How to Make an Italian Strung Curtain

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Create Italian strung curtains by starting with flat panels.
Create Italian strung curtains by starting with flat panels. (Image: Jupiterimages  /Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Italian strung curtains frame a window by gracefully draping around the window frame with no visible tiebacks. They are simple panel curtains tied back in a special way. Because the tieback method installs on the back of the curtains, there is no visible means of making the curtains drape. This makes them an intriguing feature to the room as well as a conversation piece.

Things You'll Need

  • Panel curtains
  • Safety pins
  • Yardstick
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • String
  • Metal rings
  • Eyelet screws
  • Cleats

Start with set of simple, finished, rectangular lined or unlined panel curtains.

Decide how far down from the top of the curtain you want the swag shape of the drape to end. In other words, the edge of the panel curtain toward the middle of the window will have an arc-shaped drape from the top curving toward the side of the window. Decide where you want the end of the arc toward the side of the window to be.

Turn the curtain panel over and mark the end of the arc point by pinning a safety pin 1/3 inch from the edge of the curtain.

Use a yardstick to draw a straight line from the safety pin to the top corner on the opposite side of the curtain panel.

Pin more safety pins along this line at even intervals. The number of safety pins you need depends on the thickness and weight of your fabric and how many folds you want in the finished drape. Use more safety pins for heavy curtains and for more folds. The last safety pin should be 1/3 inch from the corner.

Tie a string to the first safety pin and thread it through the row of pins to the top corner. Hang the curtain on the window and pull the end of the string at the corner to gather the curtain into a draped arc along the line of safety pins. Adjust the curtain so that the folds are even and has the look you want. If you do not like the look, take the curtain down and redraw your line or change the location of the safety pins. Keep hanging the curtain until you are satisfied with the appearance.

Mark the location of each safety pin in tailor’s chalk. Remove the string and the safety pins. Sew a small metal ring onto the back of the curtain panel at each mark.

Sew a row of rings on the back of the other curtain panel in a mirror-image pattern from the first panel. That way the Italian stringing will frame the window symmetrically with final hanging of the panels.

Tie a string to the rings in the same way you tied it to the safety pins, forming a diagonal line from the lowest ring to the opposite top corner of each panel.

Screw an eyelet into the window frame at each of the top corners. Hang the curtain panels. Draw each string to the top and tie them off at the eyelets when the drape is the way you want it.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to be able to open and close the Italian stringing drapes, screw another eyelet directly above the first two. Do not tie the strings to the first eyelets. Instead, thread it through the first and second eyelets and let it hang down behind the curtain panel. Install a small cleat about halfway down on each side of the window. Pull the cords and tie them off at the cleats to create the drapes on both panels

References

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