Measuring & Selecting

Measuring for and selecting draperies and drapery hardware isn't as difficult as you may think. Below are drop-downs with specific guidelines for Decorative Drapery Hardware, Basic Drapery Hardware, and Custom Draperies.

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Selecting Decorative Drapery Hardware


An Important Note about Drapery Hardware Classification:

Drapery Hardware is classified by each Collection's Rod or Pole Diameter. For example, if you are looking at the Kirsch 2" Wood Trends Collection, that means that all of the items in that collection are based upon (and named for) a two-inch diameter pole. Accordingly, the Kirsch Two-Inch 3 1/2 Inch Return Bracket is made to hold a two-inch diameter pole, the Kirsch Two-Inch Wood Trends Rings are made to fit a two-inch diameter pole, and the Kirsch Two-Inch Wood Trends Chaucer Finial is made to fit on the end of a two-inch diameter pole. More detail on the specific sizes of all of these components is available on the product page for each product.

Curtain Pole or Rod. First, select the style (wood, metal, wrought iron) and diameter of the pole in which you are interested. Next, select the length. Some of the metal poles are telescopic (i.e., 66-120). A telescopic pole is adjustable., meaning that it expands or contracts to any size within the range. Other rods and poles are fixed-width (i.e., 6-ft. long). Select a fixed-width pole at the same size or longer than you need--you, or your installer, can cut it down to a custom width. If a longer pole is needed, poles can be spliced together with a Wood Pole Connector Screw or an interior Metal Rod Splice to achieve a longer pole. Note: The spot where the poles are joined must be supported by a bracket.

Brackets. The number of brackets you need is determined by the type of rod or pole you are considering. Here are some general guidelines: 

Kirsch 1 3/8" Diameter Wood Poles: Two brackets are sufficient up to a width of 60". For poles over 60" we recommend a third bracket in the center to serve as a center support. 

Kirsch 2" Diameter Wood Poles: Two brackets are sufficient up to a width of 96". Over 96", it is helpful to place a third bracket in the center for better support. However, a Kirsch 2" diameter pole can span up to 96" on two brackets without warping or bowing. At wider widths, you or your installer must ensure that the brackets are installed in a way that will hold the weight of the rod and draperies. Simple wall anchors or molly bolts may not be sufficient; you will likely need to screw the brackets into a stud.

Kirsch Designer Metals 1 3/8" Diameter Poles: All Kirsch Designer Metals telescopic (adjustable) poles come with brackets. Additional brackets are not necessary unless you are ordering C-Rings and Center Bypass brackets. Kirsch Designer Metals 1 3/8" 7 ft. 9 in. fixed-width poles do not come with brackets. For these poles, two brackets up to 60" is sufficient. Over 60", three brackets are recommended.

Kirsch Wrought Iron: Both the 6 ft. and 93" poles in either diameter can be installed on two brackets. 

Please remember that anytime you are joining two rods with a connector (Kirsch Wood Pole Connector Screw) or splice (Kirsch Wrought Iron Curtain Rod Splice, or Kirsch Designer Metals Curtain Rod Splice) the connection point must be supported by a bracket.

Bracket Projection. The projection, or return, is the distance from the wall to where your drapery will hang. For a single layer of curtains, the standard return is 3"-4". Brackets that have a fixed projection (non-adjustable) are sold by this return measurement. 

If you are hanging a sheer or other curtain underneath your draperies, you will need a deeper bracket so that the drapery clears the under-treatment without disturbing it--usually, an additional two inches. This also applies to a valance over draperies. In that case, a deeper (5 1/2"-6") bracket or a double bracket (that can hold two rods) can be used. There should be a 2" difference between returns for each layer.

Curtain Rings. The number of rings you will need varies by style and preference.

Pinch Pleat Draperies: If you have access to the draperies you will be installing, count the number of pleats per drapery panel and add 1. This is the number of rings you will need. The return of the drapery (the outside edge) is attached to the wall or bracket and is not hung from a ring. If you do not have access to your curtain or drapery panels, you will need approximately 3 rings per foot of rod (4 for sheer curtains). For good measure, add a few more rings. This manner of calculation will likely result in more rings than you may need, but it's designed to help ensure you are not short rings at installation. 

Flat Panel Draperies (not gathered or pleated at the top) generally require a ring every 5"-7" of panel width. This is more art than science, as you or your installer will decide how far apart you want each ring to be. Some customers prefer more rings, while some prefer fewer.

Finials/End Caps. Select two finials or end caps for each rod or pole. Note that while end caps are generally sold in pairs, finials are sold by pairs in some cases, and individually in others. Read the product information carefully on each item's product page, and purchase accordingly. 

Selecting Basic Drapery Hardware


Basic Drapery Hardware is non-decorative hardware. It is designed with function over form in mind. We offer two types of Basic Drapery Hardware, Kirsch Architrac and Kirsch Superfine. Architrac is commercial-grade heavy-duty drapery hardware. Without realizing it, you've likely seen this hardware countless times in hotels and other business establishments. Architrac is fully custom and non-returnable. Kirsch Superfine rods are adjustable traverse rods designed for medium-weight draperies. They've been around for over 50 years and will likely be here for 50 more. They are a solid, dependable, cost-effective solution.

Selecting Kirsch Architrac Custom Drapery Rods:

Rod Width. Rod Width is the finished width of a Kirsch Architrac Rod. Select a rod width that accounts for stack-back if your space allows. Stack-back allows your draperies to cover wall and window frame rather than glass when your draperies are drawn-back. Adding stack-back has the added advantage of making your window look larger. Note that we do not make any additions or subtractions to the Rod Width you select; your Rod will be the exact width specified by you. Also note that if you are installing a Kirsch Architrac Rod as an Inside Mount (wall to wall, for example), you will need to make a deduction so that the Rod is not the exact same width as the opening. Our recommendation is to deduct 1/2".

Carrier Style. Kirsch Architrac Rods can be manufactured for Pinch Pleat Draperies or Ripplefold Draperies. Pinch Pleat Draperies are attached to the Rod with Drapery Pins. If you have Pinch Pleat Draperies, select the Pinch Pleat Carrier Style. If you are selecting Ripplefold Carriers select Ripplefold Fullness. The amount of Ripplefold Fullness selected for a Kirsch Architrac Rod must match the Fullness of the corresponding Ripplefold drapery panels.

Draw/Stack. 'Draw' or 'Stack' refers to how a Drapery operates on a rod. You have three options: Center-Open/Split Draw: A pair of drapery panels "meet" in the center of the Track when the panels are drawn and are "stacked" at each side of the Track when the panels are returned; One-Way Left Draw: The Track opens and closes a single panel from the left side of the Track; One-Way Right Draw: The Track opens and closes a single panel from the right side of the Track.

Optional Motorization. Architrac Series 94001 Rods can be ordered with either Cord Draw or AMP Motorization. Cord Draw: this means that your Architrac Rod will be controlled by a cord. With this selection, you may also choose Cord Position (Right or Left) and Cord Drop (6 feet to 18 feet). Cord Drop is determined based on how high your Rod is above the floor. Cord Drop should be ordered slightly longer than you need. At the time of installation the cord is then shortened to the exact length. Motorization: With AMP Motorization select whether you prefer the motor to be on the right or left side of the rod. For a one-way draw drapery, you will want the motor to be on the same side to which your drapery 'stacks'. This way, the motor is always hidden behind the drapery fabric. Once you select Motor Position, select the type of AMP Controller you prefer; a Handheld Controller, a Wall Mount Controller, or No Controller. No Controller is selected in cases where you are ordering multiple rods and have already selected a Controller, or if you already have a controller.

Brackets. Kirsch Architrac rods can be 'wall' or 'ceiling' mounted. The number of brackets supplied with your rod will be determined by us, based upon the width of the rod you select. For a Ceiling Mount, select Ceiling Mount Brackets. Ceiling Mount Brackets can be mounted at any position along width of the track. Wall Mount Brackets are available in two configurations: Wall Mount Brackets, Adjustable 3 1/2" to 4 1/2": Select these brackets to mount a single rod for cases in which you do not need to clear any other items or obstructions behind the rod; Wall Mount Brackets, Double Rod: Select these when you are mounting two rods (one in front of the other), or in the cases of a single rod where additional rear-clearance is needed.

Color. Kirsch Architrac rods are available in White, Gray, Bronze, or Black.

Selecting Kirsch Superfine Telescopic Drapery Rods:

Kirsch Superfine Rods are medium-duty telescopic (adjustable) traverse rods. They are designed to carry pleated drapery panels that are attached to the rod with drapery pins. Superfine rods include installation hardware and a cord tensioning device. Superfine Rods are rated to carry one-pound per foot of rod-width.

Width. Superfine Rods are offered in the following adjustable size-ranges: 30"-48", 38"-66", 48"-86", 66"-120", 86"-150". If your drapery is 90" wide, you would select the 86"-150" wide rod.

Draw. Superfine Rods are offered as Split-Draw (Center Open, the drapery opens from and closes to each side), Left-Draw (the drapery will open from and close to the Left only), and Right-Draw (the drapery will open from and close to the Right only).

Color. Superfine Rods are available in white.

Selecting Custom Draperies



Width. For a functional drapery that fully opens and closes, measure the window opening and then add for Stack-Back. Stack-back allows your draperies to cover wall and window frame rather than glass when your draperies are drawn-back. Adding stack-back has the added advantage of making your window look larger. For a split-draw drapery add stack-back to each side, for a one-way panel add stack-back to the side the drapery will stack to. Referenced on the Pinch Pleat and Ripplefold Drapery pages is the Kirsch Pinch Pleat Stack Guide. The draperies we offer are 2.5 times fullness, which is the middle column of the Guide. Please note that this Guide is an estimate, as various fabrics will have more or less stack-back based on fabric composition and lining choice. As an example, in the case of a window opening measuring 84” wide, we add a total of 30" for stack-back (15" for each side), giving us a total drapery width of 114”. This is the measurement you enter for the width of your drapery. Our workroom adds the overlap (where the fabric overlaps in the center for a split-draw drapery) and returns (the fabric that turns the corner at the end of the od and goes back to the wall) to your measurement.

Width for Stationary Panels. Stationary Panels are non-functioning panels that appear as if they could open and close but do not. As they will not function, there is no need to pay for a full-width drapery. In this case, again, take stack-back into consideration when determining rod width. The idea is to cover wall and window frame and not glass. In most cases ordering your drapery at one-half actual width is sufficient. In other words, from the example above we have a window opening of 84”. We add 30” stack-back for a total of 114”. For stationary panels in this case, order your drapery at 57”.
Note that for smaller windows (such as a 48” wide drapery, for example) we recommend ordering a full width drapery in order that the panels do not appear too 'skimpy'. Stationary panel sizing is more often art than precision. Feel free to call us with questions.

Length. The three most common lengths for functional draperies are Ceiling to Floor, Above the Frame to Floor, and Above the Frame to Below the Frame. Ceiling to Floor. This is the most difficult length measurement as there is no room for error. Measure from the ceiling to the floor in multiple spots. For wider windows it is not uncommon to have a difference in length of up to ½”. Take the shortest measurement as your starting point. Next, deduct the appropriate amount for your drapery rod. In most cases your drapery will hang beneath the Drapery Rod. This means you must determine the amount to deduct from your drapery length based upon (a) the type of drapery rod you choose, and (b) where the drapery 'hangs' in relation to the top of that rod. Lastly, take a deduction for Floor Clearance. We recommend a deduction of ½” to ¾” for Floor Clearance. Feel free to call us for assistance with Rod Deduction and Floor Clearance. Above the Frame to Floor. Choose the spot above the frame where you will be installing your drapery rod. Assuming you have 8-foot ceilings, we generally recommend installing the rod half-way between the top of the frame and the ceiling. This again is more art than science, as higher ceilings and crown molding change the calculation. The bottom line is that you want your draperies to hang higher rather than lower, as longer panels will give the room 'height'. Above the Frame to Below the Frame. The general rule is two or three inches above the frame and two or three inches below the apron. The apron is the trim below the window sill.

The last point to mention regarding length is 'puddling' or 'pooling'. This is where the draperies have a gentle break on the floor. An additional 2” of length is generally sufficient. Puddling or pooling is not recommended with functional draperies.


Choose a Collection. We currently offer seven Fabric Collections. Selecting any of the Collections will display the fabric options available under that category. You are free to move back and forth among the Collections to view all of the Fabrics we offer.

Select a Fabric. Each Collection contains a number of different Fabric choices. For each Fabric you have the option to: (a) view a larger image (by clicking on the magnifying glass in the upper right corner); (b) add a Free Swatch to your cart; or (c) select the Fabric you prefer for for your drapery panels. If you are ready to order simply click on your Fabric choice. The Fabic will be outlined in Red and you can then move to the next drop-down.

Width. Select the Width in inches you want your drapery to be. Width is the same for a Pair or a Panel. Our workroom will add for Overlaps (where the fabric meets in the middle on a split-draw drapery) and Returns (the amount of fabric that wraps around the end of the drapery rod and 'returns' to the wall).

Length & Length Fraction. The Length you choose will be the exact length you receive. We do not make additions or deductions for drapery rod style or floor clearance. Select the Length in inches and Fractional Length if you prefer, for example, that your panels be 84 1/2" long.

Pair or Panel. A Pair of pinch pleat draperies stack on each side of the window, and when closed, 'meet' in the middle. Select a Pair over a Panel when your window/room configuration allows, as it provides a more aesthetically pleasing and balanced look. A Panel stacks to either the Left or Right, and closes from one side only to cover a window. Typically, a Panel is used when it is the only option, for example with windows that butt into a wall or for some sliding-door and french-door configurations.

Return. Returns refer to the fabric on the end of a drapery panel that turns the corner from the drapery rod and 'returns' to the wall. The Return serves two functions: first it provides a clean, finished look; second, it eliminates the gap between the front of the drapery and the wall to reduce light leakage. When choosing your Return, select 3.5" Standard Return for most single rod installations. If you are installing two rods (one in front of the other), or if you need more clearance,select 6" Extended Return.

Lining. Lining is a second layer of fabric sewn to the back of the Fabric you select. A Privacy Lining reduces (but does not eliminate) the amount of light allowed through the Panel, and aids in insulation. A Lining also presents a more uniform 'look' from the outside, as the Lining fabric is displayed to the outside rather than the face Fabric. Lining can also serve to protect the face Fabric from the damaging effects of the sun.

A note regarding Fullness: Our Pinch Pleat Draperies are made with 2.5:1 Fullness. 'Fullness' is the ratio of fabric used in drapery to cover a space. For example, 2.5:1 Fullness for a Pinch Pleat Drapery installed on a 100" wide rod means we use 250" of fabric to make your pinch pleat drapery.

Additional Helpful Content

We've created helpful product-specific content on our Drapery Hardware, Custom Hardware, and Drapery pages. This content can be viewed by clicking the dialogue boxes at the top of each page:


As always, if you have questions about any particular product, feel free to call our Customer Service representatives at (800) 251-5009, M-F, 9:00-5:00 Eastern time. We also can be reached via email at