How to Calculate Drapery Fullness

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape

  • Pencil

  • Paper

These curtains have a two times level of fullness.

Choosing and calculating the correct drapery fullness for a particular window are room can be a difficult process. It can be difficult to determine how a curtain or drapes will lay before you can actually see them in the room. The more the draperies bunch up, the greater the fullness will be. Some curtains also naturally come with more fullness than others because of the lining, fabric or shape of the drapes. Calculating fullness is largely based on the size of the window, the style of the room and the print of the curtain. All of these factors go into choosing the correct drapery fullness.


Step 1

Calculate the fullness of the draperies by measuring the width of the window plus the frame and any overhang that you want. Most draperies are 54 inches wide, just like a bolt of cloth. Two draperies will equal about 108 inches long when stretched out. Most draperies have two times fullness, which means that they will double in size when scrunched to half width. Some draperies have three times fullness or one time fullness.


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Step 2

Write down the width of the window, frame and overhang. From this measurement, you can tell how full the draperies will sit while hanging in your window. If your window is 54 inches wide, then the draperies will have two times fullness. If your windows are less than 54 inches wide, then it is likely that the draperies will have greater fullness.


Step 3

Pick the level of drapery fullness that you want. The fuller the draperies, the more formal and stiff the windows will appear. Choose less fullness for flowy, informal rooms. Choose more fullness for more formal styled rooms or for rooms that you want to be able to block light from.

Step 4

Pick the fullness of curtains based on the length of the curtains and the scale of the room. Shorter curtains can have more fullness and still look good in smaller rooms. Larger windows can typically withstand fuller curtains without overwhelming the room. In a room with many windows, lighter, less full curtains are usually best.


Step 5

Consider the print when choosing fullness. If you have a small room and a large print on the curtain, a less-full curtain is ideal. Larger prints work best with less fullness, while smaller prints or solid can withstand more fullness in most rooms.


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