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Measuring for Shades Simplified

Measuring Shades SimplifiedEVERY WINDOW SHADE is custom-made and precisely designed to fit each window. Measuring the window opening is the most important step to successfully manufacture the perfect window shade.


Before you measure the window opening, you need to decide how the shade is going to be mounted.

Inside Mount: The entire shade will be mounted inside the window opening, including hardware such as brackets or a headbox. The shade fabric also hangs within the window opening. This mounting style is recommended for most installations – a clean, built-in look, maintains the attractive window moldings on display. It’s typically used when window treatments are layered. NOTE: window opening needs to be deep enough for the shade hardware, and there will be a light gap on each side of the shade. (Consult Draper’s product literature for the type of shade you’re ordering to make sure of hardware size and light gap.)

Outside Mount: The shade brackets will be installed outside the window opening, allowing the shade cloth to overlap the window. This mounting style is typically used when the window opening isn’t deep enough to hold the mounting hardware, or when there’s an obstruction inside the window frame. It can also hide an unattractive window, or make a window seem bigger. It also reduces light leakage.

Measuring Shades SimplifiedREADY TO MEASURE

If there’s more than one window, each window must be measured. Even though all windows may look the same, and the specifications call out that they are all the same size, sizes do vary. If a window is even slightly out of square, or the size is off by a fraction of an inch, it can make installation and operation difficult. Clearly identify each window by giving it a room name and window number.

Use a steel tape measure or laser measuring tool. Do not use a fabric measuring tape.

Shade measurements should always be communicated width first, followed by height. For example: 48” w. x 80” h. Measurements should be as exact as possible, rounded down to the nearest 1/16th of an inch.


For Inside Mounting, use the Inside Measure method. Send Draper the exact width and height of the window opening. Draper will make the product so that the shade unit—including hardware—is that width. The cloth will be slightly narrower than the window opening, and there will be light leakage around the sides of the shade.

Measuring is a simple two-part process. First, measure the width at the top of the window opening, where the shade mounting brackets will install. Send Draper the exact width measurement, rounded down to the nearest 1/16th of an inch.

Next, measure the height of the window opening from top to bottom, rounded down to the nearest 1/16th of an inch.

NOTE-In commercial construction there may be multiple windows within one window opening, separated by vertical aluminum mullions. Measure from the left side of the window opening to the center of the first mullion, then to the center of the second mullion, etc. Send Draper the exact measurements. Do not make deductions.

Measuring_Shades_measuringPointsMEASURING FOR OUTSIDE MOUNT

Measure the width on the wall above and overlapping the left and right sides of the window opening, where the brackets will install. A 2” cloth overlap on each side of the opening is typical. Allow sufficient height at the top above the window opening for the shade mounting hardware. Required height will vary depending upon model and size of shade—refer to price list.

Shade height will equal required height for shade mounting hardware plus height of window opening. If there is no protruding sill you may wish to add 2-3” at the bottom as well.

The overall width of the hardware will be greater than the measurement you send us. How much wider depends on the product.


Provide width and height measurements for each window. Controls for bead chain shades should be placed to the side of the shade(s) opposite the corner. A larger than normal light gap will be typical for corner or bay window-installed shades. In addition, fascia, custom valances, and cornices can increase the light gap between shades.

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