How to Repair Roman Shades

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Things You'll Need

  • Roman shade

  • Screwdriver or drill

  • Nylon cord

  • Plastic rings (comparable size to the current ones)

  • Needle

  • Thread to match


Even if all the cords are not broken, you may want to replace them at this time, to avoid having to do it later. Nylon cord is stronger and less likely to dry rot than cotton.

Roman shades, a popular window treatment for modern homes, may fail to raise and lower for one or two reasons. The strings that work the shade may become dry-rotted and snap. Or the plastic rings that guide the cords may become brittle and break. In either case, it is a simple task to fix the shade, so that it works as good as new. Roman shade supplies are easily found at fabric and craft stores and are also available online.


Step 1

Remove shade from window using a screwdriver or drill. Lay shade on a flat surface, face down and fully extended.

Step 2

Check shade for broken rings and snapped cords. Remove the unifier knob at the side where the gang of cords work the shade up and down by untying the strings and sliding the knob off.

Step 3

Remove the broken cords by untying the string at the bottom ring of each vertical line and pulling it out. Reinstate any broken rings at this time. Hand sew them in place where the old rings were, catching both lining and face fabric.


Step 4

Replace with new cording. Beginning at the bottom of the shade, tie the new cord to the ring, and slide the cord through each ring in the vertical line including the eyescrews that run horizontally across the shade header. Each line of cord will go up to the header and then thread into each eyescrew across the header. Leave 36 inches, or so, of cord hanging free on the side where the gang of cords will be.

Step 5

Repeat the process at each vertical row of rings and cord as necessary.

Step 6

Gather the gang of cords together, trim the cords evenly, and slide the unifier knob on to the group. Knot the grouped cords, and pull the knob down over the knot.


Step 7

Rehang the shade. Adjust the tension on the cords by tugging the shade up and down a few times. You may need to retrim and reknot the cord gang if the cords don't hang uniformly.




Debra Taylor is a freelance writer whose career experience includes owning an interior design business and a retail frame shop. She also taught elementary school and middle school language arts and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood and elementary education from Lander University. She continues to be involved with children in an after school program.