Curtains and pleating

Hand made curtains and blinds

I am Sussex based and make made to measure curtains and will be posting useful information about curtains and soft furnishings as part of the things that happen in my shed.

There are a number of very useful sites to help calculate fabric and lining and pleat dimensions and I use these:

:; to calculate fabric and linings to calculate pleats

However, today I am trying to workout the best pleat size for triple pleats on wide, full length curtains and found the answer in a trusty book – ‘Working with Soft Furnishings by Charlotte Dunkerley’ – she tells me that the space between each pleat should be between 10 – 15cm and that each pleats should take up      15-17cm of material.

To first calculate the finished header width of each curtain add together:

  • The return – 9cm
  • Half the length of the track (310cm) – 155cm
  • Ease – roughly 5cm per metre of curtain track – 10cm

= Finished header width: 9cm +155cm + 10cm = 174cm

Using my pleat calculator I enter

  • Curtain fabric width 400cm
  • Finished header width 174cm
  • Left return 9cm
  • Right return 9cm


  • 12 pleats – Pleat size 18.9cm   Gap 14cm
  • 13 pleats – Pleat size 17.5cm   Gap 13cm – Perfect