How to Make Triple Pleat Curtains

Updated February 21, 2017

Pin hooks are used to form the pleats in triple pleat curtains. The four-pin hooks are used with pleating tape to shape the triple pleats. You can determine the amount of fabric you will need by making a model of the drapes with the pleater hooks and tape on your actual curtain rod, then you will be sure you are purchasing the correct amount of fabric.

Cut two pieces of pleater tape approximately one and a half times the width of your window, if you are making traditional panels which hang on each side of the window and pull together in the centre. If possible cut the tape the width of the fabric you plan to use minus 3 inches. If you are making a single panel which will hang on one side of the window, cut one piece of tape three times the width of the window. For a wide window try to cut the tape twice the width of the fabric minus 4 inches.

Insert a four-prong pin hook into the pockets of the pleating tape. Starting in the second pocket of the tape, insert a prong in every other pocket. This will form three pleats on the front of the tape.

Insert a four-prong pin hook into the pockets of the pleating tape at the other end of the tape, again starting in the second pocket of the tape.

Skip a few pockets and insert more hooks in the same way. Be sure the hooks are evenly spaced along the tape.

Insert hooks in the second piece of tape if desired. The hooks should be in the same positions on both tapes.

Hang the tape on your curtain rod. If you plan to close the drapes be sure the tape will reach all the way across the window. If you are hanging the curtain on a traverse rod try to have the same number of hooks as you have hangers on the rod, but it is acceptable to skip one or two holes.

Adjust the hook placement until you are pleased with the results. You may leave more tape on the ends unpleated or use more or fewer hooks. Cut the tape shorter or add more tape if necessary.

Mark the placement of the hooks on the tape with pins or a fabric marker. Remove the hooks.

Cut the drapery fabric the width of the pleater tape plus 3 inches. It may be necessary to sew lengths of fabric together to achieve this width.

Cut your drapery fabric to the desired length plus 7 inches. Your desired length will probably be from 1 inch above the curtain rod to the floor.

Cut the lining fabric 2 inches narrower and 6 inches shorter than your drapery fabric. Again you may have to sew lengths of fabric together to achieve this width.

Sew the sides of the lining fabric to the sides of the drapery fabric with the right sides of the fabric together and the top edges aligned. Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Turn the curtain right side out and press down the 1 inch hem you have made on each side of the curtain.

Press down a 1 inch hem at the top of the drapery panel. Sew on the pleater tape 1/4 inch from the top fold. Be sure the pockets on the tape open at the bottom.

Hem the bottom of the drapes 6 inches.

Insert the four-prong pin hooks into the pockets of the pleating tape at the top of the curtain at the marks you made earlier.

Insert pointed single-prong pin hooks into the seam allowance at the ends of the prepleated curtain. Make sure the entire line of hooks is parallel to the top of the curtain.

Shape the pleats on the front of the curtain by pinching them together and pulling the creases until they are even.

Hang the hooks over the top of an oval curtain rod.

Insert a hook into the hole in each slide on a traverse rod.

Clip a small ring, such as a finishing washer, onto a clip ring to make a hanger for pin hooks that will work on a round decorative rod. Put the clip rings on the curtain rod and hook the pin hooks on the small rings.


If you can make the unfinished curtains the same width as your fabric your cutting will be much easier.

Things You'll Need

  • Four prong pleater hooks
  • Pleating tape
  • Drapery fabric
  • Lining
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching thread
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About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.