So… who decided that?

This is the type of really, really important stuff I spend time thinking about… 

As I was hanging our new shower curtain I wondered… who decided there should be 12 holes in the curtain?  Someone, at some point, decided to make a shower curtain with 12 holes… who were they?  Why did they pick the number 12?  Why did everyone else say “12? That’s genius! I’ll put 12 in mine too.”  Our shower curtain from Pottery Barn has 12 holes, the liner we bought from Target has 12 holes and the set of curtain rings we bought in Ireland came in a pack of 12.

3 thoughts on “So… who decided that?”

  1. Hehe, that’s funny. I recently hung a new shower curtain and was "amazed" to discover that the new curtain fit exactly on to the set of rings I already had hung up. I think I figured it was luck but reading this it really does seem to be an industry standard!

  2. Hi Reeves! Hope you are doing great! Quite and interesting observation…I’d say it was probably a calculated decision.

    Here is my 2 cents. I didn’t spend time on it, but most shower curtains are 180cm/72in/6ft (why? probably based on some architectural design standard. world wide? can’t say.)

    12 (grommets) is also nice number that divides each unit above simply and basically keeps close to a consistent number among the different measurements units.

    More importantly, the number of grommets is also determined by each ring/holes ability to at minimum support the weight of the curtain, the added weight of the water, and the force as we push and pull the curtain upon exit/entry, all without tearing the holes or allowing water to splash out.

    So if we had a grommet every 4-5in or 7-8in, versus 6in, we’d have issues with bunching or tearing & water escaping.

    Lastly, I’d also have to say cost is a factor. Manufacturers, want to make things as profitable as possible without defeating the purpose of the product. So, this is likely the work of an industrial engineer – create the minimum grommets to support the weight. 🙂

    I’d be interested to see if there was a 5-11 grommet curtain in a bazaar somewhere around the world, like pairs of Nike’s with the swoosh all upside down. Cheers…

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