Since medieval times, rich interiors have been created by using luxurious fabric wall hangings. Dover Castle’s King’s Hall and Bolsover Castle’s Marble Closet show the power of wool and taffeta (respectively) wall hangings to enliven a room. If you are in a rental apartment and you are not allowed to redecorate, draping the walls with material is a good way to create a decorative effect that you can take with you when you move.
Measure the height and width of the wall you want to cover. You should plan on covering the whole wall for a stunning effect. Organza is a little see-through, so if the wall has imperfections you will have to increase the gather to make the curtain more solid. Cut your fabric to be the height you measured plus 10 cm (4 inches) and the width times one and a half or times two if the walls don’t look that good.
Choose a fabric colour that works well with the existing colour of the walls because some of the wall colour will show through the organza. If your walls are white, or if you intend to heavily gather the hangings, then the wall colour will not be an influence on the material colour. Buy the greatest width of fabric available. If the fabric is not wide enough to cover the whole wall you will need several panels. Get the shop to cut lengths of the material so that they are equal to the height of the walls plus 10 cm (4 inches).
Take your panels to a sewing service and have them make hems at the top and bottom. They should fold over 5 cm (2 inches) for each hem and leave the sides open.
Drill holes at the top left and right and bottom left and right corners of the wall. If you can, drill them in adjacent walls. Hammer in wall plugs. You should not let the flex stretch more than 2 metres (about 6.5 feet) without additional support. If your wall is longer than 2 metres but 4 or less, then drill another hole and insert plugs at the top and bottom half way along the wall. If your wall is more than 4 metres, drill a series of holes at regularly spaced intervals never letting the distance between two points exceed 2 metres. Screw hooks into each wall plug.
Screw an eye into one end of your curtain flex and fix it to the hook at one end of the wire. Run the flex to the other end of the wall, getting it above the intermediate supporting hooks. Stretch the wire taught and then mark off the length. Cut the flex with pliers and then cut off another piece of flex to the same length. Screw another eye into your first wire and screw eyes into the ends of your second flex.
Thread one flex through the top hem of all your organza panels gather them up tightly so you have spare flex at either side. Thread the second flex through the bottom hem of the panels and gather them up. Hold both flexes in a loop to stop the curtains from slipping off. Loop the left eye over the first top hook at the left side of the room and hook the bottom eye over the left-most bottom hook. Go to the other end of the wall and stretch out the top flex until it catches over the right-most hook and then the same at the bottom.
Space out the gathering evenly to fill the wall. You will have to snip the seam at the back if you have any intermediate hooks to prevent sagging.
Things you need
- Curtain flex
- ½ inch bit
- Wall plugs
- Felt pen
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