Instructions for Creating Pleated Drapes

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Home Improvement

Drapes are a popular window decoration that differs from curtains in that they are lined and floor-length. They are pleated and hooked onto a rod with a pull cord. There are many pleat types, including goblet pleats, box pleats, French pleats, and pinched pleats [source: Home Depot]. In this article, we’ll teach you how to make goblet pleated drapes.

  1. Measure the distance from the top of the window to the floor and add four inches (10 centimeters) to determine the length of the drapes.
  2. Determine the width of the window, and then multiply that measurement by three to get the total width.
  3. Purchase material based on your measurements. Opt for a fabric with some body to it; if you choose something too flimsy, you will not be able to create pleats. Also, buy lining that is ΒΌ inch (.64 centimeters) shorter than the drapery fabric.
  4. Make one-inch (2.5-centimeter) hems at the top and bottom of the fabric.
  5. Place the drapery fabric on a flat surface, wrong side up. Center the liner on top of the drapery fabric and pin it in place.
  6. Sew the liner to the drapery fabric and remove the pins.
  7. Mark the fabric with chalk two inches (5 centimeters) from the edge. This will be the position of your first pleat. Divide the remaining width by the number of pleats you desire and mark them with chalk.
  8. Place two fingers under the fabric at the top of the drape at each pleat location, creating a cup. With your other hand, pinch the fabric together beneath the cup, forming three pleats. Secure the pleats with a pin.
  9. Fill the cup with cloth filling to maintain its shape. This is the goblet of your goblet pleat. Tack the pleats with tacking thread.
  10. Pin and tack the pleats with tacking thread where the chalk marks are. Remove the pins. Sew the pleats down with a sewing machine. If you’re confident that you won’t run the sewing machine needle over the pins, tacking may not be necessary [source: Do It Yourself].


1. What are pleated drapes?

Pleated drapes are window treatments that feature a series of folds, or pleats, along the top. These pleats are created by sewing in a series of tucks, or folds, into the fabric. Pleated drapes are a popular choice for traditional and formal decor styles, as they add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room.

2. What types of pleated drapes are there?

There are several types of pleated drapes, including French pleats, pinch pleats, and goblet pleats. French pleats are also known as pinch pleats and are the most common type of pleated drape. Pinch pleats feature three tucks of fabric gathered together at the top of the drape. Goblet pleats, on the other hand, feature a single tuck of fabric that is shaped like a goblet or wine glass.

3. What fabric is best for pleated drapes?

The best fabric for pleated drapes is one that is sturdy and holds its shape well. Heavyweight fabrics like velvet, brocade, or damask are a popular choice, as they create beautiful folds and pleats. However, lighter fabrics like cotton or linen can also be used for pleated drapes, as long as they are properly lined and interlined to give them more body.

4. How do you measure for pleated drapes?

Measure the width of the window and add an additional 12 inches to each side for fullness. Then, measure the length of the window from the top of the rod to the desired length of the drape. Add an additional 4-6 inches to this length for the hem and the heading. When ordering custom pleated drapes, be sure to specify the type of pleat you want and the width of the pleat.

5. Can I make pleated drapes myself?

Yes, pleated drapes can be made by anyone with basic sewing skills. However, it is important to note that pleated drapes are more complex than simple rod pocket curtains and require more time and attention to detail. There are many tutorials and patterns available online to guide you through the process.

6. What tools do I need to make pleated drapes?

To make pleated drapes, you will need a sewing machine, fabric, thread, scissors, a tape measure, and a pleating tape. Pleating tape is a special trim that is sewn into the top of the drape and has pre-marked pleats that make it easier to create even and uniform folds.

7. How do I care for pleated drapes?

Pleated drapes should be dry cleaned or professionally cleaned to maintain their shape and appearance. Avoid washing them at home in a washing machine, as this can cause the pleats to become distorted or damaged. When not in use, pleated drapes should be hung on a sturdy rod to prevent creasing and wrinkling.

8. How do pleated drapes compare to other types of window treatments?

Pleated drapes are a popular choice for those who want a more formal or traditional look in their home. They are more complex and require more time and effort to create, but the end result is a beautiful and elegant window treatment that adds a touch of sophistication to any room. Other types of window treatments, such as blinds or shades, may be more practical for everyday use, but they do not have the same level of elegance and style as pleated drapes.

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