Italian strung drapes add more style and elegance to a room than plain drapes. An Italian drape is arranged with a curving, waterfall effect, whereas a simple-styled drape hangs straight down. Almost any fabric can be used in the creation of Italian strung drapes. The focal point for Italian strung drapes is generally toward the top of the window treatment where the heading is located, since the curve in which the drapes fall naturally draws the eye upward.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Standard curtain track
- Drape/curtain fabric
- Lining fabric
- Matching thread
- Heading tape
- Tape measure
- Sticky tape
- Nylon blind cord
- 6 pieces 5/8-inch plastic curtain rings
Plan your drapes so that when they are pulled back, the lower part of each drape will overlap the window by 3 inches. This allows for a generous curve of the drape and also lets in sufficient light. Calculate the amount of drape fabric required by measuring the lengths with a tape measure. Allow 24 inches for turning up a double 12-inch hem. Allow 32 inches fewer for the lining than what you'll need for each drape length, and turn up a 1-inch double hem that overlaps the curtain hem by 1 inch.
Join the heading of the ungathered drapes down the centre to the depth of the heading tape using firm slip-stitches.
Plan the curve for the Italian strung drapes by temporarily fastening one end of the tape measure to the track’s centre. Hold the other end out to the side of the window to create the curve for the upper segment of the curtain. Mark the curve’s lower end on the tape measure with a piece of sticky tape.
Mark out the curve specific to Italian-style curtains by smoothly spreading out the joined drapes (with lining side up) on a flat surface. Remove the tape measure from the track and line the end up so that it is level with each curtain top in turn, laying it flat along the leading edges. Mark each drape with a pin at the marked point on the tape.
Stitch on the rings to both drapes. Sew the first ring for each drape at pin level, 2 inches in from the leading edge, sewing into the drape itself and through the lining, being careful to catch only a few fabric threads. Sew two more rings to each drape, placing them about 10 inches apart, in a gently upward curve toward the outer corner.
Cut two lengths of cord that match the distance from the first rings to the drape’s upper corners. Tie each cord to the first ring on either side and thread it through the rest of the rings. Gather the headings and then hang the drapes. Pull up the blind cords to form the draped effect, in keeping with the style of Italian strung drapes. Tie the available free ends to the brackets on the track.
Tips and warnings
- If you are unsure where or how to position the rings, you can fasten some pins in the chosen positions, thread string through them and view the effect prior to actually sewing them into place.
- Avoid leaving pins and needles unattended.
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