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How heavy are night curtains?

Determining the weight of night curtains depends on several factors, including the fabric, length, fullness, and any additional features. Understanding these components can help choose curtains suited for your needs and hardware.

How heavy are night curtains?

Fabric weight impacts overall curtain heaviness

The fabric is the biggest factor affecting curtain weight. Common night curtain fabrics include:

  • Lightweight: Sheers, voiles, and gauze (1-3 oz/yd2)
  • Medium weight: Cotton, linen, faux silk (4-8 oz/yd2)
  • Heavyweight: Velvets, brocades, blackout fabrics (9+ oz/yd2)

Heavier fabrics like blackout curtains that block light and insulation curtains that reduce heat transfer will weigh more than lighter sheer curtains.

Length and fullness add pounds

Longer curtains that puddle on the floor can weigh over 50 pounds. But even knee to floor length curtains between 50-100 inches long can be too heavy for some rods and cause sagging issues.

More fabric fullness, like pinch pleat curtains that require at least 200% fullness, increases weight compared to rod pocket or tab top panels.

Lining and layers compound density

Lined curtains, whether blackout, thermal, or simply for opacity, include an additional layer of fabric that adds weight. Insulated blackout curtains are heaviest, with both blackout lining and inner insulation batting.

Consider hardware weight limits

Standard curtain rods can hold 30-50 pounds, while heavy duty traverse rods support 80-120 pounds per panel. Exceeding the rod’s weight capacity causes safety issues and damages the hardware. Making an informed decision by calculating total curtain weight helps choose adequate support.

Use weights to compare different curtain options

Since dimensions, fullness, fabrics, and features vary, the most consistent method to compare curtain weights is using fabric weight per square yard. This allows you to multiply an estimated total fabric usage by the density.

Calculate estimated weight of night curtains

Follow these steps to estimate night curtain weight:

  1. Measure window dimensions and desired curtain lengths.
  2. Determine number of panels and fullness needed. Pencil pleats require 100% fullness, pinch pleats need 200%.
  3. Look up the fabric weight in oz/yd2. Sheers are ~1-3 oz, cottons 4-8oz, blackouts up to 12oz.
  4. Calculate total fabric yardage needed, accounting for pattern matching and lengths.
  5. Multiply total yardage by oz/yd2 to get estimated ounce weight.
  6. Convert to pounds – 16oz = 1 pound.

This gives the total weight per panel. Remember to also account for heavier lining or multiple layers if included.

Getting an accurate weight estimate before installation ensures properly sturdy hardware and a long lasting curtain.

Key Takeaways

  • Heavier blackout and lined fabrics make curtains weigh more.
  • Extra length and fullness increases fabric yardage and ounces.
  • Support rods have weight limits to handle heavy drapes.
  • Calculate total fabric weight by multiplying oz/yd2 by total yardage.


The weight of nighttime curtains spans a wide range depending on the style, construction, layers, and length chosen. Measuring the window and calculating total fabric yardage needed provides the information to compare curtain weights and options. Considering the hardware weight limits ensures proper support for heavier window treatments, preventing sagging and damages. With some simple measuring and math, finding sturdy, long lasting curtains is made easier.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I know if my curtain rod can handle heavy curtains?
    Look at the packaging or product description for the maximum weight capacity of the curtain rod, measured in pounds. Standard rods support 30-50 lbs per panel. Upgrade to heavy duty rods rated for 80-120 lbs if installing heavier curtains.

  2. What fabrics make the heaviest curtains?
    The heaviest night curtain fabrics include Velvets at 12-18oz per square yard and Faux Silk or Taffeta at 10-15oz/yd2. Insulated blackout curtains and intricately woven jacquards also fall on the heavier end of the spectrum.

  3. How much do floor length curtains weigh?
    Floor length curtains 100 inches long can weigh 10-25 pounds each, depending on fabric and fullness. Extreme lengths up to 120 inches long measure 30-60 lbs per panel in heavier fabrics like blackout curtains.

  4. Should blackout curtains be heavier?
    Yes, true blackout curtains involve thicker, denser fabrics often paired with a lining that blocks light. This doubles the density, making them heavier. Light blocking curtains weigh 6-12 oz/yd2 compared to sheer fabrics at just 1-3 oz.

  5. How much does lining add to curtain weight?
    A basic cotton lining adds 3-8 ounces per square yard, while blackout lining can weigh 6-12 oz/yd2. This doubles the per yard weight. Calculate total yardage to get the lining’s contribution to overall curtain weight.

  6. Is 50 lbs too heavy for curtains?
    Most standard rods safely handle 30-50 lbs per panel. Exceeding this risks the rod brackets ripping out of the wall. Upgrading to an extra sturdy traverse rod or pole can support 80-120 lbs per panel.

  7. What weight fabric is best for curtains?
    Medium weight fabrics between 4-8 oz/yd2, like cotton, linen, or light silks, make great curtains. They filter light yet retain privacy and insulate well. Heavier fabrics sag, while too light causes gaping. Match fabric density to the curtain style and hardware.

  8. How much fabric do I need for curtains?
    Measure your total window width from wall to wall. For relaxed panels, multiply this by 2.5 for fullness. For pinch pleats, multiply by 3-4x. Finally, multiply by the total finished length from rod to hem. Add 15% if matching patterns.

  9. Should curtain panels be different weights?
    Balancing the weight keeps the panels hanging evenly. Significantly heavier panels on one side causes leaning. Match the fabric weights and dimensions to maintain an even appearance.

  10. How do you calculate curtain yardage?
    Add up the total window width from wall to wall then multiply by the fullness ratio, ranging from 2 up to 4 times for pleated curtains. Finally, multiply by the finished length from rod to hem. Divide total inches calculated by 36 for the yards needed per panel.

  11. What is the difference between GSM and ounces per square yard?
    GSM (grams per square meter) measures the density of fabrics. Since curtain weights use ounces per square yard, divide GSM by 33.9 to convert the metric measurement. This changes grams to ounces while balancing the different area units.

  12. How much space do you need to measure curtains?
    Lay curtains on a clean floor against the wall for measuring. Have at least 1 foot more width than the panel’s length and height equal to the curtain length. This provides space to freely spread out the panel without obstacles interfering.

  13. What tools do I need to measure curtains?
    Have at least a metal measuring tape to record exact dimensions. For more accuracy, use a yardstick, cloth measuring tape, and seam gauge. Mark measurements with fabric chalk that rubs away easily. Optional tools like curtain weights also help.

  14. Should curtains puddle on the floor?
    For proper draping, curtains should just kiss the floor, allowing them to sway elegantly. Puddling curtains weighs them down, causing strain and stretching. They also collect dirt and dust. Hem curtains to lightly graze right at the floor level.

  15. What rooms need the heaviest curtains?
    Bedrooms and media rooms need dense blackout curtains to block light and noise. Home theaters also often use layered velvet curtains for sound absorption. Insulated curtains provide extra temperature insulation in cold climates as well.

  16. How do you measure for curtain holdbacks?
    Extend the fully closed curtains to where you want the centered holdbacks placed. Mark this distance in from the wall with tape then measure to determine the holdback placement. This sets the overlap when curtains are kept tied back.

  17. Should you iron curtains?
    Only iron curtains on low if needed to smooth wrinkles after installation. Use a press cloth between the iron and fabric. Too much heat causes shine, stretch, puddling and can scorch delicate fabrics. Let curtains hang to stretch naturally.

  18. What thickness of curtains keeps a room warm?
    For the best insulation, choose pinch pleat curtains in heavyweight fabrics 12 oz./yd2 or higher. Thermal lined curtains and blackout curtains with thick batting also retain heat. Seal the edges to prevent drafts for maximum warmth and efficiency.

  19. Where should curtain rods be placed?
    Standard placement is 2-6 inches above the window frame and 4-6 inches beyond the frame width. Adjust to the necessary overlap outside the window based on curtain fullness and whether decorative holdbacks or tiebacks will be used when opened.

  20. How do you fix sagging curtains?
    Reasons curtains sag include incorrect measuring, low quality fabrics that stretch, overweight density, inadequate support rods, and accumulation of dust and dirt over time. Only length adjustments or upgrading hardware help sagging issues long term.

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