Back in 2007, i had the curtains for my new home done for a princely sum of S$1800. This included 4 sets of curtains, 2 sets of organza curtains, plus two small roman blinds. It may have included the installation of the curtain track as well, so, actually, it was quite a fair price by today’s standard. If i were to calculate a rough pricing per set of curtains, it would be around $200 – $250. How does that compare with Taobao’s pricing?
Well, i just ordered two sets of curtains from Taobao, and they cost S$50 and S$60 respectively. Inclusive of GST and shipping, they total less than S$130. Much cheaper. There’s a caveat though: it is put together using the most basic method of sewing pleating tape onto the curtain. In contrast, those curtains done by the local curtains contractor had pleating sewn, which looks much better. However, it is possible to create the same pinch pleat effect if you did some sewing yourself.
The other thing about the Taobao curtains is that they do not conceal the curtain track, but i was able to modify the curtain hooks to workaround this (the photo above shows the result).
So here’s what you have to do to make the curtains conceal the curtain track – you have to relocate the hook position by straightening it and re-bending it. I could do this with my bare hands.
When you order the curtains, you are advised to order double the actual size to give allowance for the pleating. This very simply translates to ordering a pair, each piece measuring the full length. I found this estimate to be very accurate. The curtains just meet. Also, the number of curtain track runners tally with the number of hooks (in my case it deviated by just one at most).
When inserting the curtain hooks, leave a gap of one pocket between each hook.
Curtains are sold by the meter, lengthwise, on Taobao. The size can be customized, by leaving a comment in your order. Just pay for the price rounded up to the nearest meter.
My verdict on buying curtains from Taobao? YES, it’s a brilliant idea, as with buying most of the items needed for home renovation. The material is really thick and good quality. There was very little wrinkling.
I prefer matte and plain coloured curtains, and i got these slightly checkered-pattern ones. There are also those truly plain coloured ones, and sheer curtains, and, of course, those that cater to Chinese taste. I think there are enough choices to satisfy everyone.