How to Make a Roman Blind Part 1: Measuring Windows

How to Make a Roman Blind Part 1: Measuring Windows

Soft Furnishings, especially window coverings make a home, there is no doubt about that! They can often be that defining line between a house and a home. When the sun drops, and you close the blinds, the room transforms into a different space.

Roman blinds offer a practical and smart solution to any window and allow you to bring colour and print to a room. Roman blinds are the perfect option if space is limited as they take up considerably less room than curtains. They can be cost effective too as they require less fabric. When raised, the folds of fabric stack neatly under one another and when down, the fabric unfolds layer by layer.


3 Steps to Make a Roman Blind

We have a three-part blog for you which will guide you through each step of making a machine-made lined roman blind.

Part 1 - considerations when deciding whether your windows are suitable for roman blinds, which is the optimum place for the blind to be hung and finally how to measure your windows correctly.

Part 2 - considerations when choosing the correct face fabric and lining for a roman blind - the size of the print and the weight of the fabric plus a brief discussion on the different mechanisms available to hang the blind with and the safety regulations that you must adhere to.

Part 3 - how to make a roman blind and how to hang a roman blind.


Is My Window Suitable for Roman Blinds?

Part 1 - Is my window suitable for a blind? Where will I hang my blind and how do I begin to measure the window?

The first thing to consider is what material the windows are made from. If the windows are plastic/PVC then they will have a FENSA guarantee, if you drill a hole in that window the guarantee is null and void. With that in mind, if you have that type of window then the blinds should always be mounted on the wall and not on the window.

Next consider the width of the window. Standard soft furnishing fabric is 140cm wide: ideally if this is your first time making a roman blind then choose a window that is square or portrait and is no wider than 140cm to gain confidence. If, however the windows are landscape and less than 140cm in length then there is a solution. The fabric can be turned on its side, we call this rail roading. (In part two we will discuss considerations when railroading a cloth.)

If the windows are wider than 140cm there are 3 questions to consider -

  1. Are roman blinds suitable for this window or would curtains be better?

  2. Can the fabric be joined to make a wider blind (advanced skills)?
  1. How is the architecture of the window? Are there two/three casements within the frame? Could two/three separate blinds be made to cover the overall space?


Single Blind Window


3 Blinds for Casement Windows

Single Blind Window Frame and Multi Casement Window Blinds


Should I Make a Recessed or Above Window Roman Blind?


Once you have considered these factors you can now decide where to hang your blind.

  1. Inside the frame/recess will result in the blind covering more of the window and potentially loose light.
  2. Above the window to maximise light and lengthen the window.


Above Window Roman Blind


Recessed Window Roman Blinds


This will all depend on the individual room. Take some time to consider the following;

  • How much sun does the room get throughout the day?

  • Is the view outside the window attractive or unattractive? For example, there may be guttering that you can see and therefore placing the blind within the frame/recess may hide it from view.

  • How high or low is the window? If the window is low and there is wall space above, then you may consider hanging the blind 20/30cm above the window to create length. You get the idea?

How to Measure Windows for Roman Blinds

So, the final step is to measure the window. Always use a metal tape measure and not a cloth tape as the cloth one may stretch.


Measuring for a Recessed Roman Blind


      Inside Recess Blind measuring    How to Measure for A Recessed Roman Blind

Measuring for A Recessed Blind (Images Ideal Home)


Inside the recess

A recessed blind means that the blind is going to be mounted inside the window recess. Measure in three places across the width at the top, the middle and the bottom of the window. Do not skip this step as the window may vary from top to bottom.

  • Measure across the width in three places
  • Use the narrowest width
  • Deduct one centimetre to give the finished width (this will allow the blind to pull up and down within the recess without catching the sides.
  • Measure the length from inside the recess to the sill.
  • Measure the length in two places and use the longest length.


Measuring for an Outside the Window Recess Roman Blind

(Images Ideal Home)


Measuring for a Blind Outside Recess  How to Measure an Outside recess Roman Blind

Outside of Window Recess

  • Measure the width of the window
  • Add 5cm to each side (10cm overall) to give you the finished width and minimise light creep.
  • Measure the length of the window from top of frame to sill
  • Decide how high above the window (if at all) the blind will be mounted and add this to the length.
  • If you would like the blind to hang below the sill, then add 5cm or however much is required.


Decide which type of Roman Blind and Measure Your Window

Ok, so now you are a master at measuring it’s time to measure your windows and consider your designs before next week’s blog on choosing blind fabric. Use the above guide to decide on recessed or above the window Roman blind and measure carefully using the exact instructions.

Our guest blogger, Bevelee Jay Regan is a professional blind and curtain maker and is the founder of her business Jayworks, where she makes bespoke soft furnishings for both private and commercial clients. Follow Bevelee @jayworks_sf to see samples of her made to measure curtains, roman blinds, roller blinds, pelmets, lambraquins, sheers, piped cushions, bench seat covers, loose sofa covers, bedspreads and patchwork bedspreads.

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