|Installation and Fitting||
| The Encyclopaedia of Curtains, page 224 - 227
© Copyright Merrick & Day
|Fitting the hardware and hanging curtains and top
treatments requires the same patience and high standards as curtain making. The
overall design determines the type of fixtures required. If the heading is to
be visible, curtains should be hung from a fabric-covered lath or a decorative
pole. However, if the heading is covered by a pelmet, valance or swags and
tails, the curtains can be hung from a track on a pelmet board or a valance
rail and track. See Choosing Tracks, Poles and Other Fittings on p91 in The
Encyclopaedia of Curtains.
Follow the manufacturer's installation instructions and advice when fitting tracks and poles. Fitting hardware can be heavy work, so it makes sense to have someone with you to help; in most cases, you will definitely need another pair of strong hands. Ideally, curtain fixtures should be fixed into place before the curtains are made so that accurate measurements can be taken.
You can hang lightweight curtains from plastic tracks but always use metal corded tracks, for heavier interlined curtains.
Tracks are either top fixed to the underside of the pelmet board or face fixed to the wall. When tracks are corded, the cords can be fitted into a tensioner which is screwed into the wall or onto the skirting board. Alternatively, the cords can be cut and have brass acorn weights tied onto each end. Note this can only be done when the track length is less than the track to floor measurement.
Tracks should be sprayed with a silicone spray to ensure that they run smoothly.
Most track brackets convert to either top or face fixing but double check when you purchase them.
There are so many kinds of track that It is very important to make sure you understand the instructions. Call the manufacturers if you are in any doubt or difficulty.
FITTING PELMET BOARDS
These are made from 20mm (3/4 in) PSE timber and are either painted or covered with matching fabric. The length of the board should be approximately 5cm (2in) longer than the track, to allow space for the curtain to be returned to the wall. The width of the board is usually in the range of 15-23cm (6-9in). The width is dictated by the number of layers used in the window treatment and also any protrusions, such as radiators, that could affect the hang of the curtain.
When pelmets, valances, swags and tails are fixed to the front edge of a pelmet board the curtain track should be set back 6-8cm (2-3in) to allow the curtains free movement. A similar distance is required between the track and the wall or window, hence the depth of a pelmet board is usually 12-18cm (5-7in).
End brackets should be approximately 2.5cm (1in) shorter than the width of the board to give maximum support. A centre bracket is required for pelmet boards over 170cm (67in) long. These have a short back plate so that they are unobtrusive.
At one side of the window, measure up from the top of the window to the bottom of where you want the pelmet board to be. Mark with a pencil, then repeat on the other side. Using a flat piece of wood or a metre stick, draw a line between the two points.
If this line looks level to the eye, mark the position of the brackets. Hold one bracket against the wall and mark the wall through the screw holes with a pencil. Repeat for the second bracket and any other brackets.
Drill holes about 44mm. (l 3/4in) into the wall. Insert plugs into the wall and fix the brackets securely to the wall with No.8 (1 3/4 in) screws.
Lay the pelmet board across the brackets and centre it over the window. On the underside of the pelmet board, mark through the screw holes with a bradawl. Using No.8 25mm (l1in) screws, secure the pelmet board into position.