What is a Width? This is how we measure the width of your draperies. Here’s more information on how to figure out what width you need.
You are online, ordering drapes and you hit a snag. What is a “width”? This is the question I am asked most often. A width refers to the width of the fabric used to make a drape or curtain. Usually, when you roll the fabric off a bolt, it is about 54″ wide. 1 width starts out at 54″ wide. The sewing begins by gathering and tacking the pleat. Then we create 1 1/2″ side hems with blind stitching. Then we sew 3 1/2″ overlaps-you want the drapes to overlap in the center, so light does not shine through.
DrapeStyle has this easy formula we use to determine width:
Length of drapery rod (in inches) + 16″ = X
X divided by the # of drapes = how many inches wide each drape should be.
Ask yourself how wide is your window? Or better yet, how wide is the drapery rod you are going to hang your drapes on? If your window is 48″ wide, you will probably want to extend the drapery rod at least 4″ on both sides of the window. So your finish width is 56″.
Take the finished width, 56″, and add 16″ to account for hems and overlaps. 56″ plus 16″ equals 72″.
Take this number, 72″, and divide it by the number of drapes you would like. Usually the number of drapes is 2. So 72″ divided by 2 equals 36″. You want each drape to be at least 36″ wide.
This will ensure that the drapes will have adequate coverage and it will be 2 times fullness. Fullness refers to the additional fabric needed to make the pleats full and rich looking. At DrapeStyle, we think that 2 times fullness looks great. You want your drapes to look, full, luxurious, and rich looking. Not wimpy, and you certainly want to be sure that the drapes are made wide enough to close. After all, you paid for the drapes to block out light and add a little privacy, right?
We are here to help you figure out all of the details so that we can create your dream drapes! Contact us and tell us your window measurements and we’ll do the rest. DrapeStyle has been awarded the Best of Houzz Customer Satisfaction award, three years in a row. We LOVE to help our customers create the perfect window treatments for their home. We want you to be completely satisfied with your purchase. DrapeStyle has been making custom drapes, roman shades and pillows for over a decade, by women with an average of 25 years experience. We think you’ll be pleased with the results.
There’s nothing better than hanging brand new curtains but many homeowners are unsure what to do with their old curtains. Often they are still in great shape but simply don’t fit in with the décor anymore. Here are some ideas to help you upcycle your old curtains.
1. Rope off a little privacy
You can use curtains to create unique little private areas within your home. Do you have a corner that’s not being used? Part of a room that’s just empty space? Use curtains to create your own reading nook, an office nook, or even turn one large room into two small rooms. All you need to do is hang your curtains between your private space and public space.
2. Top off a table
Curtains can make an incredible table even more amazing. Depending on both the size of the table and the size of the fabric it may work as a tablecloth or a simple table runner. Some may require sewing to get them the perfect shape but with others you can simply drape a drapery panel over your table and bask in how perfect it looks.
3. Rethink your bedroom
Canopy beds are amazing but creating a similar look with ceiling curtains can be even more dramatic and fantastic. The end result is whimsical, cozy, and a unique style. This works for both adults and little girls and is especially fun with sheer curtains. Just install a curtain rod from the ceiling and hang your sheets around your bed.
4. Conceal clutter
Don’t you wish you could magically get rid of clutter? What if you could hide the shelf that holds your laundry detergent and dryer sheets? What if your craft room could look organized without buying a billion shelves? Just cover these cluttered areas with curtains! It’s a very simple solution. When you’re using these areas you can keep the curtains open but when company comes and you want to give them the idea that your home is an organized oasis, just pull them closed.
5. Donate them to a local charity
Charities may have many uses for your used draperies. They may donate them to families recovering from disasters, they may sell them at resale shops and use the proceeds to support their charity, or they may use them in their own offices. There are many options in virtually communities, and in most cases your donation will be tax deductible.
6. Use your curtains as room dividers
Curtains as room dividers are a wise way to prevent investing in installing a door or buying room dividers. It’s a less permanent solution when you need to temporarily turn one space into several spaces. You can also create rooms in lofts by installing your old drapes.
7. Replace your shower curtain
If your old curtains are in great shape and you love the pattern, just add a plastic liner on the inside of your shower and use them as a shower curtain. This is a very inexpensive, affordable option for virtually anyone to complete. Just make sure you’re ready to not use them as traditional curtains anymore. Even though the plastic liner will prevent them from being saturated with water, there is the potential for eventual water damage.
8. Use curtains as closet doors
Almost everyone has dealt with it at least once in their lives: that annoying closet door that will not stay on its runner. The best way to get rid of this annoyance once and for all is to replace the closet door with a curtain. Simply take your old curtains, install a curtain rod – or use a tension rod – and you instantly have a stylish closet door that won’t drive you crazy!
Are your daperies stained or damaged in places? Why not recycle them into pillows, pillowcases or cushion covers? Or repurpose that old fabric or donate them and give them a new life.
When you’re ready to refresh your decor, please contact us. DrapeStyle has over 600 fabrics to choose from and we can make any length or width drapery for your home.
At DrapeStyle we celebrate all kinds of fabric, and we love all types of prints.
Plaidurday. Who knew it was a thing, right? Well it’s this week and why not celebrate and wear a little plaid? He’s a little info I found about this National Holiday: http://plaidurday.com/
THE WORLDWIDE CELEBRATION OF PLAID
Plaidurday is the worldwide celebration of plaid. It occurs annually on the first Friday of October. There are lots of ways to celebrate! With plaid we can all make a positive impact in the world.
A BRIEF HISTORY
It all began in Lansing, Michigan. In part, it was inspired by the heckling one young man received from his co-workers. These co-workers (who he secretly has great admiration for) noticed that he was wearing plaid quite frequently. At which point we ask, what else would he wear? Solid colors? Polka dots? Stripes that don’t intersect? Argyle? Sounds foolish.
On the morning of August 26, 2010, an epiphany was had. Plaidurday! The word came to this young man’s mind. From where, nobody knows. But perhaps there is a higher being who happens to love plaid just as much as he does.
The part-ginger, full-Yooper, plaid-wearing man was destined to create the greatest holiday that ever existed. Plaidurday: The Worldwide Celebration of Plaid.
This day would bring together all the wonderful plaid-wearing people of the world.
The inaugural celebration took place on October 7, 2011. And forevermore the first Friday of October will be dedicated to plaid.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
You can never plan too far in advance. Past, present and future Plaidurday dates.
October 5, 2018
October 4, 2019
October 2, 2020
October 1, 2021
October 7, 2022
October 6, 2023
October 4, 2024
October 3, 2025
For more information and events:
If you have questions about plaid or any other pattern, please contact us. We are here to help you with all of your custom drapery needs!
Forged by sun. Fired by desert. Introducing Cavern Clay SW 7701, the 2019 Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year. Ancient, yet fully alive. Bohemian, yet totally refined.
“We believe 2019 will be a renaissance of the 1970s — with a twist. In the coming year, we will embrace our pioneering spirits and artisan ingenuity,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “Our 2019 Color of the Year, Cavern Clay, embodies renewal, simplicity and free-spirited, bohemian flair.”
“Cavern Clay brings new life to any living space. It’s right at home with natural furnishings, including exposed floors, wood furniture, leather upholstery and worldly textiles.”
With summer in full swing outdoor showers are being used often after trips to the beach or lake, or even just showering off while enjoying the outdoors and nature.
Whether spending a day at the beach, exploring the forest or working in the garden, outdoor living gets dirty pretty fast. Instead of tracking the outdoors into the house at the end of the day, outdoor showers are a luxury that is surprisingly affordable.
If you live near the ocean or simply want an outdoor shower, opt for an enclosure that gives you the privacy you desire. Outdoor shower enclosures are available in a wide range of prices. The enclosures offer privacy so you can shower in the buff and change outside, without upsetting the neighbors.
An outdoor shower enclosure gives you far more freedom of use for an outdoor shower. Instead of a place for a quick rinse, you can supply soap and towels, and use complete showering facilities. You can even install a simple solar water heater to provide you with a few minutes of hot water to bathe with.
And when you are ready to add a shower curtain, contact us. DrapeStyle has been in business for over 15 years. We would be happy to custom make a curtain for your outdoor (or indoor) shower. Please visit our outdoor drapery page and see the beautiful shades of genuine Sunbrella fabrics.
And as always, your curtains will be made here in the USA.
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.
The warmer weather draws us outdoors to dine, entertain and play. Sunbrella fabrics can create an outdoor space you can be proud of. View our collection of sweet and strong Sunbrella fabrics.
Taken from the Sunbrella website:
Sunbrella is founded on the belief that fabrics should be both beautiful and functional. We began in the 1960s with the challenge of creating an awning canvas with a substantially longer lifespan than cotton. Sunbrella has become widely adopted for shade structures, marine canvas and upholstery fabric for both outdoor and indoor applications.
Our textiles are made with close attention to design detail, and engineered with robust performance characteristics that provide resistance to fading and degradation from sunlight and chemical exposure. The fabric is tactile yet durable, has industry-leading environmental characteristics, is easy to care for and offers long life – wherever it’s used.
Each yard of Sunbrella performance fabric is a product of a global support team committed to producing only the most exceptional performance textiles you can buy.
Sunbrella fabrics are manufactured in facilities around the globe. Our main manufacturing location is a one million square foot facility in South Carolina, USA. This Anderson, South Carolina plant features a completely vertical ISO 9001 and 14001 certified manufacturing operation, R&D center and testing lab. This facility established the blueprint for our plants in Lille, France and Suzhou, China, manufacturing locations that enable us to best serve our customers in those regions. Sunbrella is always manufactured to the same standards and is delivered when you need it, anywhere in the world.
Research and Development
Our R&D department is continually pushing the envelope for what is possible with Sunbrella textiles. R&D spearheads our efforts to continually improve and refine the durability characteristics of Sunbrella fabrics. R&D also develops solutions for new textile designs, constructions and applications to fit needs in the marketplace for superior performance textiles.
The Sunbrella design team operates in the United States and Europe. This group of experienced textile designers brings diverse industry experience and is actively involved in stock line design, collaborative collections and custom line development. Sunbrella designers travel extensively to gather trend intelligence, design analysis and color forecasts – knowledge they share with our manufacturing partners to bring to market the latest in home décor, shade innovation and marine styling.
How to Clean
All Sunbrella® fabrics are engineered to combine the highest level of design and performance. For easy day-to-day maintenance of your Sunbrella fabric:
Brush off loose dirt.
Spray on a cleaning solution of water and mild soap.
Use a soft bristle brush to clean.
Allow cleaning solution to soak into the fabric.
Rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is removed.
When you’re ready to decorate your outdoor space, view our sweet and strong Sunbrella fabrics 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 outdoor draperies and pillows. DrapeStyle has been in business for over 15 years and everything is still made right here in the USA.
We live in a disposable world where we purchase things only to dispose of them when they wear out or are damaged. By investing in quality products, you will be able to enjoy your purchase for years to come and give the environment a break. Everything at DrapeStyle is custom made. Nothing is ready made. Our seamstresses have an average of 25 years experience in making custom window treatments. We make each item as if it was going into our own home.
Once you place your order, the process begins! Most of our fabrics will need to be ordered from our suppliers. We have a large workroom, but not large enough to keep over 500 fabrics in stock! Once we have received your fabric, we meticulously view every inch of the fabric with back lighting to detect any flaws or imperfections. This includes rolling out the fabric and inspecting on back lit apparatus:
If the fabric meets our high standards, we then cut the fabric in our own, Phoenix, AZ workroom, the lining and interlining. We take time to match up the pattern, print or banding to each drape for a custom look.
Then the sewing begins! We includes details such as sewing 1 1/2″ double side hms, 5″ double bottom hems, 5″ double headers with buckram, 3 1/2″ overlaps, 3 1/2″ returns and bottom weights. You can be sure that your draperies will be hand made with no detail overlooked.
Details such as pleats, trim, banding, and drapery pins are added. Once everything has been completed, the drapes are fan folded. This ensures that the drapes will keep their crisp shape:
The drapes are then banded with paper cuffs, wrapped in plastic and are ready to be boxed for shipping:
Once they are ready to ship, we carfully package the draperies into long boxes, We include care instructions and fabric information inside the box:
For more information contact us. 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.
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.
As people today move through life, they adopt and blend other cultures with their own. The result is a design direction that celebrates mixed influences and cross cultural fertilization. Increasingly nomadic, our urban centers already considered cultural melting pots, are becoming progressively more diverse.
Years of globalization and the movement of people as well as product has brought about a globalized color palette and design aesthetic devoid of premeditation that we call the Celebration of Multicultural. A mash-up of influences and impossible to pin down to any one starting point, the aesthetic of Celebration of Multicultural is the epitome of a celebration of diversity. Ad-hoc curation wins, preoccupations of provenance are abandoned and designs are indiscriminately playful. The outcome is a montage of influences: old and new, traditional and experimental, synthetic and organic.
Excerpted with permission from VIEWPOINT COLOUR Issue 03 – The Play Issue.
If you desire something bold and beautiful, DrapeStyle’s Custom Silk Drapes are available in dozens of colors to choose from. You choose your fabric, pleat style, width and length and we’ll make the most beautiful high quality draperies available. For more information or to speak to one of our in house designers, please contact us. At DrapeStyle, we have been making custom draperies, pillows and Roman shades for over 15 years. Our seamstresses have an average of 25 years of experience. Please join us in the DrapeStyle experience, you will 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.
Toile, pronounced “twal”, is a fabric, from the French word meaning “linen cloth” or “canvas”, particularly cloth or canvas for painting on. It can refer to the fabric itself, a test garment (generally) sewn from the same material, or a type of repeated surface decoration (traditionally) printed on the same fabric. The term entered the English language around the 12th century.
It’s covering everything from beds to walls in a variety of decor styles, including French country, eclectic and even modern. Here is a little information about toile:
The name is from a French term meaning “linen cloth” or “canvas”
Toile is used as an abbreviation of the term toile de Jouy (twäl-də-ˈzhwē), a term that translates to “cloth of Jouy”
Toile de Jouy is named after Jouy-en-Josas, France where, in 1760, the factory Oberkampf was founded. Up until that time in France, printing on cotton was done with wooden blocks. Oberkampf was the first company to bring copperplate printing, popular in England and Ireland, to France. The finer lines on the copperplates allowed for greater variation in light and shade. It also allowed for larger repeat patterns; thus enabling artists to be much more creative with the designs. The pastoral scenes depicted on toile de Jouy told a story and included many major events of the time. The scenes were done in a single color on a white or off-white background.
Today toile has come to refer to any type of similar printed fabric.
DrapeStyle has been making drapes right here in the USA for over a decade. Our seamstresses make each drapery panel to order with quality details you won’t find everywhere. Details like double side-hems, hand-sewn corners, bottom weights and 5 inch buckram headings. At DrapeStyle, we don’t cut-corners. We use the highest quality fabrics, linings and components possible. Maybe that’s why when House and Garden reviewed online drapery retailers they called our draperies “Beautifully Made to Order”.
Please contact us for more information or for a custom quote. Let us help you design your dream drapes, you will be pleased.
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.
Your window treatments may be decorate or functional. They may compliment your furnishings or they may be the focal point of your room. But have you ever thought about where and why we started using window coverings?
Initially, people covered windows for only practical purposes, and any decorative function the treatments served was secondary. Thick, heavy draperies kept the warmth in old buildings and served as an insulation to thin windowpanes. Shutters, in the Middle Ages, were placed over small windows to the outside and secured from the inside via a small latch. Steadily, with the advent of better trade relationships and routes, linens, prints, and silks became more readily available from the East and Italy, and draperies and curtains became much more decorative in nature. While we still use draperies and curtains in colder climates to help insulate homes, window dressing has become so much more than materials insulating a window.
As a society that traveled, each new destination we visited brought forth new ideas and styles about how to treat windows. Blinds were an innovation brought from India. Screens for dividing a space and creating privacy in a room were adapted from Japan and balloon shades were an advent of the Venetians. Along with the arrival of more modern amenities and innovations in homes, such as double pane glass and central heating and air-conditioning, the need for heavy curtains has waned and the industry of window coverings has also grown; ushering in modern and more sleek ideas, solutions, and styles.
Drapes and Curtains
Curtains can be a wonderful way to enhance your décor, add texture, pattern and color to an environment, all while creating a type of screen between you and the outside world. Curtains can be very simple, a pleated drapery or panel of fabric that hangs straight down from a pole, or they can be elaborate and more complex, with a fuller volume, more fabric or highly decorative fabric, valances or complex hardware and perhaps a swag or tiebacks. Most importantly, curtains tend to become a focal point in the room and can draw attention to the view or décor. The choice of color texture and pattern adds to a room’s intimacy, aesthetic and warmth. They can also be a practical way to filter light, insulate during the winter, create privacy, and reduce noise in busy cities.
Blinds and Shades
Shades and blinds are one of the most popular and most versatile means of treating windows. They offer the flexibility of filtering daylight, creating screens between the interior and the outdoors, and they even have the ability of blocking light completely while maintaining your view.
Blinds and shades can be lowered or raised as the user desires, which can be primarily accomplished using a spring mechanism or cord system and can also me motorized for ease of use. Aesthetically shades and blinds offer a clean and simple way to dress a window, without competing with the architecture or style of the window. Further, shades are often the best solution in kitchens and bathrooms and can be a more functional and economical alternative in these areas.
Shades are some of the best alternatives for awkward windows, small windows or doors as they can be made to fit any size window
Shutters and Screens
Shutters are one of the most architectural ways to treat any window. They are permanently attached to the outside of the window frame and either swing open or stack on the side of a window.
Shutters can be one of the best ways to insulate a room, reduce outside noise, and provide privacy all while filtering the light.
Today the most popular style of shutter is the plantation shutter, and is a beautiful alternative to other shading systems. Screens can also be a unique and creative way to add privacy to an interior or define a space. They also tend to serve as an additional piece of furniture, and come in a variety of materials and fashions.
Deciding on your Treatment
No matter what the project the most important aspect for ensuring that the chosen window treatment will be perfect in your home is that the treatment has been well made and precisely finished. Chances are you have given a great deal of thought to the furniture and décor in your home and that forethought should also extend to window coverings.
Need a little more help? Let DrapeStyle help you make a little history by designing your dream drapes. We have been in business for over 15 years making draperies and Roman shades from the finest fabrics and trims. Contact us for more information or for samples of our fabrics.