Many people query; what's the real difference between ready made curtains and custom made curtains? Why do people prefer custom made and why is it more expensive? We’re here to showcase the many reasons why people choose custom made curtains and why they look and feel a cut above any ready made curtain. Custom made remains the popular option for stylish contemporary window dressing and here's why...
Reasons to Choose Custom Made
Bespoke – One perk of opting for custom curtains is the endless choices you have. Don’t worry if this seems a little overwhelming at first, your curtain maker will offer sound advice and great options when it comes to linings, trims, tie backs and much more. To set your home apart from the rest and add that interior design quality you can pick any fabric you like. Just think of it – a world of choice. This is your opportunity to go for something unique, something beautiful and something specific for you and your home.
Dressed to Impress – Ready made curtains have come on leaps and bounds in recent years but many are cheap, disposable and mass made. If you want curtains that look new for a life time then there’s no denying custom is the only way to go. Quite simply you cannot beat the luxury, craftsmanship and perfection of a custom made curtain. The attention to detail with regards to lining, stitching and overall finish is reflected in the final curtain. The quality can be seen, even to the untrained eye.
My Windows aren’t Standard Size – With so many self-build homes across Ireland unusual window sizes are common, making it hard to buy a standard ready made curtains to suit. Often they’ll be too long, too short, too wide, or too narrow. With custom made curtains this isn’t a problem. You have the freedom to measure for the exact window size – down to the last millimetre.
If you’ve converted an attic, opted for sash windows or maybe installed a new bay window then custom curtains are essential for a beautiful finish. You may even have a fitter to measure the exact size, ensuring it’s perfect and tailor made for you and your home.
When designing your custom curtains here’s a few things you need to consider…
- Colour is crucial if you want a long life span from your custom made curtains so avoid faddy fashion colours and stick to neutrals or tones that you’ve loved for years. This way you can keep your curtains and simply paint the walls a new colour every few years – an easy way to regularly upstyle.
- Room Style will influence the weight of the fabric. Do you want formal fabrics or light linens? Make sure the fabric you select it suitable for drapery as some are only suited to upholstery.
- Consider Location and although this might seem unusual, if you're living in a busy city centre or a street facing home then washable fabrics are very handy. When dealing with custom made curtains they tend to be dry clean only but if it’s washable then spot cleaning should be okay.
- Get Samples requested from your local PT retailer. Depending on the light in your chosen room hang them up on a picture frame hook, window sill or mantelpiece and get used to the colour/pattern. Does it work with the wall colour? If you like it after a day or two then congratulations, you’ve found your curtain fabric!
Curtains with carefully selected lining types are ideal for blocking light out or keeping heat in thanks to their thermal qualities. There’s so many options but here’s the options;
- Sateen – a good starter lining, helps protect the fabric from fading and looks good on any fabric where you don’t want or need a specialist finish.
- Sateen fleece – entry level interlining, it has a light layer of fleece added to a lining to give your curtains a voluptuous look.
- Thermal – a fairly lightweight lining with thermal properties to keep you room warm and protects from dreaded drafts.
- Blackout – this is a wonder lining as it blocks the light and is great for keeping a room warm.
- Bonded interlining or Blackout Bonded interlining – these have a layer of wadding added to a regular lining or blackout lining as you choose. They add a thick luxurious look to your curtains, but are most suitable for fabrics that are a little stiffer due to the way they drape.
- Interlining – The ultimate in curtain lining, your curtain is made in 3 layers; fabric, interlining and lining. The look is really plush and drapes very well. This adds a beautiful finish to lighter fabrics like silks or satin's.
Choosing custom made curtains means you can decided on the finished heading. The heading will depend on your curtain pole in some cases;
- Pencil pleat – these curtain heading usually consists of three rows of string threaded through it for three hook positions to suit all types of track and pole. It’s the most basic type of curtain heading and the top tape is washable. No other custom made curtains are washable as they’re made with a stiffener on top which goes limp if wet
- Eyelets – this is a contemporary look using slightly less fabric so providing a cleaner finish.
- French Pleat – a classic drapery heading also known as the three-finger pleat. This heading creates a sleek modern header while allowing the curtain full functionality and fullness.
- Open goblet/Goblet – Goblet pleats are similar in look to pinch pleat curtains. Tucked and folded, goblet pleats are open at the very top to give a 'goblet' or 'wineglass' look. They can be hung from a track or a pole. This style looks best in a formal setting and looks best with matching or contrasting tie backs.
- Tab tops – A very informal heading, suitable for light weight fabrics such as linens and sheers only. These have less fabric than the other headings and look good in the likes of a children’s room or kitchen when you want a simpler look.
Depending on the type of fabric and lining you choose, your curtains will either be machine sewn, a mix of machine and hand sewn, or entirely hand stitched. The craftsmanship involved will never disappoint as they’re simply incomparable to their ready made curtain counter parts. Always talk to your curtain maker about all the options because custom made curtains have quality at their core, and are specifically designed and created for you and your home.