How to hang pencil pleat curtains

Pencil pleat draperies are a lined drape that gathers at the top into regularly spaced pleats. The pencil pleat is small and tight and looks like a pencil. Hanging the pencil pleat drape is easy if you have good arm strength and a sturdy ladder. This type of drape is designed to be hung on a traverse type rod with a cord pull.

Position a sturdy ladder close to the curtain rod. This type of curtain is heavy and you need to be able to carry the weight of the curtain while hanging it.

Pull on the curtain rod cord so that the master carrier is on the side opposite the pull cord (for a single side rod like a sliding door). The master carrier will stop in the centre of the window if it opens using two master carriers. For a two carrier system hang the drapery closest to the window first. On a two carrier system one carrier is behind the other so that they can overlap when the drapery is closed.

Find the master carrier arm. The master carrier is a rectangular plastic box that is mounted to and travels along the width of the curtain rod. The arm will protrude out from the side of the master carrier box. The arm will have several holes in it.

Insert a pin hook 1/2-inch in from the side of the drapery. Pin hooks are inserted into the back side of the fabric pleats. The pin has a sharp point that should enter the drapery fabric from the back at 1 1/2 inch from the top of the fabric. Move the pin up the pleat until the tight bend in the pin hook seats into the fabric. The top (open hook) should be 1/2-inch from the top edge of the drapery. Insert a pin hook every 4 pleats until you reach the end of the top of the drape.

Insert a final pin hook 1/2 inch in from the side of the fabric even if you have a pin hook within an inch.

Position your first hook by entering the last hole on the master carrier arm from the back side. Position your second hook along the front of the carrier arm by sliding the wide hook through the front of the hole. Each additional hook will go into the small white slides from front to back. Your last hook will wrap around the side of the curtain rod bracket to the last hole closest to the wall. Repeat for a second drape if you have two drapes and two master carriers.

Pleat your drape about 1 foot below the top of the fabric, opening the drape with the cord as you work. When you have the drape with even pleats, wrap a band of paper around the drape and tape it in place. Cut a piece of clean white paper 3 by 17-inches with scissors. Wrap the length of the paper around the pleated drape so that the pleats are pressed together. Tape the paper to hold it in place. This will help the new drape develop even pleats.

Move 2 feet below and fix the pleats again. Band and tape. Do this down the length of the drape. Repeat for your second drape but don't start with a closed drape. Allow your drapes to sit banded for 3 days to train your pleats.


Remove your bands and your pleats should hang straight.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Pin hooks
  • Paper
  • Tape
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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.