How to Measure for Curtains

Made to measure curtains can add style and luxury to every room in your home, and are great for creating a show piece in rooms such as living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms where a luxury finish is wished for.

However, measuring for curtains can sometimes be a challenge. Here are tips and advice on measuring windows for made to measure curtains, to help ensure you get perfectly sized curtains for spaces around your home.

How do you measure for Made to Measure Curtains?

We offer advice on the process for ‘how to measure for your curtains’ in our made to measure for your curtains’ of our website about measuring the finished length of the curtains for each type of heading.

Remember that pattern repeats and fabric widths are automatically calculated if you order through our website.

How to measure windows for curtains

To measure for made to measure curtains, it is easier if you have already fitted your pole or track before measuring, but possible if not. We advise that your pole or curtain track should ideally extend 30cm on each side of the window, so that when the curtains are drawn you get maximum light. We also recommend you position the pole or track 15cm above the window.


measuring the height of your curtain pole above your window recess

Aim to position your curtain pole 10 – 15 cm above the top of your window

measuring the width of your curtain pole over the edge of your window recess

ensure your curtain pole extends 10 – 15 cm beyond the width of your window to provide the best coverage with your made to measure curtains.

The width measurement is the length of the track of pole (between finials).

Help with measuring the finished length or finished drop of curtains depends on whether you have a pole or a track:

  • With a curtain track, to measure for the length (drop) of curtains you measure from the top of the track to the floor or the required finishing point and add a centimetre or more to ensure you have hidden the track.
  • measure the length of your curtains to plus 1 cm to cover the track
  • For a pole you measure from the centre of the eyelet that sits at the bottom of the curtain ring to the floor, add 2-5 cm (to the top) depending on how much of the pole you wish to see. Please note, we will add 30cm for the hem allowance.

If you would like a video call with one of our Interior Designers to help with this process, please call the showroom to make an appointment.

measuring a pole or a track for curtains

How wide should curtains be?

The curtain width refers to how full the curtains will be: how many widths of fabric they will be made form. The curtain fullness is automatically calculated by our website and depends on the type of curtain heading; it will range from 2.2 to 2.5 x the width of the pole or track.

So, if the window is 100cm wide, the amount of fabric used for the curtains will be as close to 220cm as possible. With fabric width of 138cm you either use 1 width, 1 and a half widths, or 2 widths of fabric in each curtain etc.

So, for a window 100cm wide, 1 and a half widths in each curtain would be the right fullness.

Some people like the look of curtains but only require dress curtains.  These are not designed to be drawn across the pole but give the look that curtains create.

If you would like a different fullness we can organise it, just contact us to let us know your preferences.

You may have limited space and want a less full curtain; we can also accommodate this.  Please speak to a member of the team for advice we can help.


How long should curtains be?

The length of the curtains is your choice but in almost every instance we would advise curtains should be full length: puddled for a traditional feel, or flush to the floor for a modern finish.

If you have a radiator under your window you can always have curtains that you don’t draw (called dress curtains) and use a blind as well, to cover the window.

Curtains to the sill can look great and are very practical in a kitchen behind a sink.

How high should a curtain pole be above window?

Ideally a curtain pole should be at least 15cm above the window where space allows. This is a good starting point, but if you have enough room and want to appear to have a higher ceiling, you can fix the pole or track to a higher point if necessary.


How to measure a bay window for curtains

Measuring up for curtains for your bay windows is easier if you follow these steps.

Step 1

We recommend measuring your curtain track or curtain pole rather than the window, or if there isn’t a pole or track installed, measure where you want this to go (this can be flush against the frames of the windows). Measure along the length of the track pole from left to right.  Make sure you write down the measurements in centimetres. Add an additional at least, 20-30cm to the first and last sides of your bay windows (so you can draw your curtains back without blocking the light. Add up the total length of all windows and you’re left with your complete bay window measurement. You can buy specialist poles and curtain tracks for bay windows.

Step 2

Decide where you want your curtains to fall by measuring the length from the top of the track to where you’d like your curtains to sit: just above the floor, just touching the floor or slightly puddling on the floor. Usually your curtains look best long and just reaching to the floor.

Once measuring is complete you just need to choose the perfect fabric for your pair of made to measure curtains for bay windows.

Please note that: You may require a specialist bay window track or pole, we can suggest specialist supplier for this.

How to measure for curtain pole

We have a helpful video to assist you in the task. Watch it and then ring us if you need more help. We also have helpful diagrammatic curtain measuring instructions.  Your track / pole ideally extend by approximately 30cm on each side of the window to maximise light and around 15cm above.


Different Types of Curtains and Measuring

Sometimes, different types of curtains may can benefit from different fullness, depending on the heading type and material used, here is how to measure for different types of curtains.

WidthIf you have a pole, measure the distance between the finials. (A) this is the same for all types of curtain headers.


Finished Length for pencil pleat, triple pleat and double pleat – when measuring the finished length using a curtain pole, we recommend allowing between 2cms and 5cms above the eyelet on the underside of the curtain ring, depending on how much of the pole and rings you wish to hide. From the measurement you choose above the eyelet, measure down to the bottom of the hem (see B & C) and that is your finished length measurement.


Finished length for cottage pleat – We offer a choice of either 5cm or 10cm depth of cottage pleat; this is a frill that stands up above the tape. These are made using a 3cm single position tape,  making the finished length non-adjustable. To measure the finished length for this header, please provide us with the distance from the eyelet to the floor, and depending on your choice of cottage pleat depth, add 5cm or 10cm accordingly.


Finished length for flop over frill  these curtains have to be made with a 3cm single position tape which makes the finished length non-adjustable. To measure the finished length for this header, just give us the measurement from the eyelet to the floor. Don’t add any extra for the frill, we will do that.

Please note, we will add 25cm for hem allowance.


kites and cabins made to measure curtains on curtain pole


How much material do you need for curtains?

Put your measurements into the Made to Measure section of the website . This calculates how much fabric you will need. This is the quantity we would supply to our makers and that everyone works differently, so  contact your own seamstress to confirm quantities.


What size curtain do I need?

The size of the curtain depends on the size and shape of your room, and what curtains would suit that space.  Larger rooms and windows can have larger curtains. We would always say that in most cases full length curtains (to the floor) look better even in a small window.


What size curtain pole do I need?

We advise that your curtain pole or track should ideally extend 30cm on each side of the window so that when the curtains are open you get maximum light. We also recommend you position your curtain pole 15cm above the window. The diameter of the pole is your choice. Larger diameter poles look more luxurious but cost more too.

Here is how to hang made to measure curtains.

perfect made to measure curtains in a room

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