You’re on a mission to sew your own valance or have hired a workroom to custom-make a valance for you, I can imagine.

You’ve picked the perfect fabric, but now it’s time to determine how much fabric you’ll need for the valance.

So, how much yardage will you need for your new custom valance? The obvious answer is that it depends, but you should expect to need somewhere between 1-1/2 to 5 yards of face fabric for a standard 36- to 40-inch window. For double-wide windows (about 70 to 80 inches wide), about 2-1/2 to 8 yards of face fabric is a realistic estimate. You may also need extra yardage for accent fabrics, linings, and trims.

Obviously, this is a wide range. That’s because the three main factors that will determine the yardage needed are the valance pattern, size, and fabric repeat.

And those can vary greatly!

Since there is no way to know your situation and what style you’ll be selecting for your valance, I’ll just share some valances we’ve made in our workroom and explain how much fabric we used and why.

Hopefully, this will give you an idea of how much fabric you’ll need for your own valance.

But first, some basic rules:

  • Valances are made with 54-inch wide home decor fabrics. Leave those 45-inch fabrics alone – those are for clothes, not window treatments.
  • Fabric patterns have a vertical and horizontal repeat. The larger the repeat, the more yardage you’re likely to need (since you’ll be skipping parts when you cut). You can learn more about fabric pattern repeats in this post.

Now, let’s get to the actual ideas from our workroom.


Example #1:

Balloon Valance with Inverted Box Pleats

Yardage Used: 2-3/4 yards for the red and yellow toile fabric and 2-1/4 yards for the red contrast fabric for the inverted box pleats.

Comment: Be careful with inverted box pleats. Most of the fabric used for them ends up being hidden for view so it may not seem like you’ll need a lot, but you do.


Example #2:

Emily Tab Top Valance

Yardage Used: 1-1/4 yards for the red floral damask fabric and 2-3/4 yards for the yellow linen accent fabric. The center bell and jabots were lined in the same yellow fabric.

Comment: Flat tab top valances need very little yardage, but be careful once the side jabots get long and elaborate.


Example #3:

Board-Mounted Bellamy Valance

Box Pleat Valance over Sliding Glass Doors

Yardage Used: The valance and drapes required a total of 18-1/2 yards of the red faux silk fabric, then 18-1/2 yards of lining and another 18-1/2 yards of interlining. The valance also used an additional 5-1/2 yards of a yellow plaid accent fabric to line the cascades and inverted box pleats of the valance. We also used 9 yards of ball tassel fringe for the valance.

Comment: The valance on this sliding door spanned a width close to about 104 inches. The drapes were also double width (200 inches wide total). The drapes were 98 inches long once finished. Had the pattern been bigger, this window treatment would have easily needed even more yardage.


Example #4:

Arched Trumpet Valance

Yardage Used: 3-1/2 yards for the black and gold damask fabric and 2 yards for the yellow accent fabric for the trumpets.

Comment: 25-inch vertical pattern repeats are very common with large fabric patterns. Even though we had to skip ahead when cutting the fabric for this valance (in order to center the paisley print on each arched section), it was still manageable thanks to the flat, simple valance style.


Example #5:

Board-Mounted Empire Swags

Yardage Used: 7-3/4 yards for the black and white toile fabric. The jabots and trumpets were self-lined (meaning, they were lined in the same black and white fabric as the rest of the valance). The white lining for the swags only required about 2-1/2 yards. We used 5-1/2 yards of black chainette trim.

Comment: Pleated swags like this don’t require any fabric pattern to be centered, but you’ll still need a lot of yardage since the pleats need to be deep.

Need some valance ideas? Then check out this list of 39 valance styles to inspire you.

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