How to Measure and Prep Fabric for Pinch Pleated Draperies

What You'll Need
Tape Measure
Graph Paper
Flat Surface

Pinch pleated draperies are an elegant, as well as practical, window covering. This type of drapery is made by pinching together parts of the fabric to make a dramatic look on the drapes. These pinches are at regular intervals throughout the drapery. Making your own pinch pleated draperies greatly depends on making accurate measurements. If you have a tape measure and can make accurate measurements, then you can make this type of drape.

Step One - Draw Your Window

You do not need to be a world class artist in order to sketch your window. Use some graph paper and a ruler to make a scale drawing of your window and surrounding wall. This is going to be useful for keeping track of your measurements.

Step Two - Measure Window

Take your time to correctly measure your window. Use a steel tape measure to make sure the measurements are accurate. You will need to measure every aspect of the window. This will include the width and the length of the window itself. Other measurements to take are from the bottom of window sill to the floor and from the top of window to the ceiling. Mark these measurements on your drawing.

Step Three - Decide on Drapery Placement

After your measurements are made you will once again work with your drawing. Determine where you are going to place the pinch pleated draperies. The most common placement is 5 to 6 inches above the top of the window to keep the hardware from being seen. However, you can place it anywhere above the window. The higher you place the drape the more dramatic effect it will be.

Step Four - Decide on Rod Length

Place a measurement for the length of the rod. It should be at least 12 inches past the window on each side.

Step Five - Finish Overall Measurement

Now that you have all the measurements for the window, you can determine the amount of fabric you need to make your draperies. Add in the length of the window, the center overlap, and the amount of distance it will go past the window.

Step Six - Take Measurement to Fabric Store

Once you have all your measurements ready, then you can take your drawing to the fabric store and choose your fabric. Pinch pleated drapes need to be made out of heavy fabric in order to keep their shape. Sheer fabrics are too thin to stay with the pinch.

Step Seven - Lay out on Flat Surface

When you get the fabric back to your work area have a flat surface available to be able to lay out the entire drape. When you do your pinching of the fabric there can not be any type of wrinkle or folds. This will throw off the entire process.

Step Eight - Mark off Pleats

To prepare in making your pinch pleat drape, mark off the entire length of where the pleats will go. You will need at least 3 inches to make the pleats.