About the course

The Diploma in Professional Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings is the ideal course if you want to design your own projects, help your friends and family with theirs or if you would like to set up your own soft furnishings workroom.

If you already have a curtain making business but don’t have a qualification or the advanced skills required to design and make beautiful hand finished curtains, then you can enhance your business by studying this Diploma course, flexibly around your existing projects.

No qualifications are required to study this diploma course, so – if you already hold a Level 3 or A-Level equivalent qualification in an Art and Design based subject, you can enrol straight onto one of our degree courses.

Who should do the course?

Are you someone who loves the different colours, textures and patterns of fabrics around you? Would you like to make exclusive hand finished soft furnishings for your home? Have you already made your own simple curtains successfully? Would you like to start your own business but need a professional qualification?

If the answer is yes… then this is the course you are looking for!

The NDA Accredited Diploma in Professional Curtain Making and Soft Furnishings will put you on the path to starting the business you have always wanted. It will also give you the opportunity to study one of our degree courses if you decide you want to push your skills further.

Study online

Course Duration – 6 – 12 months (flexible)

Our online Diploma course is designed to be flexible to your needs allowing you to study around your family, work or any other lifestyle commitments you may have. Choose your own start date and study from anywhere around the world as long as you have an internet connection. The online diploma is a 12-month course however, you can complete earlier if you have more time to study. All assignments consist of design projects which are assessed by your Personal Tutor – there are no examinations in this course.


Study In-Studio

Course Duration – 12 weeks (2 weeks In-Studio)

If you prefer a classroom-based study environment then our In-Studio blended learning course could be for you. It is particularly useful if you are looking to fast-track your qualification, either for a new career or for progression to degree level study. You spend your first week in-studio followed by 5 weeks home study, then another full week in-studio with up to an additional 5 weeks to complete any project work for submission. Throughout the home study, you have full online access to our resources and your Personal Tutor.



As our Diplomas are accredited by AIM Awards, you will receive the AIM Awards Level 3 Diploma in Professional Curtain Making and Soft Furnishings Skills. It is really important that your Curtain Making and Soft Furnishings Diploma is fully accredited if you hope to start your own business, a new career or to progress onto a Degree. Accreditation is your only guarantee that our quality and teaching standards are inspected and regulated. NDA offers the ONLY online Professional Curtain Making and Soft Furnishings Diploma course accredited in the UK.

AIM Awards logo

To be fully accredited a Diploma course must have an OFQUAL number, so you can check it on the OFQUAL register. If the course does not have this number – then it CANNOT be accredited and will not count. Your studies should always be rewarded with a qualification that will help you to progress and achieve your future goals.

You can find OFQUAL details here: 600/3506/7.

Discover our course fees


Further Education

Once you have successfully completed the NDA Diploma in Professional Curtain Making and Soft Furnishings, students completing our diploma will be offered a guaranteed place onto our degree with a generous Progression Scholarship. Degrees are awarded by our academic partner, De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), and they are studied online in the same way as your Diploma.


The Diploma in Professional Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings is designed to help you start your own Soft Furnishings Workshop. The course includes professional advice on how to set up a business, marketing tips, quoting and charging for your services and all the equipment you will need for a professional workroom. Like the Diploma course itself, you can work flexibly for your clients around your family commitments and gradually expand your business. You could also study the Professional Interior Design Diploma to offer additional design services to your clients.

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What will I study?


In this Unit you will investigate the use of texture, pattern, form and function in the selection of fabrics for soft furnishings. You will experiment with ideas, techniques and materials in order to develop an individual approach to the collection, recording and communication of information. You will understand current market trends and preferences within design applications; creating soft furnishing colour schemes for a range of contexts. The Unit also recognises the technology employed within colour theory and describes the colour spectrum providing an understanding of the psychological associations of colour.


Designing a window treatment is a combination of creativity, practicality and accuracy. Windows are central to the setting of an interior, they “frame the view” to the outside world, and help to create the right ambience both in daytime and in the evening. Being able to accurately calculate the required quantity of fabric for a variety of fabric types, will also be discussed in this Unit.


Mitres are used on corners as a way of distributing fabric evenly and hiding raw edges. Usually, true mitres are used on the bottom corners of curtains and false mitres are used on top corners (for example, when tucking fabric under heading tape) or on the top and bottom corners of valances. A variety of hand-stitching techniques, complementing your sewing machine techniques, are invaluable for the creation of quality curtains and soft furnishings. This unit develops the skills of pattern matching, enabling you to correctly position patterned fabrics appropriately for curtain making and you will learn specific stitching skills to ensure that the fabric is correctly positioned.


By the end of this unit, you will be able to recognise the fire retardant characteristics of a range of fabrics and know how to select suitable fabrics. You will be able to construct an interlined pencil pleat sample curtain and a lined pencil pleat sample curtain with a contrast leading edge. You will learn how to insert interlining, construct a contrast leading edge, attach lining and heading tape and construct a hem. You will also learn how to hand finish the relevant sections of curtains.


By the end of this unit, you will be able to construct a curtain valance sample to a finished width/drop specification using buckram. You will calculate, measure and construct the pleats for a range of hand-sewn headings. You will secure the lining and insert the buckram, produce a machine finish to the relevant sections of the valance sample and produce a hand finish to the relevant sections of the valance sample. You will also learn how to position and attach Velcro, as well as how to attach a contrast trim to a valance.


Bringing a finished scheme together is not only about finding the right furniture to suit the space. The finishing details are just as important. Choosing the right accessories, whether the smallest detail or largest focal point, can have a significant impact upon how a room creates a comfortable atmosphere. Such details as piped edges on crescent tie backs can emphasise attention to detail in a project. This element, along with the creation of flange cushions, form the practical elements of this Unit.


Blinds are very versatile and can be made from a minimal amount of fabric. They can be contained within the limits of the window frame or placed outside the recess to ‘dress’ the window. Blinds are a practical form of window treatment, often used in conjunction with curtains or dress curtains and in this unit, you will be producing one of the most popular window dressings; a roman blind.


Pelmets and valances give a decorative and formal finish to the tops of curtains and, at the same time, hide the curtain heading and track from view. They can be used to create a dramatic effect and alter the proportions of a window. The pelmet or valance, for example, can be fixed higher than usual to make the window appear taller or extended at the sides to make it appear wider. By the end of this unit, you will be able to recognise appropriate fabrics, estimate fabric quantities and construct a hard board pelmet using a mixture of both machine and hand-finished techniques.


Swags and tails are the ultimate way to dress a window, creating a grand treatment that is suitable for formal rooms. They look sophisticated when made up in rich fabrics and trimmed with fringe. However, untrimmed swags and tails look much simpler and can be used in less formal settings, even kitchens and bathrooms. In this unit, you will produce both a lined swag and lined tail sample, adding top bands and Velcro to finish.


Within this unit, an understanding of the importance of structuring a business will begin to be developed. Whether working within the creative industries or starting your own soft furnishings workroom, the importance of understanding good business practice cannot be overstated. It is possible to be very creative making soft furnishings but this, on its own, does not mean that your business will be successful. There are a great many skills associated with running a business, some of which will be explored in this unit.

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