Triple pleats with a contrast centre insert.

Finished curtains hanging in the customer's entrance hall.

 This is a recent project that went through the workroom. It’s a pair of sill length handmade interlined triple pleat curtains with a contrast leading edge and contrast centre section of the triple pleat. There was also a single full length left hand door curtain, both with matching handmade tiebacks.  

The main fabric is Harlequin Celeste colour Shell with the contrast in Celeste Spice. These colours were chosen to match the wall paper of the entrance hall of where the curtains were to hang. We also used a pre shrunk domette interlining.  

Interestingly this was the first time that we needed to pull a thread on a fabric to make sure the widths were cut square. It’s a technique we have used on voiles quite a lot but never on a fabric before.

The make was in the normal way you would expect an interlined curtain to be constructed, with the pleats sewn in by machine as normal. We used 6″ double sided fusible buckrum in this case.  

When all the pleats had been sewn in, the curtain was taken to the table and the triple pleats were formed in the usual way. In our workroom we use bull dog like clips to hold the triple pleats in place until the stab stitches are made. You can see this in the picture below.  

Close up of the centre section of a triple pleat with a contrast fabric.

To work out how big to cut the contrast inserts, we placed a fabric tape measure over the centre section of the triple pleat down either side into the inside fold. In this case it was 2.5cm either side. As we used 6″ buckrum (15cms) this meant the strips needed to be 5cm x 15cms finished.  

We allowed 1.5cms seam allowance all the way round giving the cut strip measurement of 8cms  x 18cms. We had 8 pleats per curtain so 16 cut strips for the pair. We then made a cardboard rectangle the finshed size of the strip. (5cms x 15cms) this was used as a template to press the seam allowance in.  We then placed a pin in the centre of the triple pleat at the top and bottom. This was used as a guide to centre the contrast strip over the middle section after removing the bull dog clip. The contrast strip was carefully handsewn into place with tiny stitches using a matching thread. After this was done the pleat was finished in the usual way, although in this case we did a contrast over-stitch in  a matching red thread at the bottom of the pleat as shown above.  

This does take quite a bit of time so make sure to build this into your costings, when working out the price to the customer.  

The same triple pleat seen from the side view.

Once the curtains are finished we always hang everything up in the workroom and dress the curtain. You can see that we also use those clips to hold the folds into place until they are bandaged. They usually hang like this for three to four days before being bagged up ready to deliver.   

Hanging in the workroom

 The finished curtains were hung from a 35mm wooden pole in natural mahogany with beehive finials from Cameron Fuller. The customer wanted sill length curtains at the window as there will be a piece of furniture going below the window. 
This is a picture of the full length left hand door curtain. In this picture you can clearly see how well the colours in the curtain match the colours of the wall paper. 

A full length photo showing the matching wall paper.

7 thoughts on “Triple pleats with a contrast centre insert.

  1. These curtains are gorgeous! I would like to pinch the idea for a client but how would you suggest I make a blind to compliment this style for the same room

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