What is a “Width”? This is probably the question I am asked most often from customers.
You ordered fabric samples. You taped the fabric samples to your wall next to the window. You lived with those samples taped to your wall for two weeks, and finally decided on a color. Now you’re ready to order your drapes.
Quantity, check. Fabric, check. Pleat, check. Length, check. Width…..width? Do I need 1 width? 2 and a half widths? What IS a width?
You are online, ordering drapes and you hit a snag. What is a “width”? This is the question I am asked most often. A width refers to the width of the fabric used to make a drape or curtain. Usually, when you roll the fabric off a bolt, it is about 54″ wide. 1 width starts out at 54″ wide. The sewing begins by gathering and tacking the pleat. Then we create 1 1/2″ side hems with blind stitching. Then we sew 3 1/2″ overlaps-you want the drapes to overlap in the center, so light does not shine through.
These pictures are examples of drapes that do not have overlaps, they are not wide enough to completely close:
DrapeStyle also creates 3 1/2″ returns-a return is a piece of fabric at the end of the drape that returns back to the wall so that light does not shine through the sides. So what started as a 54″ wide piece of fabric, is now a 26″ wide drape with French Pleats.
Here are some examples of returns:
So based on all of these details, NOW how many widths do I need?
DrapeStyle has this easy formula we use to determine width:
Length of drapery rod (in inches) + 16″ = X
X divided by the # of drapes = how many inches wide each drape should be.
Ask yourself how wide is your window? Or better yet, how wide is the drapery rod you are going to hang your drapes on? If your window is 48″ wide, you will probably want to extend the drapery rod at least 4″ on both sides of the window. So your finish width is 56″.
Take the finished width, 56″, and add 16″ to account for hems and overlaps. 56″ plus 16″ equals 72″.
Take this number, 72″, and divide it by the number of drapes you would like. Usually the number of drapes is 2. So 72″ divided by 2 equals 36″. You want each drape to be at least 36″ wide. This will ensure that the drapes will have adequate coverage and it will be 2 times fullness. Fullness refers to the additional fabric needed to make the pleats full and rich looking. At DrapeStyle, we think that 2 times fullness looks great. You want your drapes to look, full, luxurious, and rich looking. Not wimpy, and you certainly want to be sure that the drapes are made wide enough to close. After all, you paid for the drapes to block out light and add a little privacy, right?
Here’s a chart to help you:
Or, when you are entering your information online, next to the width you select, it will tell you how wide the drape will be:
Bottom line, DON’T SWEAT IT!
We are here to help you figure out all of the details so that we can create your dream drapes! Contact us and tell us your window measurements and we’ll do the rest. DrapeStyle has been awarded the Best of Houzz Customer Satisfaction award, three years in a row. We LOVE to help our customers create the perfect window treatments for their home. We want you to be completely satisfied with your purchase. DrapeStyle has been making custom drapes, roman shades and pillows for over a decade, by women with an average of 25 years experience. We think you’ll be pleased with the results.