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How Far Apart Should I Space My Lift Cords?
Home Home Home Improvement
By: Jennifer Thoden Email Article
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When Making Roman Shades How Far Apart Should I Space My Lift Cords?

You should have your lift cords for a flat roman shade spaced about 10 inches apart. That's the rule of thumb. So, if you're making a flat roman shade... meaning there's going to be no swagging. Everything will be nice and flat... the pleats will be nice and straight and even. So, you want your lift cords about every 10 inches apart.

Now, I say "about" because you can't have your lift cords exactly 10" apart... unless you have a magical even numbered width for your roman shade. So, 10 or 11 inches is ok.

Now, if you're going to put ribs into your roman shades at every row of rings, you're going to have a little more stability there and you can get away with less rings... less lift cords... more spacing. So, with that idea, you could have maybe 12 to 14 inches of spacing between rings.

You really need to have your own discretion... because once you get passed 12" you risk the fabric swagging... even with a casing and a rib at every row of rings. So, if you have a light weight fabric, you may get away with 12 to 14" of ring spacing. If you have a fabric that has a nice stiff feel.. you may also get away with wider ring spacing.

But if you have silk, something flimsy or something full and heavy, you may need to stay in the 12 inches or less spacing.

There is no magic formula for this... so when in doubt when making your roman shades... do not go over 10 to 12 inches of spacing between lift cords. And this is really easy to figure out. Once you decide that you're going to space your lift cords about 10 inches apart... you take the width of your roman shade. I'm assuming that you will have your lift cords come in an inch on each side. So, subtract 2 inches from the finished width of your roman shade (1 inch for each side). Divide that by 10.

The number you come up with is the number of spaces between lift cords. Add one to get the number of lift cords you will need.

So, again space your lift cords or shade rings 10 to 12 inches apart and if you have roman shade ribs, space the rings 12 to 14 inches apart.

Jenny T. shows you exactly how to make roman shades with detailed step-by-step video tutorials, illustrated instructions and easy to use calculators. Visit for 20 FAQ videos on making roman shades.

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