Restring Instructions for Cellular/Honeycomb & Pleated Shades

Estimated time for repair: 20-30 min   Click to print this page

These directions are for the most commonly sold cellular shades. The instructions will work for most cellular/honeycomb shades and pleated shades. Some cordlocks may be underneath or on the front of the headrail and may require less or more steps to complete the repair. If you have a Top-Down Bottom-Up style shade check out our instructional diagram.


Figure 1

1. Remove the rails from the fabric (Figure 1). Slide the rails off the end of the fabric opposite the cordlock. Notice that only the top and bottom cells of the fabric stack fit inside the rails. These cells are reinforced with an aluminum slat or a stiff plastic material called a filler strip. Important: Do not remove or change the position of the filler strips.


Figure 2

2. Pull the washers and cord lengths from the bottom of the fabric stack. Discard the string and save any other parts. You may need to reuse them.


Figure 3

3. If the cord guides (Figure 2) are worn, rotate them 180 degrees so that you can use the unworn edge. You may need to swap them with the ones that are inside the bottom rail. The cord guides fit through the holes in the top cell and filler strip. The cord guides should align with the edges of the fabric.

4. Measure and cut one cord length for each route hole in the shade. The length of each new cord should be equal to TWICE the shade height plus the shade width.

5. Thread the cord through the eye of the restring needle. Gently push the needle through the cord guide and route holes in the fabric stack (Figure 3). Once the needle is through the bottom part of the fabric and cord guide, pull it from the bottom. Repeat this procedure for each route hole.


Figure 4

6. Tie a plastic washer onto the bottom end of each cord. The washer prevents the cord from slipping back through the fabric stack. Tie a triple knot below the washer as shown (Figure 4). Any excess cord will be hidden when the bottom rail is re-installed. Pull the cord from the top of the fabric to make the washer snug against the bottom.


Figure 5

7. Slide the bottom rail onto the bottom cell and filler strip. The cell fits into the large opening in the rail, called the fabric channel (Figure 5). Be careful not to snag the fabric when sliding on the rail.

8. Slide the headrail onto the top cell and filler strip (Figure 5). Run the cords along the center of the top cell toward the cordlock side of the fabric stack. Keep the cords neat, and do not cross them. Maintain a slight tension on the cords when sliding on the rail, and make sure the tops of the cord guides remain straight. Again, be careful not to snag the fabric.

9. By hand, thread the cordlock with its attached cover. Insert the cord through the bails and out the bottom of the cordlock.
* With cordlock A: At the top of the cordlock, route the cords along the cord channel out the end of the cordlock. (Figure 6)
* With cordlock B: At the top of the cordlock, route the cords under the plastic tab and out the end. (Figure 7).


Figure 6

Figure 7

Note: The cordlocks shown here are just a sample of the most common ones on the market. Your cordlock may look different and may require additional steps to complete the repair.


Figure 8

10. Install the cordlock and end cap onto the rails (Figure 8). Push the end caps securely onto the bottom rail. Slide the cordlock with its attached cover along the cords to the end of the headrail. Push the cordlock onto the headrail, keeping tension on the cords to avoid pinching or twisting them. This procedure is the same for both cordlocks A and B.


Figure 9

11. Re-install the shade assembly. Be sure the cordlock is locking the cords to hold the fabric compressed. With the cordlock facing you, slip the headrail into the installation brackets (Figure 9). The front lips on the brackets fit into the front groove on the top of the rail. Push on the rail until it snaps into place. Make sure that no fabric is trapped between the back side of the headrail and the tabs on the installation brackets. Use a screwdriver to tighten the tab screw on each bracket until it is just snug.
Important: Do not over tighten the tab screws.


Figure 10

12. Install the equalizer onto the lift cords (Figure 10). The bottom rail should be raised all the way and the cords should be hanging freely from the cordlock. The equalizer will be placed on the strings about where the bottom rail will rest.
Important: Be sure not to cross the lift cords; if crossed, the wedge cannot adequately secure them.

Note: Your shade may be equipped with just an equalizer or it may use some other type of device, such as a metal ball condenser (see Step 15) to connect the lift cords to a larger diameter pull cord.


Figure 11

13. Adjust the shade assembly. Lower the shade until it is completely extended to the desired length. Loosen the equalizer by holding the cords and sliding the body upwards to release the wedge. Level the bottom rail by pulling on each cord individually, or adjust the shade drop by moving the cords as a group. Then, while holding the lift cords at equal tension, move the equalizer body against the cordlock and slide the wedge securely into the body making sure the locking tab is against the cords holding them securely in place. After double-checking that the bottom rail is at the desired position, lock the wedge in place by pushing it against a flat surface until it is flush with the body.

14. Tie on the tassel (Figure 11). With the shade closed, thread the cords through the tassel and tie a double knot in the cords (you may need to use a plastic washer) where you want the tassel to hang. Typically, this is about two-thirds down the shade from the cordlock. Keep the cords taut when you tie them to avoid any slack. Trim off the excess cord.

Procedure When a Ball Condenser is Used

15. (Optional) Disassemble the ball condenser. Insert the lift cords through one end and place a plastic washer on the cords. Tie a knot in them once the shade is in the proper position. Do not cut the cord until you make sure the shade raises and lowers evenly and completely. Trim the lift cord leaving about one half of an inch remaining below the knot. Attach the pull cord through the other end of the metal ball and tie a knot in it. Attach the tassel to the other end (Figure 12) of the pull cord.


Figure 12