How to Make Pinch Pleat Draperies

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Pinch pleat draperies are a classic window treatment with an updated look. If you’re looking for a step by step guide that shows you how to accomplish this in the best way possible, this article will show you how to quickly and easily achieve your goal. And, if you have blinds over your windows, you can learn more about how to hang your curtains over blinds on our blog.

Let's get right into it.

Measure the length and width of your window.

To start, you will need to measure your window.

First, measure the length of your window from the top left corner to the bottom right. Don't forget to include any curtains or shades you are already using in this measurement if possible. If you don't have anything currently hanging there, just make sure that the measurement is accurate.

Pinch Pleated Drapes
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Next, measure the width. Measure from the top right corner of your window (where it meets the ceiling) and to your desired down rod location on the left side wall (keep in mind how long a curtain needs to be after gathering it at all corners).

Mark and cut your fabric.

The next step is to put a mark along each loose end of your fabric piece where you measured it for length and width earlier.

Create your marks by simply ripping a small line through the fabric.

After you have marked all four sides, it is time to cut each piece of fabric with pinking shears. This will ensure that when you create your pinch pleats they will not fray.

Iron out the edges and pinch pleats. 

Next, take each piece of fabric and iron down the raw edges at least 1/2-3/4″ which will make them easier to work with later on in this tutorial. Now it's time to pinch pleat your fabric pieces. For this step, we recommend using a commercial grade monofilament or invisible nylon thread since a traditional sewing thread can easily break from being pulled too tight.

Lay the left edge of one side of the fabric flat against the right edge of the other side of the fabric – this will create an overlap. Securely hold both sides by hand and begin to pull one piece through the other (threading them together) evenly. 

Space out each loop as you go so that there is even tension on both sides. Continue until you have reached the end. To finish off, secure with an overhand knot at this point on each side and trim any excess thread from all but 3-4 loops on each side (this makes it easier to hide in the hem). 

ironed pleates in curtains
Image Credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

Pin and Attach to Loops

Use heavy-duty thread or monofilament and a blunt needle to pin your pinch pleats in place with four stitches at the top of your hanging curtain.

Next, pull the fabric slightly taught so that there is no slack left before sewing them on all three sides. Push each one up and towards the wall so that they are adjacent to each other (this will give you a nice even look). Secure each stitch while holding both the left side and right side of fabric flat against their corresponding loops. This should create two lines of stitching connecting your pinch pleats to their respective loops. 

Hang them up.

it's time to attach them to their respective hooks. We recommend using a heavy-duty, high-quality loop material with your pinch pleats. Thread the hanging parts through their corresponding loops and secure each end with a small knot.

This method can be used on any fabric or curtain type but will work best on thicker fabrics such as sheers, suede cloth, or silk. You can also use removable adhesive for a more clean-cut look if you would prefer to avoid sewing altogether.

What fabric do you use to make pinch pleat curtains?

When making these curtains, use heavy-duty fabrics such as sheers, suede cloth, or silk are best for pinch pleat curtains.

You can also use removable adhesive instead of sewing. There are several different looks you should try out when choosing materials for pinch pleats; thicker fabrics will make fuller pleats while lighter fabrics will make less bulky ones. Choose the best fabric according to your needs and experiment.

How long should the pinch pleat drapes be?

Pinch pleat curtains should be roughly two to four times the desired length hanging horizontally. For example, for a window that is 60″ or 36″, the pinch pleat curtain should be at least 120″ or 72″. The same applies to how high to hang the curtains vertically.

How to make pinch pleats with no sewing?

You can use removable adhesive by simply printing off the pattern template on computer paper and then applying some glue over the template's guidelines. Next, cut your fabric even with the traced lines and apply adhesive to the backside of your fabric along with the edges and place them next to each other on a flat surface.

After 15 minutes peel apart and set aside until dry (drying time varies by adhesive). Remove any traceable glue from the front side of the fabric before continuing.

How much does it cost to make pinch pleats for a window?

Estimating the cost of pinch pleat curtains is hard to do due to the many factors that go into it, such as fabric and labor costs.

The best way to get a good idea is to look at similar curtains or draperies and see how much they would cost if you were to purchase them.

On average, curtain rods are about $3-$5 per foot with each 4-6 foot drapery rod costing roughly between $10-$20.

Make Interlined Hand Pleated Draperies
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When you buy ready-made pinch pleats (you can buy them at places like IKEA), a 9″ long pinch pleat costs anywhere from $2-$12 to buy alone. This includes both the flat and gathered parts for one curtain.

These prices also include sewing it on your machine or using adhesive to stick it on, so this price could go up depending on how much work you would prefer to do yourself.

Final thoughts on how to make pinch pleat draperies

In conclusion, making pinch pleat curtains is a great way to add texture and create new, bold looks for your windows. It can also make an otherwise ordinary window look more elegant or luxurious, so don't be afraid of trying out new possibilities.

Playing around with the gathered and flat parts in different directions can give your curtain a unique feel so experiment until you find what works best for you.


Ben James

Ben James

Ben is an experienced content writer with a passion for kitchen remodeling. He loves writing about latest kitchen designs & trends so that he can educate our readers make the best decisions possible when it comes to kitchens.

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