How to Fix Bunched-Up Roman Shades

What You'll Need
Replacement cords, eyelets, plastic rings, and dowels
Stitch puller to remove stitching and undo cord knots

Your Roman shades are supposed to be constructed in such a way that they will not bunch up, stick open or closed, or pull up on one side but not the other. However, these problems do occur, so here are several ways to restore your bunched-up shades to easy, straight movement.

Step 1: Examine the Shades in Place

Set the stepladder near the window with the roman shades and examine the shades carefully. Look for missing or broken dowels, tangled, knotted or broken cords, eyelet screws, plastic loops or loose stitching on any pockets.

Step 2: Realign the Shades While Still on the Window

You can resolve problems with tangled and knotted cords without removing the roman shades. Use the knobbed side of the stitch ripper to work out knots in the shade cords and untangle them. Extend the roman shade down fully and test it for correct movement. If they still do not go up and down properly, check the edges of the window to see if the cords are catching on anything as they pull the shade up and down. Remove any obstructions you find.

Step 3: Replace Broken Dowels

Open the slot where the broken dowel was installed, and remove it. Cut a new piece of dowel to the length needed, and insert it into the slot. Handstitch the end of the slot neatly.

Step 4: Remove the Shade to Repair It

You will only need to remove the shade to replace broken pull cords or broken or missing plastic loop rings. Release the three pull strings from the securing acorn, and slip them back through the eyelet screws on the batten. Reach up to where the shade is fastened to the batten with velcro, and pull the strip off carefully. Fold the top velcro strip toward the fabric side so it does not catch on the lining. Holding the cords loosely in your hand, carry the roman shade to a flat spot, like a large tabletop, to begin repairs.

Step 5: Repair Broken Cords

Determine which of the cords is broken. Remove it by snipping its knot to the bottom plastic ring of the shade, and pull the whole cord free. Measure a new length of cord by adding the full shade length to its width. Cut the new length of cord and knot it firmly onto to the bottom plastic shade ring in its column. Thread it upward through the correct set of plastic rings. Rehang the roman shade, thread all three cords through the batten eyelets, and reattach to the acorn slip retainer. Test the shade for correct movement.

Step 6: Replace Broken or Missing Cord Rings

Check the entire back of the roman shade for missing or broken cord rings. Remove broken parts of the rings and handstitch on new ones. If this happens frequently, replace the individual rings with fabric strips that have the rings attached. These are often stronger than rings sewn directly to the shade.