How to Measure for Hanging Curtains

Measuring for curtains is not as easy as you might think. Using the wrong tape measurer and not allowing extra curtain material for proper and attractive hanging can provide an inaccurate measurement and make the curtains look too short, too long or too tight. Following these simple steps can help you measure for curtains that hang beautifully in your room.Measuring Tools

While some people like to use a soft fabric tape measure designed for seamstress work, measuring for curtains should be done with a retractable metal tape measurer of at least 25 feet. Fabric tape measurers are too flexible, allowing for error in measuring; the fabric tape measurer can also be too short, meaning the person measuring must stop at a point and move the measurer, again providing for error.

Measuring Width

To measure the width of the curtains, you need to determine which type of rod you have. A standard rod has no fancy ends, but merely curves around to attach to the wall. Custom rods have decorative ends to them. If you are measuring a standard rod, the width would be from one end of the front face to the other, not measuring the part that curves back to the wall. If you are measuring a custom rod, the width is considered from the last clip on the left to the last clip on the right.

NOTE: If you are shopping for pre-made curtains, multiply the width by 1.5 or 2 in order to allow enough material for an attractive hanging look. If you are ordering custom-made curtains, follow the manufacturer’s ordering specifications. Some manufacturers ask for exact measurements and add extra material depending on the style of curtains being ordered.

Measuring Length

Decide where you want your curtains to end before measuring. Do you want them to end just below the window or do you want them to hang to the floor? Do you want them to start at or just below the curtain rod, an inch or two above the rod, or at the ceiling?

Measuring down for length of the curtains should be started at the top centre of the rod. For curtains that fall just below the window, measure from the rod to no less than four inches below the bottom of the window casing. If you want curtains that fall to the floor, measure from the rod to no less than an inch above the floor or carpet.

Most people do not think about how far above the curtain rod they want the curtain to sit. If your curtains hang from the rod down, then it is not necessary to add extra length for above the rod. For measurements above the rod, some people want about one to two inches above, but others want the curtains to reach the ceiling. For a ceiling measurement, though, the edge of the curtain should stop no closer than one inch from the ceiling. Set the beginning of the tape measurer to the bottom of the curtain rod and measure upward.

Following these simple steps will make measuring for curtains easier and less of a hassle.

This article was written by Michael Turner, who is currently doing online research and development for Roman Blinds Direct.