The Ultimate Guide to Hanging Curtains

Eyelet Pinch & Pencil Pleat

Made to Measure


Once you've taken the measurements for your curtains and installed your curtain pole or curtain track, you'll be ready to start hanging them up. This can be a slightly fiddly process, depending on the type of curtain you have, but the end results are always worth it. This guide will show you how to hang eyelet, pinch pleat and pencil pleat curtains in order to get the perfect, luxurious finish.

Before you start hanging your curtains...

No matter which style of curtain you choose, it's always a good idea to iron them before you start hanging. If you have access to a steamer you can gently steam any creases out of the fabric. An iron on a steam setting can work just as well. Take care not to touch or over steam the fabric.

How to hang eyelet curtains

Eyelet curtains are the easiest to install, but there are still a few helpful tips to bear in mind to make sure they hang beautifully.

curtain hanging

Step 1: Gather the curtains

It's easiest to gather eyelet curtains into their pleats before you start threading them onto the curtain pole. When folding the curtain into pleats, match up all the eyelets and make sure the first and last pleats are pointing inwards.

Step 2: Feed the curtain pole through the eyelets

Remove one end of the pole from its bracket and take off the finial. Then, feed it through the eyelets on your curtain. Before adding the last eyelet, place the pole back in the bracket so that the final pleat sits between the bracket and the finial. Reattach the finial and repeat the process on the other side.

How to hang pinch pleat curtains

Pinch pleat curtains arrive already pleated and are fairly simple to hang. Unlike eyelets, they can be hung on either a pole or a track.

pleat curtain diagram

Step 1: Check you have the right number of curtain rings/track runners

The first thing to do when you unpackage your pinch pleat curtains is to count how many hooks are sewn into the pleats. You then need to make sure you have the same number of curtain rings or track runners.

Step 2: If needed, adjust the hooks

Because pinch pleat curtains have hooks sewn into the pleats, you don't have to worry about inserting them yourself. However, you do have the option of repositioning them. The hooks on our pinch pleat curtains slide down a plastic retainer (if you slide them down too far, simply slide them all the way off and reattach at the top).

The reason for this is that you will be able to adjust the height of the heading. If you have a curtain pole, we suggest having the hooks as close to the top of the curtains as possible. If you have a curtain track, having the hooks midway down or at the bottom of the retainer will allow the heading to hide the track.

Step 3: Attach the hooks to your curtain rings/track runners

Once you're happy with the positioning of the hooks, you can start hooking them onto your curtain rings or runners. If you're using a curtain pole, make sure the final ring is between the bracket and the finial. If you have a curtain track, attach the last curtain hook to the fixed runner at the end.

How to hang pencil pleat curtains

Pencil pleat curtains aren't difficult to hang but they require a bit more patience than the other two types. Don't worry, though - we'll explain each step in detail to make the process as simple as possible.

pencil pleat curtain diagram

Step 1: Measure the curtain pole or curtain track

Before anything else, use a measuring tape to measure the curtain pole or track from end to end. Divide this measurement in half and note it down: this is the width you'll want each of your curtains to be.

Step 2: Tie the cords at one end of the heading

You'll notice that at each end of your curtain heading, there are three strands. These are what you pull in order to tighten the heading into pleats. BUT, you must tie off one end, otherwise the threads will be pulled through and you might lose them (or they'll come out the other end)! Simply take all three strands together and tie them in a double knot.

Step 3: Pull the cords

Once you have tied a knot in one end, you can begin pulling the cords at the other end to create pleats and reduce the width of the curtain. The easiest way to do this is by laying the curtain across a flat surface, such as a table or ironing board. If you can, lay out a measuring tape above the heading of your curtain so you can keep an eye on the width as you're tightening the cords.

Keep pulling until the width is the same as the half measurement you took earlier, plus a couple of centimetres to allow some overlap.

The tied cords should be positioned on the outside edges and can be neatly concealed behind the curtain header tape.

Step 4: Tie off the other side

Tie off the cords at the other end of the curtains, but this time use a slipknot. This type of knot is easier to undo, which will be helpful if you want to adjust the curtains at any point or take them down to be washed.

Step 5: Neaten the pleats

You'll probably notice that the pleats in the heading are pretty uneven at this point. Spend some time redistributing them, aiming for each pleat to be roughly the width of a pencil.

Step 6: Insert the hooks

Count how many curtain rings or track runners there are and divide this number by half - this is the amount of hooks you will need on each curtain.

There are three pockets on the back of the curtain tape where you can attach your hooks. This allows you to determine the height of your curtain heading. If you have a curtain pole, attach the hooks to the top pocket. If you have a track, attach them to the middle or lower pocket.

Make sure you have a hook at each end of the curtain, and space out the other hooks so they are four-five pockets, or pleats, apart.

Step 7: Hang the curtains

It's now time to start hanging your pencil pleat curtains! Simply hook them to your rings or tracks. If you have a curtain pole, make sure that the final hook is in between the bracket and the finial. If you have a track, the final hook should be attached to the fixed runner at the end.

After hanging your curtains

Once the curtains are hung, gather them back into their pleats and tie them. Leave them like this for a minimum of 48 hours to help the fabric remain pleated.

And there you have it - everything you need to know about hanging eyelet, pinch pleat and pencil pleat curtains!

Considering blinds instead? Take a look at our guide to measuring your windows for blinds.