What can you expect from ready made drapes ?
Ready mades come in the good, the bad and the ugly (sometimes real ugly). For the right kind of window ready mades can be a good choice. The Latin term "Caveat emptor" springs to mind, let the buyer beware.
Discover everything you really need to know about ready made drapes right here.
Don't buy any ready mades if you have not seen them hanging. That is preferably seen hanging in real life, or at the very least in a picture. Some ready made curtains are made from fabrics that will never hang well. They have a life of their own and won't fall naturally in to neat pleats. No matter how much time and effort you spend trying to dress them in to place.
Don't buy the really cheap ready made curtains as they really are cheap. The fabrics are usually so thin you can see through them. Also they are made very badly. The biggest problem is often that the bottom curtain hem is not straight. Sometimes by up to 2 inches across the bottom of the curtain. This is a big problem if they are floor length curtains.
Another problem related to the bottom hems again is the length of the curtain panels. The packaging will give you the width size and the drop size (length). Most of the time it will also say "Appox". This means that the curtains will be approximately the width and length on the packaging. This can vary by up to a couple of inches either way. This can be a big problem for the curtain drop size if you need them to be an exact size.
Another big issue is with the color match. That is to say if you have a very wide window and plan to use more than one pair of curtains. That is hanging them close together or side by side. You will find that the color shade is often not the same, sometimes by a big margin.
Rod pocket drapes often come as ready made curtains. The reason is that they are cheap to make in this curtain style. Ready made rod pocket/slot top curtains as they are sometimes know. In my opinion just look terrible when hanging and they don't open and close well either. The only time I would recommend this kind of curtain design is if you are making them your self using one of the easy step by step guides on this site.Discover exactly what the big differences are by taking a look at the window treatment pictures over on the rod pocket drapes page here. There really is no comparison between ready mades and the easy guides versions.
You must by now be wondering if it's really worth the bother buying ready made drapes for your windows. Well the answer for some windows is yes. If your window is fairly small, not too wide or too long.
If you choose a good quality pair of ready mades it can work. Also assuming you can get the color and design in the sizes you want.
I personally would not bother with all the potential pit falls. The simplest but albeit longer route would be to make your own curtains. You can do this by following one of the easy step by step curtain making guides you will find on this site.
You will then end up with these benefits....
1. Exactly the right width & length.
2. Exactly the right color and design drapery fabric.
3. Exactly the right curtain heading style.
4. Exactly the right choice of drapery lining fabric.
For the extra time and effort on your part. You will end up with curtains that are perfect for your windows in every way. You will also discover a new life long skill that will give you hours of enjoyment.
This is even if you have NO prior curtain making or sewing skills
The end result is you will end up hanging new curtains that you will proud to show off to family, friends and neighbors. So take a look at the many easy step by step curtain making guides here.
Discover how to get great looking curtains without spending a small fortune with the Easy Curtain Ideas Alerts.
"Dear Lee, Just wanted to say I found your site last week and it was an absolute godsend. Most helpful and informative - easy to follow instructions - and my very first bay window pelmet looks like the work of a true (and expensive) professional!
The pelmet and curtains both look much better in real life than on the photo of course. My wife thinks it all looks the work of a real pro rather than a first time amateur! Many many thanks for your site.
Kind regards Neal"