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How do I gather cutains?

(27 Posts)
Eddas Tue 30-Dec-08 20:12:38

Please would someone tell me how to gather curtains?! I have bought some new ones for the front room and they are pencil pleat ones. In all other rooms I have tab-topsgrin so i've never had to gather them before!

I assume I need to pull the strings that go along the width of the curtain? should I pull all 3? Do i pull from each end?<<<<<aaaaaaaaaaaargh>>>>>> why is such a simple thing so complicatedblush


mrsmaidamess Tue 30-Dec-08 20:13:46

Knot at one end and pull all strings from the other

<<winces up face hoping she's said the right thing>>

themulledmanneredjanitor Tue 30-Dec-08 20:13:55

tie a knot in the strings-tie them all together, then pull all 3 together and move the pleats along the curtain until you have the tension you want

randomxmas Tue 30-Dec-08 20:15:18

Would add check you've got the curtain hooks in the right way before doing the whole curtain as a fiddly phaff to have to redo.

tribpot Tue 30-Dec-08 20:18:12

Ah but it is difficult. How do you make the pleats even, for example? That is my nemesis. And do you do the linings once attached or do 'em separately and then add them in? I honestly can't do curtains at all. My mum just turns up and - ta da - they are done. To me they are a mystery.

onebatmotherofgoditschilly Tue 30-Dec-08 20:23:04

Lay on floor.

knot one end, close to the thread ends.

then push towards that end from the other end. Keep all three threads the same length - then they will be even by default.

measure with a tape, until you get teh real width of your curtain rail.

Then tie the long ends like this. (It's important - you don't want the threads to show, and you need to be able to loosen them for dry-cleaning/washing)

Then adjust the pleats so that they seem more or less vertical.

Hang them.

Then do final pleat-arrange.


Not many people know that I once made hand-sewn, interlined, weighted posh curtains for a living.

Eddas Tue 30-Dec-08 20:28:22

ooo thanksgrin i wasn't expecting any answersgrin

ok, so all three tied together and pull. simplehmm

Another question. The ends of the threads aren't loose so how do I start to get them out? cut them?

random, hooks all in and the right way round as I wanted to hang them up and check the length before I pull them. Ther's a scary label saying no refunds if the cords are gatheredgrin

and washing/dry cleaning hmm I may think about it one daygrin

onebatmotherofgoditschilly Tue 30-Dec-08 20:29:53

what do you mean they're not loose? try pulling one, does it come?

Eddas Tue 30-Dec-08 20:32:30

I've just watched your video link * onebatmotherofgoditschilly* geniusgrin

Eddas Tue 30-Dec-08 20:33:57

at both ends of the curtains the threads seem attached, sewn in? (tey're ready made curtains) Maybe I just need to cut the end i'm going to pull and leave the other one where it is?

sorry, i'm being very dim todayblush

tribpot Tue 30-Dec-08 20:40:43

But how does having the three cords even make the pleats even? It bunches up at the end where you're pulling, then you have to try and even out the pleats. Am I the only person who cannot do this? I don't mind if I am - it will simply be another entry in my list "why trib is a rubbish homemaker". I may start a separate thread on what to do in such circumstances.

mrsmaidamess Tue 30-Dec-08 20:41:43

I think you have to gather it all up, then ungather it into the size of pleats that you want

RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Tue 30-Dec-08 20:44:42

Message withdrawn

RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Tue 30-Dec-08 20:45:20

Message withdrawn

onebatmotherofgoditschilly Tue 30-Dec-08 20:45:28

If they're literally sewn in then cut them as close to the stitching as you can. if

Oh yes tribpot, it will bunch up ! You have to work the bunching down so it's evenly spread across the width of the curtain. When you've reached the right length of cord (ie. the width of half your curtain rail) then you push and pull until it looks reasonably even on the floor, before hanging and doing a bit more pushing and pulling.)

The three cords thing just means that the top is bunched to the same degree as teh middle and the bottom.

Repeat after me: " I am Doris Day. I am Doris DAy.."

Eddas Tue 30-Dec-08 20:46:48

ok, i'm going to give it a go, i'll be back..............................

tribpot Tue 30-Dec-08 20:53:09

Ah but onebat, what you describe as "a bit of pushing and pulling" is a complete black art to me. I did my living room curtains really badly so my mum took them down and did them beautifully, and the weight was evenly spread, immediately the curtain pole fell down cos it couldn't support the weight in the middle (screwed into plasterboard).

Curtains. The window dressing of Satan.

onebatmotherofgoditschilly Tue 30-Dec-08 21:07:27


Eddas Tue 30-Dec-08 21:08:12

pmsl tribpotgrin

I did it <<sorry tribpot>> one curtains is up. doesn't look too uneven and is much nicer than the old ones, which embarrassingly were actually pencil pleat too but i'd never gathered themblush we moved house and kept the old curtains but the windows are much larger, had the curtains been gathered I couldn't have used themgrin

It's only taken 2.6 years to buy curtains for our new houseblush

Thanks for everyone's help.

The video was brilliant for showing how to tie off the ends. Amazing what you can find on 'tinternet!

<<<eddas skips off to do the second curtain>>>

onebatmotherofgoditschilly Tue 30-Dec-08 21:12:56

Oh good, eddas. I bet there's a 'how to gather pencil pleat curtains' vid on the same site.

Should anyone be interested

<looks studiously away from tribpot, hums, picks teeth>

tribpot Tue 30-Dec-08 21:19:03

Ah well. It is just me. What I try to remind myself is that I have other qualities to make up for my curtain-deficiency. Unfortunately they tend to be non-MIL-impressing things like "I am in charge of two major national IT systems" - somehow doesn't cut the old mustard in comparison!

Eddas - well done you, roll on the second curtain. I should point out the half-fallen-down curtain pole (one end on the carpet, one still clinging to the wall) has been there for approx 4 months now. Sigh.

Eddas Tue 30-Dec-08 21:30:34

other one's upgrin

but what do you think i found on unfolding the second curtain from it's packet? (yes they went straight from packet to up, no washing or ironingblush)

tribpot, your house sound like mine! we redcorated the front room in feb last year and it's taken til now to get the right curtainsblush and the carpet.......well that'll be waiting for ds to be potty trainedwink grin I either put it down to kids or lack of funds!

DoubleBluff Tue 30-Dec-08 21:39:24

cannot believe a rock chick like myself is riveted by a curtain thread. Shheesh! grin

tribpot Tue 30-Dec-08 21:43:36

DoubleBluff, I know this isn't top-most in your mind but I'm trying to imagine myself as Sarah Palin saying "I can kill a polar bear at three hundred paces but I just cannot hang those goddamn curtains".

Eddas, what did you find, was it (a) a polar bear (b) the loose ends of the thread or (c) a house elf with curtain-hanging expertise?

Habbibu Tue 30-Dec-08 21:44:10

<astounded at onebat's revelations about previous incarnation>

You forgot - lay on floor - tug strings for ages - get on phone to mother and ask for help - set phone on speaker - get distracted - pull too hard and snap one of cords - realise you'll need a darning needle - phone all shops within 10 mile radius to try to buy one at 4:30 on Sunday afternoon.

pour drink and sit on curtains.

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