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How to Make Ripplefold-Type Curtains

Ripplefolds start out as flat panels.
John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Whether you use ripplefold curtains for the home or institutions, you are dealing with draperies that are convenient and easy to maintain. You can make ripplefold curtains from flat panels of fabric, creating the ripples by means of snaps on the header of the curtain panels that allow the fabric to be pleated to a given fullness. Once you attach the snaps to the carriers on the track, you can slide the curtains open and shut.

Things You'll Need:

  • Carriers
  • Nylon tape with preattached snaps
  • Master snaps
  • Marker
  • Eyelet
  • Bench snap tool
  • Scissors
  • Curtain fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • Track system

Determine the width of the ripplefold curtains and desired fullness. For example, you may want the track to cover 170 inches and be 60 percent full.

Ascertain the type of closing system you want, whether one way or two way; also figure on the type of hardware you will use, which will differ depending on your choice of butting or overlapping mechanisms. The first type will join together in the center, while the latter will overlap for greater privacy.

Calculate coverage per panel, depending on one-way or two-way draw. Remember that coverage per panel for a two-way draw system will be half the width of a one-way single panel, which should be the width of the track.

Use the fullness and coverage to determine how many carriers you will need. Refer to the suggestions from your curtain fabricator the appropriate number of the required elements. You may need eight to more than 100 carriers, depending on fullness and coverage specifications.

Secure snaps and returns by cutting the length of nylon tape required to attach the first two snaps to the master carrier. Work on that end first before attaching snaps for the return. Space the two master snaps according to the requirements for the type of ripplefold.

For example, for ripplefold curtains that "butt" together at the center, mark the second master snap 1 inch before the first factory snap. Add the second master snap by piercing the tape at the marked spot with the eyelet, add the male snap and rivet with the bench snap tool.

Cut the panels, making room for a 1-inch hem at the heading. Place the tape on the heading of the panels. Sew as close to the top of the heading as you can, starting from the master end.

Attach the panels to the curtain track set by snapping the snaps into the carriers, beginning from the master carrier.

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