Sainsbury's has lots of inspiring designs and colours, different weights and widths for curtains.
It's worth spending a minute or two, thinking through your décor, measuring up, and considering the look you want.
|What style do I want?|
Pencil pleat: traditional and elegant, pencil pleat headings have closely-gathered folds resembling - no surprises - a row of pencils.
This effect is created by pulling the cords attached to the heading tape on their reverse, and the curtains can be used on poles or tracks.
Tab-top: classic and graceful, tab-top curtains can only be used with curtain poles, so you should take the length of the fixing-tabs into consideration when measuring this curtain type.
Concealed tab-top curtains hide the tab behind the header, and give a pleated appearance.
Eyelet: stylish and sophisticated, these are suitable only for use with curtain poles and have a row of eyelets, usually rimmed in metal, of varying diameters.
The effect when hung is soft folds, rather than pleats, which tends to look more modern.
Note that if your curtain poles have supports running throughout their length, you'll need to use C-shaped hanging loops to ensure you can draw them properly.
|How do I measure curtains?|
Before measuring, it's a good idea to fit the curtain pole or track, which should be positioned 15cm (6 inches) above the window and extend 15-20cm (6-8 inches) either side. Using a metal tape measure for maximum accuracy, measure the total width of the track or pole excluding the finials. Don't measure the window unless it is wall-to-wall.
The total width of both curtains should be between two, and two and a half times the width of the track or pole. Add 2.5cm (1 inch) onto your measurements, so your curtains will overlap in the middle when closed.
Track-top curtains should be measured from the top of their track. Pencil pleat curtains should be measured from the eye - that's the small metal ring at the bottom of each curtain ring. This will prevent the pole or rings from being obscured by the curtain. Tab top and eyelet curtains should be measured from the very top of the pole.
|What length do I need?|
Length is a style-call, and it's up to you to decide what look you want to achieve, bearing in mind that curtains create very different effects depending on whether they fall to the sill, hang just below the sill or drape to the floor. For best results, we suggest:
|Length of curtain||Where it should end|
|Floor length||1.5cm (1/2 inch) from floor|
|Below sill||15cm (6 inches) below the sill|
|Sill length||1.25cm (1/2 inch) above the sill|
|Do I need lined curtains?|
Linings enhance the appearance of curtains, making them look fuller and helping them hang better. They also have a practical function, blocking strong sunlight, which can fade delicate interior fabrics, and insulating your home when it's cold.
Some linings are removable, for easier cleaning, while others are sewn onto the curtains.
If you decide to add linings to non-lined curtains, remember to leave the lining open at the base, so let the curtain 'breathe'.
|How do I care for my curtains?|
When you hang your newly unpacked curtains, creases should fall out over the next 24 hours. Try to hang curtains away from the window pane so they don't come into contact with condensation.
All curtains come with care instructions, which should be followed to avoid damaging the fabric. Don't wash them at temperatures higher than recommended, or spin them for longer than stated. Avoid over-drying curtains - it's better to remove them while they have enough moisture to get back into shape.
If you use a powder detergent for hand washing, make sure that it is fully dissolved before putting the fabric in the water. Try not to rub or brush the fabric, rather, squeeze it gently. To wash dyed and printed fabrics, it's best to use a colour-care detergent.
Lacy machine-washable curtains should be washed inside a pillowcase or laundry bag to prevent damage to the delicate fabric. Shake them out prior to washing to remove excess dust. For extra-delicate fabric, gentle washing in lukewarm, soapy water should remove dirt, and net curtain whitener can also help brighten - DO NOT use bleach.