Previously we had written in depth on exactly how you mathematically solve for drapery fullness. The honest truth is, who has time for that? Although a very important step in the production process, having this knowledge does not immediately assist you as a designer, purchasing agent or hotel owner in your day to day job function and subsequent usage of the fullness concept. That being said we decided to further filter the Fullness concept in order to give you exactly what you need - aka the basics. Don't worry though if for some reason you would like to see the old blog post, perhaps you just have this incessant urge to get into the fine details of an idea, we still have it. Just let us know and we can send you a copy.
Fullness, simply defined, is the ratio of fabric used to cover a set space. Fullness asks the question, 'if I have 100” of space to cover, do I need 100” of fabric, or 150”, or maybe 200”? What will these changes in the amount of fabric mean for the overall aesthetic? This is the essence of fullness.
Fullness is typically determined by the project’s budget, design and/or the brand’s standards.
Typical fullness is set at a 2 to 1 ratio or 200% fullness. Meaning there is twice as much fabric as the area being covered. Therefore a 100" space would be covered by 200" of fabric. Where does all of that extra fabric go? That is often the most confusing part and changes depending on the pleat style you are working with.
Ripplefold Fullness is 'held' in the undulating waves of the drape. As there is no 'literal' pleat to speak of the extra fabric is added within the waves creating both numerically more waves as well as longer or deeper waves.
The below chart shows these waves to scale at 60%, 80%, 100% & 120% fullness on a drape covering a 50" space.
As you can see the larger the % fullness the more waves. In fact at 60% there are 20 waves , at 80% there are 22 waves, at 100% there are 24 waves, and at 120% there are 27 waves.
For the above example we have calculated the exact width of fabric needed to complete each drape.
60% fullness, 50" space - 80.75"
80% fullness, 50" space - 97.75
100% fullness, 50" space - 106.25"
120% fullness, 50" space - 114.75"
Pinch Pleat Fullness
Pinch Pleat (also called French Pleat) fullness is visibly seen by the amount of fabric gathered into each pleat.
As you can see in the image below, the overall width of fabric needed is literally 'pinched' together to make pleats. As the fullness grows the amount of fabric used to create each and every pleat grows as well.
Pinch Pleat fullness is referred to as a percentage that directly relates to a ratio. Such as in the below example where 200% fullness equals an integer of 2. Therefore when the RW of 50" is multiplied by 2 the needed fabric width equals 100".
Further here is the the comparison chart that shows how ripplefold and pinch pleat fullness, although different relate to one another.
*Ripplefold fullness is dependent upon ripplefold hardware, therefore only 4 options are available.
**Pinch Pleat is not dependent upon hardware. Therefore any fullness can technically be made although the smallest fullness still considered ‘Pinch’ pleat is 180%.
We hope this helps in giving a simplified understanding of fullness. We've also now posted a blog titled 'Fullness in Pictures' that allows you to see the differences in pictures between all of the different fullness levels.
We also have a 'Fullness Resource Card' that you can download for easy access at any time you want.