Calculate Yardage for a Window Curtain

Curtains on a window.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 1-20
What You'll Need
Measuring tape (5 meters length)
Pen or pencil
Step ladder
Electronic calculator

Hanging curtains on your window are one of the most important parts of interior decoration you will need to do in your home. The first step is to calculate yardage for a window curtain. Once you have your calculations right, you can proceed to buy the materials. This might seem like a job for professionals but it is not. With the right calculations, you can get an accurate measurement for your window curtains.

Measure the Window

The first step in calculating the yardage for a window curtain is to measure the window from the top of the curtain rod to the place where you like the curtain to end. Also, measure the width of the curtain rod.

Include the Hem in the Measurements

Once you have measured the length from the top of the curtain rod to the bottom, add 6 inches to the total length of the measurements you have just taken. You will need to use 4 inches on the top of the curtain for the hem or casing and 2 inches at the bottom of the curtain for the hem.

Calculate the Yardage

Divide the total number of inches by 36 to get the number of yards, and round up to the closest ¼ yard. For example, 66/36 = 2 yards.

Understand the Width of the Curtain

The width of the curtain normally depends on the thickness of the fabric you choose. If you choose a thick fabric, your curtain width should be 1 ½ times the width of the window. Generally, the fabric is measured two times the width of the window.

Calculate the Width You Need

Multiply the width of the window by 1½ to 3. If your window is 50 inches wide, the width of the curtain should be twice the width of the window. 50x2 =100.

Step 6 - Decide Number of Panels

If you want your window curtain to have 2 or three panels, you must divide the result of step 5 by the number of panels. Example, 100/2 = 50 inches.

Add to Width of the Panels

Make sure you add 2 or 3 inches to the width of the panels. This is for the hem of the panels (50+2 = 52).

Decide Amount of Fabric for Panels

If you need two panels of 52 inches each and your fabric is only 38 inches wide, you will have to buy more material to cut and sew to each panel.

Understand Curtains with Repeated Designs

If your curtain fabric has a repeated design, calculate the distance between the design repeats. Multiply the figure you get with the width of the panel.

Finalize the Calculations

Once you have finished with the measurements, multiply the yardage by the total number of panels you need (2 yards x 3 panels = 5 yards).

Add Extras

Add another yard to your total; you will need this to sew some accessories for the curtains.

Take the List Along

Finally, take the calculation along with you when you go shopping for the fabric. Make sure you multiply the yardage you calculated for one window with the number of windows you need to curtain.