Choosing and Using Curtain Weights

Curtain weights, or drapery weights come in different shapes and sizes, so here’s some basics to help you decide whether or not you need them, which ones to choose, and how to attach them.


Penny Weights

Penny Weight

  • These coin shaped weights are attached in the bottom corners of curtains inside the hem, so you will need 2 per curtain.
  • These help keep the leading and outer edges hanging nice and straight, and can be used in any curtains except voiles.
  • Penny weights should be covered in lining fabric (offcuts and scraps are useful here!).  Make a little square pocket, drop the weight in, and sew up the opening.  Then unpick the corner of your curtain hem and open it up so that you can place the covered weight in the corner.  Carefully stitch in place by hand, so as not to let the stitching show on the outside of the curtain.  Then stitch the hem back in place.  Voila!
  • The quickest way to cover a set of these is to sew a tube, sew up one end, pop the weights in, and then stitch in between.  Cut in between your stitching lines and you have 4 covered weights without too much fiddling about!
Chain Weights

Chain Weights

  • Chain weights are made of lots of little weighted beads, joined together on a string, covered in a fabric tube.  They are designed to run along the width of each curtain hem.
  • These are really well suited to curtains covering doors and large windows, as they are effective at reducing billowing and fluttering in the breeze when you’ve got the door open.
  • Chain weights come in several different weights, and so can be used on anything from super lightweight curtains, to thick heavy ones.
  • The cheat way to put these in is to unpick a hem corner, then dangle and pull the chain through.  Whilst this may do the job for a while, the chain may end up getting bunched up, or moving around a bit inside the hem, and so it’s worth taking the time to do it the proper way.  This is especially true of curtains that are in frequent use!
  • The proper way to add chain weights to your curtains requires hand stitching.  Secure the first bead of the chain into its tubing with two or three stitches.  Open up your curtain hem all the way along and place the chain just below your hem crease. Then, using an invisible stitch, hand sew it all the way along.  You use a fairly long stitch, as you want the chain to continue to have movement.  You are just taking it in place, to prevent it being dislodged! Then secure the last bead as you did the first.

My final top tip for adding any curtain weights is to always make sure that, if you are machine stitching your hem closed again, always remember to leave enough room for your presser foot to get by!

I hope this has been helpful in choosing and using curtain weights!  If, however, you’d like me to provide this service for you please get in touch, or have a look at my Curtain Alterations page for more information.