Making curtains is one thing that sets a room or a whole home apart from the rest. Now only are homemade curtains unique, but they can be made to address specific features and installments in the room. For example, if you're looking to hang your curtains almost flush with the ceiling for a dramatic effect, making your own curtains can save you a substantial amount of time searching for curtains that meet your length requirements.
The trouble with curtain making usually isn't the design or the actual sewing. It's the grommets. Grommets have long been the bane of homemakers across the nation, but now we have the tools to accomplish this step quickly!
A grommet is an eyelet that holds open a hole with metal or plastic to protect the fabric while allowing a cable, rod, or rope to pass through the hole. If you're making curtains, then you'll need grommets.
The grommet itself refers to the hardware installed to keep the circle of fabric open. These come in a wide variety of materials and sizes. People often use the term 'grommet' to refer to both the hardware and the act of creating the holes. Creating the holes can be a real pain, but with some tools, it can be pretty straightforward. If you're making curtains, then you might consider investing in a curtain eyelet punch.
An eyelet punch is something that will punch through the fabric or paper and leave a perfectly round hole that’s exactly the size you wanted. These are often used when making garments and even some around-the-house crafts such as kids' tents. But, when it comes to curtains, you're talking about using multiple layers of heavy materials.
Curtains will often need at least two layers of the upholstery fabric and drapery header tape. Most eyelet punches can’t make it through more than one layer of upholstery fabric on its own, but a curtain eyelet punch should have no problem with the job. They are often electric, as they specialize in handling multiple layers of thick fabric. A manual curtain grommet punch is an option.
Another benefit of using these punches is their exactness. Grommets typically start two-inches from each end and have between five and seven-inches spaced apart from each other. When you’re using a machine, you might look for one that specifically comes with a measurement or rule to help keep those spaces even. The New Tech electric curtain eyelet punch machine has an extension attachment that allows you to punch through multiple layers of thick fabric and then slide that grommet hole back to where you set the ruler and punch again. The result from this machine is uniform grommet holes that are evenly spaced for a fully-professional finish.
Aside from a punch, you’ll need drapery tape, the fabric itself, and grommets. Grommets often come in two forms, a plain (sometimes called washer) grommet, and spur grommets. Spur grommets use spurs to stay in place and aren't suited for curtains.
You'll likely need a washer grommet, and they come in brass, stainless steel, aluminum, nickel, and plastic. Choose one that will match your fabric as well as the project. Aluminum and plastic can often hold up for curtain use even though they’re less sturdy than stainless steel or brass.
Installing the grommets is the easy part. You start with the back piece and insert it through the eyelet circle. Then you take the top section and snap or install it down around the fabric. These pieces will either snap together with a reasonable amount of force, or they’ll spin together.
If you have any remaining questions, feel free to contact us. We can help clear up any concerns you may have.