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

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.

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

    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.


    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

    Sew Helpful
    Post your questions and comments here, we will reply so everyone can see the answer. 
    please help i want a blind finished length 236cm with 5cm headrail allowance 21cm fold. can you help with positioning rod pockets
    Sew Helpful
    Wow that's a big blind. You should find how to do it in step 5 of this tutorial. Remember to measure up and press the 5cm and 4cm hem lines, unfold the hem then measure ALL rod pockets from the bottom of the lining. Measure the rod pockets one at a time sewing it in before you measure the next, to avoid compunding small errors. From the bottom of the unfolded lining I think you will be measuring up 30cm, 72cm, 114cm, 156cm, 198cm to each of the 5 rod pockets required. REMEMBER to sew the pocket in using 2.5cm of lining before you measure the next.
    So my finished blind length will be 115 cm, so if I have got this right I will have 4 cm for the headrail, and the 5 pleat sections at 22.2 cm. When calculating the lining, do I allow for 2 rod pockets only (2.5 cm x 2).
    Sew Helpful
    Yes those pleat and headrail figures will work for that blind length. For the size of headrail batten we use though, 4cm headrail allowance would not be enough. 

    How to calculate the amount of lining required is shown in step 4 (Calculate the Lining Qty). You will see you allow an extra 2.5cm for each rod pocket, 9cm for the hem allowance and 5cm for the heading allowance. (assuming you only need one width)
    I purchased the Cassette Roman blind kit which came with roman blind tapes. I am not sure how to use the tape. Do I sew both ends of the tape on the lining and do I need to use rings for the cord?
    Sew Helpful
    This tutorial shows you how to make a roman blind the traditional way forming the rod pockets from the lining and sewing rings on the back to guide the cords which is just as easy as using tape. Without seeing the tape you are using we can\'t say how you attach it. Generally you do not use rings with tape, you guide the cords through the slits, but again we couldn\'t say without seeing it. We will produce a tutorial later for making blinds using rod pocket tapes.
    Hi I am making my first roman blind and have hand sewn the lining/interfacing and fabric all together so have my finished panel, and now need to work out my folds can you help my blind is 114cm drop finished, but I didn\\\\\\\'t know you had to allow extra lining for rods as I have bought tape where the rod threads through but it means you will have machine lines on the face of the fabric, will this look ok, please help.
    Sew Helpful
    The roman blind  calculator in the Tutorial List section should help you calculate your folds along with the instructions on this page. 

    If we were using blind tape we would attach it to the lining first before joining the lining to the face fabric. Then we would stab stitch through  to join the panels rather than sew through to the face fabric. 

    If you are going to stitch through to the front be very careful to make sure your lines are perfectly straight.  
    I purchased the roman blind kit which came with 5 rods. My window measurements is 90cm width and 129cm drop. Do I need to use all 5 rods as according to the calculations 4 rods should be sufficient.

    Appreciate your advice please.
    Sew Helpful
    Go with the number of rods that will give you the best pleat size for your blind. I suspect your roman blind kit has 5 rods in it so it is good for making a short blind through to a longer blind than the one you are making. 

    Our online Roman blind calculator in the MISC section of the tutorial list will quickly show you the pleat section sizes for the number of rod pockets used. Also remember you can adjust the headrail allowance you use to get the Top Pleat Section size how you want it.
    Why dont we use a rod for every fold? Surely this would look neater and the weight would keep the material hanging nicely.
    Sew Helpful
    The rods are for pulling the blind up, not forming the folds which should naturally form as the blind pulls up. When the blind is up they are all effectively hidden at the top and back of the blind.
    I have never seen a roman blind with the rods on the fold lines as you describe. It would not enhance the blind.
    My finished length is 161 cms, Ive worked it out 15 .5, 31, 31 , 31 , 42.5 with a head rail allowance of 10 cms , is this ok , how would you work it out
    Sew Helpful
    Your figures are a little confusing, not sure where the 42.5cm plus a headrail allowance of 10cm is coming from. But I think you have calculated a top pleat section (pleat plus headrail allowance) 37cm deep when pulled up on a 161cm window.
    (effectively a 21.5cm headrail allowance with 9 pleat sections of 15.5cm and 4 rod pockets.)

    Hold a tape up to the window and see what you think. Whether it would block too much light or look right with the fabric pattern etc. Only you can decide that.

    Have you tried the online Roman blind calculator. You can always vary the headrail allowance to make the top pleat section the size you want and change the pleat sizes to whole numbers.

    With your 10cm headrail allowance

    9 pleat sections would give 4 rod pockets, the top pleat section 26.78cm and other pleats
     sections of 16.78cm.

    But for example if you adjusted the headrail allowance to 8cm this would give a top pleat section of 25cm and other pleat sections of 17cm.

    At the end of the day you have to decide what will look best at your window.


    Linda Yates
    Ive never made a Roman Blind before so havent a clue!
    The finished size is 40 inch wide x 59 inch drop. Thanks.
    Sew Helpful
    We offer extra help answering questions about the tutorial and leave the answers here for everyone to learn from.. Unfortunately we dont have time to work out everyones blind for them. 
    Sue B
    Hi, Im attempting to make an interlined Roman blind, 180cm wide and 146cm drop. I have allowed a 6cm headrail allowance and worked out that I will need 3 rod pockets and seven pleat sections however Im getting rather confused when attempting to put the rod pockets into the lining and not sure what Im supposed to be measuring from the bottom for each pocket. Can you help?
    Sew Helpful
    Wow thats a big blind. 

    Now you are asking a question on how to make an interlined blind on the lined blind tutorial so Im not quite sure which method you are using as they are different. The lined blind method and the measuring of the rod pockets is fully explained in the videos.

    If you are following the interlined blind tutorial can you ask the question in the right place there so everyone can learn from the answer.
    Im making blinds for 2 windows side by side. One is 147cm long and the other 147.5 cm long? If I aim to make each top pleat identical depths, what should I do about the extra 0.5cm? Ignore it? Love this website by the way!
    Sew Helpful
    We had this the other day in the workroom. What we did was keep the top section of each blind the same    by using the same headrail allowance. The pleat sizes will be obviously be slightly different but in your case by only a millimetre or so which you wont notice.
    I have a small window in my porch 110 cm wide X 53 cm drop. I thought about a roman blind (inside)but am wondering if it is too small an area for a roman blind
    Sew Helpful
    We\'ve never made a blind with such a short drop. It\'s possible with small pleats but it would be worth looking at how it would look and how much light it would block out in the up position before ypu make it. We would usually make the blind outside the recess in this situation with it fixed above the window so when pulled up does not block out much light.
    Thanks so much for this helpful website. Is there a maximum number of rod pockets a blind can have? I have quite a long drop and would like 9 folds - 4 rods. Just a little nervous in case this the bulk of all these folds is too deep to sit smoothly behind the first fold?
    Sew Helpful
    For a lined blind with normal weight fabric, 4 rods will be fine, that is a very common number of rods we use in the blinds we make up.
    I have six roman blinds to make for one room. All blinds are going to be hung adjacent to each other. I want all the blinds to be hung at the same point, 10cm down from the ceiling and I want them all to look the same when folded up. Unfortunately there is a difference in the drop for each window. The difference from first blind the sixth blind is 1.75cm. I think I have worked out how to make the top pleat the same for all blinds by altering the rod spacing across the blinds. This means when open, they will look the same, but the rods wont line up across the blinds. Do you think this makes sense? Will it matter that the rods dont line up?
    Sew Helpful
    The most important thing is to get the top pleat sections all the same so the blinds all look the same when they are pulled up. You will obviously have the same number of rods for each blind. The 1.75cm will make a small difference between the pleat section sizes. You have 2 options
    1. Accept the small difference in pleat section sizes and rod positions due to the 1.75cm. Or
    2. Work out the rod pocket spacing and pleat section sizes for the longest blind and use this for all the blinds. Then adjust the length of the bottom section of each blind (making it shorter where necessary). This shouldn't be that noticeable when the blinds are pulled up as any shorter bottom section will be pulled up behind the blind.
    Remember to keep the top pleat section sizes the same and ensure you have a big enough headrail allowance to make sure the blind can be fully pulled up. We would probably go for option 2.(there's no right or wrong answer). If you look at our facebook page another sewer has commented they had the same problem and said option 2 worked perfectly.
    blind set
    I am making 5 Roman blinds for the first time. I am making them from some old curtains that I have that has the lining attached already. For the rod pockets (3 in each blind) do I need to unstitch the lining?? I'm confused.
    Sew Helpful
    Please read the tutorial instructions. Then if you have a question that is relevant to the tutorial we would be very happy to answer it.
    thanks for your help on this matter, i only wanted to know if i need to unstich the lining to make rod pockets or if i can do this with the lining still attached to the fabric
    Sew Helpful
    To make the blind following the instructions you need a separate piece of fabric and a separate piece of lining which are made up in Step 5 and Step 6 with the rod pockets and correct side turns. They are then joined together with the correct hem in Step 7.  It would not be possible to make your blind following these instructions with a chopped down curtain with the lining still attached. The side turns would be wrong the hem would be wrong and it would be very difficult to get the blind true and square. The only way you could make the rod pockets would be with rod pocket tape that you would probably have to stitch through to the face fabric.  
    Thank you, I thought that but wondered if a quicker way as new to all this
    I am making 3 blinds for a square bay: 2 narrow 55cm x 180cm drop and 1 at 215cm x 180 drop. I am presuming that 2 cord drops will suffice for the narrower blinds - is there a rule about distances for how many cord drops for the wider one. I am using a wooden head rail and wooden or fibreglass rods. I presume I will need a lighter weight bar at the bottom of each blind too. Could you also tell me if the header rail should be the same width as the finished blind please??
    Sew Helpful
    The answers are found and fully explained in step 8 and step 10 of the tutorial. We do not use lighter weight bottom bars, but do use chain mechanisms, especially on blinds the size of your centre blind where we would use a geared mechanism due to the weight.
    Hi, just read your reply to Sally's request and I am a little confused which method is the right one as you have advised to always measure from the 9cm top crease but, just looking at Step 5, it says unfold the hem and always measure up from the bottom of the lining to avoid compound errors. Thank you
    Sew Helpful
    In truth you can measure from either position (taking into  account the hem or not). The main point is you measure from the bottom of the lining up and sew in the rod pocket before you measure the next one (again up from the bottom) to avoid compound errors. 

    Thanks for pointing out the inconsistency. I'll edit our response to Sally now to make it consistent with the tutorial in that you measure from the bottom of the unfolded hem.
    Rachel Burnham
    Hello, am a little confused at what will work best. My window is 192 cm in length and the wizard has given me a number of options. What would you suggest?
    Many thanks
    Sew Helpful
    It's all about design decisions and really that comes down to personal choice. The 2 key things to decide are.
    1. The size of the blind you want when it is pulled up. (How much light it blocks out and how it will look in relation to the window).
    2. The number and size of the pleats. (The more you have, the more the blind will push out when it is pulled up and they all sit alongside each other.) Generally the shallower you make the blind when it is pulled up, the more pleats you will need.
    We would probably be looking at 11 pleat sections and a top pleat approximately 20cm deep For that length blind. But without seeing the window and whether it is inside or outside the recess it is difficult to say. How a pattern falls on a blind may also influence how deep you want the top section.
    Hi there, thank you so much for your site, I am making a 100cm drop by 60cm (finished width and length) a small roman for the toilet, could you please tell me how many rods I need and distance apart each, I am hoping to get at least 3 rods. I have tried the calculator but keep getting error and am tearing my hair out! any help would be great. Many thanks.
    Sew Helpful
    Hi Jane, the number of rods is half the number of pleat sections minus 1. So for 3 rods you will need 7 pleat sections, 4 rods 9 pleat sections etc. An error message comes up on the calculator if you put in figures that are impossible to calculate. (for example a 100cm blind with 3 pleat sections cannot be 15cm deep when pulled up)

    You need to decide how deep you want the blind when it is pulled up, for your 100cm blind if you decide you want a 20cm top pleat section depth and 7 pleats sections for your 3 rods the calculator will give you the answer of

    1. 19cm Top pleat section .
    2. 5.5cm headrail allowance
    3. 13.5cm pleat size
    The reason it gives 19cm and not 20cm for the top pleat section (depth of blind when pulled up) is because it rounds to the nearest 0.5cm for the pleat sections.
    I wondered if this made sense to do the blind like this. I have a drop of 108cm. A 6cm head rail allowance. 12cm for first two pleats, 14cm for second two, 16cm for third two and 18cm for the last pleat. I would like each pleat below to drop slightly lower than the one above when open?
    Sew Helpful
    You are making a cascading blind. A good way to work out if you have got it right is mark the pleats out to scale on a piece of A4 paper and fold it up see if it works.

    Your calcs look right because.
    1. You have an odd number of pleat sections (7)
    2.  Your pleat sections and headrail allowance add up to the blind length (108cm)
    Remember your top pleat section is 18cm (12cm Pleat plus 6cm headrail allowance) next 12cm next 14cm next 14cm next 16cm etc.
    Hi there, would like your help please. My roman blind length is 132cm by 129.5cm width. I know its a personal choice of number of pleats etc., but wanted advice on if I choose 7 pleat sections, do you think just using 3 rods would this be able to cope with the pulling up, or would it be better to go for 9 pleat sections and give it more stability using 4 rods ? Also, is there a ratio proportion for the stacked up fold to the length of the blind that you would use ? For example, if you had a long window, you wouldn't want a small stacked up fold because it would look silly ? Thank you
    Sew Helpful
    The number of rods has no effect on the pulling up or stability. As you say the number of pleat sections is a design decsion based on how deep do you want your blind to be when pulled up, how much light do you want to block out etc. You need to decide what you think looks best for the window and the room. We do not use any ratio proportion, we just work out a few options and go with the one we think will look best.

    Of course we don't know everything though and if anyone (interior designer etc) has a ratio they use it would be great to share it here so we can all learn.
    Viv Buckton
    Hi - considering roman blind for large square bay, main panel 305cm wide x 163 cm drop, sides are 89cm wide x 163cm drop. Is it better to do the main panel in 2 or 3 blinds, also how obtrusive would the pulley be if I choose to go with 3. I want to use a thermal lining for warmth. Any help would be appreciated as whilst I sew most household items, I've never done a roman blind before. I should point out that the main panel has a horizontal rail about a fifth down from top of window and vertical rails at either end about a fifth in. Hope this make sense. Therefore I'm uncertain about what would look best cosmetically.
    Many thanks in advance.
    Sew Helpful
    What design you go for depends on the room, window  and your personal taste etc. We would definately not make a 3m wide blind and from what you have described we would be thinking floor length curtains would look best But without seeing the room  and the window it is  difficult to  comment.
    I just had a question about the headrail - with regards to the actual wooden batten to be used, where can these be purchased? Are they available in DIY stores or will any dress-making/haberdashery stores have them?
    Sorry if it is a stupid question, but on nearly every online tutorial I've looked at this is never stated. Thanks in advance :-)
    Sew Helpful
    You can get them from DIY stores and Builders Merchants. We use 18mm by 34mm planed batten. 
    I have made 7 roman blinds and put them on to an open cassette rail , when I pull them up the pleats are slightly pulling to one side on all of them ,no matter what I have tried to do to fix this problem is cannot figure out what is causing this to happen
    Sew Helpful
    Could be numerous reasons, here are a few things to check

    1. Are the cords inline with the rings on the blind.
    2. Are the spools all the same and all pulling up together at the same rate ( check you dont have an odd one that winds down before it starts winding up?)
    3. Are you testing the blinds on the same cassette rail and does this happen if you use a different one.
    4. Are your cord lengths all set exactly right on the blinds.
    I'm making 2 roman blinds different widths but same length I've put them together but I just can't get to grips with the spacing out of the rod/fold lines I have tried using your online checker but still confused...!!! The finished length is 130cm with 2 rod lines please help
    Sew Helpful
    Sorry we do not do personal calculations or else we would literally be doing them 24hrs a day.
    Hi would you confirm if the bottom weight bar slides into the lining or the fabric as I am sure on a course I attended it was in the lining but now not sure.

    Thank you so much
    Sew Helpful
    In our method for a lined blind the pouch for the bottom bar is formed in the bottom Hem made in Step 7. The lining and fabric are folded up together. The bottom bar is inserted in Step 9 and the sides closed up. 
    Julie S
    Hi I've previously asked your advice, but have more questions as I really want to make sure I make the correct decisions for my window. I have a large square bay, returns are 90cms, the front window is made up of 4 sections and measures 286cms in total. I am making 2 blinds for the front window as I think this will look much better than 4. My fabric has a pattern repeat of 39cms. For the main window you recommended cutting the main width and attaching 2x8cm panels to each side of the blinds. I didn't relish this, but would do it if no other option. I had thought about attaching one panel to the outside of each of the blinds which I thought would look balanced overall across the two blinds and given that it is patterned would not be obvious. Another thought, if I brought the return blinds forwards (which I could) then the joins could be hidden. The window ledge is 26cms deep and I have a pelmet which slightly extends past the window ledge,.
    I then had another thought. You say that you always ensure the blinds meet at the 90 degree corners so there is no overlap. If I brought all 4 blinds to the front edge of my window ledge I have calculated that one width of fabric would be enough per blind. Do you think this would look fine? My next question is that the 2 chains at each side of the front window would be very noticeable in that they would be hanging in the middle of nowhere. I would then like to put a 'keep' quite high in the corner to attach the chain back to. We have upvc windows and I don't want to drill into these. Do you know of any other method, ie is there something that sticks rather than needs drilling?
    I would really appreciate your advice on my points. I intend to pay for your whole package when I start on my blinds. I have made one quite large one before, but it was just one width and this is a bigger test. I feel confident, but unsure as explained above. I look forward to your reply.
    Kind regards. Julie Simpson
    Sew Helpful
    We would not worry about the joins in the fabric - look at our mini tutorial with a free video on this site for more info on joining patterned fabric. As we said before we always make blinds with balanced joins as we think those look more professional.

    We would concentrate on getting the blinds in the best position and not compromise that position trying to avoid making joins.  We would fit the battens first and get them in the right position before measuring to get the size and positioning right.

    With regard to dangling chains, due to child safety legislation in the UK we would have to fit chain safety restraints (P clips) which we would have to drill into the UPVC window which we do not recommend.  

    I am trying to make a 100cm drop roman blind - but my wooden baton is only 3 cm - so my calculations won't go into your calculator. So I have worked out that 19cm at the top and 31.5 cm with 20cm at the bottom. Is this correct.
    Sew Helpful
    Your figures don't make sense i'm afraid.

    The Headrail allowance is not the size of the headrail. It is the distance from the top of the blind down to where the folds form. It includes extra space under the headrail to make room for eyelets (with a wooden batten) and stop the folds pulling up into the headrail. We advise 1.5 times the batten size and a minimum of 5cm for the headrail allowance. (All the info is in the instructions above)
    I would like to hoist my blind high to allow max light into the room. I am hanging it outside the recess and judge that the batten can be fixed 10cm above the window (there is 32cm total space to the ceiling. The finished blind drop is 129am & width 70cm. I wonder whether I could have fold depths of 11.25cm, which would mean 11 folds and 5 rod pockets. Do you think this would work or is it too many folds? Thankyou.
    Sew Helpful
    If you are hanging the blind above the recess and the batten is tight against the wall the folds will push against the wall and probably outwards if you have 5 rod pockets. Obviously the thicker the fabric the more they will push out.

    As to whether this will work we can't say not knowing the your fabric, thickness of batten how you are going to mount it etc.
    Thanks so much for this. My fabric is a light striped cotton (with a herringbone weave), so will hang well. In light of your thoughts though, I think I might reduce the pockets by one. My first ever Roman blind, so here goes!
    Number of rod pockets

    Hi, Just found your site, wish I had found it earlier! I'm making two blinds 59x158.5cm and third blind 89.5x158.5cm Based on the instructions I was following (past tense!) it sauce would only need three rods but thinking maybe should be five?? Please are you able to advise? Many thanks Clare
    Sew Helpful
    Please read step 2 of the tutorial. It explains you work out the number of rod pockets based on what depth you want the blind to be when pulled up. If you go for 3 the blind will be deeper when pulled up than one with 5 rod pockets.
    Hi, my finished depth is 158 but I want the blind to hang from the top of the wall, not the top of the window so I need the first fold to be a depth of 32cm. If I divide the remaining 96cm ( have allowed for rail depth) by 5 then I can do 2 more rod pockets at 19.2cm. I am confused though, will this still pull up correctly. I realise the smaller folds will disappear behind the large fold but will it pull up ok and will I look ok ??
    Sew Helpful
    You can make the first top fold (the size of the blind when pulled up) what size you like relative to the other folds by increasing the headrail allowance.

    Your figures don't seem to add up though. 32cm plus 96cm makes 128cm not the 158cm drop you need.
    Thank you for your reply, sorry I didn't explain myself properly. The blind finished drop is 158cm but I need the first rod to go at 60cm down as when folded up it needs to be 32cm (32 + 28 = 60 :-deducted 4cm for rail) so could I then put pockets at 19.3 (2 rod pockets to the bottom of blind) I know they will pull up nighter than first drop, will this look wrong???
    Sew Helpful
    4cm is not enough for the headrail allowance the blind will not pull up enough under it due to lack of room.

    I'm not sure why you are varying the size of your folds (28cm and 19.3cm). Why don't you keep all the folds the same size and vary the headrail allowance to make the first fold (depth of blind in up position)  the 32cm that you need.
    Carrie Jackson
    Hello firstly I want to thank you for this wonderfully detailed tutorial. I am making roman blinds for my mother-in-laws new kitchen. Her windows measure 26 and 7/8th x 32. She would like the balloon style of blinds and would like three folds while the blind is down but still have the ability to pull it up. Can you tell me how I would calculate the fabric for making the blind in this style?
    Sew Helpful
    I'm sorry we don't make ballon blinds so can't help
    Hi, I have some vertical blinds for two very large windows. When I move the blinds to one side using the string chain, the centre rod AND inner string droop down. My windows open inwards, and so it keeps catching on the rod and string. I've managed to break one with end cap by forgetting that it will catch. Is there anything I can do to prevent the string and plastic rod from drooping without affecting the opening and closing of the blinds from left to right? Any advice appreciated. The string I think I can place a heavier weight on the end mechanism controller so keeping the string taught. The windows are more than six foot in length each. Thank you.
    Sew Helpful
    I'm sorry we dont make vertical blinds so can't help.
    what's the longest drop possible for a roman blind?
    Sew Helpful
    It depends how stong your mechanism is to lift them, their weight thickness etc. I have seen some over 30ft high in a hotel. 
    I am asking for a little advice/confirm my thought process is right!
    I am making some roman blinds for someone for an L'shaped bay window. I mentioned curtains could be a better option but they would like blinds instead.
    At the end of each window they have a wall
    Within the "recess" of the smaller window (wall to the corner where the window meets the next) the width is 45cm,
    and the longer window to the recess/wall is 138cm.
    To possibly make things a little more awkward there is no wall above the window.
    Therefore I am thinking of the wooden battens would need to be screwed to the ceiling. My concern with this where the blinds would meet in the corner of the "L' i don't want them to meet so they are rubbing against one another and do not sit straight so one would be forward, the other backwards for instance.I would like it look good!
    I hope I can ask you this but how would you tackle this?
    Would i be right in making the smaller blind first and making it around 38cm width (allowance for where the battens to meet on the ceiling - if i was to use 2"x2" battens i would need to knock of 2" and then a couple of centimetres so there will be room for the blind to move up so it is not too tight to the other)
    Then once this one is made and attached to the ceiling, i could then get the next batten to the ceiling and get it in the correct position and more accurately measure for the next blind away from the blind to the recess/wall.
    would really appreciate some advice as I am determined to see the job through and just needed a second opinion. Kind Regards Charlotte
    Sew Helpful
    On a bay we template the bay then cut the mechanisms so the blinds will meet at a corner (not overlap), the mechanisms will be about 1.5cm apart (this distance varies according how thick the blind is). Note we cut the mechanisms slightly shorter than the blind width in STEP 10 to allow some adjustment laterally.

    Templating avoids fitting both mechanisms first then measuring.
    I really like your tutorial and have read from start to end to see if I can find this answer, but could I just clarify on my rod pocket markings. I have done the maths and am happy with it. I am doing 2 pockets and know I need to measure from the line of the bottom of the blind each time, my first pocket is at 23cm and 2cm, do I need to mark the next pocket 46cm from the base of the blind or 48cm to take into account the 2cm I lost in th e pocket?

    Thankyou for your advice
    Sew Helpful
    You will see in the instructions in STEP 5 you measure the first, SEW IT IN, then measure the next one, SEW IT IN and repeat until all your pockets are sewn in. You will not have to add the 2cm to the distance you measure up to the bottom of the next pocket because the first pocket sticks out from the lining and doesn't contribute to the length of the lining panel.

    The video explains it and demonstrates what to do. 

    I'm not sure about your measurements. If your first pocket is 23cm from the bottom of the blind wouldn't the next pocket be 69cm from the bottom of the blind??

    It is 69 and my diagram says so!!! I have sewn the first pocket so just wanted to be sure

    Thanks again
    Sew Helpful
    Just to clarify:  in your question you have been talking about measuring from the bottom of the blind. The instructions and the videos in STEP 5 are based on our method of measuring from the bottom of the lining panel when sewing in the rod pockets which includes 9cm for the double hem so if you are making up and measuring from the bottom of the lining panel 69cm would not be correct for the second rod pocket measurement.

    It is all fully explained in the videos.
    My window is approx 6ft wide and my chosen fabric is 4ft wide. Should I join the fabric down the middle or on either side of the blind
    Sew Helpful
    The answer is further on in the tutorial in STEP 6. We always have a central panel with a strip joined each side.

    I understand that when measuring for my rod pockets I have to unfold ironed hemlines and then measure from the actual CUT edge of the lining, not the finished length of lining. Am I right? If so why is this?
    Sew Helpful
    You can calculate the positions and measure from the fold line if you like. The bottom edge of the lining will be cut square so measuring the rod pockets from here you know they will be square across. If you decide to do it differently and measure from the crease line make sure that crease line is true and square otherwise your rod pockets will not be.
    Many thanks for that. So if my fold depth is 24cms should my line for the first rod pocket be 24cms from cut edge, or 24cms plus the hem allowance of 9cms thus 33cms? All other measurements being the standard 24cms apart.
    Sew Helpful
    No as the instructions say you measure up 9cm plus the fold depth, so your first rod pocket is 33cm up from the cut edge, the second rod pocket is 81cm up from the cut edge etc. (the second rod pocket is 2 fold depths up from the first- see STEP 2)
    Doing 11 with 140 drop curtains, 7 cm head rail allowance. 3 rods total with top pleat is 26 cm, the other sections 19. Is there any difference (in terms of curtain stability) if I sew the rod pockets on the lining first and then attach it to the main fabric? width of curtains are variable (from 80 to 85 cm). The reason why I am asking: I am using black out lining and if I stitch the pocket when the lining is already attached to the fabric, is possible to see through the stitching line. I am also using wooden rods which, in my humble opinion (this is my first project) are too light. Do the weight of the rod make any difference on the final result? should I choose something "heavier"? thanks
    Sew Helpful

    I think you are saying you are making 11 roman blinds not curtains and the width of the blinds varies from 80cm to 85cm?

    We always make blinds by sewing the rod pockets on/into the lining before attaching the lining to the fabric (STEP 5). this avoids stitching lines through to the face fabric. The lining and is later stab stitched to the fabric in STEP 8 to give the blind the stability you are talking about.

    With blackout lining you will see pinpricks of light on the rod pocket stitch lines regardless of which way you do it if you sew the rod pockets on/into the blackout lining. We make blackout lined blinds by sandwiching blackout lining in-between the fabric and lining that way the rod pocket stitch lines are on the lining not the blackout. Even with this technique you still get some small pinpricks of light where the stab stitches are. (we plan to make that tutorial)

    We do not use wooden dowels (rods) but use fibreglass rods which are also light. The purpose of the rods is not for weight but to form a rigid line at the fold when the blind is pulled up. The bottom bar needs some weight an for this we use an white coated aluminium flat bar.

    I am making a woven blind with block out lining, it also has a trim that covers the two sides and base, when do I sew the trim taking into account I have to sew over the pockets on the lining where the rods slide in
    Sew Helpful
    If we were making the blind with a trim we would make up the face fabric panel with the trim attached/enclosed before joining it to the lining. 
    I am wanting to make a small blind for a recess - just 62.5cm long. I would like to have 2 rod pockets and 5 pleat sections to try and maximise the light available when it is pulled up. The online calculator recommends a top section of 17.7cm deep and the other sections being 11.2cm deep. Will the mechanism work with folds of this depth and is one mechanism preferable to another with small blinds?
    Sew Helpful
    That size of pleats should be fine. Most mechanisms are pretty similar in dimensions with regard to their depth. If you use smaller rings on the back you may be able to make it pull up a bit tighter.
    I am making a cascading roman blind with 3cm cascades.
    Do I mark the rod casings in the middle of each section as they are different measurements.
    Sew Helpful
    You form the rod pockects the same as for a normal roman blind, but your spacings will be different.
    Andrea Lewis
    I am making two blinds for the kitchen. Small window 120cm blind drop and 75cm width which includes 7cm each side parallel to the sill. However, the larger window has a problem as the right side is adjacent to cupboards (at a right angle) leaving only 3cm from window recess to the cupboard. I was going to overlap the window by 2.5 cm on the right and 7cm (to match small window) on left and still centring the pattern on the blind. But will this look odd? Should I do 2.5cm on both sides. Hope I've made myself clear and you can help.
    Sew Helpful
    We would go for 2.5cm on each side and keep it balanced. (personal choice)
    I've made a Roman blind using quite thick fabric, it looks great down but I can't get it to pull up correctly and cannot work out what I have done wrong, it has 4 batons in it, I have attached the string to the end Baton and threaded up and then down to the acorn. When I pull it up the fabric just bunches, is this because I have not stitched the lining to the front fabric?
    Sew Helpful
    Did you use this tutorial to make the blind and if so did you stab stitch in STEP 8.
    Hello, I've had a request to make deeper folds so they are more obvious - a greater gap between them once the blind is pulled up (hope that makes sense). How would you recommend working this out? Thank you :-)
    Sew Helpful
    I think you are talking about cascading blinds, this tutorial is for a standard blind where the folds all pull up inline when the blind is pulled up.
    I am learning how to me roman blinds and I find your tutorials are excellent. It reiterates my tutor's instructions It helps me to remember what I should do before next lesson
    Hi, I am making a blind using a rod tape and have as indicated in the instructions sewn the top of the tape on the line measured from the bottom. I know this may sound a little silly, but do I need to sew the bottom of the tape as well? Sorry if the answer is in the tutorial, I can't seem to find it.
    Sew Helpful
    The tapes we have used only require one line of stitching (no stitching at the bottom as well). That is because you only want  the rod to pull at one point along the blind when you pull it up. If you had stitch lines top and bottom it would be pulling on the blind over a wider area and possibly wouldn't fold as neatly.
    Strangely, after your instructions stressing the point of measuring from the bottom of the cut fabric when calculating rod pocket placement, your online calculator at step 2 doesn't do this, making it very easy to miscalculate this step.
    Sew Helpful
    You are right it is easy to miscalculate, but this is the reason why it is the way it is.

    In STEP 2 of the tutorials you are calculating the dimensions of the blind and the rod pocket positions in relation to the bottom of the blind. The calculator calculates the rod pocket positions from the bottom of the blind, the same as the STEP 2 calculation. This is also what anyone just using the calculator and not following the tutorial would be trying to do.

    As you say in STEP 5 when making the lining we measure from the bottom of the lining (which includes the hem allowance) to mark the rod pockets. (I'll see if I can highlight this more in the instructions)

    The lining is made differently for a lined and interlined blind as they have different hem sizes and positioning on the blind. Therefore the calculator would only work for one type of blind if we were to make it calculate rod pocket positions relative to the bottom of the lining panel rather than the bottom of the blind. 
    My blind is 142cm length and 193cm wide. It will be heavy as I am making it out of a Welsh blanket. How many rod pockets do you suggest using? Thank you.
    Sew Helpful
    We would start with 4 rod pockets. But it depends on the design and finished look you are trying to achieve.
    Hi again,

    I am thinking I will use 5 strings to take help with the weight. Do you agree? I have checked and actually only have 4 rods in my Roman blind kit. Also I have cut the lining so couldn't factor in any more rod pocket allowance. My pleats will be 15cm. I'm guessing the smaller they are the bulkier it will be. Hopefully these will be long enough? Does this sound like it will work?
    Sew Helpful
    You need to use the number of strings supplied in your kit. They will have breakouts and disconnect with a certain weight on them due to child safety rules, so you musn't use less than in the kit or else they might start disconnecting under the weight of the blind. The mechanism should be geared as well to be able to cope with the weight, it should tell what weight it can lift.  

    The smaller the folds, the more there will be  and the bulkier the blind will be when pulled up. Your figures sound ok but we have no idead how thick it will be pulled up as we have never made a blind out of a blanket before.
    Milica Trisic
    I have bought material and lining and I ordered a blind kit from Argos over the internet and I am confused as the kit is completely different to what I thought it would look like -it has a top bit and a bottom weight but there are 3 louvres attached to the strings from the tops and then there are 3 rods to go into the louvres but were do I attach the linig does the louvres go on or the rods - sorry so confused
    Sew Helpful
    I'm sorry I cant see any Roman blind kits sold by Argos, only vertical blind headrails, so can't see an image about the louvres you are talking about.

    Does the kit look the headrail in Step 0 (introduction) of this tutorial? Have you read the tutorial yet to see how a Roman blind is made, there are extra notes in red to explain what to do with rod pocket tape rather than make the pockets out of the lining.
    Thanks for your tutorials. I purchased the videos for making lined pencil pleat curtains and I am so happy with the result. Now am working on roman blinds. My finished width is 122cm with a drop of 215cm. Would you advise using wooden rods or do you recommend fibre glass rods. Thanks in advance
    Sew Helpful
    We use fibre glass rods for all sized blinds in the workshop.
    Hi , I am making a blind which is 147 wide and 97 drop , just wondered if you have ever made one with the fabric the wrong way round to save joining , it's a plain cream faric . Is this a real no no . Thanks
    Sew Helpful
    Yes we've done that before lots of times. Make sure you have enough for your heading and hem allowances and that you are happy with how the fabric will look orientated that way.
    Victoria Dibbs
    Hi, I just paid for a 24hour video tutorial via PayPal, and they have sent the reference to an old email address which is now out of use. I can't get to view the video I have paid for! Is there anything you can do to help?
    Sew Helpful
    email us using the right email address at and we will send you the code.

    I have sent a code to your talktalk email  in the mean time is that the wrong one?  please check your junk or spam folder.
    I've started to have a go at making a Roman blind with contrasting fabric panels as the main fabric width wasn't wide enough. The panels are only 6.5cm (not inc hem).
    My problem is that when the blind has lining in, & is hung in the window, then you'll be able to see all the hems. Should I use blackout lining to hide this (didn't really want to though)! Or have a made the side panels wrong. Should they of been double thickness?
    Oh, I bag style my Roman blinds as I find slip stitch not strong enough when I make it that way.
    Many Thanks
    Sew Helpful
    Yes you will see the seams in daylight (but the blinds are usually down at night ). We wouldn't use double thickness.

    If it really bothers you you will need to insert blackout into the blind to block it. 
    Rosanne Hull
    Hi there,
    When you have sewn in all your rod pockets on the lining how much fabric should be left at the top above the last rod pocket? One fold (i.e. the length between rod pockets) the 5cm heading allowance and the headrail allowance? I've become a little confused about the length of the folds calculated in step 2. I had 143cm amount to be folded (finished blind 149 - 6cm headrail allowance) and want 10cm folds. I divided 143 by 13 which equals 11. Do I then separate my rod pockets my 22? Or 20?
    Sew Helpful
    Put your figures into the blind calculator we have made on the website. That will create a small diagram with the distances of the pockets marked on it. That may make it a bit clearer to understand.
    Rosanne Hull
    Hi there,
    When you have sewn in all your rod pockets on the lining how much fabric should be left at the top above the last rod pocket? One fold (i.e. the length between rod pockets) the 5cm heading allowance and the headrail allowance? I've become a little confused about the length of the folds calculated in step 2. I had 143cm amount to be folded (finished blind 149 - 6cm headrail allowance) and want 10cm folds. I divided 143 by 13 which equals 11. Do I then separate my rod pockets my 22? Or 20?
    Sew Helpful
    above the last rod pocket will be 2 pleat sections (which form 1 fold), the headrail allowance, plus the 5cm heading allowance.

    If you go for 20cm rather than 22cm gaps afteryou've made your calculation, you will end up with a bigger headrail allowance and the blind being deeper when pulled up. (try different headrail allowances and different numbers of pleat sections in the "Roman Blind Fold Calculator" on this site) until you get the nearest answer to what you want. 
    Gill Troup
    Hi I'm planning to make cascading Roman blinds, with a cassette kit. I would prefer to have a couple of pleats still in place at the bottom of the blind when the blind is fully let down, as I don't like the completely flat look. Presume I achieve this by just making the blind longer than the window, by allowing fabric for a couple of 'extra' pleats? Thanks
    Sew Helpful
    That should work.
    Hi, I am making a very small Roman blind, 40cm drop and 90cm wide within a recess. The headrail is 2.5cm and screwed into the top of the recess 9velcro on the front). I have deducted this from the 40cm, but I cannot get an accurate place to put the 1 rod I need, using the calculations in your example.Can you suggest the placing for the rod pocket please?
    Sew Helpful
    2.5cm headrail allowance is not enough, use a headrail allowance of 6cm or more. 

    If you use 6cm that leaves 40 - 6 =34 

    divide by 3 for one rod= 34/3 =11.333 per pleat section

    Front face  when pulled up  = 11.33 + 6 =17.33cm
    Susan Sheehan
    Thank you very much for your help.
    My blind needs to be 243cm wide - is this too wide to do as one blind?
    Sew Helpful
    It can be done.

    We personally don't think wide roman blinds look good though and they are more difficult to make as well,(especially if you are a beginner and dont have a big table) 
    I have a drop of 160cm width 2metres, not sure what would look better 3 or 4 rod pockets with 17.2 pleat or the 22cm pleat, cannot visualise, as a professional company what would you go for?
    Sew Helpful
    It depends on the window, it's setting, the fabric you are using,  thickness of lining/interlining, how much light you want to block out etc.  Put a tape up to the window and see how big the blind will be when pulled up, (top pleat section) and make a judgement. We would go for 4 rod pockets.
    Please can you advise me on the longest length recommend when making a Roman blind with interlining. My window is 210cm and I do not want to to be to bulky once pulled.
    Sew Helpful
    We actual only recommend roman blinds for modest sized windows, however there are no rules and you can make them up to 3m wide with headrails available on the market. The bulkiness of your Blind when pulled up will depend on the thickness of your material and interlining as well as the number of folds you choose. A lighter sarille interlining will help reduce the bulk.
    Margaret Hannan
    I have made 6 X Roman blinds for semi circle bay window all the rods line up except for one blind next to the end and to make them line up the rods will fall half an inch in the finnished width of 23inches how can this be it is driving me crazy. Could it be the window out of plumb??
    Mrs Georgina Clinton
    What determines the headrail allowance do they come in different sizes.
    Sew Helpful
    You choose a headrail allowance and it has an affect on the size of the blind when pullled up, (note there is a minimum it can be). See our blog item that explains headrail allowances.
    I have 2 window one with 148cm drop and the other with 87cm drop. For the first window I have made the blind with 5 rod pockets (26cm spacing between pockets. should I make the smaller blind with 1 or 2 rod pockets
    Sew Helpful
    We would try to make them so they are the same or a very similar depth when pulled up.
    Thanks so much for the superb calculator - just save me from a lot of thinking!
    I have just finished a blind using your measurements and it is practically perfect.
    Hi, just checking if it looks ok to have a little less depth on the first fold. Thanks so much

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