We sell roller blind backing by the metre, so that you can achieve a professional-looking finish at home with the fabric of your choice by just following these simple steps.
If you have a roller blind which needs replacing but your fixings are still perfectly ok, or you want a roller blind to match other window dressings in your room such as curtains, making your own blind will give you more choice, but for your blind to work smoothly you’ll need a specially treated roller blind fabric.
Ready- stiffened fabrics are available but this limits your choice. You could opt for a spray-on stiffener, but these can be messy and tricky to get right. The best solution we’ve found in our workroom is an iron-on roller blind backing. Using this backing you can use most fabrics as roller blind fabric, so long as it can take a hot iron and is not too thick to roll up once it is stiffened. Here’s our top tips to get it right!
If you need help measuring your window and then see our guide on how to measure for a Roman blind.
You will need:
- Show Fabric (the fabric for the front of your blind)
- Roller blind backing fabric
- Steam iron
- Large clean surface to iron on. You may like to protect the surface with a folded duvet cover or towel)
- Tailor’s chalk (you can use a pen/pencil instead)
- Tape measure
- Set square (or something to ensure corners are right angles)
Time needed: 1 hour.
- Before you start:
Make sure you have enough space to work, and that you have gathered everything you need. When choosing your show fabric, look at fabrics suitable for curtains; they’re heavier than dressmaking fabrics, but lighter and easier to work with than upholstery fabrics. You can use the Find My Fabric search tool on our webshop to guide you; cotton or poly cotton blends work really well, but always check the manufacturer’s care instructions before ironing, or test a piece of the fabric with a medium-hot iron.
- Calculating the amount of fabric
Both the the show fabric and the backing are calculated in the same way. The width of each piece should be a minimum of 2cm (1″) wider than the finished size of your blind. So if your blind is 100cm wide when finished, you need at least 102cm. More overhang than this is fine, don’t cut it back, leave it to trim later. For the length, add 30cm (12″) more to your finished drop, to allow for turning at the bottom and top. Patterned show fabrics may need extra material to get the perfect pattern placement, or if you are doing multiple blinds, pattern matching.
- measuring and marking up
Place your roller blind backing right side (smooth side) down onto a clean, flat surface. Measure out the required size of your blind plus the additional measurements (width +2cm and length +30cm). Draw this onto the wrong (shiny) side of the backing. Use the set square to make sure the corners are at 90 degrees or it won’t roll up smoothly and will look wonky! Once you are happy with the marking out, cut out the backing.
- Prepare your show fabric
You should press your show fabric now to remove any creases or wrinkles before the next step. Take time to examine the pattern, if relevant. This is especially important with a large or bold pattern.
- Deciding on pattern placement
Pattern placement is important for a balanced looking roller blind and a professional finish. If you have a large print consider centering a prominent feature such as a flower or bird. You should check where your pattern will be at the top and bottom of your blind. Remember to allow for turnings at the top (usually 20cm) and at the bottom, (usually 10cm), but this can vary depending on the type of cassette you are using, so check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Mark around the edge of where you would like your blind to sit on the pattern with a few pins.
- Postion your backing on the show fabric
Put your show fabric right side down and position the piece of backing, you cut earlier, onto the fabric lining it up with the pins. You can now mark around it with chalk and remove the pins once you are happy its positioned correctly. If your fabric is plain, then position the backing directly onto the show fabric in the same way, and mark with chalk.
- prepare for ironing
Set up the area you are going to be ironing on. If you are using your kitchen table, protect the surface with a large towel or blanket, make sure it is smooth and flat. Check that your show fabric is right side down, and that you have the wrong sides are together, so the bobbly glue side of the backing is against the back of the fabric.
With your fabric and roller blind backing lined up and your table is protected, you now can begin ironing! Set your iron to a medium to high temperature.
- Iron on the backing
Begin ironing from the centre of the blind backing, working outwards in circles of increasing size and continuing this process all the way to the outer edges of the backing. You will need to press and hold the iron down firmly and apply steam, being careful not to move too quickly and cause wrinkles. To ensure that all of the backing has stuck down properly, look at the fabric from a low angle in good light; this will show up any bubbles that may still be there. If this is the case then use the iron to push these bubbles out to the edge of the fabric so that the air can be released. Check around the edges and ensue that they are firmly sealed together; you’ll find that having the extra 1cm either side helps to ensure a good seal right to the very edge.
- Cut to finished size
Cut the bonded show fabric and roller blind backing down to the correct size of your finished blind. Trim off 1cm each side leaving the extra 30cm (12″) you allowed on the length. This will be used for the turning on the bottom and for attaching the bind to the cassette. Follow the instructions for your cassette when attaching the stiffened blind fabric to it.