Net Curtain Buying Guide

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Net Curtain Buying Guide

Translucent curtains made of thin mesh fabric, or net, are called net curtains or sheer curtains. Believed to have originated in England, they have been in use since the 1700s and were first made of cotton, wool, or silk lace. Since the advent of synthetic fabrics, most net curtains are made of polyester.

Unlike regular curtains, net curtains allow diffused light into a room, while also allowing for a certain amount of privacy. During the day, net curtains allow people inside a house to see outside while screening them from outside view. This property is reversed at night if there are lights on inside the house. Due to their thinness, net curtains offer little insulation. They are typically used in combination with regular curtains.

Before buying a net curtain, it is useful to know the different kinds of net curtains available based on the type of fabric and design. To make sure the net curtains fit, it is important to take accurate measurements of the windows. Armed with this information, buyers in search of net curtains can make an informed choice based on their preferences and requirements.

Types of Net Curtains

Standard net curtains are made of knitted fabric and, as a result, can be cut without fraying. They can be made of any of a range of materials including polyester, cotton, and cotton blends. When searching for net curtains, however, a buyer will encounter different types, such as voile, cafe, and jardiniere. The following section explains the features of each type.

Voile Net Curtains

Voile curtains are technically not net curtains. Net curtains are knitted and are usually available in white or cream colours while voile nets are woven and available in different colours. However, since voile can be used to serve the same purpose as net curtains, and is usually available for sale in the same section in stores, it can be a viable option.

The term 'voile' is derived from the French for veil. Made of very fine, sheer materials, voile nets were originally made in Nottingham, England. Today voile is made around the world but China and Turkey are the main sources. Though voile nets can be embroidered with decorations, they are often left plain since the pattern of the weave is considered attractive without further embellishments. Voile for curtains is usually made of cotton or cotton blended with linen or polyester.

Cafe Net Curtains

Cafe curtains usually cover the lower half of a window. They provide a certain level of privacy while allowing more light into a room as compared to net curtains that cover the entire window. Cafe curtains are usually used in kitchens where privacy is less important than in other rooms of the house. The curtain rod used for a cafe curtain is usually placed within the window frame, about halfway down the height of the window.

Jardiniere Net Curtains

Unlike cafe curtains, jardiniere curtains are full-length curtains that cover the entire window. The difference is that they take the shape of an arch, with the middle area open. They leave plenty of light into the room and are especially suited to rooms with nice views that would be hindered by full-length curtain types.

Net Curtains Length and Width

To ensure that a net curtain looks its best when installed, the buyer must take window measurements. The distance from the top of the curtain track, or the bottom of a curtain rod, to the bottom of the window frame gives the length of the curtain. If a track is not installed, measurements must be taken from the desired height of the track. It is advisable to take measurements on both sides in case the window is not even. If the window is uneven, the longer measurement must be used. If the net curtains are to reach the floor, the measurements should be taken from the track to the floor.

There are five standard lengths for curtains. The buyer must adjust the measured length of the curtain depending on the curtain length that is desired.

Standard Curtain Length

How to measure it

Just above the floor

Subtract 1cm from the measured floor length

Just breaking on the floor

Add 2cm to the measured floor length

Pooling on the floor

Add 30cm to the measured floor length

To the windowsill

Measure to the windowsill

Just under the windowsill

Measure to desired length below the windowsill

The width of the net curtain depends on the buyer. A general rule is to order a curtain that is two times as wide as the window frame. This will ensure enough fabric to allow pleats in the curtain. Depending on whether the buyer wants more privacy or more natural light, the width of the curtain needs to be increased or decreased from this base measurement. Since net curtains are made of delicate material, it is advisable to have them hemmed to prevent fraying. The buyer is advised to factor in extra fabric to account for this if having curtains custom made.

The Drop of a Net Curtain

When searching for curtains, a buyer can encounter the term 'drop', which can be a confusing term because the word is used to describe two different measurements. The length of the curtain is the height of the curtain from the curtain rod or track to the floor or windowsill. The number of times a length of fabric needs to be pleated to cover a window depends on the width of the window, the fabric density required or the fullness of the curtain, and the width of the net curtain fabric. For example, a 150 cm-wide window with a fullness of two usually requires a net curtain that is twice as wide (300 cm). If the desired curtain is only available in 150 cm widths, two drops of the material have to be sewn together to cover the window. This figure is obtained by dividing the required width of the curtain by the actual width of the curtain fabric. If this calculation results in a fraction, it is advisable to round up to the next whole number.

How Much Fabric to Order When Buying Net Curtains

Whether a curtain is ready made or not, a buyer must know the amount of fabric that is required for the net curtains. This depends on the following factors: the width and height measurements of the window, the available width of the curtain fabric, the required fullness of the curtains, and whether the fabric is patterned or not. It is standard to use two times the width of the window as the measurement for the width of the curtain. If more fullness is required, more fabric is required, and vice versa. If the fabric is patterned, the buyer should also find out how often the pattern repeats.

Once this information is in hand, the buyer can proceed to calculate the amount of fabric to order as follows. The first step is to calculate the number of drops needed by dividing the required width of the curtain by the available width of the fabric. Then one should add fabric for hems and headers. A rule of thumb to follow is to add 30 cm to the required height of the curtain or only 25 cm if pencil pleats are required. Finally, the resulting figure should be multiplied by the number of drops to find the amount of fabric needed. If the cost for the fabric is too high, the buyer can reduce the cost by reducing the number of drops required. This will result in less fullness, but can help bring costs down.

Patterned curtains generally need more fabric because it is required to maintain the pattern when attaching drops to each other. The easiest rule to follow is to take the length of the pattern repeats and add this amount to each drop of the curtain. The pattern repeats are the distance between the beginning of the design to the beginning of its next repetition.

Finding Net Curtains on eBay

eBay includes a large range of net and voile curtains in its selection of curtains and blinds. Before beginning to look on eBay for the ideal net curtains for your windows, you should know how much material you need since most curtain fabrics are sold by length of fabric rather than window type.

You can begin by searching for net curtains from the eBay home page. If you know exactly what to look for, it is possible to enter a combination of keywords into the search field. For example, you can enter 'floral patterned net curtains' to browse through a list of all net curtains that feature floral patterns. You can then narrow the results by selecting from various criteria including the material of the curtain, its style, and the type of room it will be used in. A wide range of accessories needed for installing net curtains are also available on eBay.

Before committing to a purchase, you are advised to find out more about the seller's return and refund policy. You can either read the product details or you can contact the seller directly if this information is not available on the item page.


Net curtains are made of translucent or sheer fabrics. They have the advantage of allowing diffused natural light into a room during the day while offering privacy at the same time. Different forms of net curtains have been in use since the eighteenth century, but most of them today are made from polyester. Voile is one of the most popular fabrics that are used for net curtains.

Before purchasing ready-made net curtains or fabric to make them, a buyer should measure the windows and make some calculations to find out exactly how much fabric to purchase. The buyer should also decide on the length of curtains, whether they should just reach the bottom of the window, or all the way down to the floor.

Net curtains are available in brick and mortar stores as well as online. A buyer in search of net or voile curtains online can find that eBay offers a wide variety of different styles, fabrics, and patterns of net curtain fabrics or ready-made net curtains.

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