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.