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 ‘Thai Silk Drapes’

Silk Drapes

One of the most common questions that we get at DrapeStyle is about our different silk fabrics.  We offer three types of silk, all of which are perfect for making beautiful silk drape but each have slightly different characteristics.  All of our Silks are 100% natural silk fabrics.  They do not contain polyester or other fibers that are often woven into silk.  When Polyester is woven into Silk it obviously reduces the purity of the silk and ultimately it’s value.  On occasion we will offer a “Silk / Linen Blend” where fibers of silk and linen are blended together.  These are fairly common fabrics and have some very unique qualities that many Designers like.  For now, we are just going to describe our two primary silk fabrics.

Silk Fabrics are woven from raw silk that is produced from silk worms.  The vast majority of raw silk production comes from China where they have been harvesting raw silk for thousands of years.  About 200 years ago some raw silk production began to migrate to Thailand.  Thailand is now a fairly large supplier of Raw Silk to the Global Markets and is considered to be “decent” quality.  Most of Thailand’s premium quality silk stays within its own Country where it is used for silk textiles, primarily clothing.

Most experts would agree that the finest Raw Silk in the World is still produced in China.  Once the raw silk is produced, however, it is shipped to India to be woven into fabrics.  Although China is the World Leader in Raw Silk Production, they do not weave very much silk fabric at all.

When India receives that Raw Silk from China it is graded and then woven into a variety of Silk Fabric types:

Dupioni Silk Fabric:  Dupioni Fabric is a bit less refined than Taffeta Silk and is used word-wide in textile manufacturing.  The Dupioni Fabric can either be hand-woven or machine-woven and is distinguished from it’s close relative Taffeta Silk by the signature “Slubs” which are present on the fabric.  These Slubs are just the natural build-up of raw silk that is present when the raw silk is spun into silk thread.  When silk thread is destined to be woven into Dupioni Fabric than the Slubs are left in the thread which is then woven into fabric.  The result is a fabric with numerous bumps created by the slubs.  Silk Dupioni is used in garment production all over the world and is the primary fabric used in home furnishings including upholstery and, of course, silk drapes.

Taffeta Silk Fabric:  The primary difference between Dupioni and Taffeta fabric is that the Slubs are removed prior to the fabric being woven.  The extra step of production takes the raw silk thread and refines it removing all of the slubs so that all of the thread is uniform in thickness and quality.  This extra step also gives the thread more sheen and makes it a bit stiffer than Dupioni.  When the Taffeta Thread is woven into Taffeta Fabric the result is a cleaner and crisper fabric with a higher sheen.  Because Taffeta goes through more “processing” it also generally costs about 20% more than Dupioni.  Silk Taffeta is very often used for the manufacturing of wedding dresses as well as home furnishings.  Because of the sheen and texture of Taffeta it is also a very popular choice for making Taffeta Silk Drapes throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

dupioni silk fabric

You can see the small Slubs in the Dupioni Silk Fabric

silk taffeta

Silk Taffeta is a Smoother Fabric with fewer natural flaws and Slubs.

 

 

 

My Sister Bought Her Drapes at Restoration Hardware

The internet and eCommerce have literally transformed the way we buy everything today. Who would have considered buy appliances, clothing, even food through a website just ten short years ago. Today we have such amazing resources at our finger-tips. Sites like Houzz and Pinterest give us the ability to drool over images of things we want, need and most of the time can’t afford.

The Custom Drapery Industry, no exception. For good or for bad, the days of heading downtown to the local drapery store are over. Most of the main street storefronts have either migrated to the web or are about too.

As a Consumer we now have more information, more options and better resources than ever before. We’ve been in the Custom Drapery Business for a very long time and we thought we would give you as much information as we possibly can. Even if you end up buying your draperies elsewhere, we hope you appreciate the information.

Chapter I: My Sister Bought her Drapes from Restoration Hardware. Yes. It is true, and now the whole world will know. My Wife and I own a Custom Drapery Company and my little sister bought her drapes from Restoration Hardware. Now, a little background. We are from New Jersey. Working Class New Jersey where most of my Family still lives. My Sister and her husband bought a new home in a brand new upscale community in southwest New Jersey. They love it. Big beautiful new homes averaging over 4000 square feet each. These are the McMansions that became popular in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.  Really huge tall windows with great views and vaulted ceilings.  Stainless steel kitchens with two dishwashers.

So Lori buys this new home and all of her new friends in the neighborhood are hiring Interior Designers / Decorators to help them all deck the places out. Lori calls me and asks what I think and I tell her to go ahead and hire this Decorator that she was referred too. You know, got to keep up with the Jones’. Well, a few months later and I get the call. “Ron”, her Decorator has suggested that she buy new drapes at Restoration Hardware. He does it all of the time she tells me. Now, they wont be wide enough but Ron has a resource where they are going to buy two pair of drapes and then sew them together. Oh boy.

Flash forward 2 years. Now, my Parents buy a house about two miles away from my Sister, also in a new development. This one though, no McMansions. These homes are, well, single level. No stairs. Wide hallways and a lot of hand-rails. You got me, right? But these houses are nice, I mean, really nice. And, Like Lori, all of these Ladies are hiring Decorators too!

So now I get the call from my Mother and I brace myself. If she tells me that she is buying Restoration Hardware Drapes I am going to have a brain freeze. Turns out that her Decorator suggested that you buy her drapes from a place called DrapeStyle! An “Online Company” she says. My Mom could not have been more tickled.

Now the best part. My Mom has DrapeStyle and she is 78. My Sister has Restoration Hardware and she is 44. My Sister goes to my Mom’s house and sees her drapes. Now the calls are really coming…

“How could you have let me buy that c…p, from Restoration Hardware!”, “Moms drapes are so much better!”

Sometimes “kids” just have to learn for themselves.

Here is the real deal. The Thai Silk Drapes from Restoration Hardware were really not all “that bad”, but they weren’t DrapeStyle. They were lined but not interlined, the fabrics were thin. The hems were short and cheap. They just weren’t “custom”.  And the reality is that they didn’t cost much less than DrapeStyle and by the time she paid the tailor to sew the two panels together, they really were about the same price as DrapeStyle 100% Custom.  Lori spent a lot of time and a lot of money on those drapes and now we are making her new ones.  She gets the “Family Discount” but she would have been much happier if she would have just ordered from DrapeStyle to begin with.