How to Measure for Pinch Pleat Curtains

Are you looking to add a touch of elegance to your home? Pinch pleat curtains are the perfect way to do this! But before you can get started on your project, you’ll need to measure the area where you plan to hang them. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to measure pinch pleat curtains.

How to Measure for Pinch Pleat Curtains

Curtains can instantly add texture and refinement with their neat shape and attractive design. Measuring for these window treatments is simple, too – all you need to do is follow the basics below, and you’ll be on track to adding a classic touch of style to any room in your home.

From crafting intricate valances out of fabric or repurposing old fabric into stunning drapes, learning how to measure for pinch pleat curtains is an essential part of any DIY project!

What Will You Need?

Before you can measure your windows, you must assemble a few supplies. This includes:

  1. A tape measure
  2. Pencil and paper
  3. Step stool or ladder (if needed)

Now that you have all the necessary supplies gathered, it’s time to measure. Here are the steps to follow when measuring your windows for pinch pleat curtains.

10 Easy Steps on How to Measure for Pinch Pleat Curtains

Step 1: Determine the Location

Before you begin measuring, it’s important to figure out where the curtains will be hung. Decide whether you want them inside or outside the window frame, which will determine the measurements you need to take. If you plan on hanging curtains inside the window frame, measure from there; if outside the frame, measure the width of the wall or space where the curtains will be hung.

You Want Them Inside or Outside the Window Frame

Step 2: Measure the Width 

Using your tape measure, measure from one side of the frame to the other on both sides. If you plan to hang them outside of the frame, then add 4-6 inches extra for a better fit. Write down the measurements on your paper.

Step 3: Measure the Height

Extend your tape measure from the top of the window frame to the desired length below. You’ll want to hang your curtains here, so measure accordingly. If you plan to hang them outside of the frame, add an extra 6-8 inches for a better fit. Record this measurement as well.

Step 4: Measure the Curtain Track or Rod Width 

Measure and record this measurement if you plan on using a track or rod for installation. You can use a metal ruler or measuring tape to get an accurate measurement. Most curtain tracks are 2-3 inches wide, but it’s best to double-check before you purchase your curtains.

Step 5: Add Extra Length For Heading Tape and Hemming 

Add an additional 2-3 inches to each side of your width dimension when measuring for pinch pleat curtains to allow for hems and heading tape. When the curtains are installed, this will give you a better fit and fuller look. Be careful not to add too much, as this could cause the curtains to hang too low.

Allow for Hems and Heading Tape

Step 6: Calculate the Finished Length 

Once you have all your measurements written down, it’s time to calculate the finished length of your curtains. Take the height measurement and add double that amount to get the correct finished length – this will accommodate for even fullness when hanging. Ensure the curtains will hang at least 3 inches from the floor.

Step 7: Add a Header 

Add an additional 2-3 inches above the top of your window frame to account for a header. This will also provide a better fit when the curtain is hung. Additionally, most pinch pleat curtains come with a pre-attached header, so make sure to measure for it as well.

Step 8: Check Measurements Against Curtain Panel Widths 

Compare your measurements with those on standard curtain panels; if they match or are within 1 inch of each other, you’re in luck! Otherwise, you may need to purchase custom-made curtains or fabric for a better fit. As a general rule, most pinch pleat curtains come in lengths of 84-120 inches and widths between 54-108 inches.

Step 9: Calculate the Total Fabric Needed 

Multiply the width of your curtains by their finished length, and divide the result by 36 inches (or whatever unit of measurement applies to the fabric being used). This will give you the total amount of fabric needed for your project. Keep in mind that most pinch pleat curtains will need a minimum of two layers of fabric.

Step 10: Shop for Your Supplies 

Once all the measurements have been taken and recorded, it’s time to shop for supplies. Double-check that all materials – such as rods, tracks, hooks, and linings – are included in your purchase. Remember, pinch pleat curtains come with pre-attached heading tape, so you won’t need to buy any extra.

Now that you know measure pinch pleat curtains, it’s time to get started on your DIY project! With the right materials and measurements, you’ll be able to hang beautiful curtains that will add warmth, style, and character to any room in your home. 

You Know Measure Pinch Pleat Curtains

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. When measuring for pinch pleat curtains, be sure to leave some extra room at the top and sides so that they can be adjusted as necessary.
  2. If you measure for curtains to fit a window that is not square, consider investing in a curved track so that the pleats all fit evenly across the window.
  3. When measuring, make sure to double-check your measurements at least twice to ensure accuracy.
  4. Make sure you take into account any trim or moldings on the windowsill, as this may affect where you hang the curtains and how much fabric you need to purchase.
  5. It’s best to hang pinch pleat curtains from a pole rather than a rod, as it will provide better tension and support for the pleats.

Follow manufacturer instructions for the installation of poles if needed.  Overall, measuring pinch pleat curtains can be intimidating – but with careful attention to detail and these helpful tips, you can be sure that your window treatments will turn out just as you imagined! 

5 Things You Should Avoid:

  1. Avoid measuring without taking into account any trim or moldings on the windowsill.
  2. Don’t forget to double-check your measurements at least twice to ensure accuracy.
  3. Don’t hang pinch pleat curtains from a rod, as this can cause the pleats to sag over time.
  4. Do not leave too much fabric at the top and sides of the window, otherwise, it may look bunched up when hung correctly.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it –friends and family are great resources! 

With their help, measuring for pinch pleat curtains should be a snap!

Do You Need Special Hooks for Pinch Pleat Curtains?

The short answer is yes – pinch pleat curtains require special hooks to hang properly. These hooks attach to the back of each panel, allowing the fabric to glide smoothly along a track or rod and creating perfect pleats.

Another option is a slightly larger pin hook with two hooks that fit through the back of each panel. For an even more finished look, consider investing in a clip-on or tape-on pleater, which attaches to the top of your curtains so they already have pre-made pleats when you hang them up.

 Hooks Attach to the Back of Each Panel

However, these hooks may not be necessary for all types of window treatments – always consult with your manufacturer or installation professional before purchasing any special hardware.  With the right tools and knowledge, measuring pinch pleat curtains can be a breeze!  Happy decorating!

What Are the Advantages of Pinch Pleat Curtains?

Pinch pleat curtains are a great choice for window treatments because they look neat and elegant, adding class and sophistication to any room. They also create the illusion of height in a space, making them perfect for low ceilings.

Unlike other types of curtains, pinch pleats can be opened or closed as needed to control light levels without taking away from their stylish aesthetic. Additionally, pinch pleat curtains can provide extra insulation depending on the fabric used, which helps keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Overall, pinch-pleated curtains offer a classic look that is sure to complement any decor scheme! With proper measuring techniques and the right hardware, you’ll have the perfect custom-fit window coverings in no time. 


In conclusion, measuring for pinch-pleat curtains can be demanding; however, with the proper tools and equipment and these step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to measure for your pinch-pleat curtains successfully.

The process isn’t overly difficult as long as you pay attention to detail and use patience while taking careful measurements. After all of the hard work, you will have a newfound confidence in crafting projects you design from start to finish. 

Not only will this contribute to making your home more beautiful, but it will also help create a warm, inviting atmosphere. Unleash your inner DIY genius by taking on this simple yet skillful project today! Who knows, maybe creating custom pieces may even become an addictive side hobby or business venture of yours.

Hopefully, the article on how to measure for pinch pleat curtains was useful for you to understand the process and make it an easy and successful one!  Good luck with your project!

Photo of author

Jennifer Branett

Leave a Comment