Making Curtains: Linings and Tab Top Headings

Linings and Tab Top Headings

Locked-in Lining

This is the professional way to line curtains. The lining is stitched to the curtain fabric with vertical rows of loose stitches. This results in the fabric hanging better. The technique is particularly recommended for curtains made of heavier material. You need equal amounts of curtain fabric and lining.


1. Turn and press 5cm/2in single-side turnings. Turn up 15cm/6in on the hem and press. Mitre the corners and sew edges in place, using herringbone stitch or slip stitch.

2. Using chalk, mark vertical guide lines on the reverse of the main curtain fabric, 30cm/ 12in apart. On the lining, trim 2cm/3/4in from the top and then turn and press 2cm/3/4in to the wrong side at the sides and 5cm/2in at the hem. Place the lining on the curtain fabric, 2cm/3/4in down from the top, right-side out and with the mid-points aligning exactly.

3. Work from the middle out, folding back to each line. Make long loose lock stitches down the marked line, picking up only one or two threads from each layer of fabric. Space your stitches by 10cm/ 4in, and do not pull too tight.

4. Slip-stitch the lining to the turnings of the curtain. Turn down the top edge of the curtain and attach the heading tape.


Detachable Lining

A detachable lining is useful if you need to have the curtains or drapes cleaned regularly or if you like to change them often. Like other types of lining, it will help to screen light more effectively and improve the curtain’s insulating properties. However, a detachable lining does not improve the way the curtain hangs.

The curtain and the lining are made separately, the method used being in both cases as for unlined curtains. That done, the top edge of the lining is enclosed in special lining tape. Hooks are inserted through buttonholes in the top of the lining tape, looped onto the bottom cord of the main heading tape, and turned over to slot through the glider. Some gliders have special slots for hooks.



making interlining

Interlining consists of a soft layer of wadding stitched between the lining and the curtain fabric. Available in different weights, interlining makes curtains warmer, blocks light, and keeps the fabric hanging in soft, rounded folds. You need the same amount of fabric and lining as for locked-in lining. The amount of interlining you need is the same as for a finished, flat curtain.

1. Overlap widths of interlining by 1cm/1/2 in and sew them together either by machine-stitching two parallel rows or by herringboning. Place interlining to the wrong side of the fabric, 7.5cm/3in down from the top and centred. Lock-stitch, spacing rows of stitches at 40cm/16in intervals across the curtain.

2. Turn the edges of the fabric over the interlining at the sides and bottom, and herringbone-stitch in place.

3. Apply the lining to the interlined curtain with lock stitches, but avoid stitching over the same rows. Slipstitch the lining to the curtain. Turn down the top edge and apply heading tape.


Making a Tab Top Heading

making a tab top headingA loop or tab toop heading is suitable for café curtains or for hanging panels of fabric. They have become extremely popular of late, possibly due to their ease of making.

1. Make up the curtain in the same way as for an unlined curtain, leaving the top edge unfinished, with 1cm/1/2in extra allowance for turnings.

2. To establish the length of the loops, measure the circumference of the rod or pole and then add 5cm/2in for ease plus 2.5cm/1in for seams. Each loop should be 5-7.5cm/2-3in wide. Cut out, fold in half lengthways and make a 5mm/1/4in seam down the long edge. Turn right-side out and press flat, with the seam at centre back.

3. Fold the loops in half widthways, and pin them to the right side of the curtain, raw edges matching. End loops should be 2cm/3/4in from the edges, with the rest spaced evenly. Tack (baste) in place 1cm/1/2in from the top. Cut a strip of curtain fabric 7.5cm/3in deep and the same width as the curtain. Turn 5mm/1/4in to the wrong side along the lower edge, press and tack. Place the facing against the top edge of the curtain, with the right sides together. Pin, tack and stitch 1cm/1/2in in from side and top edges, catching the loops.

4. Trim and turn the facing to the wrong side and press. Slip-stitch the bottom edge. Thread onto the pole.

03. June 2011 by admin
Categories: Curtains, Interior Design, Soft Furnishings | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Making Curtains: Linings and Tab Top Headings


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