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Curtain Buying Guide for your Home

curtain measuring guide

With our dedicated curtain and blinds department now up and running, it’s the perfect time to find out how you can use new curtains to transform your home. If you’re in a hurry or on a budget, we’ve got some gorgeous made-to-measure curtains for you to feast your eyes on, and those who prefer made to measure have a truly spectacular selection of styles and fabrics to choose from. We’re always happy to help, so here’s our handy curtain buying guide to get you started.

Things to consider

Pole or Runner?

A good place to start when considering which curtains to buy, apart from giving some thought to colours and patterns, is to decide whether you would prefer to use a curtain pole or a runner to fit them.

A pole will, in it’s own way, contribute to the overall look of your curtains, so choose carefully, and don’t forget to pay equal attention to your choice of ‘finials’ (ornamental ‘stops’ at each end of the rail). Using a curtain runner keeps the visual focus entirely on the curtains themselves, which many feel creates a sleeker, less cluttered look.

Curtain Headings

The term ‘heading’ refers to the way in which the top of the curtain attaches to the pole or runner. Each ‘heading’ has its own distinct appearance, and will also have an effect on how the curtain hangs. Types of ‘heading’ include:

Pencil Pleat

So named because the folds in the fabric are thought to resemble a row of pencils. A corded ‘heading tape’ enables the curtain fitter to make precise adjustments to width. Can use either poles or tracks.

Pinch Pleat

Fixed pleats can create an elegant, tailor-made shape to the curtain and can be designed to suit the proportions and style of the room. Either poles or tracks are suitable.


A simple design, these curtains use fabric loops through which a curtain pole can be threaded. Their simplicity means they can be easily hung without professional help.


Metal rings or ‘eyelets’ are used to attach the curtain directly to a pole. These curtains also have the advantage of not requiring professional help to fit.

Ready-Made or Made to Measure Curtains (Pros and Cons)


If there is a particular pattern or fabric you’ve got your heart set on, it could be safe to assume that made to measure is the only way to go. That said, if you’re more flexible, our range of ready-made curtains is so broad and so well-chosen, you may well find something which you love even more.

The fabric isn’t the only important factor, however, and curtains that fit properly will always look better than those that don’t. So choosing between ready-made and made to measure is no easy task. With that in mind, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of both:



  • No lead time
  • Often more economical
  • Can be altered to precise measurements
  • More likely to be reusable should you move home.


  • Fewer pattern/colour choices
  • Limited range of sizes.

Made to Measure


  • Limitless choice of colours and patterns
  • Style can be tailored to suit your tastes
  • Can be made to fit non-standard windows, large or small.


  • Expect to pay a little more
  • Lead time of three to four weeks.

Why buy from us?


Based near Guildford, Vale Furnishers are one of Surrey and Hampshires leading furniture shop specialists. We’ve been in the furniture business for over fifty years, and when we decided to introduce our dedicated curtains and blinds department, we knew that our customers wouldn’t settle for any less than the dedication to exemplary customer service and insistence on excellence they’ve come to expect. So whether you’re looking for a simple blind or new curtains for an entire house, with the fresh approach of a new department backed up by the wealth of experience that comes from being a long-standing family business, we’re the ideal choice. We hope this curtain buying guide will help you to make better future decisions.

Do you have any questions not covered in this curtain buying guide? Please contact our experts on 01252 325525 for more information.

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