The drapes get longer and longer. Drapes may stretch. Fabric is made of threads woven together, and there is no glue holding these threads in place. Knowing how the fabric may react after hanging will help you choose fabrics that should not stretch.
Generally, your curtains should stretch 5-7 centimetres wider than the width of your window. A similar rule applies to where they sit on your wall. If your curtains are too short, your home ends up looking like a poorly built doll house.
Curtains and drapes are typically hung 1/2" from the floor. Of coarse there are exceptions (such as curtains over a bath tub or sink), but in most cases 1/2" from the floor is perfect - especially since curtains can stretch a bit over time and might eventually touch the floor.
When hanging curtains, it is important that the curtains are the right length. Curtains that are too short make the room look short, stubby and awkward. The cut the length of the wall, making both the window and the room look smaller.
The answer to this question is important because it can affect the way we do our decorations. Yes, curtains should be long enough to touch the floor. With a few exceptions, the longer the curtains are the more stylish and elegant it will look. This is why most standard ready-made curtains are lengthy.
As a general rule of thumb, curtain width should be two to two-and-a-half times the width of the window. Curtains are typically sold as pairs, but you may need to double up depending on the size of your window.
This is actually why most manufacturers will include a few folds of extra fabric at the base of the curtains to handle any possible “shrinkage”, but not at the sides. Unfortunately, once the curtains are made without fabric pre-shrinking, there is no way to reverse the situation.
New curtains can be stiff and may have a strong starch smell. Washing new curtains before hanging can help them hang better, can get rid of odor, and can help your new curtains look more vibrant. Washing them before hanging is an excellent idea.
If you purchase curtains that are washable it is very important to wash them prior to hanging. They normally shrink the most the first time they are washed. I washed mine in hot before hanging them the first time to get all of the shrinking behind me.
We recommend leaving your drapes tied for at least 2 weeks. After that period, untie them and poof – the flaring bottom is gone!
Hang the curtains on the rod and spread them out so that the air can circulate around them and they will dry evenly. It may take 1 to 2 days for the curtains to dry completely depending on how thick they are.
Leave your drapes tied and allow them to "train" for 2 or 3 weeks. This may seem like a long time, but it's worth it to have drapes that hang perfectly for years to come.
So why have they shrunk? Shrinkage is caused by changes in temperature and humidity of the fabric and linings. It is not just the fabric but also linings and interlinings that can shrink causing puckering all well as shortening of the curtain. The fabric/lining shrinks by a certain percentage.
Curtains naturally attract dust and absorb odours over time. And as easy as it is to overlook the fact that they need attention – after all, they just hang there! – curtain cleaning on a regular basis is a good idea to keep your house clean and fresh – every 3-6 months is recommended.
Step 1: Put hair conditioner in your vessel. Use enough to make the water feel slick – an oz or two if you're stretching a shirt in the sink. I used about 6 – 8 oz for my curtains in this plastic bucket. Make sure the conditioner dissolves completely.
A common rule for displaying curtains properly says the curtains finished width should be at least 2 times the width of your window (if not more - sheers can be 3 times the window width) to achieve a look of proper fullness.
As a general rule, drapes will be open during the day, so make sure the curtain rod extends at least four inches on each side of the window's inside frame. To create the illusion of a wider window, extend the rod up to 10 inches beyond the window's frame.
A rule of thumb (from Architectural Digest) is that curtains should be hung between four to six inches above the window frame, so install your curtain rod accordingly. When you hang the curtain rod high, it will make the window appear taller.
Your best move is to hang curtains within 8 inches of the top of the window frame. For very tall windows, which are popular in many modern homes, that means placing the rod as close to the ceiling as possible—in fact, you might want to install rods designed to actually hang from the ceiling.
Hovering an inch or less above the floor
This option is also more forgiving than those that precisely hit the floor, which means your measuring and hemming won't be derailed if it's a few millimeters off. It also means you don't have to worry if you have slightly uneven floors.
Floor length: Long curtains that go from above your window frame all the way to the floor to create a traditional, formal look. Typical curtain length for this style is 84 to 96 inches; these curtains will fall about 1/4-inch above the floor. They are ideal for living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms.
Making Your Room Look Larger or Smaller with Curtains
High-hanging curtains with long vertical stripes create the illusion of height, which is excellent for low ceilings. However, short curtains and horizontal stripes shorten your wall height and make the room appear smaller.
These are the shortest of the standard curtain lengths, which makes them a good opportunity to have some fun with pattern or color. Since they take up less visual space, you won't get tired of a bold choice.