Calculating Yardage for Drapes
ITEM # 1479260P76
Calculating Yardage for Drapes
ITEM # 1479260P76
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    How to Calculate Yardage for Draperies

  • Use a metal tape measure. Never assume all windows are the same. Measure each window individually.
  • Measure a plain traverse rod from the top of the rod to the point the draperies will end to determine the finished length.
  • Measure a decorator rod from the eye of the ring to the point to the point the draperies will end to determine the finished length.
  • Measure floor-length draperies to within 1/2" of the carpeting.
  • Sheers installed under draperies should be 1" shorter than the over drapery.
  • Length of short draperies should be 4" longer than the bottom of the window.
  • Allow 7" for overlap on a traverse rod.
  • Allow 18" for return & overlap on a double traverse rod.
  • Typical hem allowance is 8" (4" doubled).
  • Typical header allowance is 8" (4" doubled). Amount of fabric required is related to type of pleating tape & application method to be used.
  • For rod pocket without heading, add amount equal to the diameter of the rod, plus 1/2" to turn under, plus 1/4"-1" for ease. Amount of ease depends on thickness of the fabric & rod size. Lightweight fabrics require less ease; larger rods require more.
  • Worksheets provided to calculate yardage for draperies. To print the worksheets, click on the "Download Project PDF" button (above).

  • Diagram 1


  • Drapery & upholstery fabrics differ in weight & durability. Upholstery fabrics are more tightly woven, generally heavy & fabric-backed. Drapery fabrics are softer & tend to fall in folds. Multipurpose solids & prints are great choices for draperies.
  • Sheers are filmy, translucent fabrics with a soft sheen, used for window treatments only. Can use sheers alone as a decorative option, but they won’t ensure privacy when room is lit from inside.
  • Drapery fullness is the width of the fabric in relationship to the curtain rod. Most draperies or curtains range from 2:1 to 3:1 in fullness. Fabric weight also dictates the desired fullness. e.g., Sheers require more fabric due to their light weight.
  • Lining is highly recommended for uncoated fabric. Lining can protect the face fabric & extend the life of the drapery. Create specific results for a room by adjusting lining & interlining choices to block out light, add insulation or reduce noise.

  • Cotton sateen displays subtle shine & softness.
  • Cotton has an organic, natural appearance with less sheen.
  • Blends weave natural fibers with synthetic fibers for more durability, colorfastness & wrinkle-resistance.
  • Voile is a light, semitransparent cotton, rayon, silk, or wool.
  • Coated fabrics have backing to block out light. Strongly recommended for draperies.