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How to repair drawstring curtains

Updated June 13, 2017

Drawstring curtains hang on rods that adjust to fit many sizes of windows. The rod utilises pulleys and sliders to move the curtain when the drawstring is pulled. The drawstring curtain fabric has a longer life because the fabric is not pulled on directly when opening and closing. Several components of the curtain may occasionally need repair. Homeowners can make these repairs to avoid a costly service call.

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  1. Inspect the drawstring. If the curtains do not close completely and jerk or stall when pulling on the string, the string likely needs replacement because of knotting, fraying or installation of a string that's too short.

  2. Measure the width of the rod, double the measurement and add 3 inches. Cut a new string to equal this measurement, using scissors. Remove the old string. From the left side of the rod, place one end of the new string in the hole on the right side of the upper carriage. Tie a knot in the end of the string. Position the opposite end of the new string on the pulleys on the rod's right side. Place the new string between the pulleys.

  3. Place the excess string on the top of the pressure pulley and pull the string into position on the upper carriage. The string must stay taut on both sides. Pull the string to position the lower carriage to the far left side of the rod. Pull the string until the loop is removed.

  4. Remove unneeded sliders from the drawstring rod. If the drawstring curtain jerks or stays open, extra sliders may be in the rod. Removing unused sliders allows the drawstring curtain to close correctly.

  5. Lower the end gate on the back of the drawstring curtain rod. Slide the sliders off the string.

  6. Reposition the end gate and press firmly to ensure it is locked in the up position.

  7. Examine the drawstring system for foreign objects. Excessive dust, fabric fibres or other build-up can damage the curtain.

  8. Move the sliders from side to side to remove the debris from underneath the sliders.

  9. Wipe the pulley grooves with a dry cloth while moving the string back and forth.

  10. Tip

    Cleaning drawstring curtain systems once a month with a can of compressed air can reduce the need for a thorough cleaning to twice a year.


    The extra sliders may be needed in the future, depending on the next set of drawstring curtains.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • String
  • Scissors

About the Author

Jennifer Terry is program director for TriCounty Agency for Intellectual Disabilities. As a University of Alabama graduate, she holds a Masters in rehabilitation counseling and a Bachelor in psychology with an emphasis in child development. She also earned an Associate in business management and second Associate in computer information systems from Bevill State Community College. She holds a grant writing certificate from North Georgia College and State University.

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