Unlined Curtains

Image of finished unlined curtainsUnlined curtains are the simplest form of window treatment and are the ideal project for the beginner. They can be made in all weights of fabric from fine voiles to heavyweight tapestries, fitted inside or outside the window recess from a pole or a curtain track.

Unlined curtains are ideal for a kitchen or bathroom where steam may be a problem and easy laundering is essential.

Always check that the fabric is washable when it is purchased.

The following instructions are for curtains with pencil pleat headings and a fullness ratio of 2 (double the width of the window).

Image refers to colour code key for diagrams


  • Fabric of your choice.
  • Matching thread.
  • Pencil pleat heading tape, enough for the flat width of both curtains.

Measuring and Estimating Fabric Quantities:

  1. Fit the track or pole in the required position.
  2. Measure the required finished length.
  3. To calculate the cut length of the fabric, add 8" (20 cms) to the finished length for hem allowances. If pattern fabric is used, extra will be needed for pattern matching.
  4. To calculate the number of widths required, measure the length of the track or pole and multiply by the fullness ratio (2). Divide this number by the width of the fabric to be used and round up to the next whole number.
  5. To calculate the amount of fabric, multiply the number of widths by the cut length.

Making Unlined Curtains:

  1. Cut the fabric to the required size, allowing 4" (10 cms) for side hems and adding 8" (20cms) to the length for top and bottom hem allowances. If more than 1 width is required join widths together with a 0.5" (12 mm) French seam, matching the pattern on the fabric where necessary and adding any half widths to the outside edge of each curtain.
  2. Turn in a double 1" (2.5 cms) hem at each side and pin.
  3. Turn up a double 3" (7.5 cms) hem at the lower edge and pin.
  4. Mitre both bottom corners.
  5. Machine or slipstitch all the hems and press.
  6. Image refers to making unlined curtainsTurn down 2" (5 cms) at the top edge and press.
  7. Knot the cords, to the wrong side, at 1 end of the heading tape and free them, to the right side, at the other end.
  8. Pin the heading tape on the wrong side of the curtain, close to the top fold, turning 1" (2.5 cms) under at each end to neaten. Position the end with the free cords at the outside edge of the curtain.
  9. Insert a cord tidy bag approximately 2" (5 cms) in from the outside edge of the curtain.
  10. Stitch the heading tape in place along the top and bottom edges making sure to stitch both sides in the same direction to avoid puckering.
  11. Pull up the cords on the heading tape and adjust the pleats evenly.
  12. Secure the cords with a sliding loop and place them in the cord tidy bag.
  13. Insert curtain hooks into the heading tape and hang the curtains.

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