Your guide to curtain making methods and terminology

You know that the right window dressings can make or break a room. So you also know that selecting the perfect curtains is about more than just picking a colour and a pattern – texture, fabric quality and finish are just as important. But curtain terminology can be confusing. Does readymade always equate to poor quality? Are hand-sewn curtains the best investment?

Read our short guide to curtain making methods and terminology to help you choose the right window dressing for your home.

Machine made

Also known as readymade, bag made or hand finished, machine made curtains are the fastest and most cost-effective to produce, meaning that they are usually the cheapest. Mass produced, they are packaged and sold in set sizes.

The fabrics and linings are machine-sewed, with the seams only visible on the inside of the curtain. Because a small section of the hem is hand stitched, these curtains can be described as ‘hand finished’.  But buyers beware: hand finished does not mean than the whole curtain has been hand made.


Hand-sewn lined curtains

The lining and curtain headings are all sewn by hand, typically taking 2-3 days for a single pair of curtains. Unsurprisingly, the increased amount labour means that these types of curtains are quite a bit more expensive than the machine made ones. But hand stitching provides a higher quality curtain – the stitching is less visible, there’s less stitch tension which can cause the fabric to ripple, and overall the curtain hangs better. Indeed, the difference between a machine-made curtain and a hand-sewn one is akin to the difference between an off the peg suit and an individually tailored one.


Hand-sewn interlined and lined curtains

Interlined curtains have an invisible layer of fabric sandwiched between the decorative main fabric and the lining. Usually adding around 20% to the cost of a single lined curtain, the additional layer of material provides more insulation, and therefore does a better job of keeping your room warm. It also gives the curtain extra weight, improving its drape (‘hang’).


Readymade curtains don’t necessarily mean poor quality, but they are generally inferior to hand sewn. With window dressings typically lasting 5-15 years, it’s worth stretching the budget if you can so that you end up with more attractive, more durable and more energy efficient drapes.


At Furnishing Interiors Ltd we offer a free “advise and measure service” for curtains and blinds. We help you select your window dressings which are expertly made in the UK and fitted by our specialist installers. We provide all types of blinds, shutters, poles and tracks and every style of curtain. Our hand-sewn curtains and roman blinds are made bespoke in our workrooms using the finest quality linings and interlinings.

With over 30 years experience working across properties of all ages and sizes, appealing to all demographics of end users, whether for rent, sale, HMO or serviced accommodation. To contact us email for more information.

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