If there’s one thing I heard more often than anything else when I worked in our stores it was “mine don’t look like that” - no sniggering please I’m obviously talking about ready made curtains. You see when you see ready made curtains on display in our stores they have been hung by our amazing display team who know all of the tricks of the trade to make them look fantastic. If you read on I can fill you in on the steps to take to make your ready made curtains look amazing.
Pick the right size - this is an entire blog in itself which you can read here but basically if your curtains are too small they will never look right. You can pick the most beautiful curtains but they will hang like a sheet if there’s not enough fabric to gather nicely.
Iron your curtains!!!! I cannot stress this enough - if you wouldn’t put on a shirt without ironing it then why would you hang your curtains without ironing them? Your curtains have been folded and packed for some time before you receive them so they need to be unpacked and shaken out and pressed. Consult the label as to what temperature to iron them at and iron them on the lining side. If you’re not happy ironing them yourself or if they’re un-manageably large then ask your local dry cleaner - most will offer a pressing service for around €15.
If you’re hanging pencil pleat curtains gather and hook them before you get up the ladder to start hanging, you don’t want to start messing about with tapes and the likes when you’re 6ft off the ground. If they’re eyelet curtains then have them folded in their pleats ready to go.
Get some help - hanging the curtains is much easier if you get somebody to take the weight of the curtain while you do the fiddly bits at the top.
Stand back and have a look and keep fixing and froofing (that’s the technical term) them until you’re happy with how they’re hanging. Always remember that the curtains are a ready made product and may need a bit of fixing to get them just right.
See below for a step by step with pictures on how to get your curtains looking their best:
Get the iron and ironing board out - press the curtains on the reverse first, at the temperature it says is suitable on the label, I usually find it easiest to fold the curtains in half lengthwise and iron both sides then fold them out and iron over the centre crease.
Go to either edge and press the outside in to meet the lining, the fabric usually folds over by an inch (2.5cm) this will have been done in the factory when they were stitched so you’re generally just going over and making sure the edges are sitting nice and flat.
I know this might seem like a lot of steps but none of them are complicated and you’ll thank yourself later when you’re admiring your perfectly hung curtains.
Pull the cords out of the tape a little at each end and tie a knot in both. This is probably the most important step as if you don’t, then you will pull the cords out and either have to darn them all back in yourself or hope a nice sales assistant in Home Focus takes pity on you and does it for you.
Next pull the one end of cord (usually the end that will be on the outside edge when hung) on the tape to pull the curtains to half the size of your rail/pole plus an inch (2.5cm), in this case the pole was 46" (116cm) so I pulled each curtain into 24" (60cm)
Tie a knot that you can later undo to secure the tape and repeat this for the other curtain.
Turn the curtain over to the front and space the pleats out evenly, take a bit of time to get this looking right at this stage.
Turn your curtain back around and divide your hooks out evenly across the tape, use as many hooks as you have rings/gliders on your pole/rail. If you’re hanging the curtains on a pole - put the hooks in the second pocket down and if you’re hanging on a rail put the hooks in the bottom pocket. The general rule is to have 3 hooks per foot (30cm) but a few extra is fine.
Now get hanging - as I said it’s helpful to have somebody take the weight of the curtains so you can hook them on top without the hooks popping out as you travel along. Start from the centre out as these rings/gliders all move and then when you get to either end you can pop the last glider in easily, either into the ring you have between the finial (end) and bracket on your pole or the last stationary glider on your rail.
Next close your curtains fully and have a look at how the pleats are looking - you can have a last little straighten out now that they’re hanging.
Simply thread the rings onto the pole, making sure that the fabric is facing out on both ends.
Ensure that one ring is between the finial and the bracket on your pole.
If you"re using tie backs now is the time to hang them.
These pencil pleat curtains sat beautifully first time round but on the rare occasion your curtain still isn’t just right (sometimes some fabrics just want to bounce/kick a little) here’s a couple of more insider tips for you:
Tie your curtains into their pleats - basically gather them open into nice folds and use a few bits of fabric (even old tights will do) and tie them, leave them hanging like that for a couple of days and when you release the ties they will fall into their pleats beautifully.
Open the seam at the end a little - sometimes they are stitched to the lining a little tight in the factory, a good tip is to rip the last few stitches out and press the seam flat again.
If unlike me you"re not naturally a person who loves a good preen or have too much other stuff to do to be ironing curtains then inquire in store about our expert fitting service.