We recently lost President H. W. Bush, and after looking at the news coverage and seeing photos from when he was in the Oval Office, I began to think about all the changes the Oval Office has gone through. Particularly the drapes. So I did some research about the Oval Office and how and why the changes come about.
President William Howard Taft made the West Wing a permanent building, expanding it southward, doubling its size, and building the first Oval Office. Designed by Nathan C. Wyeth and completed in 1909, the office was centered on the south side of the building, much as the oval rooms in the White House are. Taft intended it to be the hub of his administration, and, by locating it in the center of the West Wing, he could be more involved with the day-to-day operation of his presidency. The Taft Oval Office had simple Georgian Revival trim, and was likely the most colorful in history; the walls were covered with vibrant seagrass green burlap.
On December 24, 1929, during President Herbert Hoover’s administration, a fire severely damaged the West Wing. Hoover used this as an opportunity to create more space, excavating a partial basement for additional offices. He restored the Oval Office, upgrading the quality of trim and installing air-conditioning. He also replaced the furniture, which had undergone no major changes in twenty years.
Congress has always been tasked with appropriating funds for the care, repair, refurnishing and maintenance of the White House and its grounds. Each incoming president has found furnishings that were worn out and in need of replacement due to everyday wear and tear. Congress approved funds enabling a new president to carry out structural improvements and purchase new furnishings from auctions, private sales and other sources, as well as occasionally authorizing the sale of furnishings that were out of repair or unfit for use.
As of late, most Presidents rely on the White House collections of furniture, rugs, portraits, and objects to furnish the residence and the Oval Office. Others, such as Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, have declined to use the appropriated money in favor of using private funds.
Presidents have the option to have new furnishings made or reuse furnishings from past Presidencies. Furnishings are stored for future use.
President Trump opted for reusing President Clinton’s draperies and President George W. Bush’s sofas.
DrapeStyle announced the addition of Jeffrey Alan Marks fabrics last month and the response has been incredible! World renowned interior designer, TV star, and author, has made his way to DrapeStyle and we couldn’t be happier!
Jeffrey Alan Marks’ designs are infused with fresh informality, good nature and playful charm. Internationally recognized as one of today’s most influential American designers, this California talent captures each client’s personality to create timeless and livable interiors.
From London townhouses to Malibu beach compounds, Jeffrey’s work resonates. His thoughtful spaces are purposeful and authentic, begging to be lived in. For over two decades, his firm’s relaxed yet tailored interiors have stood apart. Named one of “the town’s most-wanted designers” by The Hollywood Reporter, Jeffrey Alan Marks believes the design process should be fun and creative like his designs and personal style. Jeffrey studied design at the prestigious Inchbald School of Design in England and lived in Paris and Milan for many years allowing his work to draw cues from Italian and French methods.
His colorful, comfortable design style translates to the atmosphere at his firm, JAM, Inc. Based in Santa Monica, the firm designs and develops luxury homes in America and the United Kingdom and develops commercial projects including restaurants and retail stores. New projects includes a chain of restaurants in Korea and exclusive eateries in New York, Montecito, and West Hollywood.
Jeffrey is included in House Beautiful’s list of the most influential decorators in American History and is on Elle Decor magazine’s A-List. His work is regularly published by major shelter magazines including Elle Decor, German Architectural Digest, and the British In Style Home. Often invited to share his design philosophy and laid-back personality, he is a favorite among worldwide television viewers and design industry forums.
PLUS save $75 off your DrapeStyle order! Everyone is advertising Black Friday deals and DrapeStyle is no exception. You don’t need to wait until Friday. Starting on Thursday save on drapes, curtains, roman shades, pillows and drapery hardwareAND save $75 on your order. Select from over 600 fabrics, 6 drapery pleat styles, 5 roman shade styles, and 4 different lining options.
Shop from the convenience of your own home and save on silk, linen and cotton drapes. With discounts as much as 40% off, these are some of the lowest prices of the year. You’ll find great deals at www.drapestyle.comPLUS, when you sign up for DrapeStyle rewards, you will instantly earn $25 off your first purchase! That’s a total of $100 off!
So if you are in need of replacing older window treatments, updating your home or simply don’t have any window treatments at all, consider DrapeStyle for all of your drapery, roman shade and drapery hardware needs. And for a limited time, save up to 40% off regular prices, PLUS save $75!
*Use coupon code “FRIDAY” at checkout. $75 discount requires $999 minimum order, new orders only. Cannot be combined with any other coupons. Offer expires on November 23, 2018.
Charm and character. Achieving the farmhouse look is combining old and new. And everything shouldn’t match. Here are a few ideas on how to add a little Farmhouse Charm to your home.
There are probably many places near you that sell reclaimed wood. Even Home Depot sells it, it is now so popular. Reclaimed wood can be used to accent a wall, a ceiling, a backsplash, use them as shelving, or trim out something entirely. With its rustic look, reclaimed wood adds a rustic feel to modern homes. And because you’ve decreased the demand for newly sourced lumber, you’ll be helping with deforestation!
Wicker furniture is an indispensable part of rustic, cottage and farmhouse interiors, not only for outdoor spaces. Go for some cool pieces for your kitchen and dining area. These can be wicker stools for the breakfast space and comfy chairs for the dining space. You can paint the furniture with grey or creamy paint to fit a neutral interior, and even neutral wicker furniture will add a texture to the space. There’s much modern wicker furniture of eye-catchy shapes, for example, armchairs, side tables and benches, they will look cool and cozy yet very chic and modern.
Shutters can be used for various decor and functional DIYs in your home, they are great to add a vintage feel while keeping the interior farmhouse-like. Shutters can be attached to the wall and become cool farmhouse-inspired decorations or even a headboard for your bed – sand them a bit to give them a worn look. Shutters can be also turned into benches, chairs, shelving units, even a kitchen island. Paint them pastels or cream, add shelves or a countertop. This is a creative way to add a farmhouse feel to the space while making it eye-catchy and interesting.
There are many ways to decorate with shiplap. Whole rooms, accent walls, fireplaces, ceilings, cabinets and powder rooms (as an alternative to wainscoting or bead board), even kitchen backsplashes. You may choose to leave it in its natural warm tone or paint it. Either way it will add interest and character to any room.
White walls, countertops, dishes and more. White makes everything look fresh and it’s easy to add a little color as the seasons change.
Like jewelry to an outfit, draperies are to a room. The finishing touch for any room is adding decorative or function draperies. Choose a natural fabric such as linen, in a neutral color. Unstructured and relaxed, these drapes will finish off your charming farmhouse home. Visit DrapeStyle for more ideas on Farmhouse Charm. Linen and linen looking fabrics are available in a variety of colors.
If you are interested in adding a bit of Farmhouse Charm to your home, contact us. We can provide you with fabric samples for draperies that will finish of your room. Your first ten dollars in samples are free. View the samples here and pick your favorites.
The perk of buying curtains online has not always existed. For one thing, online shopping in general depended on the invention of the Internet. Prior to that, curtains were sold in department stores and boutique shops, made at home by the textile-fanciers, and completely non-existent in the way we know them today. Take a trip through curtain history to learn more.
A Timeline of Curtain History
31st Century B.C.
From the early 3100 B.C. to the 3rd Century B.C., the great Egyptians invented curtains and used them throughout their entire rule. The very first curtains were made of animal hides and hung in doorways with hooks. However, through the years the Egyptians spun textiles from flax and linen at first, followed by wool, silk, and cotton. These were very valuable because these materials were more flexible but still provided a similar layer of warmth as that from the hides.
Seventh to Sixth Centuries B.C.
According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, another discovery of curtain panels dates back to the 6th and 7th Centuries B.C. in ruins from Olynthus civilization in modern Greece and from Pompeii and Herculaneum civilizations in modern Italy. It is suspected these people used curtain panels to divide rooms, as opposed to our traditional window treatment use.
Early and Middle Ages
Since the Early to Middle Ages are also known as the Dark Ages, there is not much proof of curtain use at this time. However, during the 6th-15th centuries, we can suspect at least the more affluent people hung curtains in doorways and over windows to keep warm. Those large castles can be quite dark, dreary, and cold!
The Renaissance (14th-17th centuries) brought life, color, and light to the everyday people. Architecture started to embrace the use of glass panes as windows, which brought in the light but also the creepers. For the first time, people were able to see directly into another’s private space. Therefore, those who lived during the Renaissance used fabrics over the windows for privacy. It is worth noting, though, that although this use sounds just like how we use curtains today, the design was still vastly different.
18th to 19th Centuries
The eastern countries of Persia, India, and China excelled at weaving silks in beautiful patterns, and in the 18th and 19th centuries, these tricks of the trade expanded through Europe and the western worlds, especially in United Kingdom, France, Holland, and Italy. During the late 19th century, the development of machinery propelled the textile industry and made way for mass production and easy accessibility for individual homeowners. The designs were big, bold, and beautiful! At this time textile designers also made use of lace to create the first edition of the sheer curtains we know and love today.
20th Century to Present
The 20th century and 21st century have proved that anything is possible when it comes to curtains. With machinery and technology making incredible advancements, people are able to design and to create nearly any style or size of curtain. Curtain panels are hung over windows for privacy, warmth, and decoration, and they are hung in large rooms as dividers. The possibilities are endless!
Need a little more information on curtains? Do you have questions about replacing your current drapes? Contact DrapeStyle, we would be happy to help you with your window treatment project!
Here is a little information about Labor Day, courtesy of Wikipedia:
Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend and it is considered the unofficial end of summer.
Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor. “Labor Day” was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, which organized the first parade in New York City. In 1887, Oregon was the first state of the United States to make it an official public holiday. By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty U.S. states officially celebrated this holiday.
DrapeStyle will be closed Monday, September 3rd. We will be back on Tuesday to help you with your window treatment needs! In the meantime, please browse our website for inspiration and information about the most beautiful custom drapes available today! We can make any width or length drape in over 600 fabrics. And with a team of talented seamstress, you are sure to receive the highest quality drapery, pillows and Roman shades.
Decorating with indoor plants, borrowed from www.bioadvanced.com:
When you embellish interior spaces with houseplants, you’re not just adding greenery. These living organisms interact with your body, mind and home in ways that enhance the quality of life.
When you breathe, your body takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This opposite pattern of gas use makes plants and people natural partners. Adding plants to interior spaces can increase oxygen levels.At night, photosynthesis ceases, and plants typically respire like humans, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. A few plants –orchids, succulents and epiphytic bromeliads –do just the opposite, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Place these plants in bedrooms to refresh air during the night.
As part of the photosynthetic and respiratory processes, plants release moisture vapor, which increases humidity of the air around them. Plants release roughly 97% of the water they take in. Place several plants together, and you can increase the humidity of a room, which helps keeps respiratory distresses at bay. Studies at the Agricultural University of Norway document that using plants in interior spaces decreases the incidence of dry skin, colds, sore throats and dry coughs.
Plants remove toxins from air –up to 87% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours, according to NASA research. VOCs include substances like formaldehyde (present in rugs, vinyl, cigarette smoke and grocery bags), benzene and trichloroethylene (both found in man-made fibers, inks, solvents and paint). Benzene is commonly found in high concentrations in study settings, where books and printed papers abound.
Modern climate-controlled, air-tight buildings trap VOCs inside. The NASA research discovered that plants purify that trapped air by pulling contaminants into soil, where root zone microorganisms convert VOCs into food for the plant.
Adding plants to hospital rooms speeds recovery rates of surgical patients, according to researchers at Kansas State University. Compared to patients in rooms without plants, patients in rooms with plants request less pain medication, have lower heart rates and blood pressure, experience less fatigue and anxiety, and are released from the hospital sooner.
The Dutch Product Board for Horticulture commissioned a workplace study that discovered that adding plants to office settings decreases fatigue, colds, headaches, coughs, sore throats and flu-like symptoms. In another study by the AgriculturalUniversity of Norway, sickness rates fell by more than 60 percent in offices with plants.
A study at The Royal College of Agriculture in Circencester, England, found that students demonstrate 70% greater attentiveness when they’re taughtin rooms containing plants. In the same study, attendance was also higher for lectures given in classrooms with plants.
How Many Plants?
The recommendations vary based on your goals.
To improve health and reduce fatigue and stress, place one large plant (8-inch diameter pot or larger) every 129 square feet. In office or classroom settings, position plants so each person has greenery in view.
To purify air, use 15-18 plants in 6-8-inch diameter pots for an 1,800-square-foot house. That’s roughly one largerplant every 100 square feet. Achieve similar results with two smaller plants (4-5-inch pots).
DrapeStyle had a customer walk in today asking about solutions for keeping the heat out. Here in Phoenix we are experiencing 110 degree temperatures so this can really be an issue for us especially this time of year.
I walked him through a few scenarios and thought this is good information that should be shared.
A drapery lining fabric helps protect your curtains from sun and moisture damage, increasing the life of your curtains. The sun can fade and damage fabric over time, so a lining provides a protective layer from harmful UV light, not only for the face fabric, but also for your furnishings. Blackout lining provides the most protection from the sun.
A common reason to use drapery lining is to block light. Blackout drapery lining is specifically designed to block most or all light. Does the morning light wake you up too early? Do you work late shifts and have to sleep during the day? Do you have a child that takes naps during the day? Blackout lining is the answer.
Blackout lining is made by sandwiching a black opaque membrane between two white fabrics. It is surprisingly thin and very flexible. This is a high end fabric unlike the stiff lining you might find in a hotel room. DrapeStyle only uses Hanes linings and our blackout lining will block out 95% off the light.
Insulating drapery lining helps regulate temperature and can dampen sound. All drapery lining will give some degree of insulation, but certain linings are specifically designed for it. They can help save on heating costs by reducing drafts and heat loss during the winter, and can keep things cooler in the summer by blocking heat from the sun. Insulated drapery lining also dampens sound and can help block outside noises.
Bump drapery interlining is particularly effective at thermal and noise insulation. Because it’s thick, bump is often used to create fuller, heavier looking draperies that have a luxurious feel. It’s commonly used with silks and taffetas. Bump is an interlining, meaning it should be sandwiched between the face fabric and another drapery lining.
If you have any questions about lining your draperies, please contact us. DrapeStyle has been in business for over 15 years and we continue to make high quality custom made draperies right here in the USA.
Drapery can be lush and beautiful but may not always fit the space. If there is furniture or a radiator below the window, or if the window is in an awkward space on the wall, you may want to consider a Roman shade. Roman shades can be made in any fabric, they can provide much needed privacy, and look great especially when paired with draperies in the same room. If you have room for both, no problem! Many people will use a shade or shutters for privacy and use drapes to add color and texture to the wall. You can have both!
You get what you pay for.
You can certainly purchase window treatments from most retailers, but made to measure can make all of the difference. Custom made window treatments will ensure that the correct size and fabric are ordered for your application. High quality window treatments can be a big investment, but they are worth it.
Hang your window treatments high and wide.
The trend right now is to hang your draperies and Roman shades close to the ceiling and slightly wider that your window. This creates the illusion that your window (and room) is larger than it is. And it seems that there are no longer “typical sized windows” anymore. Often times ready made window treatments are not sold in the size you need. This is another reason to order custom made draperies and Roman shades. Having the right sized window treatment will make all the difference.
Don’t forget about the drapery hardware.
Like jewelry to an outfit, hardware can really make or break the window. If you are having window treatments made, don’t skimp on the hardware. Custom hardware can be ordered in the appropriate size, style and color to compliment your draperies.
Consult a professional.
Probably the most important tip. I’ve said it before, purchasing window treatments can be a huge task! And that’s why we’re here. DrapeStyle can help you every step of the way from sending you fabric swatches to helping you determine the right lining for your application. Simply contact us and we would be happy to help!
Window treatments can be the first thing you notice when you enter a room. They can really make the difference in the look and feel of the room, provide much needed privacy and add interest to your windows and walls. Don’t over look your windows, they need love too!
DrapeStyle carriers an excellent selection of high end, luxury designer fabrics. Here is a little information about one of our top designers, Sarah Richardson.
Sarah Richardson has been a key fixture of the Canadian design world since starting out in 1995, working behind the scenes as a prop stylist and set decorator. By the late 90’s, Sarah realized that she could carve a niche in the emerging world of design TV by sharing her practical, endearing and inspiring approach to décor and design with viewers. She launched her first TV series for HGTV in 2000, Room Service. 17 years later, she is the host, co-creator and co-producer of over 250 episodes of design television that span seven hit HGTV series targeted directly to the needs of a contemporary audience. Room Service, Design Inc., Sarah’s House, Sarah’s Cottage, Sarah’s Rental Cottage, Sarah 101, and Real Potential are a collection of lifestyle television series dedicated to tackling the demands and design challenges of modern living.
Known for her upbeat and easygoing approach to creating elegant and timeless designs for every room in the home, Sarah inspires and empowers viewers by effortlessly sharing her winning style formula. Sarah’s enthusiasm for all aspects of design is infectious, and her ability to engage and inspire viewers has earned her a loyal and dedicated fan base across North America and around the world. Sarah’s programs are seen in over 100 countries worldwide.
Want more inspiration? Check out Sarah’s show, Off The Grid, on HGTV USA. And when you’re ready, view her fabrics here and design your own custom draperies. Need a little help? We’re here for you! Just contact us for more information or if you need a little help ordering your custom window treatments. DrapeStyle has been in business for over 15 years and everything is still made right here in the USA.
This week our workroom will be closed so that our employees can take a much needed break from making all of the beautiful items our customers enjoy so much! We wish you, your family, and friends a fun and safe holiday as we celebrate America’s Independence Day!
I’m reposting this article I found on www.onetoughjob.org.
Independence Day (or Fourth of July) is a great time to teach your children about American history while also relaxing and enjoying the weather. Here are some ways to incorporate education into your celebration.
teach some history
Use these kid-friendly resources to teach your kids about the importance of the holiday.
Teach your kids about our government by staging your own kid-friendly mini-democracy. Make ballot boxes and have the kids vote on things throughout the celebration such as hamburgers vs. hot dogs or chocolate ice cream vs. vanilla.
make a tasty and patriotic treat
Patriotic popcorn balls are both fun and easy snacks to make with your young ones!
15 cups of salted popcorn
½ cup of butter
4 cups mini marshmallows
1 tsp. vanilla
Red & blue M&M’s (either original or pretzel!)
1. Remove kernels from popcorn and place in large mixing bowl
2. Melt butter and mini marshmallows over medium heat until mixture is completely smooth
3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, then generously cover popcorn
4. Mix in your M&M’s, then with wet hands make popcorn balls and set aside on wax paper to cool
Drapes and curtains never go out of style! The fabric might but not the style.
From the beginning, window coverings were used for protection from the elements, for privacy, and to help keep the cold or warmth inside the home. The same holds true for today. Window coverings can help insulate your windows and help lower heating or cooling bills. Window coverings can provide much needed privacy-unless you don’t mind that your neighbors know what you’re up to! And window coverings can provide much needed color, texture and interest to your walls.
In the medieval times the more clothes people wore, the richer they were. The same rule applied to their homes and window treatments, the more fabrics and colors the window had the richer the family was. That’s how valances, cornices and curtains with trim were designed, to show the wealth of the family.
When I tell people that I design custom window treatments for a living they often ask, “Do people still buy curtains?”. And the answer is yes. Now, not everyone wants a beautifully textured silk drape with heavy lining, but we have a variety of styles and fabrics to choose from. Whether your taste is modern or classic, contemporary or industrial, we have something for everyone.
The benefit of purchasing draperies hasn’t always existed. At one time, window treatments were only available for purchase at stores. But now you can enjoy shopping from your home with the ease and convenience of online shopping. Looking for hard to find sizes? Let us make a custom sized drape or Roman shade for you. All shipped for free, directly to you.
DrapeStyle has been in business for over 15 years. We continue to custom make quality drapes, shades and pillows by hand. Nothing is ready made. Well made draperies will last 10-20 years or more. DrapeStyle’s way of making custom products takes a little more time and cost a little more but we think it’s worth it. We think you’ll be pleased.
“Can I use outdoor fabrics indoors?” I get this question a lot. The answer is simply, yes.
Today’s outdoor fabrics are durable, fade resistant, stain resistant and drape beautifully. They are perfect for high traffic areas, kids rooms, and places where pets reside. You wouldn’t know that the fabrics were made for outdoors; they are of such high quality, and excellent hand that you can really use them anywhere. Pillows, sofas, draperies, dining room chairs, ottomans, you name it. I have personally sold our outdoor fabric for all of these uses and they turned out beautiful.
There are so many colors and patterns to choose from that you are sure to find something to compliment your decor. If you don’t see it on our website, let us know and we will order it for you.
Clean up is a breeze. Simply remove any debris before cleaning. Then wash area with soap and water. Usually this will do this trick but you may also try laundering the upholstery covers. For mold and mildew, you may need to wash with a water and bleach solution.
Please contact for more information on using outdoors fabrics, or view our collection of fabrics here. DrapeStyle has been in business for over 15 years. We continue to custom make quality drapes, shades and pillows by hand. Nothing is ready made. DrapeStyle’s way of making custom products takes a little more time and cost a little more but we think it’s worth it. We think you’ll be pleased.
Here is an interesting story I found on Atlas Obscura: https://goo.gl/VjBSPE
The problems began with a new variety of mulberry and ended with lumpy thread.
Rolls of dressed fiber, South Manchester, Connecticut, 1914. NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/ PUBLIC DOMAIN
In October 1789, during a trip to Connecticut, U.S. President George Washington described some “exceeding good” silk lustring and “very fine” silk thread that were part of a growing domestic industry. In fact, by the time Washington wrote those words in his journal, the area that became the state of Connecticut in 1788 had been practicing raw silk production, known as sericulture, for over half a century—and silk was on the rise.
By 1826, three out of every four households in Mansfield, Connecticut, were raising silkworms, and by 1826, Congress commissioned a report on the potential for a U.S. silk industry. By 1840, Connecticut outpaced other states in raw silk production by a factor of three. Within the next two decades, however, the industry would collapse, leaving the country to wonder what went wrong.
The unlikely development of Connecticut’s silk industry came about thanks Ezra Stiles, the seventh president of Yale University. Stiles was a sericulture enthusiast who experimented with cultivating mulberry trees, silkworms’ primary food source, and even wore gowns made from Connecticut silk to ceremonies. He also sent mulberry seeds and silkworm eggs across the state, and advocated for state-sponsored bounties to encourage farmers to plant mulberry trees.
One of the biggest triumphs for the early industry was figuring out how to adapt sericulture to cold weather. Such tactics included keeping silkworms warm by raising them in attics, and figuring out how to feed them in cold weather. Michael Cook, a modern sericulturist, describes the intense care and feeding schedule silkworms require.
“Rise early, feed the worms before work; feed them again at lunch, feed them again in the evening and clean a dozen or so big trays, feed them again before bed. I was feeding a garbage bag full of [mulberry] leaves and small branches daily. Cocooning was a nightmare,” says Cook. In Connecticut with deciduous mulberry trees, that intensive feeding schedule was a problem in years with early frost. One innovation to extend the feeding season was to dry mulberry leaves, then mix them with water and flour to feed to silkworms.
Inspired by Connecticut’s raw silk production, local entrepreneurs invested in machinery to manufacture silk thread and fabric from reeled silk filaments. In 1810, the Hanks brothers opened the United States’ first silk-mill in Mansfield, Connecticut, and in 1838, the Cheney brothers opened a mill which would eventually expand to 38,000 spindles, and become the largest silk manufacturer in the U.S. The future looked bright for silk.
The problems began with a new variety of mulberry and ended with lumpy thread. Beginning with Stiles, Connecticut sericulturists had always used an Italian variety of white mulberry, Morus alba, to feed their silkworms. However, in the 1830s, as the industry pushed to expand quickly, farmers and investors latched onto a Chinese variety, Morus multicaulis, a subspecies of black mulberry which produced larger leaves and more of them per tree (today M. multicaulis refers to a different plant, a subspecies of M. alba). It could also be harvested more often. The price of M. multicaulis skyrocketed as speculators sought to profit from selling cuttings from these fast-growing trees.
Samuel Whitmarsh, a “charismatic and unreliable businessman” who owned a silkworm cocoonery in Massachusetts, stoked the M. multicaulis craze with pamphletstrumpeting the benefits of this new type of tree, and letters to various silk trade publications. Daniel Stebbins, Whitmarsh’s business associate during the craze, later recounted the story of one tree that a speculator bought in Massachusetts for $25 and sold in Connecticut to a farmer named Elder Sharp for $50. Sharp then declined an offer for $450 for a quarter share of the tree; within a year the tree was worthless. The bubble had popped.
In the bubble’s aftermath in the early 1840’s, companies along the East Coast went bankrupt, as did Whitmarsh, and angry farmers tore out their orchards. Joshua Grant, a silk producer in Baltimore, calledthe collapse a “dire disaster that has overspread the land like a funeral pall.” Then a series of harsh winters, followed by a blight in 1843-44, killed many of the remaining mulberry trees.
Despite everything, in 1847, Stebbins remained hopeful about the “sequel of the silk industry.” But the region’s sericulture had one insurmountable flaw that prevented this revival: Stiles’ gowns aside, Connecticut’s silk was not industrial grade, so silk-mills could not use it to manufacture fabric. According to cultural anthropologist Dr. Janice Stockard, who has interviewed silk reelers in South China, reeling—the practice of unwinding the filaments of silk from their cocoons—requires observation, training, and practice. In 19th-century Connecticut households, women were expected to learn the skill from pamphlets.
“In pamphlets, the term ‘spinning’ described the critical technique of reeling silk from cocoons,” Stockard says. “Women in farming households improvised, based on their experience spinning wool and using technology found in the home, including the wool wheel.”
The product they ended up with was adequate for sewing thread, but not strong enough for the industrial-silk-manufacturing infrastructure that Connecticut had begun to build. According to one scathing assessment, “Connecticut women in 70 years have not improved their knowledge of reeling.” Another issue, Stockard says, was the expectation that women could reel silk “whenever leisure from other duties permitted.” In other words, women were supposed to wedge a high-skill, time-intensive task into their already full workloads, and the result was sub-par silk.
“Simultaneously unwinding several cocoons from a basin of near-boiling water while twisting these filaments into one even thread and reeling it onto a wheel was hard,” Stockard says. “If reeling was interrupted to tend to a child or chore, the silk would gum up and lump.” Faced with this weak, lumpy thread, Connecticut manufacturers began to import raw silk from China, Japan, and Italy.
By 1881, sericulture in Connecticut had been entirely abandoned. The now much older Elder Sharp, who had valued his mulberry tree so highly, said, “Our silk was good, bright and strong, needing only patience to better understand the reeling… let us do what we can at this late day to repair our error.” Instead, silk-mills continued to import from Asia and continued to manufacture silk fabric through the mid-20th century. Today, the legacy of Connecticut’s silk industry can be seen in the white mulberry trees which have spread everywhere and are now considered an invasive species.
DrapeStyle has been manufacturing custom draperies, pillows and Roman shades for over 15 years. If you have questions or need a little advice, we’re here to help. Contact us for more information or pricing on your custom window treatments.
Whether you have your drapes custom made or purchase them ready made, the way you hang your curtains or drapes will make all the difference. So below for few tips on what not to do.
Don’t hang the drapery rod too low. And in fact, the trend now is to hang curtains and drapes high, close to the ceiling. This will give the illusion that the window is taller than it really is. A good rule of thumb is at least 4″-6″ above the window molding.
Select a rod that is wider than the width your window. This will allow enough room for the panels to hang on either side of your window and allow a small amount of the panels to cover the window at all times. It also tricks your eye into thinking the window is much larger than it actually is. The rule of thumb is go 8″-12″ wider than your window.
Don’t purchase drapes that are too short. Don’t skimp of the length of the drapes. Most retailers only offer set sizes. Have your curtains custom made if needed. It doesn’t cost much more than ready made drapes and it will make all the difference. And for a romantic look, go a little longer and allow the curtains to puddle on the floor. Afraid of the curtains getting dirty? Hang them right at floor for a more tailored look.
Don’t skimp of the width. You want your curtains to feel full, not skimpy. If you actually plan to close your curtains on occasion, the curtains should be about two times the width of the actual window. Use DrapeStyle’s measuring guide for more information and tips.
Make sure the drapery hooks are placed at the correct height. This is called the “pin set”. DrapeStyle’s standard pin set is 3/8″. We insure that all of the drapery hooks are spaced properly so that all you have to do is place the drapery hooks through the drapery rings. Installation is very easy.
For more information please visit our website or contact us. We are happy to help. DrapeStyle has been in business for over 15 years and we know draperies. We would be happy to help you design your dream drapes.
Sunlight can be hard on fabrics and other materials, causing color fading and ultimate deterioration of the fabric. This is bad news for some window treatments, which are often hung specifically to block bright sunlight from entering rooms and damaging the furnishings inside. While window shades and curtains protect furniture, rugs, and other items from fading, they take the brunt of the damage from the sun. It’s no surprise that window treatments are most in danger of fading and sun damage, especially when hanging from bright, sunny windows. In order to keep your window treatments looking fresh for years, choose window treatments that can stand the test of time.
If your furnishings are near or facing a window, there is a good chance that they may be damaged from the sun’s rays. Protection for your furniture is not much different than protection for your skin. Long-term exposure to sunlight can damage your furnishings similar to your skin. The sun has different effects on leather, fabric, and wood. Our window treatments will help protect not only your furnishings from the sun but yourself as well. They help filter the harsh effect from sunlight, like UV rays.
Natural light is great but can be harmful to your furnishings over time. Direct or even non-direct sunlight can cause fading, discoloration and even damage to fabric. UVA and UVB rays account for the most damage along with heat and infrared energy. Leaving windows unprotected allows UVA and UVB rays to penetrate your home and over time ruin your home furnishings.
Why does the sun bleach fabrics? It’s all down to science. There is water present in all fabrics, and the ultraviolet light from the sun catalyses a reaction between the water and the oxygen in the atmosphere, which produces hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent which works by breaking down the chemical bonds that give dyes their color. As well as breaking down the color of the dye, the sun’s rays can also cause the fabric to become brittle and more prone to breakage.
How can you prevent fabric from fading? All fabrics will eventually fade, but there are steps you can take in order to slow the process down:
Tinted windows can block around 99% of harmful ultraviolet rays
Ensure the curtain track is wide enough so that your curtains can be pulled back from the window during the day
Use curtains with a good quality lining; this provides better insulation and helps to protect them from sun damage
Use sheer curtains during the day to keep the sun out and allow you some privacy in your home, closing your main curtains in the evenings only
Drapes and curtains are not only great for blocking out the suns rays, but they will also keep hot air out during the summer and warm air in during the winter. Before the heat of the day builds inside your room it is a good idea to close your blinds to block any sunlight and heat that may enter your home.
DrapeStyle has been providing the highest quality curtains and drapes for over 15 years. We are a family company that is committed to providing customers with high-quality service and care. We use only the highest quality linings and interlinings from Hanes. Hanes is one of the oldest textile manufacturing firms in America. While Hanes is well known for their clothing fabrics, those in the textile industry know Hanes for their high-quality linings and interlinings. Hanes is recognized as the leader in residential drapery lining products. For more information on our linings, please see our lining guide.
Our bodies must rest and recharge in order to keep operating at full capacity. It doesn’t really matter whether we like this or not, there are many important and necessary processes of regeneration that happen at night and this is what good night’s sleep serves for.
How does our modern lifestyle affect our sleep?
For many people, it is completely irrelevant when they go to bed, when they work and when they turn off the lights. Are you glued to your phone or laptop right until you hit the pillow (and maybe even after)? Or maybe, even with the best intentions, streetlights and city lights flood your bedroom. What we all need to understand is that darkness is a necessity for our beauty sleep.
What are the benefits of sleeping in complete darkness.
Still think beauty sleep is just for your good looks? At night our bodies produce melatonin, which allows us to fall asleep, and stay asleep. We produce this hormone the most between 11pm and 3am, and even the slightest ray of sunlight or artificial light interrupts the secretion of this important hormone. Less melatonin in the blood causes fatigue, bad mood, anxiety, hormonal imbalance, poor concentration and many other problems.
Melatonin supports the immune system and protects us from ailments such as heart attacks triggered by stress, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and many other neurological damages and bacterial and viral infections. When you sleep in complete darkness you can expect your levels of melatonin to increase. Proper and regular secretion of this hormone will even slow down the aging process.
How to create complete darkness
We should accept the fact that we are living in a bright world, which means that we need to take some measures to create darkness. For instance, we can turn off the TV and put down our phones well before bedtime and most importantly wear an eye mask to sleep. High-quality eye masks like can provide complete darkness for you to sleep better, no matter where you sleep.
First, we’ll go over why using artificial lighting too close to bed can damage your health. Melatonin helps us to relax and get ready to sleep, but the blue light from smartphones and tablets actually suppresses this hormone. Melatonin lowers blood pressure, glucose levels, and body temperature, which help us to prepare for a restful sleep.
With the proper amount of melatonin in your system, your cortisol levels will also remain relatively low, allowing you to relax and get to sleep.However, artificial lighting actually raises your stress hormones at night, and frequent exposure can cause a plethora of health problems, including excess body fat, weight gain, inflammation, insulin resistance, and heart problems. It can also contribute to insomnia and even affect hormones responsible for the regulation of your appetite.
So, by keeping your room dark at night, you not only will get to sleep faster and wake up feeling more rested, but you’ll also have a lesser risk of developing health problems due to excess nighttime light exposure.
A good rule of thumb is to simply turn off electronics a few hours before bed, and dim the lights in your room. Make it a relaxing environment for sleep so that when bedtime comes, you actually feel like falling asleep.
Even dim light at night can causes issues, though. Chronic exposure to dim light in the evening leads to depressive symptoms in hamsters, such as drinking less sugar water that they normally would have interest in. When researchers took away the dim lights at night, they found the depression went away.
If you have night lights on, lights from your computer or phone, or even a street lamp outside, consider covering them with a blanket or getting black-out curtains for your windows.
DrapeStyle can help by making custom drapes or curtains featuring blackout lining. Our high quality blackout lining, made by Hanes, can block out 99% of the light. Let us make custom drapes for you, with your choice of fabric, pleat style, and lining. Using curtains and drapes with blackout effects and help you obtain better sleep. Contact us for more information or to order fabric samples.
Kravet celebrates their 100th anniversary. Read more about this incredible company:
The storied tale of Kravet Inc.’s 100-year-old history starts in 1903. Samuel Kravet arrived in New York City from Russia. With a passion for men’s fashion and luxury tailoring, he started selling buttons, elastics and zippers for apparel. He would often visit the luxurious homes of his clients, which inspired a new endeavor: trimmings, tassels and tie-backs for the home.
Woven together through the years thread by thread with people, places and passion, Kravet has grown in size. All the while remaining true to its founding principles: extraordinary quality, unwavering integrity, and uncompromising commitment to the industry.
Five generations and 100 years later, these same principles continue to act as Kravet’s guiding light. Style curators search far and wide to supply only the finest, most luxurious and unique product in the world.
Every idea and vision is stitched together. Each piece an essential fiber in our vibrant tapestry, to tell one story.
Along the way, they have expanded. This includes a distinct global style, exhibited perfectly by brands Lee Jofa, GP & J Baker and Brunschwig & Fils.
Their commitment to innovation continues with its latest venture, CuratedKravet.com. Designers can find an edited selection of finished products. They are available for an easy shopping experience and in some cases shipping within days of placing an order. On this centennial celebration, Kravet honors its history and looks to its future – which is as bright as the brilliant people who make Kravet what it is today.
DrapeStyle is proud to feature Kravet fabrics and we congratulate them on their milestone. DrapeStyle has been in business for over 15 years. We make each drape, each Roman shade and each pillow, by hand. We use the finest fabrics such as those manufactured by Kravet. We, too, make our products with extraordinary quality, and unwavering integrity. Please join us in congratulating them on their 100th anniversary. For more information on Kravet or to order samples, please contact us.
With the arrival of the cold winter months, having the heat on all the time is tempting although it could be extremely costly and environmentally damaging especially for home with our double insulated windows.
It’s been said that heating accounts for over 70% of household energy consumption while the cost of running an average three-bedroom home exceeds the average mortgage or rent payment.
This figure is likely to skyrocket as winter comes. For poorly insulated or homes of larger sizes; there are ways to maximize what you’re paying for and keep your home warm without having to spend a fortune on heating.
Add flannel or bump interlining to your drapes to prevent heat loss
With poorly insulated or single glazing windows, constant heating is required to maintain a warm temperature in the home as heat can easily escape through the gaps and even the seal of good window frames can degrade over time.
Flannel lined drapes are a great way to save on energy bills as the additional layer can help retain warmth inside a room during the colder weather. With extra layers of flannel or bump interlining, the thicker lining also adds fullness and body to the drapes which creates a more luxurious look.
Similarly, interlining can actually block heat from coming in during the warmer weather. This style of lining is great for keeping your room at a comfortable temperature throughout the seasons. They also have the added benefits of being blackout and noise reducing.
Flannel or Bump interlining is placed between the fabric and the lining. It adds body and insulation to the drape. For an additional fee, DrapeStyle can add either to your draperies. Order samples here to see for yourself what a difference adding interlining can add to your drapes.
Keep your curtains and drapes shut at night
To maximize the heating, shut your drapes so that the warmth can be retained as much as possible. Most studies suggest 18.5ºC or 65ºF as the optimal temperature for sleeping while temperatures below 12 ºC or 54ºF and above 23.8 ºC or 75ºF is said to be disruptive.
Use door curtains
I’ve always lived in the South West, so I’ve never thought of this, but it makes since if you live in a colder climate. Use door curtains for maximum coverage and keep the cold air out while giving your home a polished look upon entrance. Although useful and convenient, draught excluders are only able to provide a bottom seal whereas door curtains can cover all gaps.
For more information on interlining, see our lining guide or contact us. We are happy to help you determine what would best suit your drapery needs.
Voile is a French word, pronounced “vwahl”. The definition; a light,plain-weave,sheerfabric of cotton,rayon,silk, or woolusedespeciallyformaking dressesandcurtains. Sheer draperies may be used alone, or layer for a more luxurious look.
Voile curtains give the feeling of a bright and spacious interior. Plus, they are easy to incorporate in any room of the home. These 100% polyester sheers are perfect for layering behind a pair of decorative curtains to block out light in the evening while also maintaining your privacy.
Patterned voile draperies are a fantastic way to create a point of focus that draws your eye. Voile fabrics come in a variety of styles and interesting patterns. This is an easy and inexpensive way to add pattern and color to a room.
Opt for Understated
The opposite of adding voile curtains to attract attention; you can also layer voile curtains to create an understated finish without having to purchase multiple sets of new curtains – an affordable option if your curtains are made-to-measure.
Layering with Shades
If you have roman shades or blinds on your windows, using sheers as your draperies will soften the look while adding a layer of texture. Using Roman shades or blinds will provide the privacy you need while the sheers can help diffuse the light.
Whether you’re looking to add privacy to your home, create a focal point in a room, or reduce the vibrancy of your patterned or colorful drapes, voile drapes are an excellent, versatile choice. Layering can be done in stages, as your budget allows.
If you have any questions about Voile curtains, please contact us or view our sheer drapes here. At DrapeStyle, our seamstresses have an average of 25 years of experience in making custom draperies. Paired with the best fabrics and quality service, you will be pleased with the results.