How to add lining to curtains

Written by jenni wiltz | 13/05/2017
How to add lining to curtains
Lining helps curtains block more light and keeps their colour from fading. (Stage Curtains image by Darragh Tobin from

There are two ways to add lining to curtains. The method you use depends on the type of fabric your curtains are made of. If you have a fabric that's safe for use with an iron, you can secure your lining with heat-fusible webbing. If your fabric isn't iron-safe, you'll have to do it the old-fashioned way, with a needle and thread.

Prepare the lining

Measure your curtains with a tape measure to find out how much lining fabric you'll need. It's up to you how much of the curtain the lining covers -- you may want the lining to extend all the way to the edges of the curtain, or you may want it to stop at the edge of any existing hem seam.

Buy your lining fabric. Most curtain linings are ivory or white, in one of three weights: light, medium or heavy. Use lightweight lining for heavy curtains, medium lining for most curtains and light lining for cotton or linen curtains.

Measure out your lining's desired length and width on the fabric, marking the lines with straight sewing pins.

Cut the lining fabric according to your measurements.

Iron method

Take your curtains down off the rod.

Cut four strips of heat-fusible webbing, one for each side of the lining. Use the widest size of webbing your fabric shop offers for the most secure hold.

Lay the webbing strips in place along each edge of the curtain (or along the edge of the hem seam, if that's where you prefer). Place the lining fabric over the strips and pin everything to the curtain.

Make sure the webbing and lining are wrinkle-free and are exactly where you want them. Once the webbing fuses, the fabric is in place, and you can't make any adjustments. Smooth any wrinkles now, before you start ironing.

Run your iron along the webbing strips, removing the straight sewing pins just before the iron touches them. The heat will fuse the fabrics together, holding them in place.

Re-hang your curtains.

Sewing meothd

Take your curtains down off the rod.

Lay the lining fabric on the back (wrong) side of the curtain.

Fold a 1.5 cm (5/8 inch) hem all the way around the lining, and pin it in place as you go. Make sure the frayed edge of the lining fabric gets folded so that it's between the curtain back and the lining, to hide any strings or frays.

Sew down the lining. You want the part of the stitch that shows on the curtain exterior to be as small as possible. Keep these tiny, and take larger stitches on the side that doesn't show.

Re-hang your curtains.

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Lining fabric
  • Straight sewing pins
  • Scissors
  • Heat-fusible webbing
  • Iron
  • Needle
  • Thread

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