How to Install a Metal Locking Pulley for Roman Shades

Metal locking pulleys replace the traditional cleat method of holding a Roman shade at the desired level. If you are installing a new shade, adding the locking pulley is just an additional step to installation, but if you are retrofitting an existing shade, you must first remove it from the window and remove the existing pulley. The most important thing is to keep your cords straight --- if you mix them up, they won't feed into the pulley right and your shade won't operate properly.

  1. Lay out your shade on a flat surface. It doesn't have to be stretched to full length, but leave yourself approximately 5 inches between the top of the shade and the bulk of the fabric so you have room to work.
  2. Organize your cords. Separate the cords from each part of the shade, and lay them out flat so they are easily distinguishable. Tie a small piece of string around the cord farthest from the pulley for easy identification later.
  3. Screw the pulley to the top rail of the shade, using the included screws. You can install it on whichever side you would like to access the cords, but the pulley should be installed so the ends of the rollers face you, and the notched side of the pulley faces toward the center of the shade.
  4. Install the screw eye in the outermost hole on the pulley base. These usually just screw in easily by hand.
  5. Wrap the end of each cord with tape to stiffen them up for threading, and feed them all through the large opening on the inside top portion of the pulley until they pull through to the opposite side. The farthest cord on the shade also goes through the screw eye.
  6. Gather all of the cords in a bundle, and feed them back through the center of the pulley, under the smaller roller --- the one closer to the center of the shade. Make sure each cord rests in a separate groove on the larger roller.
  7. Feed the cords out through the bottom of the pulley so they hang free. Test the pulley operation before you reinstall your shade.

Things You Will Need

  • Thin colored string


  • If your Roman shade won't release even though the pulley seems to be working properly, try installing a heavier weight bar at the bottom to provide extra tension.


  • Don't thread 0.9mm cord through the outer slots, or it might get caught and interfere with the operation of the pulley. Use a larger pulley with more slots.