Buying guides

Curtains buying guide

BUYING CURTAINS

The first step to choosing new curtains is measuring up. This way, you can see if your windows are more suited to our ready-made curtains or whether our Made to Measure Express or Designed For You services are a better fit.

Our step-by-step guide shows you how to take quick and accurate measurements, or use our virtual appointment service to get help and advice from an estimator.

Alternatively for window treatments that we will fit, book an in-home visit where one of our experts will come to your home and measure your windows for you.

BOOK A VIRTUAL OR IN-HOME CURTAINS APPOINTMENT

We offer virtual and in-home appointments where you can speak to one of our estimators who will provide a combination of practical measuring, design and technical advice

mesuring curtains

Ready-made curtains

  • Suitable if you want a quick solution for windows with standard measurements
  • Available in an array of designs and styles, including single sheer panels
  • Widths start from 117cm - 228cm per curtain panel and drops range from 137cm - 274cm
  • We have lightweight options right through to heavyweight and thermal, keeping the heat in and the cold out, as well as blackout lined options for a better night's sleep

Made to Measure Express

Browse from over 2,000 fabrics and if you want to see how the colours will look in your home, simply request up to 5 free samples. Make your product selections and Partners at Herbert Parkinson (our exclusive textile factory in Lancashire) will create high quality curtains and blinds to your measurements

  • We can make your curtains to order in just 7-14 days, providing your chosen fabric is in stock
  • Your curtain will be made with luxurious double fullness with your choice from cotton and blackout lining, across four header types
  • Suitable if you have non-standard size requirements or want to tailor your curtains

Designed For You

Simply visit your nearest shop or alternatively book an in-home appointment and we'll custom design soft furnishings for your home. Our Designed For You Curtains and Roman Blinds are available in 4-10 weeks and you’ll have access to over 4,000 fabrics across 20 brands with extensive pattern and colour choice. If you need any help, our experts will be happy to support you with your project.

  • Suitable if you have very large windows or want a show-stopping fabric or window treatment
  • As part of the Designed For You premium service, we’ll do our best to hide any seams / joins
  • When you place an order, if you have multiple windows in your room, we will ensure all products come from the same fabric batch for colour consistancy
  • If pattern matching is required across multiple windows we offer this exclusively within our Designed For You service
  • We offer a wide variety of linings, header types, fullness options and decorative details such as leading edges, pelmet boards, valances, scalloped edged blinds, trimmings, swags, tie-backs and tails for your windows or coordinating cushions
  • Fabric treatments such as flame retardancy can be provided on request

Find out more about our curtains and blinds services.

Make your own curtains

We have a vast selection of fabrics that can be bought by the metre online. You can request up to 5 free samples which will arrive within 5 days. In store we have more brands to explore with thousands of fabrics to choose from.

Shop fabrics by the metre

CHOOSE YOUR CURTAIN HEADING

The style and drape of the curtain is defined by the heading: this is the top of the curtain where it joins your track or pole.

Our ready-made curtains are available in eyelet and pencil pleat heading styles only, while our Made To Measure Express curtains are available in a variety of heading styles:

Barathea Blackout Lined Curtains

Pencil pleat

Folds gathered closely together to resemble a row of pencils laid side by side.

Double and Triple Pinch pleat

DOUBLE & TRIPLE PINCH PLEAT

Decorative curtain heading fitted to each window with permanent sewn-in pleats for a luxurious, tailored look.

Oakley Trees Lined Curtains

Eyelets

Creates large, even folds for a contemporary look. Only suitable for use with curtain poles. Eyelets have a standard diameter of 40mm.

For more heading choice and fullness options simply visit your nearest shop or book an in-home appointment and we'll custom design just for you

CHOOSE YOUR LINING

Linings give curtains a better drape, while improving warmth and insulation within your home.

Our ready-mades come in a choice of linings, while our Made To Measure Express curtains are available in a variety of lining styles:

STANDARD COTTON LINING

Our 100% cotton standard lining is exceptional value, with the quality and drape of a natural fabric. Comes in two colour choices.

BLACKOUT THERMAL LINING

Designed to block light for a better night's sleep and protect fabrics from fading in sunlight. Comes in two colour choices. Keep in mind no blackout lining blocks out 100% of light.

For more lining choice simply visit your nearest shop or book an in-home appointment and we'll custom design just for you

deciding on curtain details

ACCESSORIES

Available as part of the Designed For You service we offer a variety of decorative details for your windows and coordinating products like cushions to complete any room.

Simply visit your nearest shop or book an in-home appointment and we'll custom design just for you

Cushions

CUSHIONS

A matching accessory for your decor, available plain, or with a piped, frilled or Oxford border.

Basics rope tieback in grey

TIE BACKS

Neaten up open curtains using tie backs. We offer piped and unpiped options.

The Basics Plain Cotton Curtains

SHEERS

Available in a variety of heading styles, we have a specially selected range of 30 specially-made voiles, sheers and net curtains

curtain valance illustration

Valances

A valance is a piece of fabric that covers the curtain pole and track, for a decorative finish.

PELMET

Pelmets are upholstered board that can be made straight or into a shape of your choosing. The pelmet is used to cover the track and create a stunning window feature

MEASURING FOR CURTAINS

Watch our guide to measuring up

To ensure the best possible fit:

  • Take time to measure your window carefully
  • Decide whether you want your curtains to hang from a track or pole. You can find more information in our track and pole buying guide
  • Your track / pole installation will be to your own personal preference but we advise it to be positioned 10-15cm (4-6 inches) above the window and extend 15-20cm (6-8 inches) either side for maximum coverage
  • Fit your track or pole before taking measurements for your new curtains or blinds

 

Measuring width

Measure the total width of the track or pole (excluding the finials) – do not measure the window unless it is wall-to-wall.

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 0.5 -1.0cm (1/2 inch) above the sill
  • Curtains that fall below the sill finish 15cm (6 inches) below
  • Floor length curtains finish 1.0cm (1/2 inch) from the floor (although you can create a romantic, bohemian look by having them longer so that they trail on the floor)

Measuring curtains for tracks

Measure from the top of the track.

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.

Eyelet curtains: Use a pole with a bracket projection of no less than 10cm to allow deep “S” shaped wave to glide freely without restriction against the wall

  • Measure from the very top of the pole, to your desired drop length.
  • A heading height of 3.5cm is added to your measurements, when we make your eyelet curtains.

ORDERING

At-home estimating and fitting service

If you've decided you’d like Designed For You curtains and know what style and fabric you want, you can book a free appointment with us to visit your home so we can measure up accurately for you and quote for at-home fitting.

How to pay (interest free credit)

If you spend £1,000 or more on your furnishings, you can spread the cost of your purchase interest free (0% APR representative, subject to status, terms & conditions apply).

What are my delivery options?

Spend over £30 online and you can click & collect your curtains free of charge.
We’ll deliver them for free when you spend over £50.

HANGING YOUR CURTAINS

Setting the width: Pencil pleat curtains

Step 1. For pencil pleat curtains, measure the total length of the track or pole and divide by two to give the correct width for each curtain. If your curtains include part or half-widths, then position them at the outer edge of the window.

Step 2. Knot the three drawn cords on the leading curtain edge. Pull the three cords at the outside curtain edge at the same time and gather the curtain in even pleats to the desired width.

Step 3. Tie off the cord and wind any surplus cord on to the cord tidy provided. Do not cut the excess cord as you may need to let the pleats out to dry clean your curtains.

HANGING: PENCIL PLEAT CURTAINS

Step 1. For pencil pleat curtains, insert the heading tape hooks into the top row of pockets to hang the curtain below the pole or track. Insert the hooks into the lower row of pockets for the heading to cover the track.

Step 2. Insert a hook at each end of the tape, then at approximately 8cm intervals across the curtain to create even coverage.

Step 3. Check you have the same number of hooks on each curtain as gliders or rings on your pole or track. Don't forget to count the fixed end stop when counting the gliders on your track.

HANGING: PINCH PLEAT CURTAINS

Step 1. These are delivered in the correct width, with hooks already inserted and adjusted to the height ordered.

Step 2. Check the hook position. If the hook position needs to be adjusted, it can be done by moving the hook down the slider from notch to notch. To raise the hook, move it down to the bottom of the slider until it comes off, then re-insert the hook on to the top of the slider and move it down to the desired position

Step 3. Check the curtain against the track or pole: we include additional pin hooks to insert at the end of each curtain to suit the track or pole.

HANGING: EYELET CURTAINS

Step 1. Eyelet curtains are only suitable for use with curtain poles

Step 2. Thread the eyelets onto your chosen pole, with the curtain fabric facing the leading and outside edge, so the lining is not on show.

Step 3. The outside edge eyelet is placed between the bracket and finial to anchor the curtain, preventing it moving when curtains are drawn.

CARE OF YOUR CURTAINS

Your curtains can be dusted or vacuumed with the upholstery brush attachment.

RETURNS

All Made To Measure Express and Designed For You curtains are custom made and can’t be exchanged or refunded unless faulty or not as described.

PARTNERSHIP CARD

Our rewards credit card gives you 1.25% back in points towards vouchers when you shop with us.

GET MORE BACK IN THE YEAR AHEAD
GET MORE BACK IN THE YEAR AHEAD

PARTNERSHIP CARD

Our rewards credit card gives you 1.25% back in points towards vouchers when you shop with us.

John Lewis plc, 171 Victoria Street SW1E 5NN acts as a credit broker. Credit provided under exclusive arrangements with the lender John Lewis Financial Services Limited

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INTEREST FREE CREDIT AVAILABLE

Spend over £1,000 on Home, Garden, Furniture and Lighting and spread the cost with Interest Free Credit. 0% APR representative. Terms & Conditions apply