Custom or Ready-Made Window Treatments?

Custom or Ready-Made Window Treatments?

There are two frequently asked questions regarding window treatments. The first is if there is really a difference between custom window treatments and ready-made treatments. The second is why do custom treatments cost more?

Whether to buy Custom or Ready-Made Window Treatments, is easier to answer than the second.

Yes, there is usually a noticeable difference between the two.

Most drapery workrooms have quality standards they follow. Most may appear to be little things, but little things often make a huge difference in the finished product. Some of the standards they adhere to are:·

  • Minimum 2½ times the window width for fullness with medium weight fabrics ·
  • 3 times fullness for light-weight and sheer fabrics ·
  • Patterns are matched at seams ·
  • Horizontal pattern repeats are lined up if more than one width of fabric is used ·
  • Pinch-pleated treatments have a 4- 5 inch heading with buckram stabilizer ·
  • Side hems are double, 1½” inch blind-stitched ·
  • Bottom hems are double 4 or 5 inch blind-stitched ·
  • Bottom of corners and seams are weighted ·
  • Seams are hidden when possible (i.e. pinch-pleated draperies & box-pleated valences) ·
  • Trims are applied without “lip” showing ·
  • If treatment is floor length, it ends 1/2’” above floor ·
  • If lining is used, it is a 2 inch double hem 1 inch shorter than the treatment

A ready-made treatment uses 2 times fullness and no extra effort is made to hide the seams. Side seams and hems are a single thickness and the stitching is often quite obvious. Patterns don’t always match and buckram heading stabilizers and hem weights are seldom used.

If you did a side-by-side comparison of the same style window treatment made with the same fabric, one custom and one off-the-shelf, the differences would be visible. One of the most noticeable differences is a result of the “fullness” factor.

Greater fullness treatments use more fabric to form each pleat and leaves less space between each.

The result is a fuller, more luxurious finished product.

It may now be a little easier to understand why custom-made treatments cost more. More fabric and time is involved in fabricating the custom treatment. Adding “the little things” increase the cost of the raw materials and the man-hours involved in fabrication. The fabrics used are often a higher quality, usually resulting in increased cost per yard.

The fabric and style a decorator helps you choose usually can’t be found ready-made. You have a one-of-a kind finished product designed to complement and enhance your home’s decor.

If you haven’t already done so, look at the sketches on the Soft Window Treatments page.

Picture each treatment as it would look if it were a Custom or Ready-Made Window Treatments

Imagine those treatments with less fullness and visible hems and side seams.

Will a ready-made treatment enhance your decor as much as a custom made treatment will?

Are you getting good value for your money? Only you can answer that question.

So…what will it be? Custom or Ready-Made Window Treatments?