How to Correctly Measure Your Curtains

How to Correctly Measure Your Curtains KGORGE Store

How to Correctly Measure Your Curtains

When you’re installing curtains, measurements are the most important step in prepping your space. The way that you measure your curtains will impact the fold that you get with the curtain. When we’re decorating our homes, we always have an idea of what we want in our heads. Whatever curtain fullness you want, you need to know how to correctly measure your curtain space. We’re taking an in-depth look into how to easily measure the space for your desired look.


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What are curtain folds?

When you install a curtain panel to a rod, the fabric will naturally come to sit apart. The fold on drapes can be deliberately placed to give you the desired look. You can think of it as a similar process to sewing the hem of a skirt. You want to leave enough thread in the top lining hem to give you the pleating you want. The folding of your curtains will drastically change how they look. 


When you’re measuring your curtains, it’s your first chance to control the finished look. If you want the classic folded look to your curtains, you want a fullness ratio of 1.5x to 2x for a wave-inspired look.


Tips for measuring your curtains

When you’re doing your measurements, you want to be as precise as possible. If you’re a few inches off in different sections, this can quickly add up and affect your folding. A steel tape measure is the best tool to use for this desk. Your measurements should be rounded to the nearest ¼ inch for width and an inch for length. If you’re adding curtains to multiple windows and spaces, you want to take the time to measure everything individually. Two windows may look the same to the naked eye, but they’re a few inches different.


How to measure if you haven’t installed the rod

If you haven’t installed the drapery rod, you want to determine the finished width of your curtains. Start by measuring the window’s width, account for whether you want a wall-mount or trim-mount look. Consider how you want your curtains to look when opened. If you want to pull back your curtains and see your window, add up to 15 extra inches in width.

 Take your measurements with your end product in mind. You’ll want to consider the exact header style that you’re using. A goblet or pinch pleated header will need fabric that is twice the width of the rod. The total from this number, the width, and length, will determine the amount of space you need.


Drapery rings

When it comes to the folds of your curtains, drapery rods are one thing that can change the look of your curtains. Drapery rings are an add-on that you’ll need to purchase separately. If you have pinched pleats goblet or flat hook headers, look for rod rings, as the rods are placed higher than the length of the curtain. Drapery rings will help you open and close the folds in your curtains.


Rod placement and height

If you’re planning on using drapery rings, you’ll need to measure the distance from the bottom of it to the top of the curtains, adding this measurement to the length.

 You’ll need this measurement to choose the right rod height. If you’re not using drapery rings, measure the distance from the bottom of the rod to your floor.

Getting the final measurement for the length of your curtains means you’ll have to account for the hardware on the curtain rods. The length measurements will be used to make your curtains.

 You can determine the fullness of your curtains by a simple formula. You want to take the full length of the rod track, multiplied by your designed fullness, and divided by the number of panels.


Adding fullness and folds to your curtains

Folds are a way of preventing your curtains from looking like bedsheets. When you’re measuring your curtains, you want to think about adding folds to create fullness. You want to add extra width to your measurements to account for the folds. You can tailor the fullness to create your desired look. More fullness adds an opulent feel to your curtains, while less fullness creates a more refined look.

 You’ll want to account for the fullness ratio and decide how many panels you need to achieve the look.

 There are a few standard ratios for certain curtain set-ups and folds. We’ll quickly cover these here, including the measurements you’ll need for the look.


  • Grommet

With this set-up, you’ll usually want a 1.5 to 2x fullness, as anything less will look creased. If you’re choosing the 1.5 ratios with a window frame width of 80 inches and a rod length of 96 with 2 panels, you’ll need to order a single panel width of 72 inches. You can see a noticeable difference when you upgrade to 2x fullness with the same measurements, as it will require 96 inches of width.

 Rod Pocket

  • Rod pocket

If you’re looking for a rod pocket look, you can choose a fullness between 1x to 2x. A higher fullness allows the curtains to gather, creating a more casual look. If you want a simpler look, stick to a classic 1x fullness.

 Back Tap

  • Back tab

With a back tab, you’ll usually want a fullness ratio between 1.25-2x. You’ll need more width if the rod goes through the tab on the back of the curtains. 

 Tab Top

  • Tab top

One curtain fold style that requires less fullness is the tab top. These curtains don’t need the same amount of gathering, meaning you’ll usually want a 1-1.5x ratio.


Your curtain measurements are the most important factor in helping you achieve your desired curtain foldings. It’s easy to think that you can measure the length and width and call it a day. You want to always account for the fullness and folds you want to achieve when taking your measurements.