How Much Fabric Do I Need For Curtains?

You might have found this beautiful piece of fabric for the curtains that have your heart from the moment you laid your eyes on them. Now the only problem is you don’t know how much of that fabric is needed for your windows.

Well, if you have never bought fabrics for window curtains before, your confusion is understandable. However, it is not too hard to calculate how much fabric you require. Read all the information given below and you’ll see for yourself.

How Much Fabric Do I Need For Curtains?

The amount of fabric you need for the curtains depends on the type of curtains you are making, along with the height and width of the window. For instance, you will need extra fabric if it’s a pattern repeat fabric. Otherwise, six to eight yards of fabric suffice for 96-inch curtains, while 84-inch curtains need five to six yards. You will also have to allow enough room for fullness when measuring curtain fabrics.

How Much Fabric For Pencil Pleat Curtains?

If you plan to hang the pencil pleat curtains on the track, you will have to start measuring right from the top of that track. It will help to make sure that the curtains cover the track completely when you draw them. If you hang the curtains from a pole, start measuring from the eyes of the curtain rings to the end of the drop. This way, the curtains will hang nicely below the pole.

As such, regardless of the place on the pole or track from where you want to hang the curtains, simply measure from that particular point till the end of the drop.

How Many Yards Of Fabric For 96-inch Curtains?

Now, 96-inch can mean both the width and the length of the curtains. So, here’s taking a look at both the scenarios.

Width: 96-inch

Let’s say the window that is 96-inch in width needs a drop of 55 inches for the curtains to look good. This is considering nothing extra is added for fullness.

So, the first thing you need to do is to multiply the 96-inch by 2.5. If you want fullness, it has to be double of the width of your window. In any case, 2.5 leaves enough room for mistakes that can be corrected. When you include fullness, the curtains have to be at least 240-inch in width.

In terms of the curtain drop, there has to be added fabric for the headers and hems. Suppose you go for 5-inch each for the header and hem. So, adding that to the drop of 55-inch, gets you the new length of 65 inches.

If you get a 60-inch wide fabric, one width of it will not be enough to cover the entire window. Since 240 divided by 4 is 60, you will need at least 4 times of that 60-inch fabric.

Multiplying the 65-inch inch drop by 4 comes to 260 inches. Now, convert this to feet and yards, and you will get 21.67 feet and 7.23 yards. So, if you round up these numbers, it can be said that 8 yards would suffice.

Length: 96-inch

If you want curtains with 96-inch length, allow at least 10 more inches for the hems and the header. So, the new drop is 106 inches. Let’s say you have a fabric that is 60-inch wide and the window measures 120-inch with fullness. As 120 divided by 60 is 2, you will need two widths of that fabric to cover the window.

Now, multiply the 106-inch drop by 2, and you will get 212 inches. So, the result is 5.89 yards or 17.67 feet. All in all, 6 yards would be needed.

How Many Yards Of Fabric Do I Need For 84-inch Curtains?

Width: 84-inch

So, let’s start by discussing curtains that are 84-inch, along with ample allowance for fullness. After this, you will have to measure the drop or length of the curtains.

Suppose the distance of the floor from the curtain pole is 80 inches. Also, you need to allow at least 10 more inches for the hem and a header, which keeps the new length at 90 inches. For the width, we are still considering a 60-inch wide fabric. Therefore, you will need two times of a 60-inch fabric to cover the window nicely.

Now, you get 180-inch by multiplying 90 inches by 2, which is equal to 5 yards of 15 feet. So, 5 yards of fabric would be necessary for an 84-inch wide window.

Length: 84-inch

When the drop of the curtains stands at 84-inch, the required yardage is changed. If you add 10 inches to it for a header and the hems, you will get 94 inches.

If the window is also 84-inch in width, at least two times of the 60-inch fabric will be needed to completely cover it. Now, if you multiply 94 inches by 2, you will get 188 inches or 15.67 feet, which is 5.23 in yards. So, rounding up to the nearest whole number means you will need 6 yards of the fabric.

How To Calculate Fabric For Curtains With Pattern Repeat?

If the fabric has a particular pattern, you will have to consider how to line up the pattern where the fabric is joined. Ultimately, the pattern has to be in the same place on every curtain.

For this reason, you will simply have to adjust the cut drop in a way that there is a cut drop beginning at the exact same pattern position every time.

Here is how you can calculate the cut drop adjustment and the fabric length:

  • Get the cut drop of the fabric divided by the pattern repeat
  • Round up the result to the nearest whole number
  • Use the pattern repeat to multiply that whole number
  • You will get the adjusted cut drop that you can work with

The adjusted cut drop is a whole number indicating the pattern repeats. Note this number down for future reference.

Fabric quantity:

  • Multiply the total number of fabric width by the adjusted cut drop
  • Include one pattern repeat to the calculation to have the freedom to select where the pattern begins

How Much Fabric Do I Need For Eyelet Curtains?

If you want to hang beautiful eyelet curtains, start measuring right from the top of the pole to the finished drop. Now, add on five cm to it because eyelets are usually set five cm down beginning from the top half of the fabric. Thus, you will have to allow for at least five cm clearance over the curtain poles.

How Do I Calculate How Much Fabric I Need For Curtains?

In order to calculate how much fabric is needed for the curtains, find out the width and height of the window. Also, you have to think about the width of your chosen fabric. Covering an entire window might need you to join multiple widths of the fabric, rather than one.

For example, when the window is 120-inch wide, include the allowance for enough fullness. You’ll need two panels to completely cover your window. Thus, each panel has to be 60-inch wide (120/2). however, you might have got a fabric that is only 30 inches wide.

In this case, you will require two widths of that fabric for every panel. This way, the total width will come up to 120 inches. Now, you will need at least 20 inches more because of the need to join the seam allowances together and the side hems. What is left after the seams and the hems will simply add more fullness to the curtains.

Let’s explain this further with another example.

Say you have a window with a width and drop of 4 ft. Each. Since it will be easier for us to calculate, we are going to convert the figures to inches. So, your window measures 48-inch x 48-inch.

At first, multiply this width by 2.5 to leave enough room for fullness and pleating. So, the new width comes up to 120-inch. We will now add some more to this drop for the hem and the heading. Let’s say we include an additional 5 inches for both. The new drop is 58 inches.

For this example, we are considering a fabric that is 60-inch wide, with no pattern repeat. Thus, you don’t need to buy extra for pattern matching. So, you will need to buy two widths of the fabric to cover the window with enough fullness.

So, multiple the 60-inch drop by 2, and you will get 120-inch. If you convert the number, you will get 3.33 yards or 10 feet. As always, you will have to round up to the nearest whole number. Thus, these curtains will require at least 4 yards of fabric.

The Endnote

Hopefully, it will now be easier for you to measure curtains for both windows and doors. Just remember that the amount of fullness you want in your curtains is your choice. So, adjust the figures mentioned above accordingly.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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