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Grommet-top curtains are distinctive because of the construction of the header, or curtain top. Large rings made of metal, plastic or wood are inserted into the fabric at top of the curtain and function as slides. The rod is inserted through the holes made by the grommets. Also called eyelet or ringed curtains, grommet panels have pronounced, uniform pleats that form around the holes made by the rings.
If you have chosen grommet curtains for your window treatment, you may wonder what size of rod works best with them. Grommet curtains have rings inserted into the top of the panel that serve as openings to attach the curtain to the rod. This type of header is convenient for curtains that are opened and closed frequently. You want a rod that is narrow enough to allow the grommets to slide along easily. For best results, measure the diameter of the opening of the grommet and choose a rod that is at least 1/4-inch smaller. For example, if the grommet opening is 1 ½ inches, you want a rod that is 1 ¼ inches in diameter. This difference allows the curtain to slide along the rod but is secure enough to prevent a breeze from changing the position of the panel on the pole. The best way to make sure the curtain and rod work well together is to try a panel on the rod. Make sure the rod fits through the grommets and that the panel slides easily.
Grommet-topped curtains, also known as eyelet curtains, are attractive because of their simple lines and crisp pleats. Grommet curtains must be hung so the pleats are uniform as they fall from the rod. The trick is to allow enough fabric so the curtains are full when closed. Too little fabric flattens the pleats, which detracts from the look. To determine how many panels you need, measure the width of the window to the outside of each side of the molding. Add at least 8 inches to the width so the curtains stack neatly when pulled to the side. Add up to 14 inches for wide windows. If the window is in a corner and the curtain can only be opened to one side, add between 4 and 7 inches to the width. To calculate the number of panels, multiply the window width by 1.5 or 2 depending on the fullness you want. If the window width is 60 inches, panel width must total either 90 or 120 inches. Ready-made panels are usually 45 or 54 inches wide. for a width of 90 inches, you would need two 45-inch or two 54-inch panels. For a width of 120 inches, you would need three 45-inch or three 54-inch panels. Two panels would not provide adequate fullness. Round up as you calculate the number of panels.
Grommet-topped curtains have clean, crisp lines that work well with modern décor. Grommets are rings that are inserted through the top of the curtain material to form the header. Clips and hooks are not needed to install grommet panels. Instead, the rod is threaded through the grommets. Installing grommet-topped curtains is easy as long as you measure correctly. Measure the width of the window to the outside edges of the molding. Add at least 8 inches to allow the rod to extend at least 4 inches on each side of the frame. For wide windows, add 14 inches. To determine the height of the rod, measure from the inside top of the grommet opening to the bottom of the curtain. The length of the panel does not determine the rod height because the grommet is lower than the top of the curtain. To hang the curtain 1 inch above the floor, measure from the bottom of the curtain to the top of the grommet opening. Add 1 inch. This measurement defines the height of the rod. For example, if the curtain length is 96 inches and the top of the grommet is 3 inches below the top of the panel, the rod should be installed 94 inches above the floor. If you want the curtain to touch the floor, measure from the bottom of the panel to the top of the grommet opening.
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