Ready-made vs. Custom-Made Curtains – Which is More Worth Buying?
Knowing what you’re paying for can help you decide on your compromise – whether it’s quality or quantity.
Like its name suggests, ready-made curtains are pre-made and readily available in supermarkets, shopping malls, departmental stores, or furnishing stores – and one can therefore deduce that they are manufactured in bulk. This translates to better cost-effectiveness for the manufacturers, and convenience of availability on the part of the customers.
On the other hand, custom-made curtains are tailored to suit the preferences of the customers and also the size of the windows or walls. This means that they will surely cost more than ready-made curtains, as workmanship and better quality fabric will be accounted for in the final selling price. Moreover, it requires more time and effort to produce.
Though buying ready-made curtains may seem like a more convenient option, there are several things to consider before making your decision.
1. Ready-made curtains are not fitted for all window sizes.
Readily available curtains sold in shops all come in standard sizes, tailored for regular-size windows. “What are regular windows?” Well, the best example of this is the window size for condominium units. The consistency in the design and shape of windows across condominiums and office buildings around the country (or world) makes it easy for curtain manufacturers to predict the requirements for these standard window sizes.
When it comes to odd-sized windows that don’t fit the “standard” window sizes – ready-made curtains are rarely available. Some examples of odd-sized windows are double-volume windows, extraordinarily tall windows in bungalow halls, or wall-height windows that stretch from one end of the room to another. Thus, home or building owners with such windows usually need to hire curtain-makers to make the best of their space. After all, windows with ill-fitted curtains just look plain weird.
Too big, too small, too long, too short – altogether too many ways it can go wrong.
2. Ready-made curtains require alterations.
As aforementioned, ready-made curtains are manufactured according to the predicted requirements for standard window sizes. As such, when you buy these curtains off the shops, you may notice that sometimes the curtains may either be too long or wide. No biggie – because you can either alter them by yourself or send the curtains to a neighbourhood tailor to fix them for you at a price.
Depending on the skills of the tailor, it is not uncommon for people to end up paying more for the alterations compared to the initial price of the curtains! In some cases, your neighbourhood tailor may only have the capacity to alter clothes or smaller pieces of fabric such as pillowcases or small curtains. The feasibility of the job also largely depends on the material of the curtains you purchased from the shop. For example, thin sheer curtains may be a bit of a challenge to tailors who are used to altering thicker fabrics.
None of these fuss for custom-made curtains though!
With ready-made curtains, it is wiser to allocate some resources for alteration.
3. Ready-made curtains have limited design choices.
So many to choose from, but none that fits your vision of elegance or poshness.
Browsing property listings online for rent, or walking through the curtains section in departmental stores will open your eyes to hideous curtains that just CANNOT fit your initial interior design theme! Oh, where have all the good ones gone!?
They’re sold out, obviously. And this is to be expected – once the pretty ones run out of stock, you will just have to settle for less popular designs. Moreover, do you notice how it is more common to see french-pleat curtains being sold at stores? That’s because – well, you guessed it – it’s the standard pleat.
With custom-made curtains, there is no need to worry about limited designs as each is unique on its own. Additionally, custom-made curtains have a more artistic flair and finish that simply can’t be replicated by ready-made curtains.
4. Ready-made curtains may use lower-quality fabric.
Managing your expectations on the durability of ready-made curtains will save you from disappointments.
When it comes to making profits in the manufacturing business, it’s all about cutting costs. That is why when you touch the fabric of ready-made curtains, they feel worlds apart from the premium-grade fabrics used in customised curtains.
Ready-made curtains are designed to be used for a short while – such as for tenants renting a temporary home. That’s why you may find that they are less durable, and may not last as long as you hope they would – fraying or fading quickly and requiring more regular replacement. Meanwhile, custom-made curtains use much higher-quality fabrics that can stand the test of time.
Standard ready-made curtains: eyelet ring curtain, it is worth it?
Eyelet ring curtains use metal rings at the top of the curtain fabric to hang the curtains onto the curtain rods.
Usually, these metal rings are inexpensive and proven to be strong and durable. Moreover, eyelet curtains are easy to hang, wash, and replace. The only exception though, is that eyelet ring curtains are not recommended as blackout curtains because light can easily pass through the eyelets.
Are custom-made curtains really worth it in the long run?
Definitely. The saying goes “you get what you paid for”.
When opting for custom-designed curtains, you’re paying skilled experts to create something that is unique to your home – and these skilled experts take pride in their craftsmanship and ability to deliver a masterpiece. The additional cost associated with a bespoke custom design pays well in the long run.
If you are doing your research on purchasing curtains for your home, remember to furnish yourself with the information to make smarter decisions. Here are some articles to get you started:
Generally speaking, ready-made curtains are a more convenient option if your budget is tight and you’re in a hurry to get something up ASAP, with less emphasis on perfectly matching your furnishings. However, if you prefer to spend a little more on your home and wish to find something that will provide your rooms with a more lasting and unique design, then custom curtains are definitely something you should invest in.