- Easy tips on how to calculate yardage for curtains and straight drapery panels.
- Why should you determine the drapery rod placement first?
- Important industry vocabulary you will need to know.
- What is all that extra fabric that you have to add?
What is the cost of Pretty Window Curtains? This could be the first question that crossed your mind when you started dreaming about getting (or making) curtains for your home. So, you might have been putting this project away, right? Perhaps, this post will help you to move forward.
Here are the steps on how to calculate draperies’ yardage:
Step 1. Determine Rod Width (RW)
- Determine the drapery rod diameter to be used, i.e. 1,2 or 3 inches.
- Allow the width of the rod (or pole) to extend 2 inches or more on each side.
- Determine the height of the rod. It should be mounted at a minimum of 4” above the window.
Rod Width (RW)___
Step 2. Mark the Finished Length (FL)
Finished Length is the length from the eye of the ring to the floor.
Finished Length (FL)___
Tip: for easier cleaning deduct 1/2 -1.0 inches from the finished length. However, for a softer look, for example, bedroom draperies, add 2-3 inches to the finished length.
Step 3. Determine Returns (R)
Return – side of the curtain or drapery that wraps around coming close to the wall. It is usually 4-5 ½ inches.
Tip: If you want to put the cornice over the drapery, use 3 ½ inches return. Do not forget that your window draperies will have 2 returns.
Step 4. Determine the Finished Width (FW)
Rod Width (RW)___ +Returns___ = Finished Width (FW)___
Tip: always add 3.0” on each panel for side hems (1 ½” doubled). For complete privacy, your curtains should close in the middle or overlap 3-4 inches.
Step 5. Determine Cut Length (CT)
Bottom Hem (BH) and Top Hem (TH) is usually 4 inches doubled (8 inches).
Finished Length (FL)___ +Bottom Hem (BH)___ +Top Heading (TH)___ =Cut Length (CT)___
Tip: Generous hems add weight and look custom and more elegant.
Step 6. Decide on the Fullness (F)
Finished Width (FW)___ X 2(Standard Fullness) = Fullness (F)___
FW X 2 =F
Tip: For more folds, use 2 ½-3 times Fullness. To show off the print, use 2X Fullness.
Step 7. Calculate the Number of Panels (P#)
Most fabrics come in 54, 55, 60 or 118 inches fabric width. It is common to have each panel 1 ½ width or 2 fabric widths.
Finished Width (FW)___ X Fullness (F)___: 54 (or fabric width) =#Panels (P#) ___
(FW X F):54= P#
Step 8. Calculate Yardage You Need to Get
Cut length (CL) ___ X Number of panels (P#)___ =Overall Number of Inches(ONI)___ : 36 =Yardage (Y)
(CL X P#):36=Y
Pay attention to vents and heaters under the window. For example, if you have the only vent right below the window, you will not want to block it with heavy draperies.
Fabric cost per yard varies depending on the brand, origin and content. It starts at $15-50 for low to mid range; $50-$100 for high end range, and $100 and up for couture and designers’ fabric.
Labor also varies between $30-60 per one width of fabric drapery. This varies depending on the reputation, experience and location of the workroom.
Please feel free to contact us for questions and more information. If you are in the United States, we will be happy to help you ordering the drapery fabric (sorry, our distributors are located within US only). As usual, we would love your comments right here below.
P.S. Want to have this yardage calculations handy? Click here for the Power Point Presentation
Please post your questions here below. I’ll be happy to help you!