New Curtain Workroom Sample

Our New Sample

 We needed a new sales aid  to show the quality of our work. I decided that this would be a good opportunity for our newest team member to show how much she had learned on her course work. I asked her to make an interlined curtain sample with contrast lining but with a slight twist on traditional curtain headings.  

Cartridge pleat with button

 The first heading is a cartridge pleat pressed flat at bottom with a contrast button which causes the top of the pleat to come forward . I think this gives a smart and sophisticated look to a curtain.  

Butterfly Pleat

This is my take on a butterfly pleat. She stitched just  the centre two inches of the five inch buckram so the top and bottom of the triple pleat flutes out a bit like a butterfly. The pleat is stab stitched in the centre to secure it and we added a mock frayed tassel as a flourish. The pinhook still goes into the back of the pleat quite easily so it still hangs well on the curtain hook.   

A Europleat

 This is called a Europleat in the USA. I’m not quite sure what we call it here but it is a double pleat which is only stitched down the first two inches from the top of the buckrum and then stab stitched at the top to secure it.  I really like this pleat it is very contemporary.  

Europleat close up

 Here is a side view of the europleat. It is only stitched two inches from the top of the buckram.  You can also see the long lean appearance of the triple pleat.  

Triple Pleat

 The last one is a traditional triple pleat but we tried to make it a bit more sleek and modern. It has been made in the traditional way but is stab stitched at the top,  middle and bottom to keep all three wings together.  

Hem Mitre with Contrast Piping

We used a contrast lining to complement the colours of the main Villa Nova fabric. This picture shows the hem mitre and a contrast piping insetrted between the leading edge turning and lining. Just a little detail that can make all the difference.  

Contrast Lining and Piping

 A close up picture gives a clearer view of how attractive the contrast lining and piping is.  

Sample finished and ready for inspection

 Here is the new sample finished and ready to take out on client consultations to demonstrate the quality and feel of a well made interlined curtain.

My Take On A Wave Heading.

Handmade wave headed curtain

This is a sample curtain which is hanging up in my showroom. I thought I would share with you all how I achieved this simple wave heading effect.

Position of curtain hooks

The curtain itself is traditionally handmade and interlined. I made it up to the point of inserting the buckrum and finishing the top as normal. I then calculated the pleating and spacing measurements.

Instead of sewing in the pleats, I inserted a pin hook at each of the pleat and space positions. I left the heading completely flat.

Close up of 2 curtain hooks into one curtain ring

After inserting the pin hooks into the buckrum I simply put the first two hooks into the first ring on the pol, this effectively creates a pleat. Hooks 3 and 4 went into the second ring and so on. This was a two width curtain which has 4 pleats per width and 8 pleats in total so it needed 16 pin hooks.

Side view of the heading showing the wave effect

And voila! The result gives the curtain a wave heading without using  “tape” or visible stitching lines.

Wave heading

I had to train the folds into place by dressing the curtain with bandages for a couple of days but the result is a really contemporary looking curtain.

Finished full length curtain with handmade wave heading

The fabric in this curtain is Harlequin Florine Natural and Red.  The curtain stacks back really nicely in straight folds. I love the look of this treatment and think  it would suit any random pattern because of it’s clean simple lines.

This pic shows the stack back

This shows the stackback of the curtain really well. You can see that I have set the folds with bandages the same as I would with another design of curtain.

Unusual Curtain Design

The display in the shop

A few months ago a customer asked me to copy the design of some curtains that she had seen in a big department store. Of course,  I said yes.  I  knew the display that she meant because I had admired it myself. The fabrics are from Harlequin made up into a cascade Roman Blind with a gross grain ribbon with hand sewn mother of pearl buttons and matching curtains interlined with a dual contrast band attached at the first pleat.

Arkona velvet in Lapis cascade blind

This cascade Roman blind was very straight forward apart from the pile of the very heavy weight upholstery velvet which meant that pressing was out of the question. The blind is over one width wide with two outside joins. The way we got over making sure the seams laid flat was to use double sided tape . It worked a treat! and not an iron in sight.

Close up of button trimming on hem.

The trim at the bottom of the blind was a bit different to anything we had done before. Mother of pearl buttons were hand sewn at regular intervals on to contrast gross grain ribbon. The ribbon was then hand sewn on to the hem of the blind before the turning at the back was secured. Once the blind was hung up on the track to check it worked properly we discovered that the ribbon trim added weight at the bottom and the trim was  hanging down towards the back of the blind. We sorted this out by doing a row of stab stitches just above the ribbon trim to hold into place.

Close up of heading and contrast dual band.

As you can see from this picture from the workroom the contrast band has been sewn on to the curtain fabric which is Harlequin Celeste in Duck egg. The band is made from Harlequin Lucido Plains in Mushroom with the Arkona velvet in Lapis.

We had to work out our pleats and spaces  to determine the size of the width of the band. In this case the band is 6cm wide with cartridge style pleats of 12 cms. In a two width pair of curtains there were 10 pleats in each curtain.

We were also able to work out where the seam needed to be so that it did not appear in the front of any of the pleats. In this case the second width was reduced by approximately 5cms..

The construction of the contrast band

It took one of my girls a whole day of development work before we came to workable way of attaching the band to the curtain and also achieving the look required. There is a 6cm band of the Lucido Plains with 2cms turnings each side. Inserted into the middle of the band was a 6cm strip of firm sarille interlining.

We then attached two separate strips of the Arkona velvet to the outside edges of the band. These were held in place with 3mm double sided tape at the cut edge. You can also see the herringbone stitches used to keep the edges of the Lucido Plains together and flat in the middle.

Close up of dual contrast band.

This picture shows how the band was top stitched onto the curtain at the position of the first pleat by top stitching into the groove. To stop any puckering with the different weights of fabrics we used a 3mm double sided tape to hold everything in place and flat. This was done before the curtain was constructed.

View of the top of the curtain so show the size of the pleating.

This picture clearly shows that the size of the pleats and spaces are of a similar measurement. You can also see that the pleats are left open at the top as they are secured at the bottom with a self covered button.

The dual bands of the finished curtains.

Here you can see the finished bands and pleats. By adding a button at the base of the pleat which flattens the fabric makes the top of the pleat come forward to give a rounded look.

Finished curtain

As you can see the stack back of this heading is bigger than normal because of the type of pleat used. I recommend that this type of heading only be used for dress curtains which my customer was happy with.

The finished curtains and blind installed

There was a lot of development work technically with this whole design as we were working with such different weights of fabrics but the overall effect was very pleasing. It is rewarding to be able to produce a job that is challenging and to know you have done a good job and also please the customer.

Last Fitting of the Year

We are working our way through the whole house for this particular customer and we weren’t due to start the curtains until the 4th Jan.  However, the girls have worked so hard in the run up to Christmas that I was able to bring this project forward last week. There are two sets, this pair are full length bagged machine made triple pleats with four widths in total.  

The fabric is Villa Nova Seville colour Marzipan. I was worried that the curtains would look too plain at first, but when they were finally hung and dressed they looked very sophisticated and classy. The customer is delighted that they looked so stunning and that she has two pairs of curtains for Christmas that she didn’t expect!  

They are hanging from a 35mm wooden pole from Cameron Fuller in gold over white with peardrop finials.  

French Door Curtains

This is a close up of one of the  plain handmade tiebacks. You can also see the nice straight folds of the curtains which were dressed and left to hang in my workroom for four days to set the folds.  

Close-up of Tieback and the Folds of the Curtain

 The reason I have posted these pictures is just to show how good machine made curtains can look when they are dressed properly.   

Close-up of Six Inch Triple Pleats and Peardrop Finial

This pair of curtains have seven widths in total. The left curtain has four widths as we have a larger stack back on this side. The right hand curtain has three widths. The customer wanted the whole wall curtained.  I have made the pleats as near to the same size as possible on all four curtains but the spaces vary by approx 25mm.   

Larger Asymetrical Curtains over Folding Doors

We have five more romans in the same fabric to make in the new year with bonded blackout interlining. In fact we are going to be doing the whole house in this fabric. I will post pictures as the work goes through the workroom.