Why Use Blackout Lining?

Blackout Lining for your Drapes

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.


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Sweet and Strong-Outdoor Fabrics

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.

Manufacturing

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.

Designers

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:

  1. Brush off loose dirt.
  2. Spray on a cleaning solution of water and mild soap.
  3. Use a soft bristle brush to clean.
  4. Allow cleaning solution to soak into the fabric.
  5. Rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is removed.
  6. Air dry.

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.


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Do You Know Where Your Drapes Come From?

 

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.


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Were Roman Shades Invented by Romans?

Did you know that Roman shades came from the Romans? The reason why Romans created this mechanism of shades was because of all the dust and debris that came inside their homes; so they decided to hang pieces of clothes to cover their windows and doorways to protect themselves from the dust.  Clever right?

Another source notes that awnings were used at the Roman Colosseum to protect spectators from the hot sun. While the Colosseum’s elaborate horizontal shade was different from the smaller vertical Roman shade of today, the system of ropes and pulleys used to move this flexible sunscreen were crucial to the development of our Roman shades.

Either way, we are glad that they were invented. Roman shades can be decorative and add interest to your walls and window. But they are also great for providing privacy and insulation to your windows.

Roman shades can come in a variety of fabrics and styles making them very versatile. Room darkening, and insulated linings are also available to help with privacy and insulation.

At DrapeStyle,  you can have them custom made to your specifications. That way you can be sure that your shade will fit exactly to your window’s specifications with minimal light gaps between the shade and window casing. And, when the shade is fully closed, you won’t get extra folds of fabric because the shade is too long for the window. View our measuring guide for more help.

At DrapeStyle we have over 500 fabrics to choose from and five different shade styles. View our shades online or contact us for more information. We have been hand making custom beautiful shades and drapes in luxurious fabrics for over 15 years.

Nothing at DrapeStyle 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.


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Best Unknown Drapery Tips

Purchasing window treatments can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few tips to consider when purchasing window treatments:

Decide on whether you want shades or drapes.

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!


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Do You Know Sarah Richardson?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.


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Celebrate Independence Day

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!

Image result for fireworks imagesImage result for fireworks imagesImage result for fireworks images

 

 

 

 

 

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.

History of Independence Day Video

Happy 4th of July!

Why Do We Celebrate the Fourth of July?

Interactive Fourth of July Games

let them vote

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!

Ingredients:

  • 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!)

Directions:

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

This recipe makes 7-8 popcorn balls!

Have a great holiday! ~The DrapeStyle Team.

www.drapestyle.com


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Drapes and Curtains Never Go Out Of Style

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.


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Using Outdoor Fabrics Indoors

“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.

Accord Koi
Astoria Sunset
Santorini Persimmon

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Savvy Sangria
Scope Vintage
Viento Paprika

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.


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Celebration of Multicultural

PANTONE Color Institute

Celebration of Multicultural

LAURIE PRESSMAN

Pantone Color Institute
May 21, 2018

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.

image-New Native
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.
palette image-New Native

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.

 

 


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Toss in the Finishing Touch

Schumacher Hot House Flowers Mineral
Schumacher Hot House Flowers Mineral

Custom Pillows Made in the USA.

Custom Pillows are the perfect complement to any drapery. Beautifully crafted, we make each pillow to order right here in our Arizona studio. When you order custom pillows with your custom drapes, curtains or roman shades, our seamstresses will cut the pillow fabric along with the drape fabric for a perfect match.

Schumacher Amboise Linen Zinc
Schumacher Amboise Linen Zinc
Schumacher Trellis Java
Schumacher Trellis Java

Choose from genuine Schumacher, Kravet, Robert Allen or any of DrapeStyle’s hundreds of fabrics. Not everything needs to match. Mix it up! Choose a coordinating solid with your printed roman shades. Add a band of your pillow fabric to your custom drapes or curtains. The possibilities are endless!

DrapeStyle’s custom pillows include:

  • 22″ x 22″
  • Available in any DrapeStyle fabric
  • Optional matching cording detail
  • Removable inserts
  • Your choice of 100% down or down/poly blend insert
  • Inside seams are finished to prevent the fabric from fraying
  • Concealed zippers
  • Handmade to order in the USA

It is little touches like these that have given DrapeStyle the reputation of producing luxurious, quality custom products right here in the USA.

Schumacher Hot House Flowers Spark
Schumacher Hot House Flowers Spark

For more information contact us or view our pillow page. 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 employees
DrapeStyle employees

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How Connecticut’s Homegrown Silk Industry Unraveled

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.

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 Cheney Brothers silk mill in South Manchester, Connecticut.
The Cheney Brothers silk mill in South Manchester, Connecticut.

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.

Ezra Stiles, 1770.
Ezra Stiles, 1770. METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART/ PUBLIC DOMAIN

“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.

<em>Morus alba</em>, also known as White Mulberry or Common Mulberry.
Morus alba, also known as White Mulberry or Common Mulberry. PUBLIC DOMAIN

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.

Silkworm cocoons.
Silkworm cocoons. AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION (UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY) NEGATIVES

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, called the 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.”

Fully grown striped silk worms.
Fully grown striped silk worms. AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION (UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY) NEGATIVES

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.


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Decorating with Toile

What is Toile?

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.


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How Not to Hang Drapes

Properly hung drapes
Properly hung drapes

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.

Hang drapes close to the ceiling
Hang drapes close to the ceiling

 

 

 

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.

Drapes not wide enough
Drapes not wide enough
Drapes not wide enough
Drapes not wide enough

 

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.


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April 6th is National Tartan Day

 

April 6th is National Tartan Day! Here is a little info I found online that I thought I would share. What is a tartan? It is defined as: a woolen cloth woven in one of several patterns of plaid, especially of a design associated with a particular Scottish clan. Probably thoughts of a kilt come to mind, however a tartan can be in any form. Let’s celebrate this fabric!

 

National Tartan Day is a US observance on April 6 each year. It commemorates the Scottish Declaration of Independence, from which the American Declaration of Independence was modeled on. It also recognizes achievements of Americans of Scottish descent.

What Do People Do?

National Tartan Day parades occur in major cities such as New York on or around April 6. These parades often feature bag-pipe bands playing Scottish music and people dressed in kilts with tartan patterns that represent their Scottish clans. Special award events are also held on Tartan Day, often organized by groups such as the American Scottish Foundation.

Background

The Scottish Declaration of Independence was signed on April 6, 1320. The American Declaration of Independence was, in fact, modelled on this particular document. Almost half of the signers of the American Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent.

The US Senate Resolution on National Tartan Day was passed on March 20, 1998. From that point onward, National Tartan Day was designated as a day for all Americans, particularly those of Scottish descent, on April 6 each year.

Here is a fun video I found, take a look and maybe you’ll learn a little something!


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Celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

DrapeStyle has been in business for over 15 years and it is a “Mom and Pop” business. Although our “Mom and Pop” don’t have much to do with the day to day operations anymore, their passion, drive and reputation in the community has made DrapeStyle the success it is today. National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day is observed annually on March 29th. This day honors all small business owners. Join us in celebrating!

Owning your own business is a goal that many people strive to attain.  It takes long hours, hard work and much dedication. Countless hours of nurturing the business are needed in the process of growing the business. From starting out to building and expanding, a successful small business is the goal of every owner.

Our economy couldn’t run without small mom and pop businesses. They create economic growth and provide almost 70% of all new jobs in the country. That’s why every year on March 29 we acknowledge the more than 27 million small businesses in this country by celebrating National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day! The holiday was established by Rick and Margie Segel in honor of their parents and the successful hat shop they opened in 1939 and grew into a 10,000 square foot, $2 million dollar clothing shop. It is a special day to appreciate the long hours, hard work and dedication it takes to run a small business. So on March 29, head to your favorite small business to say thank you!

HOW TO OBSERVE

Shop local
Support the small business in your community by searching them out and frequenting them often. Hear about an interesting local spot? Go on an adventure to check it out, then tell all your friends!

Use social media
Most small businesses are happy to get a little extra attention. Make sure to follow your favorites on all their social media platforms and promote them whenever possible.

Write a “thank you” note
Running a small business is really hard work. If there’s a special Mom and Pop shop you care about, take a moment to write a note to let the owners and employees know how much you appreciate all the effort and care they put into making your experience wonderful. Support the privately owned small businesses in your communities. Use #MomPopBusinessOwnersDay to post on social media.


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High Performance Fabrics for the Home

Trina Turk Fabrics

Performance Fabrics for the Home

It used to be that when you mentioned high performance fabric thoughts of thick, rigid polyester used to come to mind. Today, all manufacturers have a line of high performance fabrics that look, feel and drape like any other fabric. High performance fabrics are durable and easy to clean and consumers today are demanding these more and more. They stand up to children, pets and everyday wear and tear making them an ideal choice for family rooms, chairs and more.

At DrapeStyle we use Sunbrella fabrics for outdoor drapes and pillows, however some customers have requested these fabrics for indoor use and we have made drapes and curtains that will stand up to just about anything they put them through.

Sunbrella Fabrics
Sunbrella Fabrics

Performance Fabric Content

Traditional dyeing processes only leave color on the surface of fiber, so they easily fade. Sunbrella’s polyester fibers are saturated to the core with highly UV-stable pigments, making the fabrics resistant to fading and the degrading effects of sunlight. All Sunbrella fabrics are engineered to resist mold and mildew. Should exposure to dirt and debris cause mold and mildew to occur, they can be easily and safely cleaned with bleach. Because color goes to the core of fibers, Sunbrella fabrics can be cleaned with solvents such as bleach without losing color.

Sunbrella Fabrics

Many of the brands we carry such as Kravet and Robert Allen manufacture performance fabrics. If something interests you, please let us know and we will work with you to design truly beautiful and durable window treatments and pillows. Consider performance fabrics because life happens. Contact us for more information or visit www.DrapeStyle.com.


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Training Your Drapes

Train your drapes? What?

You probably didn’t even realize this was a thing. But training your drapes, along with a couple of other things I’ll point out, are really crucial to know when you are purchasing drapes and curtains. And you know what? DrapeStyle does ALL of these.

Training Your Drapes

For uniform folds from header to hem, training your drapes, will give your window that professional high end look. Your drapes will hang straight, they will have beautiful folds and they won’t flare at the bottom.

Every drape or curtain that DrapeStyle hand makes, will be fan folded and wrapped with a few DrapeStyle “cuffs”. This includes all pleated and flat panels. Fan folding is folding the drape, at each pleat, in accordion style in uniform folds, from header to hem. This task will take two or three people to accomplish, depending on the length of the drape. The drape is then wrapped with a few cuffs to hold the folds. The drape is then placed in a plastic bag and sealed shut. Essentially, your custom drapes have started their “training”. Once you have received your drapes from us, you will want to hang them for a couple of days so the wrinkles can work their way out. You may want to leave the DrapeStyle cuffs on, while you do this. And on a side note, most drapery installers prefer that drapes be fan folded! This makes their job easier.

If you have purchased ready made drapes, they will probably be folded into a small, tight square and will need to be removed from the package and pressed before hanging. Steam or iron the drapes, hang them and then open the drapes to either side of the window to arrange the pleats neatly in folds. Be sure to include the fabric and the lining in the folds. Wrap 4-inch wide ribbons around the drapes near the top, the middle and close to the bottom. Pin the ribbons in place; do not tie them, as the knots make dents in the fabric. Or if you must tie the ribbons, make sure they are loose enough so that they don’t dent and wrinkle the fabric. You may be able to steam your folds, just check the manufacturers instructions on fabric care. You will want to leave these ribbons on for about a week while your drapes are in “training”.

Training your drapes takes a little effort and time but it will make the world of difference if you have purchased ready made drapes or curtains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom weights

One reason DrapeStyle’s window treatments always hang so neatly to the floor? Small, flat weights are sewn into the bottom corners, which helps to create a long, straight line from rod to floor without your drapes flaring at the bottom. Weights are installed inside the hem and then hand sewn shut so the weight won’t fall out.

If you have purchased ready made drapes that don’t have bottom weights, you can purchase drapery weights at a fabric or craft store or use metal washers from the hardware store in lieu of weights. Use a seam ripper to open the seam at the bottom corner of your curtains, drop your weight inside, and use a needle and matching thread to hand-sew the pocket closed.

Buckram

Buckram isn’t much to look at but what it does is gorgeous; beautiful, uniform, crisp pleats. Buckram is a white, stiff fabric that is sewn between the layers of fabric at the header (top) of the drapes. One of DrapeStyle’s standard features is to use 5″ buckram in the header to create beautiful pleats. This reduces sagging and reinforces the fabric when opening and closing the drape or curtain.

Inverted Pleat
Inverted Pleat
Pinch Pleat
Parisian Pleat

 

To learn more about DrapeStyle’s features and visit our About DrapeStyle Page. We have been making luxurious custom window treatments, the correect way, for over 15 years. Our talented seamstresses each have an average of 25 years of experience making beautiful, luxurious drapes and curtains. Please contact us and let us help you design your dream drapes.

 


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How to Prevent Sun Damage with Window Treatments!

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.

DrapeStyle’s Standard Lining vs. Blackout Lining

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.


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