Where should you place your window curtain?

First, your window curtain needs to hang from above your window, so allow a few inches for this. Although there are no hard and fast rules, a general guide is to have them 4" to 6" above the top of the window.

Unless you want your curtains to cover a large part of the window, you'll need to make sure they can hang off to the side of the window to a certain extent, as in the sketches.

What you're looking for here is for the curtains to hang naturally when they are drawn back to the sides. They shouldn't be cramped or forced into position.

What you also want is for them to just overlap the edges of the window. This makes your window treatments look softer, as the curtains hide the hard edges.


Once you have decided exactly where the curtains should be, you can then go ahead and fit your curtain track or pole.

Curtain dimensions

And length?

If your window is a French window or patio door, then obviously the curtains need to be floor length. If the window is off the floor, then you could choose to have your curtains finish just below the window. A good distance below is about 4" to 6".

But there comes a point (illustrated in the lower of the two sketches) where this may not be the best solution for your window curtain.

If the bottom of the window is much closer to the floor, then curtains below the window can look unfinished. They seem in limbo, almost as if you didn't order enough fabric! In this case it's often better to go for floor length curtains.


Lining is essential for your quality curtain for a number of reasons.

  • It protects the fabric from daylight - especially if it is exposed to direct sunlight - which will fade the fabric.
  • Strong sunlight will also cause the fabric to rot.
  • Linings help to improve the overall appearance of the drapes, and you can do a much neater and better job in making-up.

If you want to keep out as much light as possible - if you're a light sleeper, or for younger children who wake up too early! - then you can use blackout lining. This looks just like ordinary lining, but really does keep out the light.

Curtain liningBeige cotton lining on the back of some drapes.


An interlining is a thicker cloth which goes between the lining and the fabric itself. It can be made of man-made fibres, natural fibres such as cotton, or a mixture of both.

The main reason why most people use interlining is to make the window curtain look thicker, to give it more 'body'.

Some fabrics, especially thin ones, can look a bit uninspiring when made up. They hang in tight folds, and the initial reaction is that a thicker fabric should have been used. Using an interlining solves this problem. Your window curtain will invariably be improved by using interlining.

Another advantage of using interlining is for insulation. This is particularly applicable to a door curtain. If you have a door which lets in draughts, then using a heavily interlined door curtain will make a huge difference. To help things even further, have the curtain made a few inches longer than necessary so it lies on the floor. This will stop any draughts from entering below the door.


InterliningLining turned back to show the thick interlining of this drape.

Interlinings come in different qualities, so you can select a suitable thickness for your situation. For example, a small set of drapes may not need as thick an interlining as a large set.



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