Ordering and Measuring Guidelines
We offer a wide range of options when it comes to selecting the fabric for your drapery. There are three ways that you can approach your order:
- Pick the fabric that you like from the full selection. If it seems like there are too many fabrics, remember that you can filter out the selection by color, price, and pattern.
- Get design help with mood boards. A portion of our fabrics belongs to what we call mood boards. These are hand-picked fabric and trim combinations that our designers have created. Here, you’ll also find suggestions for Sherwin Williams paint colors.
- Provide your own fabrics. We call this option Customer’s Own Materials, or COM. You’d provide the fabric to our workroom. All fabrics must be pre-approved first by mailing us a small fabric swatch.
Most home decor fabrics are manufactured about 54 inches wide. By the time we finish the double side hems on each side, most draperies are about 50 inches wide when laid flat. This is what we refer to as a single width.
After that, two pieces of fabrics must be sewn together to make a drapery wider (while matching the patterns across the seams). You have the option of selecting a ‘single width and a half,’ which is about 76 inches wide, or a ‘double width,’ which is about 102 inches wide when laid flat.
These 3 width options will have an overall fullness of about 180% to 210% for a rod pocket drapery. This will primarily depend on the type of fabric you choose and how it drapes.
- Single width – will stack back to cover an area about 24 to 28 inches wide.
- Single width and a half – will stack back to cover an area about 36 to 42 inches wide.
- Double width – will stack back to cover an area about 48 to 55 inches wide.
There is no rule on how high above the window a drapery needs to be hung. But generally, we’ve found that it’s best to hang a drapery right under the ceiling for 8-foot ceilings and at least halfway between the top of the window frame and ceiling if the ceiling is 9 feet or above. The header is included in the measurement.
The drapery shouldn’t have any major gaps between its bottom hem and the floor. Any gaps larger than half an inch means that the drapery is too short. Ideally, the drapery should “break” across the floor, and to do this, you’d add about 1 inch of extra length.
Some draperies can also puddle on the floor. For a subtle puddle, add about 1 to 2 inches extra to the length of the drapery. Dramatic puddles require at least 3 inches of extra length and can be as large as 12 inches sometimes. Remember, draperies fan out as they puddle. So, a double-wide drapery will have a more dramatic puddling effect than a single wide drapery would, even if they both have the same length.
To help you measure for your own window for width and length, follow the guidelines below.
Remember, with custom draperies you have the ability to make the window appear wider than it is. To do this, the inner edges of your draperies must just slightly cover the sides of the window.
For example, it’s acceptable for a 40-inch window to have a drapery pole above it that’s 72 inches (6 feet) or wider, as long as there is enough space.
Next, figure out the stackback you’d like to have.
Stackback is simply the width you’d like your drapery to have when it’s fully open. For most people, this is the area of the wall that the drapery covers, plus how much of the sides of the window you’d like to cover.
Our draperies are sold individually, so don’t forget to do this for each side of the window if your aim is to hang a pair of draperies.
A 72-inch drapery pole will be hung over a 38-inch window. Customer would like to buy a pair of draperies, where each drapery will have a stackback of about 25 inches on each side. Using the fullness rules from above, he needs to buy two draperies that are a single width each. He also wants to be able to close the draperies shut in the evening. Since two draperies together are 100 inches wide flat, this is more than enough to cover the 72-inch rod.
Determine the length of each drapery by using the suggestions from above.
Don’t forget to factor in extra length if you’d prefer a puddled effect. Using curtain tiebacks to pull the drapery off to the side can pull the drapery up quite substantially, so don’t be afraid to add a generous amount of extra length if this is the case (especially if the drapery is double wide). The header is included in the total length measurement – make sure to understand this. It is NOT added on to your selected length measurement.
The distance between the floor and top of the window frame is 80 inches, while the distance between the floor and crown molding of the ceiling is 105 inches. Customer wishes to create the illusion of height, so she’ll need to hang the drapery higher than usual. She also wants a modest 2-inch puddle on the floor. She decides that she would like a 103-inch long drapery, including the header.
You have the option of selecting a 3-inch or 4-inch rod pocket. The tighter the fit between the rod pocket and drapery pole, the more luxurious the drapery looks when stacked back and gathered. While a loose fit may not look as luxurious, it does make it easier for the drapery to slide on the rod so that it can be closed shut.
For reference, the draperies you see in our photos had a 3-inch rod pocket and were hung on a 1-3/8 inch wooden drapery pole.
The header will be made the same size as the rod pocket. In other words, if you select a 4-inch rod pocket, the header will be 4 inches wide, too.
Trim and ribbon are sewn directly on top of the drapery. Banding is an additional fabric that’s sewn as part of the overall drapery, so this option will add to the total width of the drapery.
For reference, the light blue drapery shown here has 3-inch tassel trim on its right leading edge. Leading edges are usually facing the inside of the window, so a drapery with a right leading edge is typically on the left side of the window.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the header factor into the overall length of the drapery I order?
You select the total length of the drapery, including the header. For example, if you select a 96-inch length with a 3-inch rod pocket, you’ll receive a drapery with a 3-inch header on top, a 3-inch rod pocket below, and 90 inches of length on the rest of the drapery.
How do I buy a pair of draperies?
If both draperies are exactly identical, simply select the number “2” under the quantity above. If the draperies are different in any way, you’ll have to design each drapery separately and also add it to your cart separately.
I’m confused about the width I need. Can you show me any examples with pictures?
Yes, you can find ideas here to help you see how draperies look in the various widths.
How do I go about ordering a custom drapery to be made with my own fabric?
Simply choose the Customer’s Own Materials (COM) selection where the design prompts you to choose a fabric. Then, you’ll need to mail a small fabric swatch to us for approval, using the guidelines found here. If you’d like to be approved first before making your purchase, you can save your design by adding it to your wishlist.