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alice68
One more comment: Getting those traversing draperies to "just skim" the floor is a bigger deal than you might think. First, few floors are truly level and many ceilings are not quite parallel to the floor. I have measured many rooms for draperies that are were to go floor to ceiling for 20 or more feet of width (I live in a beach-front resort town where walls of glass are common). I used a special measuring tool, as a tape measure was simply inadequate and laser devices had not yet been invented. The difference in ideal length was often as much as an inch and a half across the width of the room. When you want the finished length to be only half an inch from the floor and half an inch from the ceiling that is your first disaster: draperies that traverse the width of the room will not look the same in all places in the width of the room. Once the room is furnished, the differences are not all that noticeable in most rooms, but a wall of glass with the rising sun behind it is another case altogether.

The second disaster comes with the fabric itself. Most fabrics will stretch a bit when hung, all will contract a bit from the effect of the pleating process. As the drapery folds softly in and out around the pleats a bit of length is taken up. A drapery that is exactly the right cut length will be a bit short when pleated. Then it will stretch a bit when hung. The longer the drapery and the heavier the fabric, the more it will stretch. In some fabrics this is minimal, in others, especially the more open weaves, this can be quite exaggerated. A good work room will provide you with draperies that measure exactly what you ordered when you check the measurements on their tables, but when you install the draperies, that is not necessarily the way they will hang. Good professional installers will change the pin set at the time of installation to account for some of the smaller variations, but this will only help for small variations. If it stretches for more than an inch, there isn't enough space between ceiling and floor to get it to clear both floor and ceiling at that point.

The third disaster comes when the fabric interacts with the environment. Many fabrics, especially linens, will stretch out with humidity--including the steamer that is usually used to calm wrinkles at the time of installation. Then with the dry indoor air of winter the fabric will shrink up. In one extreme case (my predecessor sold the job, I would never have sold linen at the beach) the difference between summer length and winter length was more than 3 inches.

When draperies are made for higher ceilings--often as high as 16 feet, these factors can all combine for exaggerated complications. An expensive option is to hang the draperies unhemmed, let them acclimate to their site, then return after a week to pin them up and hem them onsite. This will assure that perfect half inch clearance from the floor in any fabric, if you are willing to pay for it.

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blindgirl
I have a high window above a bed, 8ft ceilings and the window is 24". I have floor to ceiling curtains on the adjacent wall. That would not work on the window above the bed. Is it appropriate to do a shorter curtain in this instance?
   
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Mark
What's with the extreme hate on shorter curtains? If you ask me, it looks more ridiculous to cover an entire wall, if the window stops halfway down the wall. Oh well, each to their own I guess :).
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