How to Fix Uneven or Saggy Roman Shades in Minutes

July 20, 2022

How to quickly fix saggy or broken bamboo roman shades.

Don't throw out your sagging roman shades! If yours aren't rolling up perfectly anymore or are uneven when you pull them up, I have an easy fix!

I love our bamboo roman shades and have had them on our windows at both our last house and our current one. I love the texture and the organic look they add to our home. They've always been my go-to when it comes to window coverings. 

Read more about why I love these bamboo shades (and some of the cons). 

Like most window treatments, they're not exactly cheap! And our bamboo shades are corded, (I bought them nearly five years ago) which is very hard to find nowadays. 

Understandably so, but the newer cordless versions aren't going to work for our tall windows. So I'm doing my best to make these last as long as I possibly can!

We close our shades every night and open them every morning, so they get a lot of wear and tear. In new or good condition, they will fold up nicely as you pull them up: 
dark bamboo roman shades on window

Even with constant use, ours have lasted us for years and years. Though there are a few minor issues that occur sometimes.

If you have roman shades and one side hangs down like so:
fix uneven roman shades

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Or if they don't fold up like normal, and have a long "flap" that hangs down like this:
easy fix loose bamboo shades

It means the rings on the back have come loose -- but it's an easy fix!

This isn't a big thing, but over time as more rings detach along the back, it will become more noticeable. Also, when these don't fold properly, the parts that hang down will cause the shade to get longer and it becomes messy over time. 

After a few of ours get a little saggy, I take them down to fix them up real quick.

By the way, I purchased all of our dark bamboo roman shades here!

These bamboo shades are really easy to remove -- you just unscrew the wing nuts on both sides:
how to hang bamboo shades

You can repair these shades while they're still on the window, but it's a bit awkward to get behind them just right to do this fix while they're hanging. 

I lay the shades face down on the floor or a table to find the problem. The pulley system on the back should look like this: 
back of bamboo shades

With a ring attached to both the bamboo and the string cover. 

But as you can see, it's just thread holding those together. Over time that breaks, and that is why they sag to one side or loosen up over time.

There are two breaks that happen -- either the rings have detached from the bamboo shade: 
fixing broken roman shades

If you have a lot of patience and very tiny hands, you can just attach the ring back onto the string around the bamboo (if it's not broken). I have neither. :) 

Another issue is the string/pulley mechanism has broken off the ring attached to the back of the shade:
fix uneven roman shades

I would not recommend trying to run the ring around the skinny bamboo piece -- there's not a lot of give to this wood and it will most likely break. You can also use string or thread to reattach and tie it off, but those will eventually wear again. 

Instead I use these small, thin zip ties
clear zip ties

They make quick work of fixing these up!

Depending on your issue, there are a number of ways to fix the problem. You can glide the small zip tie through one of the bamboo pieces: 
easily fix window shades

And then run the tie through the ring if it's well connected to the fabric cover:
zip ties to fix window shades

Pull the tie tight and then clip off the excess plastic. 

If your ring has come loose from the string cover along the back, you can use the zip tie to reattach it:
zip ties back of shades

Again, thread would do the trick as well, but the zip ties are faster and stronger.

The string that pulls the shades up on both sides runs through that cover, so don't tighten your zip tie around it. The shades won't operate correctly if you do this.

Once the excess is cut off, you barely even see the fix: 
fixing saggy roman shades

Take care while pushing the tie through, but don't worry about the zip tie being around the bamboo -- when all is said and done everything will be evenly distributed again, so the weight on each one is minimal. 

If you have two rings that have detached on both sides, make sure you reattach them to the same bamboo strip so the fold is even when you pull the shades up.

You won't even notice the zip tie from the front when you hang them back up!: 
fixing roman shades with zip ties

If anyone does notice...they get a cookie. :) 

I've repaired numerous shades and reattached SO many rings -- and you can't even tell. It's not even noticeable from the back!

I went around the house and fixed six of our shades -- and now they are perfectly folded again!:
dark bamboo roman shades

I don't have to do this often -- I'm surprised they don't break more than they do! But a few minutes of my time makes them work and look like brand new again, so it's worth it every few years!

While I was at it, I used some silicone lubricant spray to quiet any squeaky gears:
WD40 lubricant spray squeaks

Where I can, I like to be able to tie the cords up out of reach. For me it's a visual thing, but if you have young children and corded window treatments, I highly recommend it. 

I also like to get them up and away from the animals in spots where there's a bench or a chair under the window.

I attach these metal cord cleats to the inside of the window casing and wrap the cord around and out of the way:
metal cleat for cords
See how I make our windows private for a few bucks!

These are all quick fixes that will give us quite a few more years out of these bamboo roman shades! And they're all even and looking good again! :) 
window seat with bamboo shades

window seat with skinny bookcases
See more about our morning/dining room here!

From what I've seen of professionally made fabric roman shades, this repair would probably work on those too.

Don't replace your shades if they have started to look a little wonky! This easy fix will keep them looking great and operating perfectly for years to come. :)

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  1. Sarah- any tips on when the locking mechanism at the top of the blinds won’t hold the string tight and the blind starts to fall on one side instead of staying open ?

  2. Hi Sarah! I love this quick fix!! The only comment I have is they make very small brown zip ties that way you won’t have to give away many cookies.

  3. My shades were doing this and I have been in a quandary because I love them and can't find anything i like better -this will work Thank you for sharing!

  4. Great information! We splurged on bamboo shades for our living room and master bedroom this year and I absolutely love them! Nice to know how to repair them if ever needed! Thanks for sharing!


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