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Curtains and Blinds: Your Questions Answered

If you’re looking for made to measure curtains and made to measure blinds but are stuck on where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Our ultimate guide to curtains and blinds covers everything from roman blinds to roller blinds, blackout options to sheers, which curtain heading will work best in your home and more. So don’t worry, you’ll be an expert on all things curtains and blinds in no time. And if not, our friendly team are here to help!

You can contact our friendly customer team here if you have any questions.

To get you started, here are answers to a few common design questions:

Why do I need curtains or blinds?

An obvious answer is that curtains and blinds provide privacy, but they also offer a lot more! Aesthetically speaking, curtains or blinds ‘dress’ a room, softening a hard space and making an interior scheme look finished and considered. And both are a way of adding texture, interest or colour to a space. If that wasn’t enough, curtains and blinds can work magic too. If hung well above a window, they can increase the sense of height, making your room seem taller.

From a practical perspective, they enable you to control the amount of light coming into a space, diffusing it during the day or shutting it out completely when required. They are also great draught excluders, with up to 25% of household heat lost through windows, lined curtains or blinds can go a long way in reducing heating bills. They can also help the acoustics in a room too, absorbing sound and reducing echoes.

Should I choose curtains or blinds?

Curtains and blinds work differently in different rooms and on different windows - in some spaces you can choose both! Take a look at our Curtains vs Blinds guide to help you decide.

Should I choose roman blinds or roller blinds?

Roller blinds are a great practical choice, a more affordable option and great for smaller spaces. Transparent roller blinds are a great way to keep your homes private without blocking natural light. Or try blackout in bedrooms. Both options often look great paired with curtains or roman blinds too! Roman blinds are more popular as they suit most room schemes with a choice of over 300 eco-conscious fabrics, given you the option to add colour or pattern to a space.

sheer bedroom curtains green office blinds

Can you have curtains AND blinds?

Why not have the best of both worlds? You can have a roller or roman blinds inside the window recess for privacy and light filtering, as well as curtains outside the window recess to add colour, warmth and blackout to your room. Or you could double up on curtains and layer sheer curtains behind a thicker fabric for a stylish look favoured by interior designers. This would also give you privacy during the day and blackout on an evening - - - the perfect combination!

When are curtains not a good idea?

You may feel that blinds will look better than curtains in a particular room and common sense will often tell you when blinds are a more practical choice. Our advice is that curtains are best avoided:

  • Over a sink where they are likely to get splashed or stained
  • In rooms with a lot of moisture that is likely to result in the build up of mould
  • Anywhere where they’re likely to be a nuisance and trip hazard. If you’re contemplating curtains across an external door, make sure they can stack back neatly and out of the way when the door is in use

What is the best curtain heading?

The heading will largely determine the style of your made to measure curtains. Headings gather and control the fullness of the curtains, and at Stitched we have headings to suit all settings. Another key factor is the space or ‘stack back’ you have available on either side of the window. Some headings enable curtains to stack back into a much smaller space than others, a key consideration in rooms with small windows or little natural light. The fabric and lining (or interlining) also have an impact on the space curtains take up when open. Heavier fabrics such as velvets and interlined curtains will inevitably take up more space than lighter fabrics and unlined curtains.

The most versatile heading is probably the pencil pleat, great in any setting and can be hung from tracks or poles.

Double and triple (or ‘French’) pleat headings provide a very classic, tailored look. They require more fabric than a pencil pleat, but the pleating means they stack back well, taking up less space than you might imagine. This heading will suit any fabric.

If you’re looking for drama, go for curtains with a goblet heading. Made in a similar way to a double or triple pleat, the ‘goblets’ are formed by securing the base of the pleats and stuffing the tops to pad out the full shape, but require more space on either side of the window to stack back effectively.

A cartridge heading creates beautiful, even folds in the fabric. The cartridge is a simple heading that enables the curtains to stack neatly when open.

Where space on either side of a window is very limited, an eyelet or wave heading is the best option. An eyelet heading creates a contemporary look where the curtain pole is threaded through metal eyelets at the top of the curtains.

A wave heading is perfect if you want to create a simple, modern look. Wave curtains have no gathering across the top, just a continuous, sinuous curve and neatly stack back.

Take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Headings to find out more.

red pencil pleat curtain heading double pleat living room curtains

How to choose a fabric for curtains or blinds?

When choosing fabrics for different rooms, it’s important to consider the aesthetic and function of each space.

In the living room and bedroom, you have lots of options to get creative. For these more intimate spaces opt for a fabric that’s cosy and textured. Our Flax range is a strong weave with a lived-in appearance. However all of our fabrics are available in blackout for more privacy or blocking light, so any of our ranges would work well in bedrooms!

We love roman blinds in the kitchen. Get creative with our range of Cotton Twill or Cotton Weave fabrics which are great all-rounders, suitable for most spaces and in a wide range of colours. Or for a more rustic, timeless look, try Hemp.

Our Wool, Flax and Revive ranges are perfect for bathroom blinds, where there’s likely to be a lot of moisture in the air. Our Revive fabric, made from recycled plastic bottles, offers the ultimate in practicality as it can be cleaned with a damp cloth. A good bet then also for children’s bedrooms where mucky fingers might play havoc with less forgiving fabrics!

If you’re looking for maximum impact and drama, then soft Velvet Curtains curtains have no equal. Our range comes in 12 colours with something to suit every setting. Velvet is timeless, and sumptuous and brings instant sophistication to a room.

Silk epitomises luxury but needs to be used with care as it can quickly fade and disintegrate in strong daylight. Pure silk curtains and blinds should always be lined and are best avoided in south-facing rooms. A great choice if you’re looking for the lustre of silk but concerned about durability is our Upcycled Silk range, available in 8 gorgeous, fresh colours, which blends silk with wool and flax to a beautiful effect.

What is curtain pooling?

Pooling is the amount of fabric that gathers on the floor at the foot of your window. Our standardised pooling allowance is an additional 5cm added to the height of your curtains, which is great for hiding uneven floors and creating warmth and character in a room. Other pooling options to consider are ‘just touching’. Take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Pooling..

Do I need a lining or interlining?

Your curtains or blinds play an important role in ensuring you get a good night’s sleep but every room is different. Adding blackout lining for bedrooms is a great way to make sure you have the option of shutting out any light. It doesn’t just stop there, blackout lining in living spaces, like dining rooms, kitchen or living rooms, go a long way in blocking light and heat in summer months. A lining is also a great way to protect the fabric, and furniture in a room, from sun damage.

In most cases, curtains are a better option for blackout in bedrooms, but if your space is better suited to space-saving roman or roller blinds then the installation is key in making sure you get the best fit.

In the winter months, when things get cooler, making sure your home stays warm is important. Thermal-lined curtains and blinds are a great way to keep heat in, and cold out. When up to 25% of household heat is lost through windows, by adding lining you can better insulate your home to help save on energy bills.

Another option for lining is an interliner - a soft blanket-like layer of cloth which is inserted between and stitched to the main fabric and the lining. Interlining really helps curtains and blinds to retain heat and exclude drafts as well as making them look particularly sumptuous.

Take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Lining here.

Do curtains and blinds have seams or joins?

The possible width of a fabric comes from the width of the roll. If your windows are wider than the fabric width then it is necessary to have a vertical join to ensure the fabrics can cover the entire window. Roman blinds don’t bunch or have pleats so we make sure we use the widest possible width in the centre of the blind for a more subtle seam towards the edges. Unlike blinds, the way curtains have pleats and hang means seams are usually less noticeable and hidden in folds of the fabric. In most cases, curtains are a better option for wider windows.

purple curtain lining curtain pooling

Choosing curtains or blinds for north and south-facing rooms

For south-facing rooms sheers allow soft light to stream into living rooms or dining spaces. In bedrooms, and for flexibility, sheers with blackout-lined curtains will ensure light can be blocked completely. For north-facing rooms choosing fabric colours with a warm base will help create a cost space, try warm yellow or red base hues.

How do I measure for my curtains or blinds?

To get started make sure you have the equipment you need: tape measure, pen or pencil and a piece of paper. Now to the fun part - measuring! Start with the width of your window and follow our measuring guide for flat or bay windows. When you are measuring the width of your windows for curtains but already have a pole, you simply measure the pole from end to end. If not, then measure the width of your window and allow for stack back on either side. For more tips on measuring for curtains or blinds follow our handy guide here.

How to install curtains and blinds

We want to bring out the joy when buying curtains and blinds for your home so everything is super simple. Your curtains arrive ready to hang and blind brackets for easy installation. We also have a handy online installation guide that is easy to follow here.

How long do made to measure curtains and blinds take?

Our made to measure curtains and blinds are hand stitched to your bespoke requirements, every detail finished by hand in local workshops up and down the country. Behind the scenes, our team works hard on design details, from fabrics, and headings, to more bespoke requests. Our lead times are specific for each project, to make sure our sewistas have time to cut, pin and sew to the highest quality and finish. The number of windows in a project can also impact lead times, it takes time to hand-stitch quality window apparel. If you have any questions on projects or lead times, get in touch with our team