How to make silk curtains

Updated February 21, 2017

Sewing curtains is not difficult; however, sewing silk curtains poses some specific challenges. If you want to make silk curtains, you should be prepared to line and interline your curtains. Choose a good quality silk and be sure that you make your curtains full enough to show off the beautiful fabric. Silk is an ideal choice for a formal living or dining room, but synthetic silks may be better in family room or bedroom.

Choose the right type of silk for your curtains. Fine, light silks are not suitable for silk curtains. A heavy woven silk brocade or twill will work well, as will silk dupioni. You will also need a cotton lining fabric and cotton flannel for interlining to create durable silk curtains. Silk is not light tolerant, so these extra layers will help to protect your curtains from sunlight (see References 2).

Measure the desired length of your curtains. If you want a floor length curtain, measure from your rod to the floor. Add 10 1/4 inches to this for a standard one inch rod and doubled 4 inch hem. If you want your curtains to puddle on the floor, add an additional 18 inches to the total measurement. Your curtains should be at least double the width of your window; however, a triple width will look much richer and more elegant. Allow an additional 2 1/2 inches in width per panel to account for side hems (see References 1).

Cut your lining, interlining and silk to the measurements for your silk curtains. Be sure that all panels are perfectly even and on grain. Pin all three layers together using fine silk pins. You should now have a sandwich of lining, interlining and outer fabric.

Iron, using a silk setting on your iron, each long edge under 1/4 inch and then one inch. Stitch into place to finish the sides of your silk curtain panels.

Press the bottom hem up 4 inches and 4 inches again, creating a doubled 4 inch hem. Sew into place by hand or machine as you prefer.

Press the top edge of each silk curtain panel under 1/4 inch and then 1 inch for a 1 inch rod. Be sure to account for the size of your rod when measuring and sew your casing accordingly.

Add ribbons, trimmings or accents if desired. For the best result, these should be sewn in place by hand.


Silk curtains will not wear well on a south facing window. Choose a good quality synthetic silk for the look without the damage in this case.

Things You'll Need

  • Size 9, 11 or 13 sewing machine needle
  • Sewing machine and coordinating good quality thread
  • Silk fabric
  • Cotton lining fabric
  • Curtain interlining, preferably flannel
  • Silk pins
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About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.