Thursday, July 11, 2013

Greenhouse Fabrics Tips and Techniques

Who wants to add weight and fullness?  We do...

For Luxurious Drapery that Elegantly Cascades to the Floor

A3437 Horizon, A3474 Grass
While your mind may have immediately gone to chocolate cake and pecan pie, I am talking about weigh and fullness for professional looking drapery. This is what sets professional workrooms apart from others.

Professional looking drapery is a heavy issue; below I have listed five techniques to add weight and fullness for amazing drapery. So grab a piece of chocolate cake and enjoy these tips!

1. Interlining/Bump cloth
The most fundamental way to add body and fullness to drapery is using an interlining, a fabric that hangs between the lining and face fabric. Greenhouse offers a variety of fabrics to use for interlinings, including; interlining, heavy flannel and bump cloth. These interlinings vary by weight with bump cloth being the heaviest, and are available in natural or white. Using an interlining is essential when working with a silk or a light weight fabric, unless it is sheer. Not only does interlining add body and fullness but it also serves as insulation as well as protection from sun damage.

2. Drapery Weights
A3620 Sapphire

We all know that drapery weights will help anchor drapes to the floor, allowing them to hang straight. These weights are generally placed at the bottom ends of the drapery; however, sometimes this is not enough. If the drapery is still slightly bowing at the bottom or along the side edges you may want to add more weights along the bottom tucking them into the hem of the face fabric. Make sure these additional weights will sit along the inside fold of the drape. On a rare occasion, I have also used spare change tucked and sewn into the hem and it worked beautifully.

3. Sausage Bead Weight
For sheer or lightweight drapery you may want to use “sausage bead weight” along the entire bottom of the hem. Sausage bead weight is a string of tiny, covered lead-free weights and is used to control flare and improve drape. In addition to adding weight to lightweight draperies, sausage bead weight makes an excellent decorative covered cording to use as a weighted edge for lightweight or bias-cut valances and swags.

4. Bottom Border
Another secret to control flare and provide a consistent appearance to drapery would be to add a custom border along the bottom of the drapery using a heavier fabric. Your clients will think you are simply adding a creative design element when actually there is a specific purpose for that border. I have seen borders anywhere from 4” and up along the bottom hem.

5. Thread Chains
If you are having a difficult time with the face fabric hanging smoothly within the folds, you may want to consider using a thread chain to attach the face fabric to the lining. The thread chains should be evenly spaced across the entire length of the bottom, about 5” up, between the lining and face fabric. They should be approximately ¾” long.

Now that you have had your cake and info too, you are equipped to create professional drapery and to conquer any potential draping problems.

For any of your fabric or interlining needs give Greenhouse a call and one of our Customer and Fabric Specialists will help you find the right fabric, in the right color at the right price.

Please send us your favorite workroom tips and techniques to share with other professionals. Sharing your knowledge will not only help to provide valuable information to other industry professionals but will also help you benefit from the expert advice of others. Greenhouse will be pleased to feature your tip in our “Greenhouse Tips and Techniques “blogs.

-Susan