Custom made window treatments have many advantages since it provides you a lot of control over the project. If you are going to design your own curtains or draperies but never did it before, this could be pretty daunting at the beginning since there are many factors to take into consideration. If you have no idea where to start, the matter of curtain panel width is obviously at the top of your priority list. So, at this point perhaps you may ask the most common question asked by many others already: how wide should curtain panel be?
According to your budget, there are three main options.
1. Economical plan. The total width should be about 1½ times of the width of the window. This is a low-cost and affordable solution and economy is the greatest advantage of this plan. The drawbacks, however, are as well obvious – the fabric is almost flat and very tight, giving no senses of folds and third dimension, and poor visual quality. So, this should be a temporary or transitional solution;
2. General plan. The overall width is recommended about 2 times the span you are covering. This is an optimal solution and the merits are remarkable – even pleats, good textured and layered feeling, better third dimension, and moderate cost. So, this plan is the most popular currently since it balances all the factors that should be considered;
3. Luxurious plan. The whole width should be at least 3 times the space that you are intended to cover. More ruffles, well-proportioned layers, and prominent third dimension are the three most prominent features of this solution, which is preferred in a wider living rooms, big houses, and large public places, etc. In addition, full length panels are highly recommended in this case. However, as you may know, the only disadvantage is that it requires a big budget.
In terms of pleated panels, the amount of fabrics used depends on the size and numbers of the pleats. Generally, to avoid your panels look skimpy, the curtain width is recommended two times of the physical length of the rod. Of course, you can also resize the width according to the actual needs of your case, like 3, 2½, and 1½, etc. However, please bear in mind that make it at least 1½ times in order to make it appear drapey and ample enough after shut.
Besides, in the case of fuller curtains, leaving 1/2 inch span above the floor is highly suggested or it may get dirty very easy if too lengthy and risk leaking light if too short. By the way, if the panel is made of pure cotton, please reserve some more length because cotton fabric is with a 3% washing shrinkage.