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.

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.

Download our prospectus

What will I study?

Unit 1 - Fabric Selection & Colour Theory

This unit introduces you to fabrics and linings and how to choose appropriate fabrics for curtain or soft furnishings designs. It also sparks your creativity by working with colour schemes, presentation boards and understanding the way colour affects your designs. This unit will underpin all your future projects. This unit also includes:-
> Recognising fabric types & their suitability for curtain designs
> Understand colour theory, colour schemes and the psychological association of colour
> Understand how to produce professional sample boards
> Identify fabric suppliers and new collections
> Recognise different fabrics and how these would have been used within particular historical periods

Unit 2 - Estimation for Soft Furnishings

This unit will show you how to measure windows and how to design window treatments to enhance different styles of window. You will also learn how to estimate fabric quantities for curtains and soft furnishings. These are essential skills you will need before moving onto the sewing & construction methods for curtains and soft furnishings. This unit also includes:
> Survey windows and record accurate measurements
> How to design different window treatments
> Enhance window proportions in terms of height and width through optimum design
> The importance of adding hems and headings and choosing the correct fullness for curtains
> Estimating quantities for plain and patterned fabrics for window treatments

Unit 3 - Mitres, Hand-Stitching Techniques & Pattern Matching

In this unit you will learn how to apply a range of techniques to ensure a professional finish is given to all types of window treatments and soft furnishings. This covers hand stitching, hand covered weights, mitred corners and joining multiple curtain lengths. This unit also includes:
> Accurately construct true and false mitred corners and recognise where these would be used
> Differences between hand covered and commercial covered weights and when to use.
> Recognise the different types of hand stitches, how and where these should be applied
> Applying correct stitch tension & finishing all stitches securely.
> Select suitable fabrics for pattern matching and understand how to join multiple widths combining hand and machine stitches
> Hand drawn or CAD – students may produce either
> Industry standard drawing conventions

Unit 4 - Lined & Interlined Curtain Construction

This unit will give you a thorough understanding of the construction of various curtain designs including lining, interlining and decorative trim options with pencil pleat headings. You will apply all the techniques learnt to produce sample sized curtains and know how to transfer these skills to full sized curtain projects. This unit also includes:
> Recognising the importance of using fire retardant fabrics
> Know how to select suitable fabrics for the construction of curtains and window treatments
> Know how to construct a pencil pleat curtain with interlining and a contrast trim
> Apply all techniques and hand stitches on a sample sized curtain to a professional finish

Unit 5 - Constructing Hand-Sewn Buckram Headers

This unit will take curtain making to the next level and you will learn how to apply a range of hand-made headings which can be used for both curtains and valances. You will construct valances with different types of hems and a range of hand-made headings. This unit also includes:
> Constructing valances that are in proportion with the window and chosen style of treatment
> Constructing valances with different types of hems
> Calculating pleat sizes & spaces for both curtains & valances
> How to construct a range of different handmade headings e.g. goblet, triple, double and cartridge
> Apply all techniques and hand stitches to sample sized curtains to a professional finish

Unit 6 - Constructing a Piped Crescent Tie-Back & Piped Cushion

This Unit covers a specific set of sewing skills including how to make piping and how to insert zips. You will apply these skills to construct a piped, crescent shaped tie back plus a piped cushion with a concealed zip.
This unit also includes:
> Cutting bias strips to use for constructing piping
> Selecting appropriate fabrics for tie backs, cushions and piping to consider pattern placement
> Constructing a piped crescent tie back
> Choosing appropriate filling for cushions
> Constructing a piped crescent shaped tie-back
> Constructing a cushion with a concealed zip and decorative piped trim

Unit 7 - Roman Blinds

This unit will cover all the skills required to produce a sample sized, lined Roman blind to a professional standard. Learn how to accurately divide the blind into equal sections so the folds are flat with the rod pockets constructed within the lining and no stitches visible from the front side. This unit also includes.
> Measuring a window for a roman blind treatment
> Calculating the number of rod pockets and size of folds
> Estimating fabric quantities for plain and patterned fabrics
> Cut and prepare accurately
> Constructing a sample sized, lined roman blind with hand finishes with no visible stitches from the front
> Fitting & the importance of following child safety guidelines
> The differences between cascade blinds & traditional roman blinds

Unit 8 - Padded Pelmets

This Unit covers all the sewing skills and techniques required to produce a sample sized, professional padded pelmet. You will also learn how to assess the pelmet proportions to suit the window and the chosen style of treatment. This unit also includes:
> Understanding & estimating proportion for pelmets
> Constructing pelmets using different types of stiffeners
> Constructing a sample sized, padded hardboard pelmet including the front and returns
> Display the finishes that are relevant to the different sections
> Understand how to add decorative trims and piping to a padded pelmet

Unit 9 - Swags & Tails

In this unit you will learn how to design swags and tails in proportion to window sizes. You will construct a sample sized, lined swag and tail, and learn the formula for producing swag templates. This unit also includes:
> The proportions that apply to both swags and tails to enhance the overall look of the window
> How to create a swag template using a formula
> Choosing suitable fabrics for swags and tails
> Positioning pleats on both a swag & tail to enhance the drape.
> Producing a professional finish using a combination of machine and hand stitches

Unit 10 - Setting-up a Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings Workroom

The final unit of the course looks specifically at setting up a professional work room and includes everything you need to know when starting a curtain making & soft furnishings business.This unit also includes:
> How to set up a work room and the equipment necessary
> Producing a costing sheet
> Charging for your services
> Identifying your customer groups
> Different ways in which to market your business
> How to source suppliers and set up trade accounts

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