A piece of chainmaille varies considerably in its appearance, opacity and even its dimensions depending on how it is held or supported. If you hold it up by one side the rings will, depending on the side, either compress or fan out naturally. These two positions are referred to as 'open' and 'closed'. The following diagram shows two pieces of mesh that is the same size, but hung in different orientations (left: open; right: closed). The way we measure (unless specified otherwise by the customer) is for the 'open' position. Generally speaking, the open position uses much less material than closed. The majority of our curtain orders are for the more 'open' look, and this is the orientation that we use for our standard curtains unless otherwise specified.