Highland Forge Custom Drapery Hardware

Customizing and Measuring Tips

Customizing and Measuring Tips
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Drapery Hardware Glossary
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Customizing and Measuring Tips

Rods | Brackets | Finials | Tiebacks | Wands | Rings



How can I customize my curtain rods?

After selecting a curtain rod from the main Rods page, you'll be able to define your specifications:
  • Rod Type

    Curtain rods can be made into the following rod types:

    straight window curtain rods

    straight window curtain rods

    Straight rod of any length.
    Custom splicing upon request.

    How to Measure

    corner window curtain rods

    corner window curtain rods

    Two-sided rod made to fit your corner window perfectly, with internal (hidden) corner connector.

    How to Measure

    bay window curtain rods

    bay window curtain rods

    Three-sided rod made to fit your bay window perfectly, with internal (hidden) corner connectors.

    How to Measure

    bow window curtain rods

    bow window curtain rods

    *Please contact us to order.*
    Curved rod, mounted horizontally on a curved wall. Available in 1" round rods only.

    How to Measure

    arch window curtain rods

    arch window curtain rods

    We are not making Arch Rods at this time. Diagram for reference only.

  • Size

    You'll be able to specify all dimensions of your walls to 1/8".

  • Projection

    You'll be able to specify the exact projection for the rod.

  • Rod Ends

    You'll be able to specify the ends of the rod as either straight (for use with finials or socket brackets) or having Returns.

About Returns

While curtain rods typically have finials at each end, they can be fashioned to "return" to the wall. This may be desirable if there is not enough room for finials, or if the specific mounting requires it. In some cases returns may appeal for solely aesthetic reasons.

If you choose returns for your curtain rod, you will need to use two post brackets for the ends, in place of the standard brackets typically used. Be sure to specify the Rod Size To Fit for the post brackets as the actual size of your curtain rod. (Ex: 3/4" rod would use post brackets made to fit 3/4" rod size.) For all brackets to be used with a curtain rod with returns, be sure to specify the same projection as was assigned to the rod.

Projection is the distance between the wall and the rod.

Use Of Post Bracket With Return

use of post bracket with a curtain rod with returns

Details for a Straight Rod with Returns:

details for a straight rod with returns

Returns for specific rod types:

  • Straight Rod

    Returns on straight rods are fabricated at 90° from the rod.
    As seen from above:

  • Corner Rod

    Returns on corner rods are fabricated at 90° from each end of the rod.
    As seen from above:

  • Bay Rod

    Returns on bay rods are fabricated at 90° from each end of the rod.
    As seen from above:

  • Bow Rod

    Returns on bow rods are fabricated at 90° from each end of the rod.
    As seen from above:




How can I customize my curtain brackets?

After selecting a bracket from the brackets page, you'll be able to further define your specifications:
  • Cup Style

    When applicable, you'll be able to specify one of the following cup styles:

    round | standard round | tube round | saddle
    square | standard square | tube square | saddle

  • Cup Size

    When applicable, you'll be able to specify the exact size for each cup in the bracket.

  • Projection

    When applicable, you'll be able to specify the exact projection for each cup in the bracket, or for the post in the post bracket.


Measuring Tips for Brackets

  • Center Single, Standard Single

    These brackets are used for a single rod setup. When ordering, select the "rod size to fit" as the diameter of the rod these brackets will support. Select the projection as the desired distance between the wall and the back of the rod (3" is most common).

    Standard brackets typically provide more support and hide better behind end drapery panels, whereas Center brackets allow the rod to be mounted closer (lower) to the window trim and tend to hide better behind the rod due to their horizontal backplate.

  • Center Double, Standard Double

    Double brackets are used for double rod setups. Normally, the back rod is a smaller diameter than the front rod since it tends to holds less weight (e.g. sheer). A smaller diameter in the back also helps to keep the overall projection down. A common projection to the back rod is 2 1/2". We recommend at least a 1 1/2" spacing in between rods, for example:

    Cup 1: 3/4" rod, 2 1/2" projection
    Cup 2: 1 1/4" rod, 4 3/4" projection

  • Socket

    Socket brackets are used for rods that will be mounted between two surfaces facing one another, such as inside the frame of a recessed window or in the case of a shower curtain rod. This type of installation is called a Wall to Wall Mount, or Inside Mount.

    Please Note:

    The socket backplates are 3/8" thick. If using an socket on both ends of a straight rod, be sure to subtract 7/8" from the overall length of the rod to allow room for the brackets themselves and ease of installation.

    If you are using a socket on only one end of the rod, then simply subtract 3/8" from the length of the rod. A general rule is to err on making your rod a bit too short versus too long, so as to not inhibit installation. Also see measuring help for your rod type (straight, corner, bay) if using socket brackets.

  • Post

    Post brackets are used for curtain rods with returns on the ends. The projection of the post bracket should be the same as the projection of the rod returns. Ex: If you are ordering a 1" diameter rod with returns having a 3 1/2" projection, your specifications for your two post brackets would be: Rod size to fit = 1", Projection = 3 1/2". For more info, read about returns.

  • Which cup style should I use?

    The following are suggestions on cup style:

    • A round cup is used for round rods. A square cup is used for square and hammered rods.

    • Standard style is used in most cases. Saddle style may be used for getting extra height above the bracket. (Such as when crown molding prevents you from simply mounting the bracket higher on the wall.)

  • How many brackets do I need?

    The number of brackets needed is based on the diameter of the rod, the length of the rod, the weight of the fabric, and sometimes the strength of the mounting surface:

    Every rod needs a bracket at each end, and some may need additional bracket(s) in the middle. Since rods are spliced every 105", you will always need a middle bracket on rods over 105". The length of a section of rod between two brackets is called a "span". (Ex: A rod @ 140" with one middle bracket would have 2 spans of 70"). Since rods increase in rigidity as they increase in diameter, we have these suggested guidelines:

    1/2" rod : max suggested span is ~70"
    3/4" rod : max suggested span is ~80"
    1" rod : max suggested span is ~90"
    1 1/4" and larger can span up to the full unspliced length (105") with no sag.

    A very weak mounting surface (such as drywall with no stud/framing) may warrant an additional bracket to help support the load. Keep in mind that you'll ideally want to line your brackets up with the splice seams so that the seams are hidden and thus the rod will look like one solid, continuous piece.

    Corner and bay window curtain rods will need an additional bracket for each corner.

    Please click here for more info on splicing.

  • Specific Bracket Dimensions

    NOTE: The following are non-critical dimensions, and may change from time to time as we work to improve our products. If your design or installation has a specific requirement, please contact us to confirm the details.

    -Standard, Center, and Simple Ceiling brackets are made from 3/16" x 3/4" flat bar.

    -The height of the backplate on Standard Single and Standard Double brackets (with non-Saddle cups) depends on the rod size:
    1/2", 3/4" rod = 3" back height
    1", 1 1/4" rod = 3 1/2" back height
    1 1/2", 2" rod = 4" back height

    -The backplate on Center brackets is 3" wide x 1 1/2" tall.

    -The backplate on Slim Center brackets is 3 1/2" wide x 3/4" tall.

    -Post brackets are 3" - 4" tall (following rules above), and are as wide as the diameter of the rod.

    -All mounting holes are 1/4" in diameter.

    -Sockets are always a 1/4" larger in diameter than the rod size.

    -Loop brackets have a backplate measuring 1" wide, and 2 1/2" - 3 1/2" tall depending on rod size. The cup and arm portion are 1/2" wide.

    -M1 brackets have a backplate measuring 1" wide, and 2 1/2" - 3 1/2" tall depending on rod size. The arm is 3/16" thick.

    -Standard Bypass brackets and Standard Single/Double brackets with Saddle cups have a backplate 3/4" wide x 3" tall.

Projection Measurements

  • Projection is the distance between the mounting surface and the rod. For ceiling mounts, this is the distance from the ceiling to the top of the rod. For wall mounts, this is the distance from the wall to the back of the rod.

  • Projection for Post Bracket

    For post brackets, the projection should be set to the same length as on the rod with returns.

  • What length projection should I specify?

    Projection is the distance between the mounting surface and start of the rod. The most common projection for a single bracket is around 3". For double brackets, the first cup usually has a projection between 2" and 3", with the second cup being between 4" and 6". The most common setup on a double rod is a projection of 2 1/2" to the back rod, and 4 3/4" to the front rod. With a 3/4" back rod, this gives 1 1/2" in between rods. For smaller rods in tight spots such as bathrooms, a smaller projection may be desired. A larger projection may be needed for clearance around large window frames or other objects. Keep in mind these are just the typical setups - you should examine your specific situation to determine the best fit.




Measuring Tips for Finials

  • How do I measure for finials?

    There are only two general rules for choosing finials for your rod:

    1) Make sure that the finial will not be too long for your installation. Be sure you have room for the length of each finial AND the length of the rod. (Make sure there are no walls, etc. in the way.)

    2) Make sure the size of your finial is not overly large for the rod. The part of the finial that meets (touches) the rod is called the "base", and the size of this part is given for each finial as its "width at base". The finial base should always be large enough to fully cover the end of the rod, but not so large as to look out of place. Typically, you'll want to choose a finial with a base which is just a bit larger than the rod size it will be used with.


    The length you specify for your rod is the length of the rod only (NOT including the finials). Ex: If you order a rod at 96", and finials which are 3" each, your total length with finials will be 96 + 3 + 3 = 102". This is true regardless of type of rod or finial.

  • How do the finials attach to the rod?

    Finials are always attachable / detachable from the rod. Finials attach either by sliding inside the end of the rod, or by threading into the end of the rod, or by sliding over the end of the rod - whichever method works best for your finial and rod selection. So long as you are ordering both rod and finials from Highland Forge we've got you covered.

    Please note that we do NOT recommend mixing and matching rods and finials from different manufacturers, as all manufacturers use different methods, thread sizes, etc. and there is no universal or "standard" method of finial connection.




How can I customize my tiebacks?

After selecting the ornamental part of your tieback from the main Tiebacks page, you'll be able to select its body type.

The following are examples of completed tiebacks:

Flat Hook Tieback

These tiebacks are 4" deep x 7" wide (including the ornamental piece). Flat hook tiebacks work best with flat elements such as medallions and discs.

Flat Hook Tieback with Disc

Round Hook Tieback

These tiebacks are 4" deep x 7" wide (including the ornamental piece). Round hook tiebacks work well with any of the available ornamental pieces.

Stainless Round Hook Tieback with Ball

Post Tieback

These tiebacks are 5" deep, including the ornamental piece. Post tiebacks work best with medallion style or very short, finial style ornamental pieces.

Stainless Post Tieback with Disc

Measuring Tips for Tiebacks

Which Body Style?

When choosing between tieback / holdback bodies, there are a few considerations:

  • Hook tiebacks typically can accommodate more fabric than post tiebacks. While a post tieback with a large medallion can hold a substantial amount of drapery, hook tiebacks will usually be the better choice if your installation calls for holding back a lot of fabric.

  • The difference in mounting styles may be something to consider depending on your windows / walls. Flat hook and round hook tiebacks take up more space horizontally than the post tieback. Flat hook tiebacks use horizontal aligned anchoring, while round hook tiebacks use vertically aligned anchoring. Post tiebacks can be mounted in either direction.

  • Stainless steel tieback bodies are typically only used with brass and stainless steel ornamental pieces.

  • Finally, please note that longer finials (over 2") typically do not work well as the ornamental piece on post tiebacks, whereas shorter finials and all medallions work great on post tiebacks.



Measuring Tips for Wands

  • Hook Type

    Choose the hook type based on how you intend to use the wand:

    -The Through-Ring hook is the more common hook type. The wand is placed through the body of the lead ring and it pulls the bottom of the ring to slide the drapes. It is a very secure hook type and is typically left in place permanently. You can hang it in front of the drapery panel for easy access or behind the panel so as to be hidden. You will need one wand per panel. Keep in mind you'll need adequate space between the ring and rod to use the Through-Ring (see more below).

    -The Over-Rod hook is less common, and is typically only used if a Through-Ring hook cannot be used such as with C-rings or when you do not have an adequate gap between rod and ring (see more below). You may also want to use an Over-Rod hook if you intend to use one wand for multiple drapery panels or windows, as this hook type is easier to take on and off the ring/rod. When hooked through the lead ring, the Over-Rod hook will work just like the Through-Ring by pulling the bottom of the ring. When hooked over the rod itself, the Over-Rod hook will push the lead ring.

  • What length do I need?

    For ease of use, the wand should hang down to around shoulder height or a bit lower. The measurement that you provide for the length of the wand will be the total, overall length from end to end.

  • What diameter wand do I need?

    Normally you should use the smallest diameter wand that can be made to your length needed. If you have a situation where you'll be putting extra force on the wand (rare) then you can go one size larger in diameter to reduce flex in the wand.

  • Rod Size To Fit (For Over-Rod Hooks)

    This should be set to the actual size of the rod the wand will be used with. (We'll make the wand hook slightly larger than the rod size.) For example, if using the wand with a 1" rod, then select Rod Size To Fit of 1".

  • IMPORTANT: Ring and Rod Size

    If you intend to hook the wand through the ring, then you must be sure to have an adequate gap between the ring and rod. This gap (difference between rod Outside Diameter and ring Inside Diameter) must be at least Wand Diameter + 1/8".

    - If using a 1/4" wand then the ring ID must be at least 3/8" larger than the rod OD.

    - If using a 3/8" wand then the ring ID must be at least 1/2" larger than the rod OD.

    - If using a 1/2" wand then the ring ID must be at least 5/8" larger than the rod OD.

  • Can I use a wand with a Square or Hammered Rod?

    Generally speaking, if you plan to open/close the drapes on a daily basis or if you anticipate that sliding the drapes will be difficult for some reason (extremely heavy weight, etc.) then we recommend round rods and rounds rings as they slide best. However, if you want to use a wand on a Square or Hammered rod then you can certainly do so. You'll need to use the Through-Ring hook in this case as the Over-Rod hook will not work on a square shaped rod.

  • Can I use a wand with C-rings?

    Yes, but it must be the Over-Rod hook type, as a wand hooked through the body of a C-ring would fall out.




Measuring Tips for Rings

  • All rings are listed by inner diameter / dimension.

    With all of our rings, the outer diameter is approximately 3/8" larger than the inner diameter. For example: A 2" ring has a 2" inner diameter and a 2 3/8" outer diameter. All eyelets are approximately 1/2" diameter.

  • What size ring do I need?

    Rings should typically be around 1/2" larger than the rod they will be used with. For example, a 3/4" rod would use 1 1/4" rings and a 1" rod would use 1 1/2" rings. For a tighter look, a ring that is only 1/4" larger than the rod will usually work on a straight rod, with the exception of the scenarios described below. Please check with us if you are unsure.

    If using C-Rings: All C-rings are made to fit an exact rod size; please be sure to select the appropriate C-rings for your rod size.

    If using Rods with Returns: For Curved returns, a ring that is 1/4" larger than the rod will work. For Mitered returns that are unspliced, you will need an over-sized ring for rods 1 1/4" and larger: 1 1/4" rods will need the 2" ring, 1 1/2" rods will need the 2 1/2" ring, and 2" rods will need the 3" ring. Alternatively if a rod with Mitered returns is spliced then you can load rings onto the face of the rod from the splice and will not need an over-sized ring.

    If using Wands: If you plan to use a wand with the Through-Ring hook, then be sure that the rings are large enough. At a minimum there must be room for the thickness of the wand itself (1/4", 3/8", or 1/2") plus an additional 1/8". For example, if you are using a 3/8" wand with a 1" rod, then you must use at least the 1 1/2" ring. If you do not have enough space between ring and rod then you can use a wand with the Over-Rod hook.

    If using an Existing Rod: If you are purchasing rings to use with an existing rod, then it is important to know the exact outside diameter of your rod. If it is a telescoping / adjustable rod, then be sure to measure the large end. The easiest way to measure the diameter is to remove the finial from one end and measure straight across the end of the rod from one side to the other. See our Glossary section for a diagram of Diameter. (Do not measure around the outside of the rod, as this is the Circumference not the Diameter.)

  • How many rings do I need?

    The number of rings needed depends on your drapery details. 50" wide panels will commonly use around 8 rings (7" ring spacing) and 100" panels will use 15 rings, but this can vary so always check your specific drapes to determine how many rings are needed. For general estimating purposes, you can plan to use a ring for every 3 - 5 inches of curtain rod.

  • How do I use eyelet rings?

    The traditional method for attaching a ring with eyelet is to sew the fabric into the eyelet. This is the method typically preferred by designers and can be done at any drapery workroom. Another method is to use drapery pins. With drapery pins, one end attaches to the fabric and the other end is hooked through the eyelet. Drapery pins come in various shapes and sizes and are available at most drapery / fabric stores as well as online.


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