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How to sew shirring tape in curtains

Updated April 17, 2017

If you are looking to update your window treatments, you might want to consider using shirring tape. Shirring tape can be used on sheer or lightweight curtains to give the curtains an elegant, gathered look. While the curtain style shirring tape creates looks complex, using it is relatively easy. If you are making your own curtains, first sew all the bottom and side hems before working with the shirring tape at the top of your curtains.

Fold about one inch of fabric down at the top of your curtains on the back side and pin it in place. Place the shirring tape right side up on the back of the curtain, about 1/4 inch down from the folded edge.

On each end, fold in any excess tape so that it is about 1/4 inch from the edge. The strings that protrude from the edges of the tape should be left free. Pin the shirring tape in place.

With your sewing machine, sew a lines of stitches on the side of the first string in the shirring tape. Remove it from the sewing machine. Sew another line of stitches on the other side of the string. Repeat for each string, sewing a line of stitches on either side of each string in the tape.

Knot all the strings at one end of the tape. To shirr the curtains, pull all the strings on the unknotted side outward from the curtain at the same time.

To hang your curtains, you can insert pin hooks at 5-inch intervals into the top of the tape in the loops created after shirring the curtains, then hang the hooks from a curtain rod.

Things You'll Need

  • Sewing machine
  • Shirring tape
  • Curtains
  • Thread
  • Straight pins
  • Pin hooks for hanging
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About the Author

Lissabeth Ross began her career in journalism in 2005 as a staff writer for the "Journal of the Pocono Plateau." In addition to writing for several different newspapers, she served as the editor of the travel publication "News of The Poconos." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Rutgers University.