric I need to buy for the dress curtains. As they don't need to draw together do I just calculate a full pair and quarter it? halve it? Etc. I don't want to buy too much fabric unnecessarily but also don't want them to look on the 'skinny' side. Many thanks
    Sew Helpful
    Whilst dress curtains are not meant to be drawn they should look functional as well as decorative and the mistake is often made of making them too skimpy to avoid using too much fabric. Really it depends on the length of your pole/ pleating method and desired look that really only you can judge. I would say though that anything less than 1.5 widths per curtain could look too minimal (though if your pole is only 140cm 1 width would be fine). Also interlining and hand pleating will give a fuller effect and may require less widths but I would still suggest 1.5 minimum per curtain.
    Paula edwards
    I am making two Roman blind, next to each other and different lengths. I don't need to match the pattern. How can I ensure the fold widths are the same? One is 124cm and the other 144cm. Thanks
    Sew Helpful
    We dont make calculations for people.

    To make the 2 blinds have the same fold size so they both fold at the same point as they go up and down you would need one complete section added to the bottom of the longer blind so your pleat sections would be 10cm, (20cm fold).

    However the size of your folds going up and down is not really as important as the size of the blind in the up position,  as usually you have the blind either up or down. You will probably want the 2 blinds to be the same size in the up position. By varying your headrail allowance you could keep the top sections of the blinds the same depth but with different fold sizes (pleat section depths) and the same number of pleat sections.
    wendy
    I have used your instructions above to calculate fabric qty needed for 3 blinds to fit in bay window and a side window. They will all be made out of the same fabric with a pattern repeat of 80cm. Am I correct by using the adjusted drop calculation for each plus 1 pattern repeat in total even though I have 3 single width blinds and 1 joined width blind to match. The drop is 216cm for each
    Sew Helpful
    For a standard pattern repeat.

    For 4 individual blinds, the same drop, that you want to start at the same point in the pattern. Yes you would only need one pattern repeat to position the fabric pattern and all the adjusted cut drops would be the same.

    In a bay if you intend to try and continue the pattern horizontally from blind to blind you will need to make the centre blind first, then match the side blinds to it either side. The width of your side blinds and the horizontal pattern repeat of the fabric will determine if this is possible.
    Wendy
    Your previous comments have been really helpful- thank you.
    I want to make blinds with a contrasting border of 6cm. How would you attached these borders - are they attached and then treated as part of the face fabric.
    I also need to add tab top heading - how do I attach these?
    Sew Helpful
    We would make up the fabric panel with the borders , then treat it as one panel trimming and squaring off. You will obviously have to take into account the fabric needed for the side turns when calculating the width of the fabric strips to join to each side.

    We would join the panels with a plain seam.

    Unfortunately we dont have the resources to write instructions on how to make a tab top heading, which is a bit beyond the scope of the tutorial.
    Joanne
    Apologies, am getting confused working out the drop for the interlining for an interlined blind. My drop is 96cm, so for the fabric this works out at 110 (96 + 5 + 9), lining 103 (96 + 5 + 2), interlining the tutorial says same as for plain fabric so can I confirm with you that this is 110 again (96 + 5 + 9) this seems too much. I would have thought a more similar length to the lining than the fabric?
    Sew Helpful
    You haven't included any lining for integral rod pockets (are you using tape?). This may well make the lining cut drop longer than the plain fabric cut drop.

    The instructions are correct we estimate the amount of intelining required as the same as the cut drop for plain fabric. There is trimming down in the make up process.
    Beth
    Thank you for a really useful tutorial. My problem is measuring and cutting the fabric. There's always some movement, especially if the weave is loose. Even if I start by drawing a line across equal points in the pattern, and measure up in several places from that line, my new line doesn't cross the pattern as before. How do I get the fabric perfectly straight?
    Sew Helpful
    You have to manipulate the fabric if it is moveable which it sounds like you are doing. If that doesn't work we draw a thread.

    Drawing a thread is where we pull a horizontal thread along the  line we want to cut. This pulls the fabric and marks a line straight across on the weft. We will make a Blog with some pictures. Good question.
    Victoria
    I am making 3 blinds in the same fabric, all of which are slightly over one width of fabric and will therefore require joining/pattern matching. I'm comfortable calculating the fabric quantities/pattern repeat for one blind - but is there a way to do this for more than one blind to ensure best use of fabric quantities? Thanks
    Sew Helpful
    We balance the blind with the fabric added to either side. If the patterned fabric is expensive, you could use a cheaper complimentary plain fabric as edge strips either side. 

    However just using the patterned fabric.

    If the blinds are all the same length you will not need an extra pattern repeat for each blind to make sure they start at the same point in the pattern. You just need one extra pattern repeat to position the pattern on the first blind. If the the horizontal pattern repeat is small enough you may be able to get more than 2 side strips out of one drop (that will take some working out).
    Gillian
    I am making two roman blinds for two windows which sit approx 1 metre apart. The window widths are different although the drop is the same. I’m. To sure yet whether to recess the blinds or not - open to recommendations!

    How do I arrange the pattern - do I match both blinds from the same centre point on each window .... or do I arrange it so that the pattern runs from left to right across both windows?

    Thank you for your advice!
    Sew Helpful
    We would go for same centre point of pattern on each blind.

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