05 Jun

Despite first impressions, the difference between a readymade curtain and a made to measure curtain is enormous, so when deciding to buy either readymade or made to measure curtains, it is important to consider the pro's and con's of each product. To help you decide which is best for you we have itemised and highlighted the major differences below. 

Fabric Choice

If we include design and colour options, the largest readymade range we could find consisted of 139 options at the time of writing. Whilst we cannot claim to supply fabric from every curtain fabric supplier in the country,  we conservatively estimate that we have access to over 25,000 design / colour options. It goes without saying therefore, that the chances of finding the perfect fabric design and colour for your room is dramatically higher with a made to measure product.

Heading Styles

Readymade heading styles are either 3" pencil pleat or 40mm eyelet (in one colour)  - decided by the manufacturer or retailer.

With our made to measure curtains we offer 3" tape, 6" tape, double pinch pleat, triple pinch pleat, goblet, tab top headings - decided by you the customer. If you want eyelet heading we have a range of colours to choose from to match the colour of the fabric and pole.

Accessories - Pelmets, Tiebacks, Cushions, Swags and Tails

With a made to measure curtain you can have all of the above to either match or complement your curtain fabric. Pelmets can be the depth and width you would like them to be, cushions can be made to the size you would like, either piped or not. Readymade curtains rarely offer this, if ever.

Lining Choice

Readymade curtains will have one type of lining, if you want your readymade curtains interlined forget it.

Whilst the majority of our made to measure curtains are made with ivory cotton sateen or blackout lining, we can also offer a coloured lining in 17 shades, all can interlined as well if you wish.

Pattern Matching

Readymade curtains with a pattern will not match from pair to pair, all of our made to measure curtains are pattern matched from pair to pair as a matter of course.

Size and FIt

Readymade curtains, as the name suggests, come in 3 widths - usually 117cm (46"), 168cm (66") , 229cm (90") and 3 drops 137cm (54") 182cm (72") and 229cm (90") - a total of 9 size options. As made to measure curtains are bespoke to fit your windows and made individually there is an infinite number of size options. 

(NB Made to measure fabric is usually 137cm to 140cm wide so anything above these widths will have a join and is made in 1/2 width increments to the exact drop required)

Quality of Manufacture

Readymade curtains are mainly imported from the Far East - China, Pakistan and Bangladesh and made by a team of semi-skilled workers on a production line. Made to measure curtains are bespoke and made in the UK by individual highly skilled seamstress with high quality components and attention to finish.

Quality of Components

Cheaper components are used in readymade curtains to keep the price down. 

For example:

1) 3" heading tape on a readymade has a strung pocket which is prone to stretching whereas made to measure curtains have a woven pocket and will always retain its shape, and therefore drape.

2) These days a readymade curtain tends to have a microfibrelining in 100% polyester that is not much thicker than net curtains. Without going into technical detail, whilst different M2M makers have their own favourite lining they are all polycotton, usually cotton sateen, and drape well. You make think this a minor point, but curtain lining is designed to carry out several important functions (as outlined in this video)


Obviously a readymade curtain is going to be cheaper than a made to measure curtain, but when taking into account it is for your home and the fact a made to meaure curtain will last you years (20 years is not unheard of) the price difference is not as great as you may imagine. We are always happy to provide free in-store advice and help along with no obligation quotations.

For help and advice please feel to call in between 10.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday, email or telephone us - full details are on contacts page.

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The Fabric Stores,Blinds Shop,Mansfield,