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Curtain Length Dilemma: Hacks for Perfect Drapes

Curtain length adjustment, are easily the most versatile decor item for your house. These simple but elegant fabric layings can mean the difference between beautiful inviting scenery in your home or a bland boring facade that has no appeal. 

The best thing about curtains is that of all the fixtures that you have in your house, these are the easiest to change often, the most convenient to have in several sets, and the most amenable when it comes to maintenance. 

They need no special care and whenever you need to remove them, you can simply throw them in the wash, dry them and place them back.

Having different sets of them can be quite exciting every time you need to give your home or living space a different splash of color, all you have to do is change out one set of curtains for another. 

At some point, you may have encountered a beautiful set of curtains that you just cannot forego only to find that it is a few inches too long and instead of the edge barely brushing against the floor it rumples like an untidy heap of fabric on the floor. 

This would be such an eyesore but there are a few hacks that could save you from this unsightly scenario.

What to do if Your Curtains are Too Long

Curtain length adjustment

Trim the Hem

This may seem obvious but it is worth mentioning and is rather easy to do. Simply measure the length of fabric that accounts for the extra length or up to whichever length you wish your curtains to be. Try to be as accurate as possible. 

Undo your curtains and either cut or fold the extra length to create a new hem and sew accordingly. For many people, this may be easy but if you do not wish to risk ruining your curtains then simply take the measurements and the curtains to a seamstress and have them fixed for you.

Sometimes the pattern on the curtain is such that you cannot cut it from the bottom. The solution may be to trim it from the top which needs you to do the same. The seamstress will simply shorten the curtains from the top and your problem is sorted out.

Move the Curtain Rod

You may be hesitant to directly adjust the curtains for various reasons. Cutting the curtains would be improper if they have various fabrics and detailed pattern. In the future, your new home may be designed to allow longer drapes. Moving the curtain rod higher may help.

Moving your rod a few inches higher to allow curtain length may need some minor work with a handyman.

An added benefit of moving the curtain rod higher is that you increase the amount of room occupied by the curtains and if your drapery is especially captivating, then the resultant effect is that your curtains look even more imposing and breathtaking than before.

Fold the Hem Inwards

Curtain length adjustment are unwilling to either trim down the length of your curtain or move the curtain rod, a solution could be as simple as folding the hem inwards and sewing it together either at the top or at the bottom.

In place of sewing the folded hems together, you can also try using pins to hold the folded seams together though with time these could look slightly untidy given the daily movement of curtains when they are being opened and closed every day.

Make a valance

A valance is basically a decorative fabric that drapes over the top part of curtains and adds to its beauty. Curtain length adjustment can be as elaborate or as simple as you would like. A valance can be created by simply pulling up extra fabric over the curtain rod and letting it drape over the rod. 

By gathering the fabric and sewing it into swaying pleats, you will have created a valance albeit one that may not hold up against rigorous movements.

Alternatively, you can have a professional seamstress create a proper valance and attach it to your curtain if you wish to shorten the length from above without cutting the fabric. The valance will camouflage the folding while providing added beauty to your curtains.

Shrink the Curtains

Curtain length adjustment

Most new curtains are cut from new cloth. New cloth is extensively starched and the threads are stretched and dried from yarn manufacture.

Wash your curtains before deciding they’re too lengthy. When first laundered, all new materials shrink greatly, and your curtains may shrink to size. Curtain makers, especially those with a lot of experience, make curtains long enough to handle this shrinkage and with correct measurements that fit your home after one wash.They know the length- and width-specific shrinking of each cloth. Once your curtains shrink after the first wash, they may need little or no adjusting.

Specific fabrics also come with instructions for how to intentionally shrink them further. A great example is cotton or a cotton blend which you can shrink down further in your washing machine.

Simply set your machine to the hottest water setting and wash your cotton or cotton blend curtains. After a wash, set your dryer as well to the hottest setting and dry your curtains.

Repeat the process of washing in hot water and drying in hot air once more. Set the dryer to a low heat setting and let your fabric cool before draping it on your window. This process should take an inch or two from your curtains which is plenty.