Updated at: 10-02-2023 - By: Sienna Lewis

To begin the process of producing curtains for my home, I must first determine how much fabric I will need. Depending on the style of curtains I want, the response is different. Where should I begin? Using a curtain fabric calculator, can I figure out how much fabric I need?

The window’s length and breadth must be calculated with enough room to cover the wall edge. Take that amount and multiply it by the number of panels you’ll need. Sizing is based on finished garment measurements. Using a curtain fabric calculator is a simple way to figure out how much fabric you need.

There are a lot of factors to take into account. Do I want curtains that reach my feet? What’s the optimal number of panels for my project? A curtain fabric calculator can help you answer such questions, as well.

What to Consider Before Choosing Fabric for Curtains

There are a few considerations to bear in mind when making your final decision on the fabric for your window treatments. Your room’s color palette should influence the cloth you choose. You don’t want to make your window stand out like a sore thumb by framing it.

Having curtains that match the style of your space can make it more visually appealing. However, picking a cloth is more complicated than just looking at the hue. When choosing the material, there are a few other aspects to keep in mind as well.

How Much Fabric Do I Need for Curtains? [Fabric Calculator]

1. What Type of Curtains Do You Need?

The sort of cloth you need to buy depends on the style of curtain you’re going for. Functional or only ornamental, are the curtains? Will they extend all the way up to the ceiling, or will they stop just below the windowsill?

You’ll want to keep an eye out for anything on your wall below the window if you decide to go with floor-length curtains. You don’t want your curtains to cover your radiators or wall heaters with their drop. That could be a fire hazard as well as a heat blocker in your room. Another issue to be on the lookout for is faulty wall sockets.

Curtains that will be opened and closed frequently should be made of a durable fabric. Lightweight cloth can be used for decorative curtains that stay open to frame a window.

This type of fabric is necessary if your curtains are going to have pleats. Similarly, light, sheer drapes require a fabric that is both airy and flowy.

2. What Type of Fabric Are You Using?

The style of curtains you can choose will be determined by the fabric you use. If you’re looking for hefty, draft-blocking blackout curtains, polyester isn’t the best option. If you want a sheer window treatment, you don’t need to spend a fortune on an expensive floral upholstery fabric.

The location where the curtains will be used should also be taken into consideration. Is it in a high-traffic area? Is the fabric of the curtain able to conceal stains from muddy paws and furry pets? Or will they need to be cleaned on a regular basis? Is the cloth durable enough to be washed frequently, or will it shrink? When it comes to the demands of family life, lighter-weight fabrics may not be able to keep up.

3. Do You Need a Valance?

To put it another way, it is a little decorative screen that goes across the top of a window. To keep the curtain rail hidden, it serves only one purpose. Curtains and valances can either match or contrast each other depending on how they are used together.

Valances are optional and a personal preference. The fabric needed for the valance should be added to the total yardage for the curtain project if you choose to use one.

4. Are You Going for a Window Curtain Set?

A window set consists of a valance, tiebacks, and two curtain panels. With floral materials, the whole set provides a traditional but romantic window decoration alternative.

Each additional panel or tieback requires more fabric. Tiebacks, for example, will require a sturdy fabric, so keep that in mind while choosing your fabric. Consider purchasing pre-made ones if it’s too light.

If you want your curtain fabric to match your primary fabric, be sure to buy enough to cover the tiebacks and valances.

5. How About a Window Scarf?

Thin fabric drapes from the top to the bottom of windows to form a window scarf. It’s light and airy, and it’s commonly composed of voile or other sheer materials. In addition to sheer curtains, scarves can also be utilized as a standalone accessory.

The primary purpose of a window scarf is to add a layered appearance to existing curtains while also serving as a decorative accent. In a similar vein to window treatments, window scarves are a personal preference and are not required.

Using it in the right way may make a window look beautiful and elegant. You don’t want it to look clumsy and cluttered if your main curtains don’t match. Before combining your curtains and scarves on your window, make sure they match each other in color and pattern.

6. Don’t Forget the Hem, Header, and Seams

Whenever you make curtains, you need to make sure you allow extra fabric for hems and headers. Each curtain panel’s clean bottom edge is known as the hem. The curtain header is the portion of the curtain that attaches to the curtain pole.

Various hem lengths exist. It all depends on how the curtain is draped. The curtain’s bottom will be heavier if the hem is wider. Curtain weights are an option as well. All of this aids in the proper placement of the drapes. You’ll want to make sure your hem is big enough to handle the extra weight.

If you have a large window, you may need to attach two or more pieces of fabric together. If you do, don’t forget to include enough fabric to cover the seam allowance.

7. How Thick Is the Curtain Pole You’re Using?

If you have a huge curtain pole, you will need a large header. The curtain pole should be hidden behind the header if possible. Additionally, it should conceal the tabs or channels that hold the curtain to the rod.

Don’t forget to allow the cloth to make the channel or tabs in addition to concealing the pole. Depending on the pole’s thickness, the amount you need to budget for will change. In order to make a channel, you’ll need more cloth.

8. How Many Curtain Panels Do You Need?

A curtain panel can be used on its own or in conjunction with another panel. As many as four panels are often utilized to cover the width of bigger windows. In particular, bay windows are a problem. It’s possible for the curtains to bend using a curved curtain track, and additional panels allow this.

A single curtain panel can be used for smaller windows. A single panel should be large enough to cover the entire window when hung on each side.

There are two sets of curtains, one on each side of the window, hung so that they overlap. As a result, the view from the window is framed and enhanced.

9. Do You Need a Curtain Liner?

Even if your curtains are composed of lightweight fabric, you may still restrict the amount of light that enters a room by lining them. It’s entirely up to you whether or not your jacket has a lining.

It is possible to utilize linings to keep a space both chilly and warm, especially if they are made of a thermal fabric. Where seasonal temperature changes are large, this could be advantageous.

How Much Fabric Do I Need for Curtains? [Fabric Calculator]

Curtain Fabric Calculator

Calculating how much fabric is needed for curtains is straightforward using a curtain fabric calculator. Enter your window measurements into the boxes below, and the calculator will do the rest. The curtain fabric calculator does all the work for you; all you have to do is determine how you want your curtains to look.

How to Measure Fabric for Curtains

There are a few things to decide before you can figure out how much fabric you need for curtains. The first consideration is the design of your curtains. The question is whether or not they should be floor-length. Do you like one or two panels?

The dimensions of your window will alter as a result of each design feature. Whether it’s adding a wide header or allowing for pleat allowances, know exactly how you want your curtains to look before you cut any fabric. Before purchasing your cloth, if possible.

For Curtains Fitting Outside the Window Frame

The first step is to begin.

Measure the distance between the outside edges of your window. Then, take the curtain pole’s length into consideration. The width of your curtains should match the length of your curtain rod. An additional 6 inches in width should be added to a window if the pole sticks out 3 inches on either side of the frame.

The width of your curtains should be at least twice the width of your window to provide fullness. In order to account for extra noise and mistakes, set your target to be two and a half times larger than your actual window. The entire measurement should be divided in half if you’re going with two panels.

The second step

To determine the length of your curtains, take a measurement from the top of the pole to the bottom of the window or floor. The length of the curtains will be determined by your preference. If the pole is already in place, this step will be much easier to complete. If you haven’t yet installed the pole, start from the desired location.

Determine the size of the header. If you choose for a 3-inch header, you’ll need to increase the length of your curtain by at least 6 inches. Curtain tabs or rings can be attached to the fabric on the back of the curtain with a strong band of fabric on the other side.

This is the third step.

Sew and hem with more cloth. Your bottom hemline should be at least six inches long. Adding this amount to the total length of your curtains is the best option.

For Curtains Fitting Inside the Window Frame

The first step is to begin.

To get an accurate reading of the window’s width, measure from one side of the casing to the other. Depending on how much fullness you desire, multiply this number by 1.5 to 2.5.

The second step

Then, take an accurate measurement from the apex of the window frame to the bottom of the sill. Allow for hems and headers. An extra 6 inches in length is required for a 3 inch header. Allowances for a 1-inch hem are the same as those for a 4-inch one.

How To Calculate How Much Fabric I Need for Curtains?

It is important to know the dimensions of your window in order to determine the amount of cloth you will use for your curtains. It’s also a good idea to think about how wide your chosen cloth will be. It’s possible that you’ll need to combine more than one width of fabric to get it to match the window.

In this case, you have a 120-inch broad window, which includes the fullness. You wish to cover the window with two panels. Two 60-inch wide panels are created by dividing 120 by two. Only 35 inches wide is the fabric you’ve picked out for your project.

The fabric for each panel will require two widths. The cloth will be 140 inches wide in total. Despite the fact that this adds 20 inches to the overall length, some of it will be used in the seam allowances and side hems. Overall, the curtains will appear better with the rest of the trimmings included.

Example 1

Consider a window with a 4-foot drop and a 4-foot width for the sake of illustration. We’ll convert feet to inches in order to make things easier. There are 48 panes of glass in our window.

The first step is to multiply the width by 2.5 to account for pleating and volume. New dimensions of 120 inches are created. Afterwards, add a few extra inches to the drop so that the hem and a headband can be added. Both will get an extra six inches. 60 inches is our new drop.

In order to complete this project, you need need 60-inch wide cloth. There is no need for additional fabric for pattern matching because there is no repeat in the pattern. In order to cover a window with a width of 120 inches, you will need to purchase two separate widths of fabric and sew them together.

Simply multiply 60 (drop) by 2 to get the cloth weight for this particular design. 10 feet or 3.33 yards is the equivalent to 120 inches in length (or 10 feet). To be on the safe side, it’s advisable to gather a group. So 4 yards of fabric would be required to make these curtains.

Example 2

Patio doors are the next example we’ll take a look at. Dropping 78 inches and measuring 32 inches wide. The fabric measures 60 inches wide and has a 6-inch pattern repetition.

To begin, divide the length by 2.5. This provides a total length of 80 inches. You’ll need two pieces of 60-inch-wide fabric to cover the window. Add a header, hem and pattern repeat allowance to the length of your garment next. Starting at 78, we added 6 inches for the pattern and 12 inches for the header/hems, bringing our total drop to 96.

Simply multiply 96 (drop) x 2 to get the fabric yardage for this example. The end result is a length of 192 in. This sample requires 5.33 yards of material. This implies we’ll need six yards of fabric for the curtains.

How Many Yards of Fabric for 84-Inch Curtains?

84-Inch Width

For the sake of argument, let’s say we already know our window will require drapes that are 84 inches wide to accommodate fullness. The next step is to determine the length or drop of the curtains.

The curtain pole to floor measurement is 78 inches. Our total length now stands at 90 inches, thanks to an additional 12 inches for the header and hem.

The fabric’s width is the next item on our list of requirements. We’ll use 60 inches as our starting point. Two widths of fabric are required to cover an 84-inch window.

This works out to a total of 180 inches when we multiply 90 inches by 2. This equates to about 15 feet, or about 5 yards of space. A window 84 inches wide requires 5 yards of cloth for curtains.

84-Inch Length

The amount of fabric required varies if we make the curtain drop 84 inches instead of 72 inches. Adding hems and a header adds another 12 inches, bringing our total to 96 inches.

There are two widths of fabric we need to cover the 84-inch window. 192 inches, or 16 feet, is the result of multiplying 96 by two.

It is 5.33 yards in length. The curtains will require 6 yards of fabric if you round up to the next full yard.

How Much Fabric Do I Need for 96-Inch Curtains?

96-Inch Width

The window in this example is 96 inches wide and has a 54-inch drop. We didn’t add anything extra to make it look fuller this time. The width of 96 is multiplied by 2.5 as a first step. Curtains should have a fullness that is at least twice as wide as the window they are hanging from. It’s easier to make mistakes if you go 2.5 times larger. Curtains must be 240 inches wide to accommodate fullness.

Extra fabric is needed for hems and a header when calculating curtain drop. If we add a 6-inch hem and 6-inch header to the 54-inch drop, the new length is 66 inches.

To cover the window, we’ll need more than one piece of fabric that is 60 inches wide. Curtain fabric is 240 inches wide, according to our calculations. That turns out to 4 when we multiply it by 60. Four different fabric widths are required.

264 inches is the result of multiplying the drop of 66 inches by four widths of fabric. This is 22 feet in length when converted to feet. Approximately 7.33 yards. Curtains require 8 yards of fabric because it’s recommended to round up to the nearest entire yard.

96-Inch Length

Let’s take a look at 96-inch-long curtains now. The revised drop is 108 inches, which includes the extra 12 inches needed for headers and hems. Assuming the window is 120 inches wide, let’s choose a 60-inch fabric.

For the window, we will need more than one width of fabric. The answer is 2 when we divide 120 by 60. 216 inches is the result of multiplying a drop of 108 inches by two. The final distance is 6 yards, or 18 feet. Six yards of cloth are required for these drapes.

How Many Yards of Fabric for 108-Inch Curtains?

108-Inch Width

With the fullness included in, this window is 108 inches wide. To account for hems and a header, an additional 12 inches must be added to the drop measurement. There is a new 66-inch reduction in height.

Because the fabric is 108 inches wide, only one width of the cloth is needed. In order to get 66 inches, we multiply 66 inches by the number of cloth widths. To put it another way: This equals 1.83 yards or 5.5 feet. There will be 2 yards of material used because we are rounding up to the nearest full yard.

How Many Yards for Curtains? 4 Simple Tips! - Krostrade

108-Inch Length

To get the new curtain length of 120 inches, we simply add a 12-inch hem and header allowance to the original 108-inch drop. Assume the window is 108 inches wide before fullness is taken into account. Fabric will be 60 inches wide for this demonstration.

270 inches is the result of multiplying the window’s width by 2.5. In order to cover a window this large, you will need more than one 60-inch-wide breadth of fabric. 4.5 is the result of dividing 270 by 60. Because we’ll need 5 widths of fabric, we’ll need to round up to that number.

Six hundred inches is equal to the sum of 60 inches multiplied by 120 inches. So, 50 feet or 16.66 yards is the equivalent. If you can, round up to the nearest full yard. 17 yards of cloth are required to make these curtains.


There are a number of calculations involved in measuring cloth for curtains. You need to know how much additional fabric is needed for fullness, headers, hems, and seams, as well as the dimensions of the garment.

Everything needs to be kept in mind. This post includes a curtain fabric calculator that will take care of the arithmetic for you. Getting the correct amount of supplies for your project is quite important.

Let me know what you think in the comments section below. The curtain fabric calculator would be a good place to start. Is making your own curtains something you’d like to try?