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Window blinds, venetian, roman and vertical - a measuring and buyer's guide.

Curtains and Blinds - A Measuring Guide

This article is really designed to help you measure up for curtains and blinds, but before we do that, it is necessary to think about the type of fixing that you have in place around your window.

For example, is the curtain or blind fitted over the window or within the opening of the window itself? A curtain pole or curtain rail on the outside would be on the wall of the room, rather than fitted within the shape of the window opening. So the curtain pole or rail can be any size as long as it's bigger than the window.

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The curtain can also extend past the window opening, so can essentially be any length down to the floor. A curtain or blind fitting within the space of the window clearly can't be bigger than the size of the window opening itself. These are particularly tricky for measuring up because you want neither the top of the curtain nor the bottom of the curtain to be touching on the inside edges of the opening.

Firstly, lets look at curtains and poles fitted on the wall and not within the window space. For these the first thing to think about is the type of fitting you are going to have at the top of the curtain - most curtains have a pleating system or tape across the top, and there are a number of different ways that these tapes can be used and fitted.

The first question is, how tight are these tapes going to be pulled together when the curtains are in use? The tightest pleating system is known as a "pencil pleat", where the curtain tape is fully drawn together. This requires up to three times the width of the window to be in the curtain and gives a very full appearance. There are various names for the inbetween states, from a completely flat curtain which wouldn't look good, to a slightly full appearance but less full than with pencil pleats. Different manufacturers give different names to how tightly the curtains are pleated.

The width of the curtain is measured as the width of the curtain pole or rail divided by two. You would then apply the factor for pleating.



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