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Tips For Choosing Fabric For DIY Curtains

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There is no better way to ensure you get exactly the curtains you want than making them yourself. It only takes moderate skills with a needle and thread to create beautiful window coverings. Before venturing into the fabric store, learn what kind of fabrics work best for creating lovely and long-lasting curtains.

Tip #1: It's All In the Weave

Fabric comes in two main types – woven or knit. Knit is a stretchier fabric, similar to the material used to make T-shirts. Woven fabric has very little give, which means it holds its shape better once hung as a curtain. Knits will also stretch and sag under their own weight if you try to hang them from a curtain rod. Always opt for woven fabric when you are using it to make curtains.

Tip #2: Durability Pointers

There are sturdy fabrics available for home décor purposes. These have a higher thread count and are thicker than the standard cotton weaves. Some are even UV-resistant, which means they won't fade quickly when hung in a window.

You don't have to make the curtains out of a UV-resistant home décor fabric, but it's a good idea to use it as the liner for your curtains. This way, you can use a prettier cotton weave as the visible indoor part of the curtain, while still reaping the light blocking and UV-resistance qualities of a sturdier décor fabric.

Tip #3: Know Your Width

Fabric comes in widths of between 36 and 108 inches. Know the minimum width you need for your curtain panels before you go shopping. Many wider fabric selections are limited to home décor fabrics, so you may need to sew panels together to get the width you need depending on your fabric choice.

Tip #4: Don't Forget Your Notions

When deciding on curtain fabric, you also need to make a decision on the hanging method. Following are some common choices and the notions you need to complete each:

  • Rod pocket. This method doesn't require any extra notions, since the fabric at the top is simply folded over and sewn to create a channel for the curtain rod.
  • Tab-top. Tabs, either visible or hidden, are sewn to the top of the curtain so they can slide over the rod. You can use extra fabric from the curtains or purchase a coordinating ribbon to use as tabs.
  • Grommets. Large metal or plastic curtain grommets are necessary. These are attached to the top of the curtain and the rod passes through the grommets.
  • Pleated drapes. Fully lined and pleated drapes are hung with metal curtain hooks, which have a pin side to insert into a pleat and hook to attach to the rod.

You may also need curtain weights, which are sewn into the lower corners, to help lightweight curtains hang well. Tiebacks and tieback hooks may also be necessary, depending on the curtain style. If you're looking for a fabric store to get started, visit Brandt's Interiors & Workroom.