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Hanging curtains what a palaver...

(9 Posts)
danny99 Thu 29-Sep-16 21:33:48

Well hats off to all you Mums! As a fairly recent widower/newly single parent (three years ago now) I am have been having to come terms with all the things around the house my late wife made so simple, as most of you probably do too.

I had no idea how much was involved in measuring up and fitting new curtains! Suffice to say I have been on a steep learning curve at every stage so far and still don't know for sure if I have got them all right!

But even if I have three things are still not clear:

1. (Probably a stupid question). I can get cloth tie backs...but aren't they going to dangle untidily when the curtains are closed?! I can only find pictures on the internet with open curtains tied back.

2. I have managed to iron out the packing folds, but not all the wrinkles and some small sharp creases in the fabric. Steaming could be the answer, but they are 100% polyester with instructions "dry clean only"!?

3. When pleating before tying to set the folds, should there be an outward protruding pleat at both ends, so the fabric curls in along the length at either side, to avoid exposure of the lining? The problem is the most natural hook spacings only allow for an outward pleat on one of the sides.

All a bit technical I'm afraid...probably making it all far more complicated than necessary! But any tips gratefully received so I can get these outstanding issues sorted - it's all been driving me round the bend!!

marriednotdead Thu 29-Sep-16 21:50:22

Well done for getting that far, many don't!

In answer to your questions.

1. You can either just let the tiebacks hang or loop them so that both ends are on the hook. If you're really anal you could hide them in a cupboard/under the couch/out of the way during the time the curtains are closed.

2. If you've ironed most of the pleats out, the weight of them hanging and time will probably take care of the rest. Unless you've got a hand held steamer...

3. I'm assuming that you're talking about pencil pleat tops? That's a trial an error one for me I'm afraid! The spacing doesn't have to be exact. I tend to do a couple closer together nearest the ends.

Hope that helps.

danny99 Thu 29-Sep-16 22:58:43

Thank you marriednotdead!

So the tiebacks will dangle and not be out of sight...bue hey, if everyone else's do...

I have got a hand held steamer (it 'lifts away' from the floor steam mop and you fit an attachment). But the instructions clearly say '100% polyester dry clean only warm iron on reverse 150 degrees'. Steam is not dry!

3. I'm talking about when you 'dress' the curtains by carefully putting pleats in them and tying the pleats together for 2 or 3 days to set the folds! Think I must have been googling 'how to hang curtains' once too often!

Thanks again!

GCHQMonitoring Thu 29-Sep-16 23:11:19

1. Never used tie backs. They seem such a faff.
2. Hang the curtains, lightly spray with water the creases eventually drop out. If not you only notice the creases when they're closedgrin
3. Presuming you have curtains where you have to pull the threads. Your curtains should ideally be 3x the width of the window. I usually work out how many curtain hooks I'll need, then space them out equally, if the curtain allows have two hooks close to the centre edge, gives stability/strength when opening/closing. I then tie off the threads on what wiil be the inside edge, trying to gather the material up so its evenly pleated. When its right, tie off the outer threads.
The inside edge usually curls in, the outer edge usually stays straight out, but it doesn't matter if it curls in

Deux Thu 29-Sep-16 23:19:49

Well done on getting this far.

On your tie backs, hang your curtains first before you put the hooks in the wall. If you put the hooks in about and inch or so from where the outer edge of the curtain falls, you won't see them. And the weight of the curtains will stop the tie backs from protruding beyond the outer edges of your curtains.

Re point 3. You don't need to set the folds. You gather the threads on the curtain tape so that each curtain is half the width and an inch or so (to avoid gap when curtains closed) of your pole. Take care when doing this as it can happen that the thread can come out of the end that's receiving the tension. Top tip. When you tie the different threads on the curtain header together put something like a broken matchstick or piece of cocktail stick in the knot so that it's easy to unknot in the future.

Put your tied ends on the outside edge of each curtain, not in the middle.

Not sure if that makes sense. smile

Deux Thu 29-Sep-16 23:24:36

This is a good set of instructions.

danny99 Fri 30-Sep-16 00:11:44

Thanks for the tips GCHQ monitoring and Deux. I especially like the matchstick one as I have already had a problem with one knot on the first curtain I gathered, when realising after trying to hang it that it would be best ironed first because of the packing folds. In the end I had to leave it gathered at the top when I ironed it, although someone with better eyes and smaller fingers than me may be able to unpick the knot - which is supposed to be an undoable one but I must have just got it too tight!

Deux: the link you give mentions setting the folds. It seems straightforward enough and the first curtain didn't hang too well so I have given it a go second time round. But maybe that was because I hadn't ironed it.

Think I might try the spray or steam on some spare fabric first...I'm still worried about 'dry clean only' (100% polyester). But perhaps it's just the manufacturer covering their back?

GCHQMonitoring Fri 30-Sep-16 01:53:41

To do the pleats try laying the curtains on a flat surface, have a tape measure handy so you get both pairs roughly the same width to fit the window, plus the overlap. Just pull the strings through the tabs gradually, ruching the fabric till you get the right width, then you can faff about getting them evened out.

In the past I've pulled three loopy bits together leave one loops width, then group the next three together. That probably doesnt make sense, but I've found it helps the curtains to fall properly.

Deux Fri 30-Sep-16 07:50:52

I do what GCHQ does. So gather them in to the right width then faff around with the gathers. I just try to even them up. You can also do this further when they're hanging up.

On the ironing front. You'll find lots of creases will drop out once they're hung.

If it's bothering you. My top tips. Set the iron low/medium and iron on the inside of the curtain.

or iron over a cloth such as a cotton tea towel so the iron isn't in direct contact with the fabric. You can also dampen the tea towel and iron over that and you'll get the effects of steam without the high temperature.

Good luck. You're doing great. smile

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