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Tie-Backs: Simple V-Shaped Tie-Back, Padded Tie-Back, Ropes, Tassels, and Clasps


Tie-backs are useful and decorative curtain accessories. A tie-back holds a curtain away from a window, allowing as much daylight as possible to enter a room during the day, and also breaks up the straight vertical line of a curtain.

Hooks or cleats are fixed to the wall to anchor the tie-back and should be positioned far enough out from the window to pull the curtain clear, and high enough to allow a generous sweep of fabric to hang below them.

Ready-made tie-backs of cord and rope, complete with tassels, can be bought, or you can make your own in a variety of shapes, using fabric.

Measuring Up

Hang and dress the curtain, and draw it to one side. Hold a tape measure around the curtain at the chosen level for the tie-back. Hold the ends of the tape against the wall where you want the hook.

Decide on the size and position for the tie-back. Note the measurement around the curtain, and mark the hook position on the wall.


Simple V-Shaped Tie-Back

To make the v-shaped tie-back, you will need the fabric for the tie-back, and lining if desired, interfacing, suitable rings and hooks for fixing the tie-back around the curtain and to the wall, as well as the basic sewing kit.

1. Making Pattern Measure up for the tie-back and mark a rectangle on the paper that measures half the length required by 28 cm. Mark a point 14 cm up from the bottom left-hand corner of this rectangle, and mark a straight line from this point to the top right-hand corner. Measure 5 cm down from the top right-hand corner, and mark a straight line from this point to the bottom left-hand corner. Cut out the wedge shape for the paper pattern.


2. Pinning Pieces Fold the fabric double, and lay the paper pattern on it with the wider end of the wedge of the fold. Cut out the fabric, adding 1.5 cm all around for seam allowances. Cut out a piece of lining fabric in the same way. Cut a piece of interfacing to the exact size of the paper pattern. Unfold the fabric piece and lay it right side down on a flat surface. Unfold and place the interfacing on the fabric, and pin and tack in place.


3. Sewing Fabric Place the tie-back fabric and the lining right sides together, pin, tack and sew them together, keeping close to the edge of interfacing. Leave a gap in the seam large enough to turn the tie-back right sides out.


4. Finishing Trim corner seam allowances to reduce bulk. Pull the tie-back right sides out and press it. Turn in the raw edges of the gap and slipstitch the edges together. Topstitch 6 mm in from around the edge to hold interfacing in place.


5. Fixing Rings Attach rings at either end of the tie-back, oversewing to secure. The rings can be positioned far enough in so that they are almost hidden, or at the ends to make them visible. Fix the hook to the wall, and hang the tie-back in place.


The Finished Tie-Back


Padded Tie-Back

The padded tie-back is a simple tube filled with wadding, which can add a three-dimensional feel to your finished curtain.

Determine the length of the tie-back required, as described below, and decide on the width of the tie-back. Cut out the fabric to the length of the tie-back and double the width, adding 1.5 cm all around for seam allowances.

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To make this tie-back, you will need fabric for the tie-back, wadding, rings, and retaining hooks, and the basic sewing kit.

1. Marking Wadding Fold the fabric in half lengthways, right sides together, and sew a seam 1.5 cm from the raw edge to make a tube. Turn this tube right side out, and press flat with the seam to the center of one side. Lay the strip on the wadding and mark around it.


2. Filling Tube Cut out the wadding to the same size as the strip. Tie a strong thread around one end of the wadding and pass the thread to the tube. Carefully pull on the thread to ease the wadding into the tube.


3. Securing Ends When the wadding is in position and well into the tube, remove the thread from it. Turn the two raw ends of the tie-back fabric to the inside, and then slipstitch their folded edges together.


4. Fixing Rings Place the securing rings at each end of the tie-back and mark their positions according to whether you want them to be visible or not. Oversew them securely in place. Fix the hook to the wall and hang the tie-back in place.


The Finished Tie-Back


Ropes, Tassels, and Clasps

Ready-made ropes and cords with tassels are available in a wide variety of thicknesses, colours, textures, and sizes to match or attractively contrast with every type of curtain fabric.

Often, these rope tie-backs incorporate one or more elaborate tassels. Fixed hooks and holdbacks can be found in a range of finishes and styles, and they provide another decorative means for holding a curtain open.


A range of hooks and knobs is available in both wood and metal, often made to match decorative curtain poles.

These fittings are usually sold with the screws and wallplugs for fixing them to the wall.

Hook the curtain fabric behind the fixing and move it up and down the wall to decide on the best position.


Ropes and Tassels

These elegant tie-backs can be bought ready-made in standard lengths, but you could buy tassels separately and combine coloured cords to make a tie-back to match your curtains.

Fix the hook to the wall and loop the rope around the curtain, leaving the tassel to hang down against the folds.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Temoor Dar

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