Lisa's Blog for Drapestyle

Lisa's Blog for DrapeStyle

For Well Over a Decade DrapeStyle has Manufactured the Finest Custom Drapery Available for Designers and Homeowners in the US and Canada

Posts Tagged ‘custom curtains’

Betsy Ross – Drapery Seamstress

So we just returned from our summer sojourn to the East Coast.  This year we took the kids into Philadelphia for a couple of days to explore the historic sites.  We hit all of the normal stuff.  Saw Ben Franklin’s tomb, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.  The weather was absolutely perfect and the People in the City of Brotherly Love were pleasant and helpful.  We really had a great trip.

One of the interesting things that we learned was on the tour of Betsy Ross’s home.  Well, for one, her real name was not Betsy Ross but actually Elizabeth Griscom.  We were also happy to know that her profession was that of a Seamstress.  She repaired upholstery and made bed-linens.  Her primary job was actually making custom drapes and curtains for paying Customers in the Philadelphia area.  She was know for very high quality which is why General Washington asked her to sew the very first American Flag.  When Washington asked her to sew the flag she confided that she had never even made a flag before but he was so impressed with her sewing skills he engaged her to sew the Flag.

 

 

Introducing Mulberry Silk Drapes at DrapeStyle

We are really happy to have a new line of Mulberry Silk Drapes at DrapeStyle.  Mulberry Silk is simply the absolute finest quality of Silk Fabric you can buy.  This Silk is harvested from Silk Worms that have been raised in climate controlled rooms and fed nothing but a diet of pure Mulberry Leaves.  The result is the finest, softest most uniform Silk fibers available.  The fibers are so consistent that just one thread can be as long as 180 feet.

When woven into silk fabrics the long, uniform threads mean that the resulting fabrics are thick, uniform and free of almost all nubs or imperfections.  We are one of very few Manufacturers in the US that have been able to purchase the Mulberry Fabrics and we ordered them in 14 amazing exclusive Designer Colors.

Please order sample of this fabric and feel the difference for yourself.

 

 

Making Some Extra Long Drapes Today!

We’re making some really long and really wide custom drapes today for a Client in New York.  These are Linen Drapes in our Hotel Collection and they are just over 15 feet long and 9 feet wide.  These are really big drapery panels and adding the trim is not an easy task.  The trim is hand cut out of silk fabric, tacked to the linen drapes and then sewn on.  These are true Artisans at work!  Notice how she is using a straight-edge to guide the silk trim on the linen fabric.

 

extra long linen drapes

Extra Long Linen Drapes with Silk Trim by DrapeStyle

Amazing Seamstress’s

Our Industry is dying.  Yes, it is really dying.  We work in a creative Field of talented Men and Women who have been mastering the will of complicated machines to create works of Art for decades.  They are not making them anymore. Not making the machines and not making the Men and Women.

The amazing People who make your Drapes don’t text or Instagram.  They don’t have “Smart Phones” of Facebook Accounts.  They work in the world of Art and Science.  They take rolls of fabrics and bend and fold them.  They cut them and steam them.  Finally they sew them and fold them.  Iron them and hang them.  The end result is often “Perfection” the way so few of us get the opportunity to know.  Perfection comes from mastering a skill that very few ever can, and even fewer even try.  These Men and Women are true Artisans and Masters of a dying Craft.

So, what of our Future?  Who will take their places? Who will work these machines?  Once these machines were cutting-edge technology.  To many of us they still are.  Like the People who run them they are 2/3 iron and 1/3 fluid.  They are 100% capable.  They are 100% dependable.  And, they are beautiful work of Arts.

We are blessed to have the People we have.  They will not be here forever and there are very few who are learning their Art Form.  We make drapes of silk and linen and, in doing so, we are trying to keep an Art-form alive.

Whether you are looking for Custom Silk Drapes, Custom Linen Drapes, Extra Long Drapes or any other Custom Drapery Style, we at DrapeStyle think that we are simply the best place online to buy custom drapes.

Thank you for supporting our efforts.

 

Sale Pricing

We’ve updated our current Sale Pricing at DrapeStyle.  Until May 9th you can get our Signature Custom Silk Drapes at 20% Off Retail.  This is about the deepest discount that we have ever offered.  If you compare our pricing on Silk Drapes with practically any other big-box retailer or online retailer you’re not going to get a better value, period.  At these prices there really is never a reason to settle for ready-made drapes when you can have the perfect length, width and pleat style for less than ready-made prices.  We are also extending our promotion on Blackout Lining.  For a limited time, you can upgrade your drapes to Blackout Lining for only $99 per panel.  You are not going to get a better deal on custom blackout drapes than at DrapeStyle.  And, our Blackout comes from Hanes, which is the Industry Standard in quality blackout drapery linings.

Our Handwoven Silk Drapes are also discounted at 20% Off as well.  If you haven’t seen this fabric you really need to order some fabric samples as soon as possible.  The Mill does not have much of the Handwoven Silk left in stock.

 

drapes on sale

Custom Drapes On Sale at DrapeStyle

 

 

Cartridge Pleat Drapes

Yeah!  DrapeStyle has it’s very first Patent!  In the drapery business we have always just sort of done things they way they have always been done for a hundred years, but not at DrapeStyle.  When we make a Cartridge Pleat Drape we basically make a cylinder or a cone.  The inside of the cylinder is empty and just about every custom drapery manufacturer in the world will stuff that cylinder with paper or pillow-fill or something else to keep the cartridge pleat, well, shaped like a cartridge.  When you “stuff” a cartridge pleat or a goblet pleat with paper or whatever you run into a couple of problems.

The first problem is that if you crush, pinch or otherwise misshape the pleat they are not going to “bounce back”.  As a result you get pleats that are either misshapen, crooked or just not, well a cartridge pleat.

Problem number two, is that when you fill the pleat with “material” you leave little spaces in there.  Little dark spaces.  And, we know who likes little dark spaces, right?  Yes, little crawly creatures.  They like to move into cartridge pleats and build themselves little nests.  And, once they have a nest they like like to fill that nest with little baby crawly things.  Before you know it you have a little crawly thing condo happening in your drapes Cartridge Pleats.  Not at all what you had planned!

So, introduce the DrapeStyle Solution to the little crawly thing happening in your Cartridge Pleats.  The Pleat Plug.  Yes, this little device may seem innocent enough but it is the answer to colonies of little crawly guys forever.  Plus, with the new Pleat Plug Technology with your Cartridge Pleated Drapes or Goblet Pleated Drapes you now end up with perfectly formed pleats that will last the lifetime of the drape.  And, DrapeStyle gets themselves a Patent for “Drapery Technology”!!

 

cartridge pleat plug

The Cartridge Pleat Plug by DrapeStyle!

 

 

 

The DrapeStyle Luxe Collection

We’re excited to introduce the new DrapeStyle Luxe Collection for 2014.  These contemporary drapes are available in 25 amazing fabrics including the Parker which features the Nautical Knot Embroidery.  Our Luxe Collection is available in any of our pleat styles including French Pleat, Cartridge Pleat and Grommets.  These fabrics are in short supply so order your samples as soon as possible!

Most of the Luxe collection is comprised of Linen / Poly Blends or 100% Polyester which is wrinkle resistant and durable.  You can get an extra long drapery panel at 135 Inches long and 46 inches wide, lined and interlined in the Parker Sapphire as shown below, for under $500 per panel.  Once again DrapeStyle is proving that you can get high-end luxurious custom drapes without over-paying!  These prices are valid until May 9th.

 

luxury custrom drapes

The Luxe Collection by DrapeStyle shown in Parker Sapphire with Parisian Pleat.

 

 

Design Delema, Where to Call for Help with Selecting Window Treatments

Lets face it, buying custom made window treatments can be a very expensive proposition.  Regardless if you are shopping for custom drapes, Roman Shades, valances or shutters you can easily spend upwards of $10,000 by the time your done.  We’re talking about a lot of money here and you should not have to make some of the important decisions on your own.  For most window treatments you need to be very accurate with your measurements, especially if you have larger or odd-size or odd-shaped windows.  When you are making a sizable investment we always recommended have a professional window treatment measure done early in the process.  Having an accurate measure done first can help avoid costly mistakes and re-makes later and may also help save you money on you initial purchase and installation.  Most custom drapery or window treatment retailers may often provide an initial measure for free.  Retailers and Workrooms can also use a detailed measure to find ways to save money by maximizing fabric lengths and widths.  After all, the majority of the cost or expense with custom soft window treatments, like drapery comes from the cost of the fabric.  If your Retailer or Workroom can shave a yard of fabric off of every treatment, the savings can really add up.

Beyond the measure, better drapery retailers and Workrooms should be able to provide you with free design advice.  It is important to understand, and ask, who will be giving the advice.  Many of the larger retailers will send a “Sales Person” out to your home who is on commission.  You are not going to get good, if any, design advice from a untrained Sales Person.  If you are dealing with your retailer over the phone, make sure you are speaking with someone with real-world design experience.  At DrapeStyle, we don’t have “Sales People”.  When you call us you are speaking with a trained Interior Design Professional who understands your entire project from measure to fabric selection to construction.  When calling any national retailer, ask some good questions to be sure you are not speaking to a Sales Person who is simply reading off of a script.  At DrapeStyle we only hire Sales Designers who have completed advanced classes at either Design Schools (Such as Interior Designers Institute (IDI) in Newport Beach) or a 4-year University.  We love to bring in Interns who are Students at IDI and then, after they graduate, have them come on as full-time Sales Designers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interior Designer Advice, Selecting Your Curtain and Drapery Fabric

I’d love to say that “there are no wrong choices” when in comes to selecting the appropriate fabric  for your next set of custom made draperies or curtains but that is just not reality.  There are many important consideration that you need to take in to account when selecting the correct fabric, here are some things to consider.

1.  Will your drapery be “functional” or “stationary”?  By functional, we mean, will you be opening and closing the curtains often or will they just be decorative and stationary.  If you plan on have functional curtains you will need to be sure that you are selecting a fabric that is sturdy enough to handle the constant tugging and pulling as they are opened and closed.  You can help your functional drapery last longer by buying a baton that you will attach to the leading drapery rings.  The baton, as you see in most hotel rooms, will allow you to open and close the curtains without touching the fabric with your hands.  Using batons can add years of life to your drapery and keep the oils from your hands off the fabric.

If you are planning on your drapery being functional you want to stay clear of very sheer fabrics including sheer linens, they will not hold up to much abuse.  Stick to cottons or traditional linens, Bristol Linens and cottons.  You can safely use most silks as long as they are protected with the use of a baton.

Important Designer Note – If you are going to be using a baton with your drapes and you have selected a “Grommet” header, or pleat, we recommend a product called “Grom-O-Link”.  Grom-O-Link is a patented Grommet System that will allow you to attach a baton to the leading grommet on your drapery panel.  There really is no other way to attach a baton to a grommet drapery panel without tearing the fabric.

If you are not planning on opening and closing the draperies very often, or maybe not even ever, you can omit the baton and leave them hung and “dressed” by your Installer.  For stationary or decorative panels you have many more fabric options to choose from.  You can select the most delicate sheer or linen and not be concerned with wear and tear.

2.  The second major consideration is sun exposure.  How much sun will your drapery panels be exposed too?  If you are installing your drapes on a window that will be exposed to a lot of direct sunlight you need to be very careful with your fabric selection.  You can still use most silks or linens but you need to be sure that your curtains are properly lined and interlined.  Simply lining your curtains is not going to be enough to block the UV rays over time.  You need to be sure that your panels have a heavy flannel interlining sandwiched between the lining and the face fabric.  The interlining will provide greater protection than a simple lined panel.  If you want to block almost all of the sunlight you may want  to consider blackout lining.  Blackout will provide the greatest level of protection from sunlight and UV rays.

Important Designer Note – Well made draperies that use high-quality linings including quality blackout linings will make you curtain panels very heavy.  If you compare the weight of a well made Designer Quality Custom Drapery or Curtain Panel to one that you would buy from a big-box department store, or even Ethan Allen Drapery you would be amazed at the difference in weight.  Department Stores import their drapes from China or India and the cost to ship them is very expensive.  Simply said, Department Stores and larger chains do not want their ready-made curtain panels to be heavy, it simply costs too much to ship them.  This is one major reason that, if you want real custom curtains and drapes you need to shop domestically.

3.  Outdoor Curtains and Drapery.  When it comes to selecting fabrics for drapery that will be used outdoor or will be in direct sunlight the only serious choice for fabric is Sunbrella.  Sunbrella offers a wide range of styles from conservative solids to contemporary patterns at reasonable prices.  The feature that defines Sunbrella is its color-fastness or ability to withstand a great deal of direct sunlight without fading or deteriorating like other fabrics would.  Sunbrella has a patented manufacturing process that makes it the only serious choice for outdoor curtains, drapery and pillows.

 

 

 

 

 

DrapeStyle’s Custom Drapery Workroom – Costa Mesa

Sometimes I think that it is worth reminding our Customers that when you order from DrapeStyle all of your drapes, shades and roman blinds are made right here in our Costa Mesa Workroom.  I know that for many people that really doesn’t matter but for some, we think it does.  Our drapes are made, by hand, by professional seamstresses who have on average 23 years of experience making beautiful custom made drapes.

DrapeStyle products are never made by child labor in Pakistan, India or China.  We realize that making our products in the US where we pay a livable wage, provide workers comp insurance and even provide lunch for our Employees means that our drapes may cost a bit more than others.  We’re Family at DrapeStyle and we believe we have the greatest People in the business making the very best custom made curtains and drapery available.

Before you buy your next window treatments you may want to think about where those drapes were made.  It may make a difference to you.

Thanks as always.

 

DrapeStyles Custom Drapery Workroom in Orange County, California

DrapeStyle makes all of our drapes by hand in Orange County, California

How to Choose the Correct Lining for Custom Drapes

Choosing Drapery Lining

Choosing Drapery Lining

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.”