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
  • - 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
  • - Velcro Hook Tape
  • - Screw Eyes
  • - Acorn
  • - Cleat Hook
  • - Cord
  • - Staple Gun
  • or
  • - Headrail Kit
  • - Hacksaw
  • Step 4: Calculate Lining Quantity
    Printable Worksheet
    Printable Worksheet

    To calculate the amount of lining required to make a blind again we need to establish the Cut Width and Cut Drop of the lining which are slightly different to the fabric:

    LINING CUT WIDTH

    The lining is narrower than the fabric and the Cut Width is equal to the Finished Width of the blind.

    • Cut Width (lining) = Finished Width of blind

    LINING CUT DROP

    The lining is longer than the fabric though due to the rod pockets. To calculate the cut drop of the lining add a 5cm heading allowance, a 9cm hem allowance and an allowance* for each rod pocket to the finished blind length.

    (*The rod pocket allowance is the circumference of the rod plus 1cm, our fibre glass rods require a 2.5cm allowance.)

    • Lining Cut Drop = Finished Blind Length + 5cm heading allwnce + 9cm hem allwnce + (2.5cm*) per rod pocket

    if using ROD POCKET TAPE

    If you are using Rod Pocket Tape you will need to disregard the rod pocket allowance as you will not be making the rod pockets out of the lining. The LINING CUT DROP calculation will now be

    • Lining Cut Drop = Finished Blind Length + 5cm heading allwnce + 9cm hem allwnce

    LINING QUANTITY REQUIRED

    The calculation for the amount of lining required to make a blind is the same as the calculation for plain fabric. Note we add an extra 5cm to the lining Cut Drop figure to allow for trimming it square.

    • Multiply the "Number of fabric widths" by (Cut Drop Lining + 5cm trimming allowance) .

    Extra Help & Comments

    Sew Helpful
    Post your questions and comments here, we will reply so everyone can see the answer. 
    Lisa
    If using rod tape do you need to add any allowance
    Sew Helpful
    You do not need the allowance for rod pockets because you would be sewing the tape onto flat lining and not forming any rod pockets with the lining. You will of course still need the heading and hem allowances.
    Anne
    If using black-out lining and rod tape would I use exactly the same amount of (cut) material as for the blind (the finished blind width and length plus hem allowances)
    Sew Helpful
    You will need the same amount of Face Fabric. But will need slightly less Lining Fabric. You will not need the rod pocket allowances when calculating the lining fabric cut drop as you will be sewing the rod pocket tape onto flat lining and not forming rod pockets with the lining. So the cut lining will be.

    Width = The finished blind width
    Length = Finished blind length length + 5cm heading allowance + 9cm hem allowance

    Anne
    Im trying to work out /seeking your excellent advice (the web site and videos are brilliant!) on how to make roman blinds with black-out lining - how do you recommend sewing the face and lining panels together? I can see two solutions, either make the face and lining panels the same size and (ladder?) stitch up each side or double hem the face material over an unhemmed panel of lining material that has rod pockets attached to take in account of the hem width. Or is there another way?
    Sew Helpful
    We would make it inserting the blackout lining to the side edges of the blind with the fabric folding over at the sides and slip stitching on. However there is more to this technique than a couple of lines of writing and it really requires some proper written instruction. (which is on the to do list). We are making a couple in the workshop at the moment so contact us directly by email help@sew-helpful.com and we can send you a few images with some limited instructions to give you an idea.

    The simplest way of modifying these instructions is probably to make the lining panel 3cm wider so it sits 0.5cm from each side when you fold each side in 2cm. This would still give you 0.5cm down each side that is not covered by the blackout lining though. 

    Note you will get some pinpricks of light through the blackout lining along the stitch lines of the rod pocket tape.
    Jayne
    Is it always 5cm for the heading allowance in the lining cut drop or does it depend on the headrail allowance of 1.5 x the depth of the headrail ? My headrail depth is 4cm x 1.5 = 6, so would I allow 6cm for this or doesn't it matter ? Thank you
    Sew Helpful
    The 5cm heading allowance for the lining is an extra 5cm of lining used when making up the blind's lining and forming the heading. The headrail allowance is used when calculating the blind's dimensions. It ensures the blind folds do not hit the headrail when pulled up. They have nothing to do with each other at all.
    Connie
    I am replacing "relaxed" roman shades on three windows, partially because the folds always needed adjustment when they were raised. As a result, I am nervous about these new ones folding neatly. Have you ever tried placing a rod pocket at each fold (I have 9 pleat sections, so that would be 8 rods total), with rings being sewn on every other rod? I am using a typical weight cotton fabric. Thanks for any advice you can offer!
    Sew Helpful
    Not sure what you mean by relaxed? We only ever put rods where there are rings, not on the fold line as well, as you suggest. We have found with a few people who's blinds didn't pull up well, it was because they hadn't stab stitched correctly in step 8. Otherwise it can come down to type of fabric just not folding nicely. Cottons tend to be pretty good though in our experience.
    Carol
    I am about to start a blind 60 inches wide, so I will use a central panel of one width of fabric, with a strip each side to make the width. Should I do the same with the lining, so the seams line up, or should I just have a central seam in the lining?
    Sew Helpful
    If the drop of the blind is no more than about 119cm you can usually railroad the lining (using it sideways to avoid any joins). Otherwise we would make the lining panels up the same as the fabric so the seams line up.

    It can be a real pain trying to get the rods through at the joins in the lining as they sometimes catch on the flap of lining inside the pocket and get stuck (occasionally you have to unpick it slightly to get the rod through then sew back up). Using rod pocket tape would avoid that frustration.
    Sarah
    Should the distance between all pleats be the same or should first one from bottom be less?
    Sew Helpful
    You'll see in step 2 that calculates the blind's dimensions that each pleat section is the same. The top section will be bigger the others because it also includes the headrail allowance it give the blind room to pull up under the headrail.

    The gap between the rods varies with one pleat section up from the bottom before the first rod then 2 sections to the next rod etc.

    The easiest way to work out how it works is mark it out on a sheet of A4 paper and fold the paper up to see how the pleats and folds form. 
    Jennifer
    I am 67 and had never made a thing until about a year ago, your tutorial is brilliant . I am on my third roman blind.

    Thank you for making it so easy.
    N.Jobling
    Why cant I print these instructions up on computer to peruse-the pages just come up BLAnk???
    Sew Helpful
    The website was initially designed with the idea of selling printable instructions and worksheets. Hence why the webpages don't print. The page width of the tutorial text is such that you should be able to comfortably view the instructions when making using a tablet or smartphone.
    samantha
    About the lining: my understanding is that if I am using rod tape, lining cut should be like finished blind (finished length and width).
    Sew Helpful
    No not correct for length:

    If you see in the instructions on this page and the next STEP 

    Using rod tape

    Lining cut length = blind length + 5cm Heading allowance + 9cm Hem allowance


    Yes correct for width:

    In the STEP 5 (next step) the lining is cut to the finished width of the blind 
    Sharon
    If adding a lining panel, do you need to distribute evenly to each side like with the main material or do you just add it on as one piece?
    Thanks.
    Sew Helpful
    We would balance the lining as we do with the fabric with a strip on either side. The lining seams probably won't align with the fabric seams but this is not a bad thing as there could be too much bulk if they are on top of each other.
    Christine
    I am making roman blinds for a bay window in a bedroom with 5 panels and want to use blackout lining, is there an alternative to attaching the lining as my blinds will need to sit next to each other and the lining doesn't go right to the edge of the fabric, also using a sewing machine will leave puncture holes in the lining which will show when the blinds are closed, can you give me any advice or an alternative method.
    Many thanks
    Sew Helpful
    Hi Christine 

    If you go to STEP 6 and read the extra help there is some info on how to make a blind so blackout lining goes to the edge.That still means there will still be pinpricks of light along where the tape is sewn on and at the stab stitches.

    In the work shop we now make blackout blinds as a standard lined blind with a layer of blackout effectively sandwiched inside between the lining and the fabric to get rid of the pinpricks of light along the rod pocket stitch lines. Our tutorial on how to make a blackout blind using this method is still a few months away.
    Rachel
    HI, I've made 3 blinds already - thanks for your brilliant videos...

    I'm now making my 1st b/o blind using rod pockets. My blind is 170W by 142 drop - is this too long to use the b/o lining sideways? (just reading your comment above)...if so, would I join the panels in the same way as fabric? Just concerned there will be 2 lines of sticking showing through the b/o lining.

    Thanks in advance
    Sew Helpful
    Roman blinds really are best when they are one width or less wide. When you try to make big roman blinds they become more difficult to make and keep square and in this case you will come up against some problems with the blackout. A large Roman blind is not always the best solution for a window.

    Your blackout will probably only be 137cm wide so wont be wide enough to use it sideways. 

    When you make any stitching in the blackout lining it will create small pinpricks of light when the blind is down. Your joins in the blackout will make lines of pinricks of light, as will the stitch lines for rod tape  or rod pockets. 

    We make our blackout blinds nowadays by inserting blackout lining between the fabric and cotton lining on the back. The only stitches through it then are stab stitches. That tutorial will come later.
    Daisy
    Hi can I add lining width ways and add extra piece at the top as it is about 6cm short finished length to save waste and time?
    Thanks
    Sew Helpful
    Yes you can do it that way. Join your lining first though making the panel slightly bigger, so you can then trim it down square and the right size.
    Carol
    What diameter should the wooden rods be. I can't seem to find glass ones here in New Zealand.
    Sew Helpful
    I don't have access to the workshop this week, but off the top of my head I think the fibre glass rods are 4mm diameter. So anything that size up should be ok. We haven't used wooden ones for years, you may find they come a little thicker than the fibre glass. They are only for holding the shape of the blind when it pulls up and hangs down.
    marian
    I am making the blind with cotton fabric. It is quite heavy - beach huts style! Is it better to wash it and the lining before I cut it out.
    Your instructions are very clear
    Thank you
    Marian
    Sew Helpful
    We NEVER wash blinds, they are never the same after in our experience. So we would not wash the material and lining before hand. 
    Denny
    Can I use heavy weight interlining for a roman blind. Width 132cm x 133cm depth. Sincere thanks for any advice.
    Sew Helpful
    You can,  but we dont tend to as we find it makes the blind too bulky especially if you have thick fabric. We generally use a range of interlinings from 270gsqm Cotton dommett (pre shrunk) to  180gsqm synthetic sarllle for our roman blinds.

    We have an interlined Roman Blind Tutorial on the website. 
    Petro
    I have an existing Roman blind, how can I attach black-out lining without ruining the blinds? I am in a rental home, so I don't want to sew onto the blind.
    Sew Helpful
    You can't. You are better off making new ones, or buying a blackout roller blind to go behind them if there is room.
    Gill Ainslie
    If the rod pocket tape is only sewn to the lining and not sewn through to the face fabric as well, how do the folds pull up neatly without sagging or ballooning
    Thank you
    Sew Helpful
    In STEP 8 you stab stitch the layers together
    Nicky
    I am thinking of using black out lining to make blinds for my daughters room. Some samples i ahve got are very stiff. Do ou have any recommendations regarding black out lining, weight etc? Thanks
    Sew Helpful
    They are generally a bit rubbery, our blackout lining comes from a wholesaler which we buy per roll, it's called a supreme soft blackout, I'm afraid there is no weight information.
    Sandra Barnes
    I have used an invisible marker pen on the right side of my blind. This was a few days ago and it's still visible. Will I definitely vanish, albeit eventually? I hope so, otherwise the finished blind will look a mess! I have had the pen about 2 years. Does the ink become permanent after a time?
    Thank you.
    Sew Helpful
    The pens we use have an eraser on the other end so we can just remove the marks immeadiately rather than letting them fade away. We have never had a pen last 2 years because we use them so much so I cant say whether they change over time. 
    Sue
    I am making a blind with a drop of 118 cms .How many rod pockets should I allow?
    Sew Helpful
    There is also a blind calculator on the site as well as written instructions which may help.
    Tracy
    I plan to do small eyelets on the rods in place of rings. Ive seen a department store do this and it looks neater/stronger.
    I'm not sure 2.5cm will be enough rod allowance though. Any suggestions ?
    Sew Helpful
    2.5cm will be now where near enough. You'll probably need nearer 5cm. 

    Make up a sample pocket and test to see what is the best size with the eyelets and rods you have. They turn out better if you sew a line half way down splitting the flap into 2 pockets. The one nearest the blind to put the rod in, and the second outer pocket to press the eyelet into.

    Some people put buckram into the pocket to stiffen it (more work), others say a good lining works well enough. 

    When we tried it we had problems with the eyelets we had not grpping the lining well enough and the odd one coming loose (which then spoils the whole blind) so we didnt persevere with the method.
    Jane
    How much material/lining do you allow for the bottom bar and how do you attach it?
    Sew Helpful
    We use a 9cm hem allowance to enclose the bottom bar for a lined blined, See STEPs 3 and 4, for lining and fabric quantity calcs.

    The bottom bar is inserted and enclosed in the hem in STEP 9.
    Fay
    I'm going to make blinds for a bay window with two side blinds 53cm wide and the middle one 138cm wide. Should I join widths to make the 138cm blind or would it be better to make two 69cm blinds instead for the middle window?
    Sew Helpful
    We were discussing this with a customer the other day who would need 2 slithers of fabric joined to each side. Its not ideal as you end up with the joins at or going around the edges.

    Whether a single or 2 blinds will look better only you can tell looking at the window. (design decision)


    Things to consider if you are going for the single blind

    How wide exactly is your fabric including the selvedges? Can you get away with one drop (no joins)
    Can you reduce the fabic side turns by 1cm and get the 138cm width out of one drop? 
    Is it plain fabric? if so cut the centre panel width down to get a better width to the side panels (10cm each side looks ok) 

    Ultimately if we were going to end up with a slither down each side we would go for the 2 smaller blinds instead.




     
    Caroline
    How does it work if using black out lining....I understand the black out lining needs to be wider than normal lining and the same width as the face fabric /
    Sew Helpful
    In the workshop We insert blackout lining inbetween the lining and the fabric in a similar way to making an interlined blind to reduce the number of stitches through the blackout.

    We will be making a tutorial on how to make a blackout blind. 
    Sima
    What is the minimum and maximum space between the pockets we can Have?
    Many thanks
    Sima
    Lesley
    I have calculated the number of folds I need which is 5. I am a little confused as to how many rod pockets I need. Is it the same??
    Sew Helpful
    We dont calculate a number of folds.

    If you look at the diagram, we chose a number of pleat sections, the number of rod pockets is the number of pleat sections minus 1, then divide that number by 2.

    Have a look at the online calculator and there is a further diagram that shows how the pleat sections hang. 
    Penny
    I am enjoying following your instructions. I want to use thermal lining and rod pockets. I have pressed the lining and so it does lay flat BUT when I sew the tape on it slightly puckers. Have changed needle and experimented with tension. Will it matter and if so any thoughts on how to counteract this?
    Sew Helpful
    This can happen

    the main thing to do is try and maintain tension in the top and bottom layers as you feed them through the machine. If it still puckers try and pull it out flat after you have sewn it.

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