Measuring for Draperies

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Draperies create an aesthetically dramatic look to a room while also serving several important functional purposes. They add a layer of insulation to your windows, which helps keep your home cool in the hotter months, and warm in the colder months. Drapes also provide privacy and light control making your space more comfortable. Today, draperies are often custom-made, meaning there are fewer ready-made options available. Despite this, we carry a selection of ready-made drapes, and have put together this guide to help you correctly measure for your project. A traverse rod will be used in this example. 


Mounting a Traverse Rod

Traverse rods can be mounted either on the window frame or the wall depending on the look you are going for. To cover the window completely, and allow the drapes to stack on the wall when open (so they are not blocking any of the window), mount the traverse rod above the window frame and a couple inches out from the frame on either side. 

Measuring for Draperies

The first step in measuring for draperies is to measure the width of the window. Add 6” per panel to this measurement to account for overlaps and return. If you mounted your traverse rod outside the window frame, you will need to add 33% (multiply by .33) to the window width measurements.

If this is a new installation, and you are mounting your traverse rod outside the window frame, subtract 6’ per panel to your drape measurement for the traverse rod length.

Example – My window is 46” wide and I plan to use two panels and mount my traverse rod outside the window frame. To account for the extra fabric needed to reach outside of the window I multiply 46 x .33 to get approximately 15. I then add 15 to 46”to get 61. Then, to account for overlaps and return on my two drape panels, I add 12” to get 73”. This is the drapery width I need to correctly cover my window.  

To get the measurement for my traverse rod, I would subtract 12 from 73 to get a total length of 61”. This means the brackets would be mounted 7.5” out from the window on either side.