The Vale Furnishers blind measuring guide
Even perfect curtains or blinds won’t look right if your measurements are wrong. So before you reach for your tape measure, have a read through this simple blind measuring guide we’ve put together this blind measuring guide to help you get it just right, every time.
Track or Pole Measurements
Assuming it is correctly positioned, measure the width of your curtain track or pole rather than that of the window itself. Use a metal tape measure, as this will offer the highest degree of accuracy. As a guide, a track or pole should be fitted 15cm (6 inches) above the window, and should allow for 15 to 20cm (6 to 8 inches) of curtain at either end.
For an optimum fit, check that your curtain fixtures meet these criteria. If not, either replace or make suitable adjustments. If you are using a curtain pole, remember to exclude the ‘finials’ (the decorative pieces at each end) from your measurements.
Now that you have the basic measurement taken from your curtain track or pole, the actual curtain width required will depend on the style of curtain you have chosen. As a general rule, the width of your track or pole should be multiplied by 2 for Pencil Pleat or Eyelet curtains, and by 1.5 for Tab Top curtains. Finally, add 2.5cm (1 inch) to ensure your curtains overlap at the centre when closed.
To obtain the the length required for your curtains, measure from the top of your track or pole. If you would like to display a decorative pole, install one of the curtain rings you plan to use and measure from its eye.
If you have chosen a floor-length style, measure all way down to the floor and deduct 1.25cm (1 inch). For a shorter curtain, measure down to the window sill and again deduct 1.25cm (1 inch). Alternatively, measure to approximately 15cm (6 inches) below the windowsill, taking care to allow at least 3cm (1.5 inches) above any radiators so that warm air is able to circulate around the room. This measurement should be repeated at a minimum of three separate points to allow for uneven floors or sills.
Purchasing ready-made curtains in a standard size can offer the consumer substantial savings on the cost of using a ‘made to measure’ service, especially if you are lucky enough to snap up a bargain in the sales. Ready-made curtains come in pairs, and are typically available in the following standard sizes:
117x137cm (46x54in) 168x137cm (66x54in) 228x137cm (90x54in)
117x182cm (46x72in) 168x182cm (66x72in) 228x182cm (90x72in)
117x228cm (46x90in) 168x228cm (66x90in) 228x228cm (90x90in)
Having calculated the measurements of the curtains you require using the steps outlined above, choose either a very close match and expect to make adjustments to your track or pole, or purchase a larger size which can be altered to fit.
For recessed windows, measure from the top of the window recess from three separate points. Use a metal tape measure, again for accuracy. Record your shortest measurement. Consider subtracting 1cm (½in) so that the blind hangs properly above the sill. If you have chosen to hang your blind outside the recess, or for windows which are not recessed, add 10cm (4in) to your measurement.
Measure the width of the window recess at three points. Record your narrowest measurement. For blinds which will be hung outside the window recess, add 10cm (4in). If you are fitting a roller blind which is going to hang inside a window recess, consult the manufacturers instructions to ascertain how much space is required for the operating mechanism and deduct this figure from your total. Depending on preference, any blind might require some tolerance to allow smooth lowering, so consider subtracting approx. 5cm (¼in) from your measurement to accommodate this.