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Questions about making roman blinds

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  • Questions about making roman blinds

    Some questions:

    What are the best rods for Roman blinds? 4mm fibreglass or plastic strips which are about 2mmx4mm (which I can get from my local curtain shop). If using fibreglass rods, must they have the plastic end caps?

    I have to make 3 blinds for a bedroom. The windows are all different sizes, so should the folds on the blinds be the same size for all windows, or should the fold size be proportional to the drop. So the window that is a 1.5m drop will have slightly smaller folds than the window that is 1.53m? Or should it have the same size folds, but fewer of them? I am making cascade blinds.

    I am using blackout lining. Should I make rod pockets and use rings, or use rod pocket tape? Will the former cause fewer problems with light pinpricks?

    I am planning to use a batten as a headrail and will probably use the porcelain cord guides. Do you think this is a good idea? The fabric is quite a heavy linen.

    Where would you buy your hardware? Off ebay?

    Thank you everyone

  • #2
    Hi Amanda - welcome to MyDecozo.

    First of all, a very good place to start is our Soft Furnishing FAQ section - there are several topics about romans there that should help.

    Personally I prefer the 4mm round rods as they are more evenly flexible. Ages ago I used flatter pvc bars (because they were easily available to me) but they flexed really easily in one direction, and hardly at all in the other which I didn't like.

    The end cap question came up a while ago and I think everyone agreed they had bought them and not found them useful! Do be careful cutting the fibreglass rods though as tiny fibres come loose and get into your skin - really painful and impossible to get out as you can't see them! Wrap the rod in tape where you want to cut and use a hacksaw or secateurs to cut.

    If the windows are right next to each other then using the same road spacing looks better....but can be time consuming to calculate. If the windows are further apart then slight differences in spacing will not be noticeable.

    China cord guides can be used, but I find the metal screw eyelets just as effective and cheaper.

    Romans and blackout is a subject all of its own and has come up many times - if you do a quick search on 'blackout' in the Romans section you can read all the various discussions and tips that have come up and hopefully decide which route you want to take.

    If you are ordering quite a few different items for your blinds a specialised supplier could be just as price effective - take a look at Colly Brook Fine Furnishings (one of our members here) or somewhere like Merrick & Day who both stock good quality components and sell in retail quantities.

    sigpic Simply Sewing


    • #3
      Thank you very much, Louise. What a wonderful resource this forum and website is. I'm so grateful!


      • #4
        Hi Amanda,
        As your blinds are to made from a heavy linen and you are also going to blackout line them, I think it would be best to use a 9mm dowel in the rod pockets as the are sturdier than the fibreglass rods. Personally I would only use a small rod usually perspex on a very light weight or sheer fabric. With regards to the blackout lining, this is best placed inside the blind and then lined as usual. If you are interlining your blinds, then the blackout lining is set between the interlining and the lining. Make the rod pockets seperately and stich through to the right side at intervals along the width of the blind. You will always get some pricks of light which show through slightly, you can minimise this by making sure that your stiching is kept small and neat or use a satin stitch on the machine. Hope that this helps.


        • #5
          I have always found that fibreglass rods are plenty sturdy enough, and being only 4mm are neater than dowels.
          Kind regards
          Pen Harrison
          Colly Brook Fine Furnishings


          • #6
            I agree with Pen, I stopped using wooden dowling a long time ago, they have a tendancy to bow over time. If I need something a bit more sturdy then I use aluminium rods.
            Kindest Regards


            Denton Drapes


            • #7
              Sorry Christine, I also agree with Pen. Having done many 3m drop romans (mine) I initially used dowels, but with the odd careless handling, they snapped in places. After redoing them the 'Decozo" way, I used 4mm fibreglass rods.....Perfect! and I had no problem with them weight bearing such a huge drop.


              • #8
                I too have used the 4mm rods with wide romans. I think as long as you create a nice narrow pocket (I stitch mine at 1cm wide) that keeps the rod in place, and make sure you have enough cord drops, they are fine. I have never had any customers mention that their blinds sag.

                sigpic Simply Sewing


                • #9
                  The only blind I made that that sagged was sons. The cats climbed up it courtesy of the wooden dowels and snapped them. Fibreglass rods and aluminium weight bar for me, I think it looks much neater.