Q: We are often asked, “How heavy are my curtains?”
Light, Medium and Heavy Weight Curtains explained.
Curtain poles and tracks are often classified into categories: suitable for light weight curtains, light-medium weight, medium weight, medium-heavy weight and heavy weight categories. But what does this mean?
light weight curtains are curtains that weigh up to 6.5kg per pair
medium weight curtains are curtains that weigh up to 11kg per pair
heavy weight curtains weigh anything over 11kg per pair
Q: What if I don’t know the weight of my curtains?
If you don’t know the weight of your curtains and can’t weigh them easily, here is a general guide.
Light Weight Curtains:
Light weight curtains are typically voiles, nets, sheers and lightweight cotton curtains. The curtains can have a thin lining, but would typically be windowsill length rather than full length to the floor.
Medium Weight Curtains:
Medium weight curtains tend to be 100% cotton, polyester or a poly mix fabric. They can be lined or blackout lined but they don’t have any interlining. They can be full length and they can cover a wide window.
The amount of fabric needed to make up a pair of curtains (or single curtain) is worked out on a multiplier basis. You take the pole or track length and times it by a multiplier. Typically medium weight curtains would be a x 2.25 multiplier (except for wave curtains – please see below for more information on wave curtains). Heavy weight curtains would be fuller curtains and you would normally apply a 2.5 x multiplier.
Heavy Weight Curtains:
Heavy weight curtains tend to be made from heavier fabrics such as velvets, silks, damask or chenilles and tend to cover very wide or tall windows. They will be lined or blackout lined and will often have an interlining.
Please click here to view our full range of made to measure curtains. Depending on the final specification, made to measure curtains can fall into any of the weight categories. The key factors in determining the weight of your curtains are:
the fabric chosen
lining requirements (standard, blackout, interlining)
the width and drop of the curtains
the curtain heading style that will determine the fabric fullness
Q: I am considering wave curtains. What do I need to know?
If you aren’t familiar with the wave curtain heading style please refer to this blog post.
Wave curtains tend to fall into the light weight category (for wave voiles / sheers) or medium weight (for wave curtains). Due to the style of the curtains wave curtains are less full than other curtain headings such as a pinch pleat or pencil pleat, keeping them lighter in weight. Wave curtains can be lined or blackout lined, however interlining is not advised. This is due to the fact that if you put too much weight into a wave curtain it will splay out at the bottom and won’t hold the wave shape all the way down.
If you are opting for wave curtains you will need a curtain track that is compatible with the wave heading style. Silent Gliss is the main manufacturer of wave curtain tracks and they advise that their standard wave gliders are suitable for curtains that weigh 2.5kg / metre. When choosing a wave curtain track you may see the option for wave roller gliders. Please note these are only required in exceptional circumstances for very heavy curtains. The wave roller glider is a big glider and creates a gap between the top of the curtain and the bottom of the curtain track. This isn’t a problem if the wave track is being fitted behind a pelmet. 99% of our wave curtains and tracks are sold with the standard wave gliders which are generally adequate for curtains in domestic environments. The wave roller gliders would really be needed for exceptionally wide or long curtains using a very heavy fabric such as a velvet for a stage curtain.
Q: How do I know which curtain pole or track is suitable for my requirements?
Curtain Poles and Tracks
The weight suitability of each curtain pole or track is stated on the product specification tabs on each product page. For corded and motorised products there is a weight guidance chart on the product specification tab.
Generally speaking for curtain poles we would advise:
19mm curtain poles are only suitable for light weight curtains.
28mm curtain poles are suitable for light – medium weight curtains.
35mm + are suitable for medium – heavy weight curtains.
Q: What are my options if my curtains are heavy weight?
Hand Drawn Curtain Poles for Heavy Weight Curtains
Depending on the width of your curtain pole, if your curtains are on the heavy side and you are opting for a metal curtain pole you could add a passing bracket (to be positioned half way along each side of the curtain pole) for extra support. Please note you will require passover curtain rings to ensure the curtains passover the brackets. Please note this option isn’t suitable for eyelet style curtains as the curtains won’t be able to passover the passover brackets.
We would also recommend that you check the rawl plugs are suitable for your wall substrate. The standard rawl plugs supplied are suitable for solid walls so if you fixing into plasterboard you will need to purchase specific plasterboard wall fixings to give a secure fixing point.
The Silent Gliss Metropole tracks may also be worth consideration. These look like a curtain pole but operate like a track and are available hand drawn or corded in a variety of contemporary finishes with a range of finial styles. You can upgrade to roller gliders on any of the 30mm or 50mm Metropoles increasing their weight allowance. As standard you get more brackets for tracks (typically one bracket for every 50-60cm of track) than you do for curtain poles so this increases the support. You can also add extra brackets and gliders to help with the weight of your curtains.
Hand Drawn Curtain Tracks for Heavy Weight Curtains
If your curtains are on the heavy side we would recommend you choose a curtain track that either comes with roller gliders as standard (such as the Silent Gliss 1280 curtain track) or has the option to upgrade to roller gliders. Roller gliders increase the weight bearing on the track as they are on little wheels to ensure a smoother open and close of your curtains.
Corded Curtain Poles for Heavy Weight Curtains
Our range of corded curtain poles are great for heavy weight curtains. An extremely robust metal glider channel is inserted into the curtain pole which makes the pole very strong. The clasp style brackets hold the poles in place from above so this means you can add additional brackets to support the pole as the brackets don’t interfere with the glider channel. You can also upgrade to more gliders per metre, which would be recommended if your curtains are on the heavy side. These poles can be supplied hand drawn (so without a cord) so if you have young children this could be a good option.
Corded and Motorised Tracks for Heavy Weight Curtains
Weight guidance charts are available on each of the product specification tabs for corded and motorised curtain tracks. If your curtains are on the heavy side we would recommend you specify a curtain track that comes with roller gliders as standard (such as the Silent Gliss 3900 curtain track) or a track that has the option to upgrade to roller gliders. We would also advise that you consider cording the track from both sides.
Q: On a curtain track which gliders do I need?
Glider options are generally only offered on the Silent Gliss curtain tracks. Other curtain tracks such as Swish, Rolls or Harrison Drape only come with one option. Please refer to this blog post for guidance on the right Silent Gliss curtain track for your requirements.
Silent Gliss Glider options:
standard gliders: suitable for light – medium weight curtains
standard glider NEW 2C glider: offers a quieter draw and is suitable for light-medium weight curtains. Please watch our YouTube video for more information.
roller gliders: the Silent Gliss 1280 curtain track and Silent Gliss 3900 curtain track come with roller gliders as standard. You can upgrade to roller gliders on many of Silent Gliss’s other tracks which would be recommended if your curtains are on the heavy side.
wave gliders: 60mm and 80mm wave gliders are available on some tracks. If you are specifying wave curtains you will need to purchase a track that comes with wave gliders. For more information on the wave curtain please click here.
wave roller gliders: these are only really needed on very heavy wave curtains. A typical domestic specification would be fine with the standard wave gliders.