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How to Measure for Curtains

measure for curtains tape measure

Making or ordering curtains? You’ll need to measure for the width and the finished length.

Whether you are measuring your windows to order made-to-measure curtains from our online shop, want to bring accurate measurements into the shop to order, or even if you are making your curtains yourself, we’re here to help you get the very best results.

before you start…

Did you want to check how to measure for roman blinds or net curtains? If so, click the buttons below to go straight to the right page.

If you’re here for curtains, read on! Whatever you’re measuring, please stick to either centimetres or inches throughout, otherwise it’s confusing for everyone! Our makers are happy to work in either centimetres or inches, but not a mixture.

To be as accurate as possible, please take time to read these instructions before you use your tape measure. Finally, If you’re measuring in inches, please check that your tape measure is in English inches, not Chinese inches as these are different! Here’s a helpful video to explain the difference.

To order our hand made and hand-finished curtains online you’ll just need the width and the finished length. We recommend you measure once your pole or track is already fitted.


What kind of curtain header or style?

Pencil pleats, tab top, eyelets or luxurious pinch pleats? Different styles of curtain are measured differently. In order to get your measurements right, make sure you know what kind of curtain header you want before you start measuring. Our helpful curtain header page will help you decide if you’re not sure. The look of your finished curtains will depend on the header; the curtain style you choose will also affect how you need to measure.

Once you’ve measured the length of your pole or track, head to how to measure the curtain length for your chosen curtain style for more information.

Measuring the width

First you need to measure the width of your track or pole.

  • Measure tracks from end to end
  • For poles, you should measure the full width of the pole inside the finials (the knobs on the end).
  • If your track or pole has an overlap section in the centre, measure this and add it on to the total. Most don’t have an overlap, so don’t worry if yours doesn’t.

Deciding on the finished length

Choose where you want your curtains to finish. This can depend whether there is furniture or a radiator under the window.

  • Curtains within a window recess usually finish just above the windowsill
  • Curtains hung outside a window recess are often longer. They can finish below the windowsill (approx 4-6”/10-15cm or to your preference), or can be longer if you desire.
  • Floor length curtains can finish just above the floor, which can help keep the fabric clean, or hang to the floor to keep out draughts. They can even be made a couple of inches longer to pool on the floor for a luxurious feel – just add this in to your measurement.

Now measure the length

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Measuring for pleated curtains

Pencil pleats curtains and triple pleat or double pleat curtains are all measured in the same way.

If you are going to hang your curtains from a pole, measure the finished length from the bottom of your curtain pole down to where you want the curtain to finish. If you are going to use a curtain track, you should measure from the top of the track down to where you want the curtain to finish.

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Measuring for eyelet curtains

Eyelet curtains are measured a little differently. The curtain fabric will start above the height of the pole, so you ideally need to have the pole in place before you measure.

To get the finished length of your curtains measure from the top of the pole down to where you want the curtains to finish, then add 1″ /2.5cm to allow for the fabric above the pole.

making tab top curtains, measuring for tab to curtains


Measuring for tab top curtains

Tab top curtains are a simple curtain panel hung onto a curtain pole using bands of fabric. These can be the same as the curtain fabric, or a contrast design.

You can’t order tab top curtains from us online, but if you are making them yourself, here’s what you need to do: measure the finished length from the top of the pole, then subtract the length of the tabs you are making.

The next step

Now you’ve completed your measuring up for curtains, you’re ready to order them made-to-measure from us. Simply choose your fabric from our online shop and follow the steps, or if you’re local to Bridport, bring your measurements in to the shop.

If you are making your own curtains you might like to know how to calculate the fabric you need for your furnishing project; click the ‘curtain fabric calculator’ button to go straight to a helpful page. Again, if you’re local, pop into the shop if you’d like us to help with the calculations.

For lots more useful information about curtains and nets, including how to measure and how to choose a fabric; making your own and ordering made to measure and even help on how to hang your finished curtains, click on the knowledge bank.

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