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How to insert weights in draperies

Updated February 21, 2017

Heavy fabric will anchor your drapes to the floor, allowing them to hang straight down. When a designer mentions a fabric has a good "drape," it means the fabric has enough weight to hang in full curved folds, rather than sticking up in awkward angles. You can improve the hang of your drapes by inserting weights in the two outside corners of the hem of each drapery panel, or create the look of heavier fabric by adding weights every few inches along the entire hem line.

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  1. Remove the hem from each drapery panel with a seam ripper. If you are only adding weights in the corners, just remove 3 inches of the hem in each corner.

  2. Place the drapery weight against the lining. Position it 1/2 inch above the fold at the bottom of the hem and 1/2 inch in from the side edge of the drapery panel.

  3. Sew the drapery weight to the lining with heavy thread, being careful not to catch the fabric of the drapes. This will keep the stitches from showing. A drapery weight has holes in each corner. Bring your thread up through one hole, over the edge of the weight and down into the fabric outside the edge of the weight. Use about 10 stitches for each weight. Tie a knot and cut off the excess thread.

  4. Sew the other drapery weights into the corners of the other drapery panels in the same way. If you choose to include weights throughout the hem line, sew the rest of the drapery weights on in the same way.

  5. Hem the drapes to match the original hem line you removed in Step 1. Stitch the hem to the lining and avoid sewing through the drapery fabric.

  6. Tip

    If the lining does not extend all the way to the hem, sew the weights to the back side of the hem so the stitches will not show. You can use faucet washers as drapery weights. Sew the washers on by stitching through the hole and over the outside edge, repeating all around the washer.

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Things You'll Need

  • Seam ripper
  • Drapery weights
  • Sewing needle
  • Heavy thread
  • Sewing-weight thread

About the Author

Camela Bryan

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.

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