Joins & Pattern Matching in Made-to-Measure Curtains

Extra wide drapery panels


Made-to-measure curtains are designed to accommodate any length or width requirements. From an extra-short window in your basement to the majestic picture windows of a grand living room, custom curtains allow homeowners to personalise their window treatments for a perfect fit in any space. 

But while our clients appreciate the bespoke nature of these curtains - tailored precisely to their needs - what may sometimes catch them off guard is the vertical seams running through their custom-made, extra-wide drapery panels.

All fabric bolts come in continuous running lengths, thus, extra-long curtains can be stitched without any seams or joints to achieve the desired lengths. However, since most bolts are produced in fixed widths of 137cm,  it's standard industry practice to join two widths of the bolts together to achieve the necessary panel width. Therefore, when crafting wider drapery panels, a seam becomes unavoidable. 

While most clients are aware of this and 'expect' seams, this can come as a surprise to some clients, especially if ordering made-to-measure drapes for the first time.

The aim of this mini-blog post from our stylists is to assure you that while seams are unavoidable, they can be very discreet if handled well by tailors, and by clients at the time of ordering & mounting. Furthermore, while they are noticeable at a close distance if one’s really looking for them, they become almost imperceptible once the drapery is hung with gathered pleats at a distance. 

Factors Affecting Seam Visibility 

Our tailors and seamstresses make every effort to ensure that seams are sewn skillfully and made as discreet as possible, but the choice of fabric plays an equally important role as some fabrics present better opportunities for seams to ‘blend in’. 

Curtain joins in patterned drapes


Patterned and printed fabrics allow seams to ‘hide’ more easily than plain fabrics. The busier the pattern, the better camouflaged your drapery seam can be. Our tailors carefully match the motifs along the curtain joins to make the seam look as unobtrusive as possible, while preserving the flow of pattern across the panel width. 

Another factor that can contribute to making the seams more or less conspicuous is the colour of the fabric chosen. Darker colours tend to be better at cloaking seams than lighter colours that accentuate the stitch. The thickness of the fabric also influences seam visibility. Thicker fabrics, like velvet, are adept at blending in seams, while sheers, being more translucent, are less forgiving, and seams may be more noticeable. The stark contrast is evident when comparing a nearly invisible seam on a thick black velvet curtain to a more prominent seam on a white sheer drapery panel.



Should Seams Become a Make-or-Break Factor When Shopping for Custom Curtains?


Curtain joins and drapery seams


The short and complete answer to this question is ‘No’. Because curtains know well how to keep their secrets! We only need to enable them to do it. Let us explain:

  • Fullness is the Saving Grace: Order your drapes with sufficient width and fullness. This will ensure that your drapes gather with rich, dense pleats, hiding the joins in their depths, unnoticed by anyone. If you skimp on fabric width and order flat-looking drapes, not only will the drapery look ‘stingy’ but the joins will also be more exposed and conspicuous. So, sufficient fullness always does the trick. To understand this better, refer to our drapery measurement guide. But in case, you’re still anxious, hear us out -
  • Distance is the Blurring Agent: Curtains are out there, far on the windows, away from the possibility of close inspection, unlike furniture or rugs that are tangible and close at hand. Unless you’re armed with a telescope to look out for the joins, you’re not going to spot them, so chill! 

Several factors - including the drapery heading style, measurements and lining - go into making the drapery ‘perfect’ in the fullest sense of the word. While seams are not ideal, they rarely become dealbreakers for our clients. The curtain panel width decision should ideally be guided by more important factors such as window width, coverage requirements and desired visual appeal. 

So unless you’re too sensitive to joins in the drapery that you would order multiple narrow panels to escape them, let us assure you that joins in the drapery should not be a driving force when considering and shopping for custom drapes. 

In Closing


Sheer wide drapery panel


So, that was a full circle on the topic of curtain joins. Now you know that joins are inevitable on extra-wide panels and relative to other factors, they will have minimal aesthetic impact on the drapery. With that reassurance, our fellow drapers, we leave you with the best bit of the journey - shopping new curtains for your home in any style and size - extra wide or extra narrow, long or short; we’ve got you (and your windows) covered! 

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