Friday, January 25, 2008

How-To: Austrian Shades

Austrian ShadesMEASURING

To determine amount of fabric needed, first measure window width. Decide how many scallops you want and how wide they need to be to cover the window. (Scallop should not be over 12" wide).


width of window

# of scallops x 3" or 4"

3" for side seams


Note: Be sure to allow 1" extra for each seam if fabric must be seamed to achieve necessary width.


sheers: Window length x 3=

opaques: Window length x 2=


for mounting, decide if your desired finished length is at upper corner of scallop arch or bottom loop of scallop arch (the scallop bottom hangs down about 3" longer than upper corner).


  • Fabric and Lining: The cutting width of your shade may exceed the width of your fabric. You will need to seam panels together before you cut the final width. Cutting width of shade divided by the fabric width = numbers of panels needed. (Round up to the nearest whole number.) To determine how much fabric you need, multiply the number of panels by the finished cutting length. If your fabric repeats a printed deign periodically, you will need to add the length of the repeat for each panel to ensure you have enough
    fabric to match that design at panel seams.

  • Austrian Shade Tape (style 183 9013 030): equal to measured length of fabric x number of scallops desired (plus one more additional scallop length). To determine number of rows/scallops needed, plan a row of tape at each edge of shade and to be approximately 10"-12" apart. Divide the width of the window by 10-12, round up to the nearest whole number. Note: always buy a little extra, so you can lay out rings symmetrically.

  • 3/8" Metal Rod or Dowel:
    Cut ½" shorter than width for weight bar

  • Mounting Board: 1"
    x 2" thick, cut to equal finished width of shade minus ¼".

  • Metal Screw Eyes (style 183 9044 070): equal to number of rows of ring tape

  • Polyester cord (style 183 9032 030): (2x cutting length of shade + cutting width of shade) x number of determined rows.

  • Angle Irons (style 183 9034 070):
    and/or screws for mounting board.

  • Cord Cleat (style 183 9046 001)


  • straight pins

  • matching thread

  • sewing machine

  • scissors

  • yard stick

  • iron

  • ironing board.


Follow ½" seam allowances

  1. Seam fabric panels together to achieve cutting width. Use French seams on sheer fabrics. Press 1 ½" hems on sides and bottom. Stitch bottom hem.

  2. Cut lengths of Austrian shade tape, one more than the number of scallops. Knot the ends of the cords so they cannot pull out. Place tapes on shade, placing the top ring of each tape 1 ½" down from top of fabric and one tape on each side over side hems. Keep and extra 1" of tape extending at bottom. Pin tapes to shade- be sure rings are even and parallel.

  3. Sew on tapes over side hems and on body of shade. Turn up the extra 1" at bottom and sew into loops for weight bar. (Your lines of stitching need not be perfect, since they will all disappear into the gathers).

  4. Since you have allowed up to 4" extra for each scallop, the shade will be much wider at the top than the window. Pin and tack tucks at top on each side of the tapes until you have eliminated the extra width at top.

  5. A 3/8" metal rod or dowel will supply the weight for the shade. The weight is needed to help the shade operate smoothly. To help hold it securely in the loops at the bottom of the shade, first wrap the rod in fabric. For fabric cover for metal rod, cut coordinating
    fabric 2 ½" wide and 1" longer than the rod. With right sides together, seam one short and long end of fabric. Turn to right side. Insert rod and stitch end closed. Insert covered rod into tape loops. Tack loops to fabric covered rod to hold.

  6. Pull the two knotted cords in each tape to gather the shade to the exact length of the window. Knot the cords to prevent gathers from slipping. Do Not Cut The Cords! Note:
    When cleaning time comes, you can untie them and flatten the shade for easy handling. Make sure all rings are still even across the shade after gathering. To help even out the gathers and give them a more uniform look, it helps to grasp them on each side of the ring tape and give a firm tug.


  1. You may want to cover mounting board with shade fabric before proceeding; this gives a more finished look. Attach screw eyes to underside of mounting board, directly in line with each row of ring tape.

  2. In equal lengths, cut polyester cord to equal number of rows or ring tape. Tie cord to bottom of ring tape. Thread cord up through all rings in that row. Thread cord up through screw eye at top of that row. Thread cord through screw eye at top of row and through
    screw eyes to one side of shade. Repeat for each row of ring tape. With shade flat, knot cords together just outside last screw eye. Knot cords again approximately ¾ of the way down length of shade.

  3. Mount board. For inside mount: mount board to window molding at top with screws or angle irons. For outside mount: mount board to wall above window with angle irons.

  4. Install clear cord cleat to window molding at a comfortable height. Twist cords around cleat to anchor when shade is lifted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sounds hard...