Fitting and Caring For Your Curtains and Blinds
Fitting your Curtain Pole
Length – Your pole length should be approximately 30% wider than your window to allow for stack back. Slightly wider for larger goblet or box headings. It should be set 10-20cm above your window and allow between 5-10cm at either end outside of the wall bracket. Poles longer than 150-160cm should be supported in the middle. If there is not enough wall space a pole can be attached to the ceiling or on walls either side.
Fitting your track
You can hang lightweight curtains from plastic tracks but always use metal corded tacks for heavier interlined curtains. Tracks can be fixed to the wall or to the underside of a pelmet board.
Length - The length for a track should be approximately 30% wider than your window and would be positioned in much the same way as the pole, as long as space and design allows. Your curtains can be hung below the track or slightly above so the track is not visible when the curtains are closed.
Turn-back – A small eyelet can be attached to the wall at each end of the pole to allow the last pin to be hooked in. This is turn-back. It should be at the same level as the hooks on the pole and it neatens the outside edge of your curtain and cuts out sunlight.
Overlap – On the inside edge of a buckram heading, is an area for overlap. This is where the two curtains will overlap to cut out light. There is no need for a hook to be fitted here on a pole, but if a track is being used with an overlap arm then one will be necessary.
Hanging your Curtains
Un-pack your curtains as soon as possible.
Taped heading – measure the length of your pole or track, half the figure and add 5cm ease. Gather up each heading to this final figure and wrap the surplus cord around a cord tidy or tie and push into the cord pocket. You have 3 different hook pockets in the heading tape; you can use these to adjust the length of your curtains. Insert one hook every 10-15cm into your heading tape, making sure to get them all in the same row. Hang your curtains beginning at the outside edge.
Buckram heading- Your pin hooks will already be inserted into the heading of your curtains. There will be one at every pleat and one on the outside edge or turnback. Carefully hook the pin hooks into the hooks on your track or pole. You can adjust the length of your curtains by moving the pin hook up or down. With goblet or French pleat heading which will hang beneath the pole or track, push the fold to the back. If the pleat will sit above the track or pole push the fold to the front.
Dress Your Curtains (Buckram Heading)
Once you have hung your curtains, you should encourage them to fall in to neat, round folds. In the open position, and beginning at the top and working down, use your hands to form the folds. Do this one pleat at a time and then move on to the next.Tie 2-3 strips of waste fabric around your curtains to bandage them. Tie them tight enough to hold the folds in place but not tight enough to mark the fabric.Ideally leave like this for 2-3 days. They should then hang in the set folds.
Tie-backs, Hold-backs and Tassel Tie-backs
Wait until the curtains have been hung to make sure you get the outside edges of your curtains hanging straight.Tie-backs and hold-backs are usually positioned about 95cm up from the floor on full length curtains. With shorter curtains of about 150cm in length they are usually positioned approximately 30-35cm up from the bottom edge. Tassel tie-backs should be slightly higher at about 100cm. If in doubt, offer them up and see how it looks. If necessary use 2 hooks on the wall. One for the back eyelet, (hidden behind the curtain) and one slightly higher for the front.
Measuring Up for Your Blind
Face Fix or Recess Fix
Firstly decide if you would like your blind ‘Face Fitted’ (outside the recess) or ‘Recess fitted’ (inside the recess). When deciding, be sure to look for features to you window that may affect where it can be positioned, like pipes, window openers, which way the window opens, architrave, window frames. Also consider how much light will be cut out of the room. If you recess fit, the top part of your window will be permantly covered and thus cutting out light. You may prefer to ‘Face fix’ and set the blind slightly higher to prevent this. Also if you wish to have both curtains and blinds it may be better to ‘Recess fix’ with your curtains on the outside. Also try to assess what material you will be fixing to. Plasterboard or brick? Metal/timber/concrete lintel.Decide if you want the chain to be left hand or right hand pull.
Now you know where your blind is going you must measure your window. Measure the window at three points for each dimension. For the drop, measure at the left hand side, the middle and the right hand side. For the width, measure at the top, middle and bottom. When recess fitting it is best to reduce the width measurement by ½ - 1cm to allow ease of movement. If ‘Face fixing' decide how much you would like your blind to overlap the frame/recess. I usually overlap the edge by about 5cm each side (to cut out light) and 7cm at the top to allow for the blind to stack up when not in use). I usually let my blind meet the sill but it can go over the sill and cover it. These are your decisions to make.
Care and Cleaning
Unlined Curtains – Check manufacturer’s recommendations first. Unlined curtains can be washed in a washing machine. Ungather them first and be careful as shrinkage can occur.
Lined/Interlined Curtains and All Roman Blinds - Vacuum your curtains and to remove dust and grime. You can get them dry-cleaned to remove heavier marks. Any watermarks or sun-fading will be more pronounced after cleaning though.
Fabric Movement, Shrinkage and Sun Damage
Natural fabrics can move, shrink and get damaged from changes in temperature and sunlight. Central heating, sunlight and condensation will all play a part in this. In the same way that a door can swell in the winter and dry out in the summer, it is possible for some fabrics/curtains to shrink in the summer and grow in the winter!
PLEASE NOTE; THESE NOTES ARE MEANT TO BE USED AS GUIDELINES, THEY ARE MY OWN OPINION BASED ON MY OWN EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE.