Journal Insight #1: Stack-back

Stack-back? Seriously? OK, I know it’s hardly the stuff of Hollywood movies, but it’s probably the single most regular question we get.

What is it? It’s how wide the curtains are when they’re open, how much space they take up, and whether you have the room for them or if the gorgeous cabinet you’d planned to get fits in the room. See! Suddenly it's sounding more important.



Clearly every fabric has its own thickness properties but as a starter for 10 try this:

· For unlined curtains 10-15cm per width

· For lined (cotton or blackout), 15-20cm per width

· For lined and interlined, allow 20-30cm per width

It’s surprising how much space you need. The good news is that there are ways to help. Dressing and pleating the curtains during installation is an absolute must. Neatly dressing, tying (usually steaming too) and leaving them to settle makes a world of difference. It helps them return into the same beautifully corrugated stack each and every time they are opened.


Some styles of curtains have smaller stack backs. Eyelets are a great solution where space is limited, and we often use them in doorways and narrow entrance halls. By placing the pole a little further away from the door than you would typically creates a much bigger space for the stack to sit in - you’ll wish you paid more attention in trigonometry lessons now (No? Maybe just me)!

Wave Curtains also stack neatly. For Wave curtains using Silent Gliss tracks with standard gliders, each metre of curtain stacks to 18.4cm, but if you need to use roller gliders for heavy drapes beware… the size of the gliders makes for a far bigger stack, and usually means its bigger than standard hand-headed curtains.


If you find you’ve really got no space left, we have a couple of other tricks for you. Most curtains are even pairs, but single curtains can take advantage of extra space on one side and with the right fabric can create a real statement when stacked; like artwork. You can also have uneven pairs (though Wave tracks needs to be set up for from the start). Three quarters of your fabric could then stack left, and one quarter to the right, of course.

A final trick we use more often that you might imagine is to have a bent track (or pole) allowing the curtains to return at 90 degrees off the window elevation onto a side wall. For wall to wall windows this is a great way to install them, giving the homeowner that beautiful, unobstructed view and a room filled with light.


If you’ve found this helpful, please share.


Pete & Ryan

Next time… curtain headings!

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