How to Measure Fabric For A Cornice

Not sure about how to measure fabric for a cornice?  Feel free to call Claudia at 623-878-7350  and I will be glad to help you with calculating the fabric required for your cornice.

How to Measure Fabric for a CorniceHow to measure fabric for a cornice kit before it arrives at your front door.

What is Railroaded Fabric?  It is the direction that the pattern is printed or woven into the fabric.  Most upholstery fabric is railroaded and drapery fabric is not.  Always ask the sales clerk if your not sure.railroaded fabric


(When not “Railroading” fabric or when fabric has a repeat pattern)

Take the inside width of the cornice plus 27” divided by the width of the fabric times the width of the strip to be used for that rail divided by 36” (1 yard). If there is a pattern repeat, use the repeat as the width of the fabric strip. We encourage railroading (using one long continuous strip) of fabric when you are doing multiple rails of the same fabric. This eliminates dealing with seams.

Example: Measure Fabric for a Styrofoam Cornice

  1. Measure the width of the cornice
  2. Measure returns (sides that return to the wall)
  3. Measure the height +tuck in allowance. (Tuck Fabric into slots that are cut in cornice)

how to measure cornice


You are using 54” wide home decorating fabric that you do not want to railroad, but has no pattern repeat.

Cornice Width

  1. Add Width + Both Returns= fabric width needed
  2. Example:  48″ wide+ 5″return +5″ return = 58″ + 4″ to fold under at each edge of the return.


Each bevel in the Avalon Example has a tuck in area, so you would measure the height plus 4″ to tuck each edge of the fabric.

Remember to add yardage for trims and accessories to be added and always consider if you are inserting your fabric flat, pleated or shirred (gathered). Follow create it decor kit instructions for each of these situations.

For trims take the inside measurement of the cornice and add 27”. You will need that amount for each tuck groove on which you are using trim.

If you are matching fabric as you would wallpaper and do not like the appearance, use a decorative touch such as a folded piece of contrasting fabric, a jabot, etc. to disguise the folded edges of the fabric.

Styrofoam cornice kits are great for decorating especially if your are a renter, because you can always take them with next move and readjust for the next window.


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