Made-to-measure curtains measuring guide


Curtains provide a room with that "finished look" as well as keeping out bright sunshine, preventing upholstered furniture from fading and keeping in warmth during winter. Our made to measure curtain service offers you a wide choice of headings, fabrics and styles so that you can have a really special window dressing. All you need to do is supply your window measurements and follow the easy instructions on screen.

We pride ourselves on the exceptional quality and production of our made to measure curtains, made to exacting standards by Partners at our own factory in Lancashire. Find out more 

The standard fullness on our pencil or pinch pleat curtains gives a 2.25 to 2.5 times fullness, as we believe this offers a superior quality curtain that will look more beautiful in your home. Our competitors' standard fullness can be as low as 1.8 times fullness, often making their online prices appear cheaper than ours.

If you'd like us to make your curtains with less fullness to achieve a lower price. please visit your local John Lewis (or call 0845 610 0356), and we'll be happy to provide you with an alternative quote.

You might also want to consider eyelet-style curtains (available to order online or in our shops), as these don't require as much fabric to make up, and so can be an economical option - they give you a great contemporary look with one of our many curtain pole styles too.

If you'd like more help with measuring, watch our video here - and you can also find out how to get a flawless finish when you hang your pencil pleat curtains.

Measuring for curtains

To be sure of the best possible fit, take time to measure your window carefully. We suggest using a metal tape measure for accuracy. The first step is to decide whether you want your curtains to hang from a track or pole, both of which should be positioned 15cm (6 inches) above the window and extend 15-20cm (6-8 inches) either side.

Fit the track or pole before taking measurements. Watch a video to show you how for regular windows, or for bay windows.

Measuring width and length

Measure the total width of the track or pole (excluding the finials) – do not measure the window unless it is wall-to-wall. Don't forget to allow for overlap – this is an additional measurement, normally 2.5cm (1 inch) that allows the hanging curtains to overlap in the middle when they are closed.

Measuring length

Before measuring the length, decide whether you want your curtains to fall to the sill, below the sill or to the floor. We suggest that:

  • Sill length curtains finish 1.25cm (1/2 inch) above the sill.
  • Curtains that fall below the sill finish 15cm (6 inches) below.
  • Floor length curtains finish 1.5cm (1/2 inch) from the floor (although you can create a romantic, Bohemian look by having them longer so that they actually trail on the floor).

Measuring curtains for poles

Pencil pleat curtains: Measure from the eye – the small metal ring at the bottom of each curtain ring. This will prevent the pole or rings from being obscured by the curtain.

Tab top and eyelet curtains:

Measure from the very top of the pole.
View our buying guide for curtain poles 

Watch our video guides  showing how to measure and fit for curtain poles

Measuring curtains for tracks:

Measure from the top of the track.

View our buying guide for curtain tracks