Window Curtain and Drape Repair

Curtains and drapes provide privacy, decorate your home, and help keep you warm and/or cool. This Fix-It Guide on window curtain and drape repair tells how a window curtain or drape works, what often goes wrong, how to identify a window curtain or drape problem, and what parts and tools you will need to fix it. It also gives simple instructions for completing several simple  curtain and drape repairs.

How Does a Window Curtain or Drape Work?

Curtains and drapes are fabric coverings for windows. Curtains are usually made of lightweight, sheer fabric and include a casing or pocket to insert the support rod across the top. Drapes are usually made of heavier fabric, often lined, have pleated tops, and are hung with hooks.

What Can Go Wrong with a Window Curtain or Drape?

Curtain and drape fabric can be torn. Hems come undone. Fabric can become soiled. The hardware can pull out of the wall. Cords ravel and break.

How Can I Identify a Window Curtain or Drape Problem?

  • If a curtain or drape has a minor tear or a hem comes un-stitched, you can resew it (see the Sewing section of Tools).
  • If a curtain becomes soiled, you may be able to use spot remover or an oxygen cleaner to wash it.

Fix-It Tip

Most curtain and drape pieces have a care label attached to an edge, typically a bottom or top edge. Make sure you read and follow the care label’s instructions.

  • If a drape becomes soiled, you can spot clean it with an oxygen cleaner, take it to the dry cleaner or try one of the home dry-cleaning solutions. Vacuuming drapes once a week with an upholstery brush will extend the time between dry cleanings.
  • If curtain or drape hardware comes loose from the wall, replace the small nails with longer nails or screws.
  • If the hardware is bent or otherwise damaged, replace it.
  • If a drape won’t open when you pull the cord, check to see if it has slipped out of a pulley, and that the hangers or other components aren’t dirty or bent.
  • If a cord ravels or breaks, you can replace it with new cord by using the old cord as a guide for installing the new one. You can purchase new cord at window treatment stores or from larger sewing and craft stores.

What Do I Need for Window Curtain or Drape Repair?

Replacement parts are available local hardware stores and home improvement centers. The tools you will need to fix curtains and drapes include:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Hammer
  • Sewing supplies
  • Oxygen cleaner (or whatever cleaning product or method is recommended on the care label)