How To Hang Ready-Made Pencil Pleat Curtains

If you're not a seamstress, ready-made curtains are a real boon.  However, your beautiful new curtains will only look really good if you hang them correctly.  Here's a simple guide on how to hang ready-made pencil pleat curtains like a professional.

What you'll need

  • one pack of ready-made curtains
  • several packs of curtain hooks
  • tape measure
  • clothes pegs

When you unpack your new curtains, you may find that they are rather creased where they have been folded.  Don't worry; the creases will quickly drop out once the curtains are hanging, especially if your rooms are warm.

  1. Start by measuring the full width of your curtain track.  Divide the result by two, and then add a couple of centimetres to this figure.  This gives you the width you want for each curtain.   
  2. Take the first curtain and lay it out flat.  You will see a strip of curtain heading tape sewn across the top edge of the curtain.  The curtain heading tape will have three equally-spaced rows of string threaded through it.  You achieve the pencil pleated look at the top of your curtains by pulling the strings and thus gathering the fabric.  
  3. Examine both ends of the heading tape.  You may find that the strings at one end of the tape have been stitched down.  If so, proceed to step #5.  
  4. If the strings at both ends of the curtain header tape are loose, gather all the strings at one end together and tie them in a knot.  This is extremely important, as the knot will prevent the strings from sliding all the way through the curtain when you pull them.  The type of knot you use is not important as long as it is secure.  
  5. Take hold of all three of the strings at the unknotted end of the header tape and pull them evenly.  Your aim is to pull each curtain so that it reaches the measurement you made in step #1.  
  6. Before you can hang the curtains, you'll need to put in the curtain hooks.  You will see that there are three rows of curtain hook pockets along the curtain header tape, one above the other.  The row you choose allows you to adjust the length of the curtains by a couple of centimetres.  Place a curtain hook in the curtain header tape every fourth pocket. To secure the curtain hooks in the header tape pockets, begin by sliding the tail end of the hook up through the inside of the pocket and then pulling it downwards as it emerges, so that the curled end of the hook sits snugly inside the pocket.  
  7. Repeat steps #2 to #6 with the second curtain.  
  8. Now you can hang the curtains on the curtain track.  Ask a helper to support the full weight of the curtains as you work your way along the track.  Simply slide the hooks over one end of the track and draw the curtain along until all the hooks are used up.  
  9. To encourage your curtains to 'remember' their pleated form, push the fabric gently back between the curtain hooks into a concertina shape.  Use a clothes peg to hold the pleats in place overnight.  In the morning, remove the pegs.