How to Fix My Curtains
Curtains come in many designs. Curtain sections are called panels. Typically, a window has at least two curtain panels. Curtain panels can be found in solid or printed fabrics, and vary in style from lace or sheer to gauze-like fabrics. Additionally, they are usually not lined in any way. Curtains can consist of panels topped with a valance, panels displayed by themselves, or panels over a shade or sheers. Simple no-sew repairs to curtains can be made in many instances without even taking the curtains from the rod.
Fixing Holes or Rips in Curtains
Measure the width of the rip or hole. Add 1 inch to this measurement to determine the modified width.
Measure the length of the hole or rip. Add 1 inch to this measurement for the modified length.
Cut an iron-on patch according to the modified width and modified length measurement. Use an iron-on patch in the same or dominant color of the curtains. Iron-on patches can be found at discount, craft and fabric stores.
Read the curtain fabric care label. If the fabric is synthetic, such as rayon or nylon, don’t iron the patch to the curtain as the fabric will melt. Apply fabric glue to the back of the patch, center the patch over the rip and press it to the back of the curtain.
Iron on the patch if the fabric is natural, such a cotton blend. Polyester can be ironed unless otherwise noted on the label. Remove the curtain from the rod and place the curtain on top of an ironing board or slide the ironing board under the curtain panel needing the repair. Position the curtain panel so that you are applying the patch to the inside of the panel.
Set the iron to the patch manufacturer’s recommended temperature and fabric setting. According to Moritz Embroidery Works, for most fabric patches, you should set your iron on a cotton fabric and high heat setting.
Center the patch over the hole or rip.
Place a thin cloth, such as a pillowcase, over the curtain and patch to be ironed.
Iron the patch to the curtain through the cloth by pressing the area with the iron and holding for about 30 seconds; more time can be applied if the patch recommendations call for it.
Fixing Loose or Torn Curtain Hems
Align the hem fabric to where it should be using the rest of the hem as a guide. Pick out any loose threads with your fingers, but be careful not to tug out threads still attached to the hem on either side of the torn/loose section. Hold the folded fabric in place. Loose or torn hems can be quickly fixed with staples, super adhesive or fabric glue.
Align the stapler over the previous stitching lines of the loose or torn hem, using the intact hem stitching lines as a guide, and staple through the previous stitching lines, spacing the staples 1 inch apart if multiple staples are needed.
Squirt a line of super adhesive or fabric glue under the stitching line and press the fabric together for about 2 minutes.
Iron the repaired portion of the hem if you stapled the fabric. Ironing will press the metal staples further into the fabric fibers, concealing the staples. Colored staples are available at craft stores.
Fixing Torn Rod Pocket or Tab Stitching
Align the torn, previously folded fabric along the previous stitching lines of the rod pocket or the tab. A tab is a “loop” or fold of fabric that slips over the curtain rod. There are multiple tabs on each curtain panel top. Tabs are frequently inserted into fabric at the top of the curtain, or part of the tab is behind the top of the curtain fabric. If you can’t see the holes of the previous stitches, line the fabric up as closely as you can with the intact stitches of the rest of the pocket or other tabs.
Slip the arm of the stapler over the stitches.
Press down on the stapler to staple through the layers of fabric. If applying more than one staple, space staples every inch.
- Patches can be made from the same curtain fabric if you have an extra panel. Cut a piece of iron-on adhesive fabric gauze to match the patch size needed. Follow the adhesive fabric instructions. Adhesive fabric gauze is available at craft and fabric stores.
- According to 1 Ferret’s Treasures in the article “Iron On, Hot Fix, Stick On Patch Application Instructions,” the best results are seen when patches are applied to cotton or polyester-blended fabrics.
Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.