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

In the past, you’ve been drawn to the same fabric and design. How much fabric do I really need for curtains, though? This article will help you get started before you grab your fabric scissors.

How do I get started when measuring for curtains?

The first thing you need to do is set up your pole or track fittings before you even consider about fabric. There is an art to measuring up, as you will learn from this video tutorial. Fit your curtain track or pole 10-20cm above the window and 15-30 cm on either side of it with a metal tape measure Measure the pole’s length between the finials, not including the finials themselves.

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

How much fabric do I need for the curtain drop?

The length of a curtain is not set in stone. Sill-length curtains may have a calming effect on you. It’s also possible that you love the sight of surplus curtain fabric “puddled” across the floor. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do; nonetheless, nothing should be left to chance. In order to avoid wasting money on fabric you won’t use, it’s critical that you unroll the tape measure one more time before placing your curtain fabric order.

Full-length curtains are customary to sit just off the floor, allowing them to hang straight and to keep them away from possibly soiled surfaces.1

To begin measuring for your curtains, you must first decide on the style of curtain heading and whether or not you have a track or pole in your window.

How to measure for pencil pleat curtains?

Using a track, measure from the top of the track to determine how far down to hang your pencil pleat curtains. This is to ensure that your curtain covers the track when it is drawn. To determine the length of a curtain rod, start at the eye of the curtain ring and work your way down. The pole will hold your curtains in place.

In order to get an accurate measurement of the drop of your curtains, you will need to measure from the place where they will hang on the track or pole to that point.

How to measure for eyelet curtains?

Add 5cm to the finished drop when measuring eyelet curtains from the top of the pole. You must account for the fact that eyelets are normally placed 5cm below the fabric’s surface.

You must have at least 5cm of space above your curtain pole for us to make eyelet curtains; if you don’t, please let us know in the comments section of your order or contact us directly.

How to measure for tab-top curtains?

Simply measure the appropriate drop from the top of the curtain rod for tab or tie top curtains. Following that, we’ll tell you how many different lengths of cloth you’ll need for your curtains.

How many widths of fabric do I need for curtains?

In order to obtain a beautiful look, curtains must have at least 2 to 2 12 times the fabric’s fullness, which is decided by the curtain heading type that you choose.

The following is a guide to determining the appropriate fullness for various headings:

More than twice as much fullness can be achieved with the use of 6′′ pencil pleat tape.

2 fullness of eyelet / tab top

Pillowcase with an additional 2.3% of volume.

3.0 fullness of the Triple Pinch Pleat

Fullness x 2.3 wave length.

When it comes to figuring out how much curtain fabric to buy, there is an easy formula. Multiply your desired fullness by the track/pole width (150cm x 2.5 = 375, for example). Once you’ve done that, double the result by the normal fabric width, which is 137cm. To figure out how many widths you’ll need, multiply the amount by the nearest whole number (3). A plain fabric with a 175cm drop x 3 = 525cm breadth, thus I’d need to order 5.5metres of curtain fabric.

It’s important to keep in mind how much additional material you’ll need to match the pattern when choosing patterned fabric. It’s a simple calculation: divide the curtain’s drop by the pattern repeat, then round up to the nearest whole number.

Example – Curtain drop 220cm, hem 25cm (for pencil pleat). 245cm is the result of adding 25cm to 220cm. The pattern repetition is 64 cm. The answer is 3.8, which you must round up to four because 245cm divided by 64cm is 3.8 repetitions. As a result, 4 × 64cm repeats = 256cm are required for each drop.

On each product page, you can use our CURTAIN & BLIND CALCULATOR to get the answer!

How flexible are you when I order curtain fabric?

In addition to selling most of our beautiful curtain fabric by the half-metre, Just Fabrics offers a made-to-measure alternative for bespoke solutions. If you’re ever unclear about how much fabric you need, our specialists are always there to walk you through the process, whether it’s over the phone or via our free Virtual Visit service, which allows us to assess your needs via video conference.

As a result, if you’re designing something for yourself, it’s a good idea to include an extra pattern repetition in your design so you can start the pattern anywhere you like.

Questions to Consider

Think about the final look of your curtains before you choose your material.. One or two

  • No, I don’t want it to reach the ceiling.
  • Is there a radiator in the room that you don’t want to block with the curtain?
  • If you’re going to use a curtain rod, how thick should it be?
  • The window recess is a good place for a curtain, but do you want it to go all the way around the window?
  • What’s your ideal curtain height?

Calculate the Length of Each Panel

To figure out how much fabric you’ll need for each panel, use the following formula:

Header (facing) + 1 inch to turn under half an inch at either end of the panel + Hem (leave 2 to 3 inches, depending on the weight of the fabric) + Total fabric needed = Finished length

You’ll have exactly the right quantity for each panel if you do this.

It’s common for a 3-inch hem to “weight” a hem of a lightweight cloth so that it hangs appropriately. In order to calculate the total cost of the curtains, you should:

Fabric needed is calculated as follows: total panel length x total number of panels / 36

For tie backs, ruffles, fabric shrinkage, extra width, and other trimming requests, add a few more inches.

Calculate the Width

Many windows require more fullness than can be provided by a single length of fabric. One and a half to two times the width of the space to be covered is a good guideline for curtain length. A fuller appearance is achieved by using a thicker rather than a lighter cloth. The lower the weight of the fabric, the more fullness it needs..

How Much Fabric For Curtains Do I Need? (Width, Pleats, Rod)

When you need to add width to a panel, it is recommended to have at least half the width of the original fabric. If you simply need a couple of extra inches, you can cut the first length of fabric and sew the second length to the first length to get the extra length you need.

To get the desired width, you’ll need to extend the panel lengths. Curtains’ side hems can normally be left at a 1-inch height.

Match the Prints

Pattern repeat indications can be found on the selvage of some print fabrics. Using these markers, you can easily make each panel the same by knowing where the pattern begins. If the pattern repeats a lot, you’ll need more cloth. It’s impossible to avoid having to buy more to match a print.

Before You Make Your Final Purchase

  • What will happen to the fabric? Before cutting the fabric, always preshrink it.
  • Do you have a copy of your spreadsheet? Always double-check your measurements before making a cut.
  • How much sunlight does each window get, or is one set of panels more vulnerable than the rest? While you’re at it, buy enough fabric to make an additional set of panels.

Solutions for Fabric Shortages

  • Hem and topper facings should be sewn separately from the curtain’s back fabric, which is a different color. Additional fabric can be held in place by using under-stitching.
  • Add length and/or width with contrasting print or solid fabric borders.
  • To help a curtain hang properly, add some drapery weights to the mix.

What to Consider Before Choosing Fabric for Curtains

There are a few factors to keep in mind when selecting curtains’ fabric. 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 complement your room’s aesthetics can enhance the overall look. But, there’s more to choosing a fabric than color alone. Let’s take a look at some other things to take into consideration when picking the material.

1. What Type of Curtains Do You Need?

Enhance the overall appeal of your room with curtains that match your decor. Color is an important consideration, but it’s not the only one. Here are some other factors to consider while making your selection of subject matter.

If you decide to use floor-length curtains, keep an eye out for anything on the wall directly beneath the window. If you have radiators or wall heaters, you don’t want your curtains to cover them up with their drop. In addition to being a heat barrier, it might also be an igniting source. Another danger lurks within the walls of your home, in the form of exposed electrical plugs.

Fabric that can endure repeated opening and closing of curtains is required for these applications. For curtains that stay open to frame a window, you can use a lighter fabric like cotton.

For curtains with pleats, you’ll need a fabric with the ability to maintain its shape once it is folded. Fabrics that are light and fluttery are ideal for sheer, lightweight drapes.

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 want thick, draft-proof blackout curtains, don’t use polyester. If you want a sheer window treatment, don’t spend money on an ornate floral upholstery fabric.

The location where the curtains will be used should also be considered. What kind of traffic is there in the area? Is the fabric of the curtain able to conceal stains from muddy paws and furry pets? Or, will it be necessary to clean the curtains on a regular basis? Is there a risk of shrinkage if the cloth is washed frequently? The demands of family life may be too great for a thin fabric.

3. Do You Need a Valance?

Small decorative screens that fit over the top border of a window are known as “valances.” Its primary purpose is to conceal the curtain rod. Window coverings can be matched with curtains, blinds, or only the valance, which can complement or contrast each other.

Valances are a personal preference and can be omitted if desired. Add the fabric needed for the valance to the total yardage for the curtain project if you’re considering it.

4. Are You Going for a Window Curtain Set?

Curtain panels, valances, and tiebacks make up a window set. If you use floral materials, the entire combination makes for a formal yet beautiful window treatment.

The amount of cloth required grows exponentially with the addition of each panel or tieback. You’ll also need to think about whether the fabric you’ve chosen can be used to make tiebacks, for example. If it’s too light, you may need to buy them pre-made.

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?

A window scarf is a thin piece of material that covers the top of the window and either side of it. 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.

For the most part, the primary purpose of a window scarf is to enhance the look of existing curtains by layering them. A window scarf, like the valance, is a matter of personal preference rather than necessity.

In the right hands, it can be a beautiful addition to any room. It can look bulky and heavy if it doesn’t match your main curtains. Before hanging either a curtain or a scarf on your window, make sure the fabrics go well together.

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

You should always allow extra fabric for hems and headers when making curtains. Each curtain panel’s tidy hem is finished with a hem. The curtain header is the portion of the curtain that attaches to the pole.

It is possible to alter the length of a garment’s hem. It all depends on how the curtain is draped. Base curtain weight will increase with larger hems. Curtain weights are also an option. It’s all good for the drapes. As a result, make certain that your hem is large enough to support the additional weights.

If your window is particularly large, you may need to combine a few different widths of fabric. If you plan to include a seam allowance, make sure to do so.

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

To estimate the size of your curtain pole, you’ll need to know how big your header is. The curtain pole should be concealed by the header. Besides covering the tabs or channels that hold the curtain to the pole, it should also do this.

Don’t forget to allow the cloth to make the channels or tabs that conceal the pole. Depending on the pole’s thickness, the amount you need to budget for will change. If you choose a channel, you’ll need more fabric than if you went with tabs.

8. How Many Curtain Panels Do You Need?

It’s possible to utilize a curtain panel on its alone or as part of a set of two. Four panels or more can be utilized to span the breadth of a window if it is very large. Particularly in regard to Bay windows. The extra panels allow the curtains to flex with the curtain track to follow the window.

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

Two panels or curtains are hung, one on either side of the window. 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. Having a lining is a personal preference.

Depending on the fabric, linings can be utilized to keep a space either chilly or warm, depending on its thermal qualities. This could be useful in regions with wide seasonal temperature fluctuations.

Curtain Fabric Calculator

Calculating the amount of fabric needed to construct curtains is simple with a curtain fabric calculator. Watch how the calculator does all the hard work for you by entering your window measurements into the fields below! The curtain fabric calculator does all the work for you, so 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’ll need for curtains. The first consideration is the design of your curtains. Is it proper to say that they are floor length? Do you like a single panel or double?

When you add a new design element to your window, it will alter its dimensions. Whether it’s adding a huge header or allowing for pleat allowances, know exactly how you want your curtains to look before you begin. If at all possible, do this prior to making your final fabric purchase.

For Curtains Fitting Outside the Window Frame

The first step is to begin.

From the outer edge to the outside edge, determine the window’s width. After that, take an accurate measurement of the curtain pole. There should be as much space between your curtain rod and your window to accommodate the extra width. Each side of the pole should be 3 inches longer, thus add an additional 6 inches to your window width.

The width of your curtains should be at least two times the width of your window if you want them to look full. In order to compensate for volume and mistakes, aim 2.5 times larger than your real window. The overall measurement should be divided in half if you want two panels

This is the next 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 how long you want them. With the pole in place, this phase is a lot simpler. If you haven’t yet installed the pole, begin at the location where you want it to be and work backwards.

Decide how big the header should be. For a 3-inch header, add an additional 6 inches to the curtain’s total length. For curtain tabs or rings, a robust band of cloth will form on the other side of the curtain.

In the third stage,

For seams and hems, use more cloth. Bottom hemlines should be at least 6 inches. The length of your curtains should be increased by this amount.

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. This figure should be multiplied by 1.5 to 2.5, depending on how much fullness you desire.

This is the next step:

Next, measure the distance from the top of the casement to the bottom of the sill. Include enough fabric for hems and a header. For a 3 inch header, add an additional 6 inches to the length. A 4-inch allowance is required for a 1-inch hem, too.

How To Calculate How Much Fabric I Need for Curtains?

Knowing the dimensions of your window is the first step in determining how much fabric you’ll need for curtains. You also need to think about how wide your cloth of choice is. It may be necessary to combine more than one width of fabric to match the window.

For example, your window measures 120 inches in width, including the fullness allowance. Two panels are required to completely conceal the window. Two panels, each 60 inches wide, are obtained by dividing 120 by two. There are only 35 inches of cloth in this pattern.

Two fabric widths are required for each panel. The cloth will be 140 inches wide in total. The additional 20 inches will be utilized for seam allowances and side hems, but most of it will be discarded. Overall, the curtains will appear better with the rest of the trimmings included.

Example 1

Let’s consider a window with a 4-foot drop and a 4-foot width as an example. We’ll convert feet to inches to make things a little easier while doing the math. It measures 48 inches by 48 inches.

To begin, add 2.5 inches to the width to account for pleating and fullness. As a result, the new dimension is 120 inches wide. Then, make a heading and hem by adding additional to the drop. For both of you, we’ll add 6 inches. 60 inches is our new drop.

This project requires a 60-inch wide piece of fabric. There is no need for additional fabric for pattern matching because there is no repeat in the pattern. If you want to cover a 120-inch window, you’ll need to buy two different thicknesses of fabric and sew them together.

Multiply 60 (drop) by 2 to arrive at the fabric’s dimensions in this case. With a measurement of 120 inches, this equates to 10 feet (3.33 meters). To be on the safe side, it’s always a good idea to round up. In order to make these curtains, you’ll need 4 yards of fabric.

How much fabric do you need for curtains? - Blog - iSeekBlinds

Example 2

Patio doors will serve as our next point of comparison. With a 78-inch drop and a 32-inch width. Six-inch pattern repetition on 60-inch wide cloth.

To begin, take the width and multiply it by 2.5. 80 inches is the result. Buying 2 widths of cloth is important because the material is 60 inches wide. Add a header, hem, and pattern repeat allowance to the finished length. It took us six additional inches for the design and another twelve for the header and hem to get to 96 inches of dropped length.

For this example, multiply 96 (drop) by 2 to get the fabric yardage. The end result is a length of 192″ As a result, 5.33 yards are required for this example. We’ll need a total of 6 yards of fabric for these drapes, rounded up.

How Many Yards of Fabric for 84-Inch Curtains?

84-Inch Width

Curtains with an 84-inch width, plus an allowance for fullness are needed for our window. The length or drop of the curtains is the next thing to determine.

78 inches is the distance from the curtain pole to the floor. Our new finished length is 90 inches, including the header and hem allowances of 12 inches each.

Next, we need to determine the fabric’s breadth. There are 60 inches of space available. 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. 5 yards or 15 feet is the equivalent measurement. For a window that is 84 inches wide, we’ll need 5 yards of cloth to make some curtains.

84-Inch Length

Changes in curtain length necessitate different amounts of fabric. We can get 96 inches of fabric by adding 12 inches for hems and a header.

There are two thicknesses of fabric needed to cover the window, which is 84 inches wide. Our revised estimate is 192 inches, or 16 feet, based on multiplying 96 by 2.

The yardage equals 5.33. It would take 6 yards of fabric if we rounded up to the nearest entire yard for these curtains.

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. There are two ways of doing this. First, we can multiply the width of 96 by 2.5. For curtains, at least twice the width of the window should be filled out. It’s easier to make mistakes if you go 2.5 times larger. The curtains need to be 240 inches wide, including fullness.

Extra fabric for hems and a header must be factored into the curtain’s overall length calculation. There are six inches of descent, so we’ll add six inches to that to have a total drop of 54 inches.

We’ll need more than one breadth of cloth to cover the window if we use a fabric that is 60 inches wide. Curtain fabric is 240 inches wide, according to our calculations. 4 is the answer when we divide 60 by 60. We’ll need four different lengths of the fabric.

264 inches is the result of multiplying a 66-inch drop by four fabric widths. This is equal to 22 feet in feet. This is the same as 7.33 yards of space. This set of curtains will require 8 yards of fabric, so rounding up is always a good idea.

96-Inch Length

Let’s now take a look at curtains that measure 96 inches long. Drop is now 108 inches, with an additional 12 inches for headers and hems. Assuming the window is 120 inches broad, let’s stick with a 60-inch-wide fabric.

For the window, we will need more than one width of fabric. The answer is 2 if we divide 120 by 60. When you double the drop of 108 inches by two, you get 216 inches in total. There are 6 yards in this calculation. 6 yards of fabric will be needed to make these curtains..

How Many Yards of Fabric for 108-Inch Curtains?

108-Inch Width

There are 108 inches of fullness included in the width of this window. With hems and headers in mind, the drop is 54 inches. As a result, the new height is 66 inches.

Because the fabric is 108 inches wide, only one width of the cloth is needed. We get 66 inches when we multiply the 66-inch drop by the number of fabric widths. 1.83 yards is the length of 5.5 feet. To make these curtains, you’ll need 2 yards of fabric, rounded up to the nearest full yard.

108-Inch Length

In order to get a new curtain length of 120 inches, we’ll need to add an additional 12 inches for hems and headers. Assume the window is 108 inches wide before fullness is taken into account. For this example, we’ll use a 60-inch wide fabric.

270 inches is the result of multiplying the window’s width by 2.5. A 60-inch wide fabric will not be enough to cover a window of this size. The answer is 4.5 when 270 is divided by 60. In other words, we’ll have to round up to the nearest five fabric widths to get the right amount.

The length of 120 inches multiplied by five widths of fabric is 600 inches. That’s a distance of 16.66 yards, or 50 feet. It’s usually preferable to go all the way around to the next yard. 17 yards of cloth are required to make these curtains.


There are a number of calculations involved in measuring cloth for curtains. If you’re going to add fullness, header, hems, and seams to your garment, you’ll need to know how much more fabric you’ll need in each of those places.

Everything needs to be kept in mind. This post includes a curtain fabric calculator that will take care of the arithmetic for you. Ensuring that you receive the appropriate quantity of materials for your project.

Let me know what you think in the comments section below. The curtain fabric calculator would be a good place to start. Have you been inspired to make your own curtains as a result of reading this?