The Complete Guide to Buying Polycotton Curtains

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The Complete Guide to Buying Polycotton Curtains

Polycotton is a blend of cotton and polyester fibres and combines the properties of both. The blend usually contains more cotton than polyester. Polycotton is best known for its wrinkle resistance, but has other features that are desirable, including toughness and breathing qualities. It is used to make clothes that do not need to be ironed, are durable, and shrink less than pure cotton clothing.

Polycotton curtains bring all of these benefits to the table. They help to keep rooms warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They resist wrinkles, retain colour, and, if heavy, hang well. They are also used extensively as curtain liners. Since polyester is chemically produced, it is generally cheaper to make. As a result, polycotton fabrics also cost less than natural fabrics.

Polycotton curtains are readily available at home furnishing shops and on the online auction website, eBay. Before buying polycotton curtains, consumers should understand the advantages of polycotton curtains, know the options available, and know how to calculate the amount of fabric needed for polycotton curtains.

The Advantages of Polycotton Curtains

Polyester has a very specific set of properties, which are also shared by polycotton. Knowing what these properties are help a buyer decide if polycotton curtains are the right choice for a desired style of curtains. Polycotton is fade-resistant, does not absorb water easily, longer-lasting and less expensive than many natural fabrics, wrinkle-resistant, and can be made to look like silk, rayon, or cotton.

Polycotton curtains work well with styles that feature soft pleats or gathered valances. It is also an excellent fabric if the curtains must be washed. Natural-fibre blends are recommended for structured styles, or styles that require elaborate draping.

Polycotton curtains can be used in any room. Due to its colour-retention properties, polycotton curtains are available in a wide range of colours and patterns. Blends with a higher ratio of polyester are often used as shower curtains in bathrooms.

Options Available When Ordering Polycotton Curtains

A buyer faces many choices when ordering curtains of any kind. Whether buying ready-made or custom-made curtains, the buyer must first measure the window, or windows, in question in order to know how much fabric, or how large of a curtain, to order.

Other choices that have to be made include the type of curtain heading, the material of the curtain linings, and the colour or pattern of the curtain.

Types of Curtain Headings

A curtain heading is used to create pleats or folds in a curtain. There are several types of curtain headings, each resulting in a different type of fold style. A heading tape is used at the top of the curtain to create the desired type of heading. Hooks attach to pockets in the heading tape and are then connected to the curtain track. Depending upon the type of heading tape, it is possible to position a curtain above, below, or at the same level as the track. The following styles are some of the more common types a buyer encounters when ordering curtains.

Standard Tape

A narrow heading tape is used to form simple folds. This style is used in places where the curtain heading is hidden by a valance, or for informal settings.

French Pleat

Also known as the triple pleat, this style is regarded as the best classic formal heading. This style features regularly-spaced triple pleats that are pinched together at the bottom to allow them to open up toward the top of the curtain. French pleats work well with heavier fabrics and are ideal for dining rooms, main bedrooms, and other formal settings. This style can be used on both tracks and curtain rods.

Pencil Pleat

This is the most common style of curtain heading used. The heading tape forms a neat, even row of upright parallel pleats that resemble a row of pencils, hence the name. This style can be used on either tracks or curtain rods.

Double Pleat

Similar to the French pleat, this style only uses evenly-spaced double pleats, instead of triple pleats. This results in a lower fabric requirement and lower cost. This style can be used on tracks or curtain rods.

Inverted Box Pleat

Commonly known as the inverted pleat, this style features a header that is sleek and flat. It is best suited to modern decor. In this style, the fullness of the curtain is carried along the back of the heading. As a result, inverted box pleats are more suited to stationary panels and are not convenient to open and close.

Eyelet Heading

As the name suggests, this style uses eyelets in the header through which the curtain rod passes. Eyelet headings offer a neat and modern look while taking up very little space. This type of heading is only suitable for use with curtain rods.

Tab Top

This is a simple heading that is only suitable for use with curtain rods. The header consists of tabs that are stitched or buttoned behind the curtain to form loops through which the curtain rod is passed.

Types of Curtain Linings

There are several types of curtain linings available. However, for polycotton curtains, it is recommended to use static-resistant linings, such as cotton. A polyester or polycotton lining may cling to, or repel, the polycotton curtain, resulting in curtains that stick to the lining randomly or flare away.

Colours and Patterns

The factors of colours and patterns depend largely on the decor of the room and the buyer's personal taste. Due to the fact that polycotton blends accept dyes readily and retain colour for a long time, a buyer can find any number of curtains to choose from in this category.

How to Calculate the Amount of Fabric Needed for a Curtain

The amount of fabric needed to make a curtain depends upon the width of the window, how high the curtain needs to be, and how full the buyer wants the curtains to be. A patterned curtain, such as one with a novelty or abstract design, requires more fabric than a plain one.

Measure the Window

The width of the window is measured by the maximum length of the curtain track. If a track is not installed, the width of the window can be used as a measure. Space to pull the curtains to the side must be taken into account so the final width is larger than that of the window frame.

The height of the window is measured from the bottom of the curtain track to the desired length of the curtain. Common curtain heights are discussed below. Measurements must be taken on both sides of the window in case the window is not even. If one side is longer than the other, the longer measurement must be used.

Determine Curtain Height

The height of a curtain is a matter of style and personal taste. However, there are five common curtain heights. First, there is just above the floor, which should be measured from the bottom of the curtain track to the floor, then subtract 10 mm. Second, there is just breaking on the floor, which should be measured from the bottom of the curtain track to the floor, and then add 20 mm. Third, there is pooling on the floor, which should be measured from the bottom of the curtain track to the floor, and then add 300 mm. Fourth, there is to the window sill, which should be measured from the bottom of the curtain track to the window sill. Fifth, there is just under the window sill, which should be measured from the bottom of the curtain track to just below the window sill.

Calculate Curtain Width

The width of the curtain depends upon the fullness required. It is recommended to have at least two times as much curtain fabric as the width of the window. However, several heading styles require more fabric.

Curtain Header Style

Recommended Amount of Fabric

French Pleat or Triple Pleat

2.25 to 2.50 times the width of the window

Pencil Pleat

2.25 to 2.50 times the width of the window

Double Pleat

2.00 times the width of the window

Inverted Box Pleat

1.70 to 2.00 times the width of the window

Eyelet Heading

1.50 times the width of the window

The buyer should use these figures as a baseline to calculate fabric width. If the requirement is for a fuller curtain, more fabric should be added. If a sparser curtain is required, or if costs need to be reduced, a smaller curtain width should suffice.

Calculate the Total Amount of Fabric Needed

The buyer has to know the width of the curtain fabric as well. This figure is easily obtained from the retailer. With all of the numbers obtained above, it is now possible to accurately calculate the amount of fabric required. To make it easier to follow along, assume a 2.0 m long curtain for a 1.5 m wide window, using a double pleat header. The desired fabric is 1.5 m wide.

First, take the width of the curtain obtained based on the header style and fullness required and divide this by the width of the curtain fabric. For the example, the width of the curtain would work out to 1.5 m, the width of the window, multiplied by two, the recommended fullness for double pleat header, which equals 3 m. This is then divided by the width of the fabric, 1.5 m, to obtain a drop of two.

Second, add 300 mm to the height of the curtain to account for hems and headers. For the example, that would be 2.0 m, the height of the curtain, plus 300 mm, which equals 2.3 m. For pencil pleats, add only 250 mm.

Finally, multiply the total length obtained by the number of drops obtained previously. For the example, this would be 2.3 m, the total height, multiplied by two, the number of drops, which equals 4.6 m. Round this figure up to 5.0 m. This is the amount of fabric needed for the curtain.

Patterned fabrics require more fabric in order to perfectly line up the pattern when attaching two pieces of fabric together. As a rule of thumb, multiply the length of the pattern repeat, the distance between the beginning of one instance of the pattern to the beginning of the next, by the number of drops required, and add this figure to the total amount of fabric required.

Buying Polycotton Curtains on eBay

eBay offers a wide selection of curtains and accessories for a buyer in search of polycotton curtains. To browse through what is available, the buyer can begin on any eBay page, and enter keywords into the search field. If the buyer has something particular in mind, more descriptive keywords can be entered into the search field. For example, a buyer in search of patterned polycotton curtains need only enter the term "patterned polycotton curtains" into the search field to view all items that match the term on eBay. The buyer can then choose a category and narrow down the results by filtering them based on criteria, such as colour, pattern, and condition.

Once a buyer finds a polycotton curtain to buy, it is advisable to review the seller's return and exchange policy before committing to the purchase. Since it is difficult to accurately gauge the feel and weight of a fabric online, the buyer may want to make an exchange if the curtain is not what is expected.


Polycotton is a fabric created by blending polyester and cotton fibres. As a result, it displays the properties of both materials. It is durable, easily washable, and resistant to wrinkles. Polycotton curtains can keep a room cool during the summer and warm in winter. Since the blend can easily retain many colours, it is available in a wide range of colours and patterns. Polycotton curtains have several advantages over curtains made from natural fibres, including the fact that they are more affordable, last longer, and are fade-resistant.

Before making a purchase, a buyer should first decide on which style of curtain is needed and calculate the amount of fabric required. It is then possible to make an informed choice when choosing between the many options available when buying curtains.

Polycotton curtains are available at home furnishing shops and online. A buyer in search of polycotton curtains online find that eBay offers a large and varied collection of curtains and accessories.

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