How to drape with voile

Updated February 21, 2017

Voile is a lightweight woven fabric usually made from cotton, polyester or a blend of the two. Referred to as a sheer or sheer fabric, it drapes over a rod or tiebacks to create a simple window or headboard treatment. Don't skimp on the length and volume of the voile if a full, luxurious look is desired.

Sketch a design for the voile drape. Include holdbacks or tiebacks that the voile may loop or tie around.

Put rods in desired place for draping. Insert thumbtacks where voile tiebacks will be placed. Hang string from rods the same way you plan to drape the voile, allowing it to dip, loop and curve just like the fabric will. Mark the string with a marking pen at the points where the fabric will begin and end.

Remove the string and measure its total length. Add 10 per cent and divide by 36 to calculate yardage, including extra for finishing and hemming. For example, if your string measures 120 inches, multiply 120 by 1.10 to add 10 per cent, resulting in 132 inches. Divide 132 by 36 to get roughly 3 3/4 yards of fabric.

Place the unfinished voile into place, and adjust as needed. Pin the hems. Remove the voile, and sew the hems. Hang and drape the voile


Trim does not have to be stitched to the voile but instead can be draped along with the voile, utilising tiebacks. Voile is a thin, slippery fabric, so you may have to adjust your sewing machine's tension adjustment before stitching. Use a small-diameter needle for best results. Hand-stitching may be required. Use adhesive foam pads to hold the drape more securely on the rods, if desired. Place adhesive foam pads on rods to secure the voile. Voile filters light but will not protect a room and its furnishings from UV rays. Add a pull-down shade for privacy and to lessen fading from sunlight.

Things You'll Need

  • Thumbtacks
  • String
  • Tape measure
  • Paper and pencil
  • Marking pen
  • Voile
  • Tiebacks or holdbacks
  • Trim (optional)
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Adhesive foam pads (optional)
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About the Author

Alex Burke holds a degree in environmental design and a Master of Arts in information management. She's worked as a licensed interior designer, artist, database administrator and nightclub manager. A perpetual student, Burke writes Web content on a variety of topics, including art, interior design, database design, culture, health and business.