Buying Ready-Made Curtains

We hope that you will find this guide of some use when making your selection.

Please note that our recommendations are based on the industry norms and our years of experience. They are not definitive or set in stone and the final decision for the size or type of curtains that you need and the desired look you want to accomplish is yours and yours alone.

 

Size/Measuring Guide

Unless otherwise stated all ready-made curtains are sold as pairs (2 curtains in each pack), and the measurements are per curtain. The width measurement is always the first figure and the drop the second number. All measurements are approximate.

 

Width

We would recommend that where you can that your track/pole was wider than your window so when you pull back your curtains you allow the maximum amount of light into your living space.

Again this is a recommendation and not a must as all rooms and windows are unique.

 

Drop

Before you deciding on the drop/length of your curtains, we recommend you fit your track or pole first so you have a more accurate idea of the drop you need.

Please note that readymade curtains generally come in 3 / 4 drops.

- 54in (137cm)

- 72in (182cm)

- 90in (228cm)

- 108in (274cm)

Please remember that these sizes are approximate and are the total length of the curtain and not the maximum drop you should work with, especially with eyelets which are positioned within the fabric (generally you should allow 3-4cms for this).

If you need advice on measuring for curtain poles or track please see our track/pole guide.

Before measuring for the drop/length, you must come to a decision whether your curtains should fit to the window sill, below the sill or to the floor.

When measuring for the length of your curtain we recommend the following should be taken into account:

• Sill length curtains should finish approximately a half inch (1.5cm) above the sill.

• Below Sill length curtains should finish approximately 4-6" below the sill for the best effect.

• Floor length curtains should finish approximately a half inch (1.5cm) above the floor.

Please remember this is a guide and not a “you must” do this rule.
If you need your curtains to be altered most good quality dry cleaners offer an alteration service (please remember that if you alter a set of curtains they cannot be returned if a fault is later found).

 

Measuring Guide

Please be aware there are separate ways of measuring for Eyelet/Ringtop curtains and Pencil Pleat/Tape Top curtains. Eyelet/Ringtop curtains can only be used on a curtain pole while Pencil Pleat/Tape Top curtains are designed to be used on tracks/poles.

All our Eyelet/Ringtop curtains have an internal diameter of 40mm and our Pencil Pleat/Tape Top curtains all use a 3in tape.

 

  • Pencil Pleat/Tape Top curtains on a Curtain Pole. Measure from the eyelet on the bottom of the rings (where the curtain hook is inserted), to where you would like the curtain to finish. If you would like to completely hide the bottom of the ring and the eyelet, add 1" to the final measurement. We recommend this as it gives a better appearance.
  • Pencil Pleat/Tape Top curtains on a Curtain Track. To find the finished length you require, measure from the top of the curtain track, to where you would like the curtain to finish.
  • Eyelet/Ring Top curtains on a Curtain Pole. To find the finished length you require, measure from the top of the curtain pole to where you would like the curtains to finish. Please note: when using eyelet curtains, there must be at least 1.5"-2" clearance above your curtain pole. As mentioned earlier the top of the eyelet is generally set 3-4cms from the top of the fabric so please allow this in your calculations.

Curtain Weight

Curtains have changed drastically over the last few years as better/different fabrics have been introduced and more vibrant colours have become the norm rather than the exception.

The old traditional viewpoint that heavier curtains are better does not really exist anymore as the ranges available in the UK today cater for all tastes, lifestyle choices and bottom line we are all different and live in different living spaces with different needs and there is not a one size fits all brief.

The market has reacted to this. We have included in our technical specifications the weights of all our curtains and sometimes our personal view of the weight of the curtains for your benefit. Please remember it is our opinion and we are all as previously mentioned different.

Linings

The biggest question we get asked about curtains is normally about the linings. The major reason is that there is a view that linings reduce light and make the curtains block out light.

This is not correct unless the lining has been specifically manufactured as a blackout lining which we would state in the listing. In essence linings are there to assist with the drape of the curtains and to protect the fabric from fading in the sun over a period of time.

If you have a specific need to reduce light then please look for our Blackout curtains which have varying light reducing properties. Normal lined curtains will just act as a barrier to the light rather than having a blackout ability.

It is quite normal for customers to use blackout roller blinds in conjunction with curtains which act as the barrier rather than the curtains which give our customers the look they want to achieve at their desired price.

 

Blackout Blinds

We stock a wide range of blackout curtains which we hope covers a wide spectrum of styles and colours.

The traditional view was that the blackout quality of curtains was in the lining. While once this was true, things have moved on and the latest technical advances mean that quite often the blackout part of the curtain is part of the face fabric or an interliner which means that they often look and hang far better than the old stiffer blackout lined curtains.

Blackout Curtains have different standards which are usually known as a “pass”.

According to Wikipedia:

“Blackout refers to a foam-backed, opaque fabric used to black out light. Blackout fabrics are most commonly found in hotel rooms as curtain linings or drapery fabrics, blocking much of the light that would otherwise enter through a window when the curtains are closed.

For travellers, third shift workers, and parents of babies, blackout is an essential element in the bedroom. Besides window coverings, other uses for blackout fabrics include wallpaper, movie projector screens and planetarium domes.”

“The process of manufacturing blackout was invented by Baltimore-based Rockland Industries and involves coating a fabric with layers of foam, or ‘passes’.

A ‘2-pass’ blackout is produced by applying two passes of foam to a fabric – first, a black layer is applied to the fabric, then a white or light-coloured layer is applied on top of the black. A ‘3-pass’ blackout is produced by applying a layer of white foam to the fabric first, then a layer of black foam followed by the third and final layer of white or light-coloured foam.”

“In addition to blocking light, blackout fabrics also insulate and have noise-dampening qualities, due to their density and opacity.”

While this process is still used, it has been enhanced by new technologies to achieve the same result but the scoring system has remained in place. In general a blackout curtain has 3 ratings from 1 pass to 3 pass with 3 pass having the better blackout quality.

Blackout curtains are great and do help reduce light and thermally enhance the room. However local conditions can affect the way they perform, such as “stronger than the norm” outside light.

The higher the pass the better the blackout quality and normally the price. It is also a fact that if you have a lighter face fabric you can get an illusion of more light in the room as a lighter fabric reflects internal light making the room appear lighter. In truth the blackout quality is the same.

We are slowly introducing a new standard called “Totally Blackout” from one of our suppliers where an interliner is added to the curtain and really does what it says on the tin. We have tried it with a mobile phone light against the fabric and no light comes through at all, so please keep a look out for these ranges.

One final thing we think worth mentioning is that a curtain is a curtain and light will always come in around the sides and the bottom and the top. During the various hemming and stitching processes small needle holes will also be made in the fabric which can lead to little dots of light coming through and this varies according to the fabric type.

 

Pattern/Colour Matching

Readymade curtains unlike made to measure curtains are manufactured in large quantities, which enables retailers to offer a vastly reduced price compared to made to measure curtains.

We believe it is only right to make you aware that if you buy more than one pair in any readymade design there is a possibility that if there is a pattern then the different pairs might not match or the curtains might come from a different dye batch which will lead to a small colour variation.

If you are only looking to purchase one pair the issues outlined above will never come up or if you are looking to buy the same style/design of curtains for different rooms then that is fine.

We believe in telling our customers the positives as well as the negatives and if you let us know that you are looking to buy more than one pair for the same window/room we will do our very best to ensure a match where possible.

You can also rest assured that our Buying Team has invested a lot of time with our suppliers in ensuring that we offer a wide range of curtains at different price levels to suit as many tastes and budgets as possible and ensuring that the quality of the curtains is the best we can offer for the price they are being retailed for.

Being a small team all of our staff care about providing the best possible service to our customers so you can always be assured that we will work with you, so you can obtain the curtains that you desire for your room.

Tiebacks

Tiebacks are a great way of enhancing the look of your curtains. The majority of our Pencil Pleat/Tape Top Curtains have tiebacks available to be purchased separately.

A few have them included (which will be stated in the listing). Our Eyelet/Ringtop curtains generally do not come with tiebacks as there is a view that the curtains look better just draping from the pole.

We do not have an opinion on this as it is an individual choice. If you want the tieback effect on your Eyelet/Ringtop curtains and we do not offer a tieback option in that design, we recommend that you purchase a pair of holdbacks which are freely available from selected retailers especially those in the DIY sector.

Care of your Curtains

All readymade curtains have the standard care label that we associate with clothes.

We will give you as much detail as we can on our listing when it comes to their care but please always ensure that you follow the specific instructions on the care label as deviation could lead to the life of the curtain being reduced or the curtain shrinking.

One tip we can give you is to swap your curtains around every few months. They are exposed to outside light and the inside edges of both curtains will generally be exposed to more light and therefore fading over a period. If you swap them over every few months the fading will be evenly spread therefore extending the life of your curtains.

AND FINALLY We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you need more information or just want to feel reassured when making your selection.

We can be contacted at sales@4yhtextiles.co.uk or on 01925 875 703.

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