We’ve just updated the look of the DrapeStyle Blog and we really hope you like it. We also have a new refreshed focus. Going forwardm I will be blogging about all of the custom drapery, Roman Shades and fabric topics that I used too, and now more “interior design” ideas as well. After all, drapery is our focus at DrapeStyle but we are really passionate about all things “Interior Design”. I hope you enjoy the new look and we can bring you topics that interest and inspire you.
At DrapeStyle we like to think of ourselves as on the “cutting-edge” of technology. I mean we have the iPad Apps, we are “Cloud Based” and our phones are VOIP. Yes, we are cutting-edge. We have cutting-edge technology in our Workroom too. Cutting-edge circa 1936. I love this equipment. The sewing machines that we use to manufacturer our drapes are straight out of the Industrial Revolution. These things are made out of steel, not a piece of plastic to be seen. They run 14 hours a day, 5 days a week. When I say “run”, I mean they are sewing, in constant motion for 10-12 hours a day and they have been doing that for roughly 60 + years. It is truly an amazing feat of “Technology”. We keep them maintained and well oiled and aside from that they just work. No re-booting required. Some of these machines have made tens of thousands of custom drapes.
Let me introduce you to a few of them…
First, I’d like you to meet our “Tacker”. This machine was made in Leeds England in the late 1940’s by the Adamson Machine Company. The Company has long been out of business so they obviously “don’t make these anymore”. The tacker is used for making drapery pleats like a French Pleat or Pinch Pleat. The Tacker just makes one deep stitch over-and-over again. The tacker is very powerful and is capable of sewing through multiple layers of lining and interlinings without missing a beat. If you own a Drapery Manufacturing Company you simply “must have” this machine or one like it and, you seriously can not buy one of these “new”. As a matter of fact, this one is just getting broken in and should be around long after all us are gone.
Now let me introduce you to our Drapery Pleater. We have a few of these by my favorite has to be our Singer 269. The 269 began it’s life in the 1950’s as a “Tacker” like the Adamson but in the 1970’s a Company from New York called Camatron started to convert old 269’s into Drapery Pleating Machines. The converted 269’s are a highly coveted work horse for Drapery Workrooms and are still very popular. Like the Adamson, they work all day long without skipping a beat.
The “Youngster” of our Crew has to be our US Blindstitch Machine. The Blindstitch is used to stitch the sides of the drapery panels in a very specific way. The stitch that the Blindstitch is “loose” so that the sides of the drapery panels don’t pucker or wrinkle. The tension of the stitch is very critical and varies depending on the thickness of the drapery fabric being used. Our US Blindstich was built in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.
I sincerely look at all of these machines as works of art and I love to watch them run. When I think about the talent that went into designing this “technology” I am simply astonished considering that these machines were designed and manufactured before the computer age. These machines were literally designed using a slide rule and a calculator and they work within a hairs-width tolerance.
There are plenty of people who question why we would be making custom drapes in America when we could simply have them made in India, Pakistan or China. I guess that the only answer I can give is that we are passionate about what we do, the tools we do it with and the Customers we do it for. We’ll keep making custom drapes right here in American as long as American’s keep buying our Custom Drapes.
If you are waiting for the perfect time to buy your custom made drapery for your home, hotel or business, there may never be a better time than right now. The truth is that, when it comes to custom silk drapes or Roman Shades, the price of raw silk from India is climbing every month. In fact, prices of silk fabrics have increased 20% from 2013 to 2014. The reason for the increase is complicated but the short story is that most of the worlds silk fabrics are woven in India. India has been the world leader in producing silk fabrics for literally hundreds of years. The problem that India has, however, is that they rely on China for the “raw silk”. Raw Silk is harvested from Silk Works who naturally produce raw silk. The raw silk is harvested just like any other natural product would be – and it is susceptible to environmental forces. Too much rain, too little rain, too much heat or too little heat effects production. No different really than how Midwest and Southwest Farmers in the US harvest cotton. The difference is that the raw silk comes from the silk work, so it is really more analogous to harvesting milk from cows. Unfortunately the weather in China in recent years has not been optimal for silk worm production.
The second and more serious long-term issue facing India’s Silk Production is the rise of China’s Middle Class. As little as 15 years ago their was a very small segment of China’s population who would even consider buying products made of Silk. Today the economy in China is booming and the middle-class is exploding. With this new found wealth, more Chinese are buying products made in Silk. Families are buying traditional Chinese Kimonos made in silk rather than polyester or a cheaper blend of synthetic materials. As this portion of China’s Economy Grows, they are demanding more of the Products and Services that once were considered “Export Only”. As a result, China is keeping the majority of best quality of Raw Silk for themselves. The lower quality Raw Silk is now sent to India where the Mills have much more difficulty yielding good quality silk fabrics in high volume. Thus, prices go up.
The global impact of China’s rising Middle-Class and the increased demand for aspirational products and services is that the price of those products and services will rise around the world. When you consider that China has the largest population on the planet, even minute increases in domestic consumption can send shock-waves around the world.
What does this mean to US Consumers of products like Silk Drapes? It means that prices will only be increasing for the foreseeable future.
Our To-The-Trade Program has never been stronger at DrapeStyle. We’ve been making custom drapery for some of the best Designers in the US and Canada for over a decade for good reason. When you work with DrapeStyle on your Custom Drapery Project you will be working with a trained, experienced Designer to help you specify the perfect drapery. At DrapeStyle, we don’t have “Sales People” but Designers who are not paid on commission. Our Designers want to make sure that you look as good as you can for your Clients. We are experienced in custom drapery and Roman Shades for Homeowners as well as Commercial and Hospitality Clients. And, we have a network of over 100 Installers who can help ensure that your project is completed properly, on-time and on-budget. If you are a Professional Interior Designer who wants to work with our Team please call Stefeny Stanyer at 800-760-8257 ext 115 and Partner with DrapeStyle!
For a limited time you can buy your custom drapes at DrapeStyle and enjoy No Interest and No Payments for Six Months when you choose Bill Me Later as your payment method. Bill Me Later is a PayPal Company and is providing this excellent financing offer through selected PayPal Merchants. We think it’s a great deal for our Customers as they can get more of the custom made silk, linen and velvet drapes or Roman Shades they need now and stretch their budget with no-interest. This Program is subject to certain restrictions and we encourage you to visit the Bill Me Later page for all of the details.
We had a Designer create a nice illustration of our Cartridge Pleat Custom Curtains and Drapes. Just thought it might appeal to some of our Customers. Don’t know if we will use it for anything other than this Blog POst but I think the Artist did a really nice job.
Cartridge Pleat Drapes have been around forever and they are one of our more popular pleat options. Maybe because you can’t buy them at most big box retailers or a Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Etc. They take a special machine to make and they really do need a little extra care from our Seamstresses. They really are a very nice pleat and I often see them going into very high-end Hotels. Typically your Boutique Hotels.
I hop you like the image. We’ll be making them of each of our Custom Pleats soon.
Effective ideas that will help you transform your old home into a modern one
Interior design ideas are very important when deciding on the decoration pattern to undertake while transforming your old house to a new house. This transformation is usually very important especially for people who have old furniture and other house items and see the need for change. There are different ways through which you can be able to upgrade your house while still using the old furniture in the house. This is usually very important in that it makes it quite easy and economical to transform your house. You do not have to replace your old furniture with new ones as this might prove to be quite hard and even uneconomical. In addition to this, you may not be in a position to be able to dispose off the old furniture.
In order to spice up the interior decoration of your house, you should change the decoration pattern that exists in the “old” house. This change is usually very important in that it makes it quite easy for one to be able to note a difference in the house. You should recessed lighting to replace the already existing hanging light fixtures in the house. You should also consider upgrading the paint in your house to a modern paint, one that is very attractive and appealing to the eye. You should carry out an extensive search on the best color combination that matches the furniture and other items in your house.
It is equally advisable to give your house a feel of custom made drapery. This decoration is a high quality decoration that is able to effectively complement the house’s lighting, painting and even furniture among other items. This decoration should mainly be used in the living room and in any other room that you may feel like. The main aim of interior design and decoration ideas while upgrading an old house is so as to bring out a very clear difference, one that clearly stands out for identification. This also helps in giving your house the much needed luxurious touch.
While upgrading your old house, you should ensure that you use the already existing furniture and other items instead of purchasing new ones. However it requires you to be quite resourceful in order to identify the best interior design idea to use in order to achieve an excellent decoration. You can rely on the internet and other resource centers in order to be able to identify the best idea to use. Old furniture is better than new furniture in that the old one has a better sustainability as compared to the new one. As such the old furniture is usually more resistant to damage and breakage.
Can DrapeStyle make very long curtains and drapery? Extra wide curtains and drapes? Blackout curtains? The answer, of course, is YES! We really need to do a better job of letting everyone know that DrapeStyle makes each drapes from scratch. We don’t bring them in from India or China, we actually unroll the fabric, cut them and make the drapery the old fashioned way. Making drapes here in the US went our of fashion about five decades ago but we still make them here. Manufacturing in the US – California no less, is certainly not the least expensive way to make drapery but it does allow us to make the very best quality in the business. Luxury and quality custom made drapery is what we have been about for well over a decade.
So, the short answer is, yes – DrapeStyle can make your extra long drapes, extra wide drapery and blackout curtains for your home theater room! If you don’t see exactly what you need on our website just give us a call. Our Team of Designers (Yes – they really are Designers) can help you create the perfect drapery to your exact specifications and measurements. And we can probably make them for less than what you would think. Just give us a call!
When considering your next set of custom drapes, selecting the correct lining may be the most important choice you make. Designers have always had a little secret when designing custom drapes for their Clients; the lining and interlining.
“It may sound like just an insignificant part of the construction of a drape but the lining may be the most overlooked and critical part of the Designing Process”, said Christian Lee, Production Manager at DrapeStyle in California. “Most consumers who buy ready-made drapes just don’t really know what they’re missing, by adding the perfect lining we can give the Client much more value for their money when compared to imported or ready-made”, Lee Added.
So let’s explore the options and the benefits of each.
The lining is the backing fabric used in the construction of a custom drape. It is used to create more fullness and protect the fabric from the harmful effects of sunlight. “A good lining is 50% cotton and 50% polyester. The cotton makes it soft to the touch and the polyester allows it to stand up to years of UV rays,” Lee said. “Use a 100% poly lining and it’s too stiff, use 100% cotton and it will disintegrate after just a couple of years,” Lee added.
Between the lining and the drape fabric is the Interlining. The interlining is sandwiched between the two fabrics. “The interlining is really where all of your options are and can make a huge difference in the value and lifespan of the drape”, Lee said. “You have great options today and there are some important considerations regarding the insulating factor of the curtain, the sound barrier performance and overall look of the product” Lee said.
“Most people are unaware that, according to the US Department of Energy about 25-30% of their homes energy is lost through their windows,” Lee added. “Installing custom drapes with a heavy-weight (6oz) cotton flannel interlining can reduce the loss of heat by 25% in the winter and also reduce heat gain in the summer by up to 33%” Lee said. When choosing an interlining material you should use a 100% cotton flannel material which will provide great insulation plus an added sound barrier.
For those who live in a frigid climate, you may also want to consider using an English Bump Interlining which is about twice the thickness of flannel interlining. As the name implies, English Bump is a traditional material that was used in the cold damp winters of England to keep homes warm. “You really have to know what you’re doing with Bump”, said Lee, “It is very heavy and difficult to properly sew but the results are amazing, it’s like wrapping a blanket around your house”.
Another common interlining is “Blackout” or “Outblack” which blocks about 99% of the sunlight from penetrating through the drape. “Blackout has never been more popular with our Clients”, said Lee. “We have always used blackout for many high-end hotels and restaurants and now consumers are asking for it for their home media rooms, bedrooms, etc.” Lee added. Blackout protects the drapery fabric and may also protect the upholstery in the room by blocking the harmful UV rays that can destroy upholstery fabric.
“There are some great options available today and when using the right fabric, lining and interlining combination you can get far more value out of custom drapes than ever before”, Lee said. “If you really do the math, buying well-made custom-drapes from the right place will often cost you less in the long-run than buying a ready-made product.”
We all know that the best Designers can create amazing spaces from humble beginnings. But how do they do it? Well here are a few “Insider Secrets” on how to flatter your windows that you won’t find anywhere else.
Dressing your windows is as important to completing your perfect space as anything else you do. Many leading Designers actually think it is the Most Important feature of a room that should not be over-looked.
If you are dressing a window in a space with a lower ceiling it is important to create the illusion of more height. It’s very similar to fashion, if you’re a short framed person you probably don’t want to be wearing Capri pants. So with low ceilings it’s best to hang your hardware close to the ceiling and let the drapes puddle onto the floor. The longer drape and more fabric will give the illusion of a taller ceiling.
Conversely, if your home has higher ceilings and taller windows you can easily get a more tailored look by having the drape fabric just touch the floor or even hover an inch above it. This is a great “mid-century” look that is becoming very popular in many of the boutique hotels. Like a “slim-fit” suit, this tailored look is very fashionable and flattering, but you’ve got to have the “tall, long-lines” to get away with it said Amy Pearce a Design Consultant at DrapeStyle in California.
Speaking of the “Boutique Hotel” look, you may want to also consider adding Blackout Lining as well. Blackout blocks about 99% of the light from penetrating the room which is perfect for a bedroom or den where you may want added privacy. Blackout is also popular in media rooms, “You can close the drapes in the middle of the day and create a perfect atmosphere for watching a movie” Pearce said.
Another great practice with taller windows is to get wider panels and “stack” them off to each side. “When you stack the drapes on narrow windows you can really give the illusion of a grander more dramatic space”, Pearce said, “the added fabric also absorbs more of the ambient noise and makes the room much more intimate and comfortable”, Pearce added.
The final consideration you should make is that of the insulating factor or “R-Value” that drapery can have. “Most People don’t realize that adding drapery that is well lined and interlined can reduce the energy loss through windows and walls by as much as 40%”, Pearce said. Well made drapes can actually pay for themselves over time.
Welcome to the DrapeStyle Blog. Why a Blog? Good question and I hope an equally good answer, “Information & Education”. We’ll strive to give you some good ideas and the best honest advice possible, and hopefully we’ll have some fun with it too.
So here we go…the inceptual Blog entry.
Saving Energy with DrapeStyle:
At DrapeStyle we consider ourselves “Green”. We love the planet, we love the environment and we love labrador puppies. We’d like to see them all flourish for generations to come. Now, what we would really love is to be “Green” and maybe save a couple of dollars in the process, that would be worth a bushel full of labrador puppies.
So, the money thing. Can you believe that according to the US Department of Energy, 25% of your energy expense leaks out of your windows. 25%. That’s more than I thought too. So if my average utility bill runs $250/Month or $3000/year of which $750 is wasted through your windows.
DrapeStyle to the rescue! You knew this was coming right? Well, we have the data, so let’s share it with you. The University of Texas at Austin, (we Love those Longhorns), did an energy study. They called it “The Drape Defense”. See why we love those Longhorns! In this study they found, and published, that a well insulated drape can reduce the heat loss of a single glazed window by up to 56%.
The savings are even better in the summer months and hot climates!. According to a study conducted by The University of Florida (Sorry Longhorns), well-made drapes can reduce the amount of heat-gains in your home by up to 33%!
I’m sure you knew this instinctively, but now when the Hubs comes home and you’ve got your new DrapeStyle covering your windows you can just tell him that your saving energy by the gobs!
Here are the references so you don’t think we’re making this stuff up.