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Tips on curtain hanging?

(16 Posts)
Fluffycloudland77 Fri 09-May-14 22:18:22

I have 2 pairs of 90" by 90" curtains to hang soon and I wondered if there's any mumsnet wisdom out there on curtains.

They are pencil pleat.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 10-May-14 09:40:46

No one?

Mum4Fergus Sat 10-May-14 09:42:46

What do you need to know Fluffy?

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 10-May-14 09:52:21

I don't know, I thought one of you might have some stellar tips on educating curtains so they hang nicely or the correct formula for hooks per linear metre or something.


CoilRegret Sat 10-May-14 09:58:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wowfudge Sat 10-May-14 10:02:17

Hi there. Okay - I'll try to give a step-by-step guide and assume you haven't done this before or seen it done.

First iron the curtains and leave them to air. If they have only a few creases don't scrimp on this step - they'll just irritate you when the creases don't drop out!

Use a tape measure - dress making one is easiest because it's totally flexible - and measure the track or pole. Halve this figure and this is how wide each gathered curtain needs to be. I always then add a couple of centimetres to this figure to allow for a slight cross over in the middle so you don't have a gap when the curtains are closed. Your curtains should be at least one and a half times the total curtain track length - preferably twice the length, for the best look.

Now have a look at the curtain header tape. You'll see three horizontal cords running across. At what will be the outside edge on each curtain of a pair carefully unpick the ends of these three cords only as close to the header tape end as possible. Holding the three cords together carefully pull them gently until they are just long enough to knot together. Knot together securely and tightly.

Repeat this procedure on the inside edge of the header tape unless the cords have been extremely well securely sewn in.

Sometimes only one end of the gathering cords can be freed - this end is the outside end of your curtain for the neatest look.

If you haven't knotted the cords at both ends, when you start to gather the curtain you will pull them out. It's a right faff to fix.

Okay - with me so far? Back to the outside edge of your knotted header tape cords. Holding the knot in one hand and the header tape/top of the curtain in the other pull the curtain away from the knot. It will start to gather. Ease the gathered section along so it isn't just bunched up in one place. Once you have gathered it part of the way, measure with your tape measure and see how far you need to go. Don't worry about how even it is at this stage, you can sort this out afterwards.

When the gathered curtain is the correct width you measured earlier, you need to tie the cords together to stop them from moving. When I do this I don't pull the ends of the cord all the way through the knot, I leave a large loop as this helps tidy up the cords and makes it far easier to undo this knot when you take the curtains down for cleaning.

Even the gathering up along the width of your curtain.

Now count how many gilders are on the track and halve them. Push half to one outside end of the track and the other half to the opposite end. The halved number of gliders plus one end stop (fixed to the track at each end) gives you the number of curtain hooks you'll need.

Hold your gathered curtain up to the track and look at which of the three horizontal thick bands in the header tape should take the hooks. You want to cover the track with the top of the curtain while making sure there isn't a gap between the curtain and the window sill, for example.

Space your hooks out evenly - I put one in the outside end, one a couple of spaces from the inside end (so you can get the curtains to meet up properly in the middle) then space the rest out in between. This is quite easy as you just put them in every 3, 4 or 5 spaces for example. Quite tricky to explain, but easy when you see it. For very wide curtains it helps to put a hook in the middle point of the curtain before you space the rest out.

To put a hook in, poke the long end of the curtain hook through the horizontal band from below. Once it's through, pull it up and towards you so the short end wraps round the band. This stops the curtain hook from coming out.

Now tidy the long ends of the gathering cords away by tucking them into the gap behind the header tape at the outer edge. Do not cut them off whatever you do!

To hang the curtain start at the outside end and put the end hook through the end stop. Then work along putting the next hook in the first glider, working along until all the gliders have a hook in them.

Repeat on the other side.

Pull curtains shut. Voila!

Phew - that was loooooooong.

MrsIcarus2 Sat 10-May-14 10:09:01

You can peg the bottom of the pleats together (on the hem of the curtain) to help them "remember" where they should sit.

MrsIcarus2 Sat 10-May-14 10:10:26

Or stitch a thread through the bottom of the curtain that holds the pleats in place. After a month or so pull it out.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 10-May-14 10:14:58

Thank you. They aren't expensive curtains sad so I thought if I can get them hanging nicely it will help to disguise that a bit.

Plus I'm going to buy thermal linings to keep the heat in so I suppose I'd be better to fit them first, then gather the cords?.

Plus I'd really like to do it on my own this time, dh will invite a certain relative round to do it and while its nice to have help its my first house and I want to do it myself. It's hard not to sound like an ungrateful bitch but its my first proper house!.

I hadn't thought of ironing them.

wowfudge Sat 10-May-14 10:43:12

Do iron them - there's a village hall near me where they replaced all the curtains (windows all the way round) but didn't iron them. 18 months later they are still creased to hell.

Okay for your linings gather them to slightly narrower than your curtains (so they aren't visible round the edges) and put the curtain hook through the tape at the top of the lining before you push it through the curtain header tape slot. They are then hung together.

There's bound to be some stuff on YouTube on this - seeing it being done will probably help.

wowfudge Sat 10-May-14 10:48:24

Oh and OP I've seen curtains put up ungathered which looked a pig.

Doesn't matter if curtains are cheap - I've seen gorgeous ones made from sheets and once used a duvet cover to make matching curtains far more cheaply than making them from the matching fabric. Just be wary of sticking them in the washing machine as they could shrink. Mind you so can expensive ones and even dry clean only ones when dry cleaned!

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 10-May-14 10:54:33

Should I try and get metal curtain hooks? Does that kind of thing matter?.

They are going to hang ceiling to floor so I expect hanging them will include swearing smile

wowfudge Sat 10-May-14 11:03:02

Ha ha - is it a curtain track or a pole your hanging the curtains from? I wouldn't bother trying to find metal hooks tbh - you can't see them when the curtain is up so why bother. You can get white plastic curtain hooks at the supermarket, Wilkos, Dunhelm, etc.

Another curtain faux pas I've seen was a neighbour who hung her curtains so the pattern was visible from outside. They literally sat in their living room looking at the linings shock

wowfudge Sat 10-May-14 11:03:26

You are, not 'your'!

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 10-May-14 11:05:36

They are going on a track, I have a set of patio doors to cover plus a fairly standard window but I like it cosy.

wowfudge Sat 10-May-14 11:13:07

They'll look lovely I'm sure. Good idea to have thermal linings over the patio doors. You don't want to see the track, the hooks or the cords when you're done. Good luck - it honestly doesn't take very long. Do the ones in the room you'll use least first, if that makes sense, or at the window you'll look at least, that way you've had a practice before the more noticeable one.

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