How much fabric do I need?
If you are making your own curtains you will need to work out how much fabric to order.
Quanities and formulas cary depending on which heading style you choose and how much gather you like to have. Our first example is for pencil pleat curtains, with variations listed further down the page.
Pencil Pleat Curtains:
First of all you will need your window measurements, click here to read through our measuring guide: Measuring Made Easy.
Once you have your measurements you are ready to start.
For the sake of this example, let's pretend that I have an average sized patio window, which is 228 cm wide with a drop of 213 cm.
Curtain fabric is always sold with the length of the curtain (the drop) coming off the roll and the width of the fabric is used for the width of the curtain.
Curtain fabrics are 137 cm wide as standard. Some come wider, some narrower, so it's worth checking your fabric, but the average is 137 cm so we'll go with this.
The 137 cm is obviously not going to be enough for my track, so I will need to join the fabric together to make it wide enough. But how many widths do I need?
I take my track width of 228 cm and double it ( for pencil pleat curtains we are aiming for double gather, see this article on gather for more info).
So 228 cm times 2 is 456 cm.
We divide the width of the curtaining we require by the width of our fabric. So 456 cm divided by 137 cm is 3.32. We need to have a whole number, so we round this up to 4. This means we will have two pieces of fabric joined otgether for each curtain.
So the formula is:
the width of my window x 2 = 'A'
'A' divided by the width of the fabric = 'B'
Round 'B' up to a whole number which will be 'C'.
Take the finished drop that you would like your curtains to be, in my case this is 213 cm.
Add on 20 cm for turnings and the hem; 233 cm.
If the fabric is pattened we need to allow for this so that the pieces we join together match each other and the seams are less visible.
An average pattern repeat is 64 cm, but these do vary hugely so please check your chosen fabric.
We divide our drop (with turnings added) of 233 cm by the pattern repeat of 64 cm and get a result of 3.64. We need to have whole pattern repeats, so we round this figure up to 4.
So 4 times the pattern repeat is 256 cm. This is the length of each drop of fabric we need (including the turnings and pattern repeat allowance).
So the formula for the drop length is:
the drop plus 20 cm = 'D'
'D' divided by the pattern repeat is 'E'
Round 'E' up to a whole number
Times the pattern repeat by 'E' for the cut length 'F'
Total Fabric Required:
The final calculation is the number of widths of fabric (4 in my example), times the cut length (256 cm), which gives us 1024. In metres this is 10.24. We can order in units of 10 cm, so we need to do one final bit of rounding up to 10.3 metres.
So the final piece of the formula is :
'C' x 'F' = your required meterage.
Pinch and Goblet Pleat:
These two headings require more fabric for the gather, so we times the width of the track or pole by 2.4 times, not 2.
Tab Top curtains require less gather, so we times by 1.5 times, not 2.
Eyelet headed curtains require the same amount of fullness as pencil pleat curtains so we use the 2 times gather.
If you would like us to do the maths for you, or if you have any questions at all, please call us on 01953 603529 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.