Window dressing – Tips on heading curtains and methods – Interior designing and decoration


LEFT A bedroom well lit by wide windows has inner curtains in white voile to filter the sunlight. The main curtains are gathered along a white pole and draped back as a symmetrical duo, covering a good deal of the window but not enough to cast the room into shade. The charming floral print is given a mark of formality with the cord and tassel tie-backs. RIGHT An arched window must be dressed to mirror its shape. This means either fixing a curving track or hand pleating the heading to follow the line oj the arch. Curtains that curve can never be drawn; they must be either tied or draped back. By looping back these curtains to show a contrast lining and edging, a rival symmetry is offered within the frame of the arch.


Cafe curtains may be made in the same way as curtains, with a cased, slotted or hand-made heading. A scalloped heading, with or without pleats between the scallops, is another popular finish. These curtains are usually hung from rods fitted across the window. There are many styles to choose from: a simple, scalloped heading can be used to form a fiat curtain looped over a pole. Pinch pleats between the scallops, hooked to rings on the pole, give a more formal effect. Ready-made shower curtains are norm- ally made in a plastic fabric. Shower curtaining is available by the meter for making up curtains yourself.

You can create a soft effect by using cotton for the outer layer of the fabric and a plain white or colored plastic or plasticized fabric on the inside.


Decide on a suitable fullness – one and a half times the window width is usually sufficient. Allow 4 cm for side hems, a total of 35cm for loops and facing and 10 cms  for hems. Turn under 2 cm double hems down each outer edge and turn under and press a narrow turning across the top edge. Stitch in place. Turn over 25 cm to the right side of the curtain across the top edge to form the loops and facing. 

Decide on a suitable depth for the scallops and length for the loops, say a total of 20 cm – and a suitable width for the loops, say 5cm, spaced 10 cm (4in) apart. Make up a paper template and mark the scallop seam line along the top of the curtain. Stitch along the marked seam line, then cut away the fabric from the scallops, layering seam allowances. Turn the facing right side the ends of the loops to the curtain and check for length the hem by hand.