This week has been busy with a job that is almost ready to be photographed. There are several components, one of which is Portiere drapery panels. These photos illustrate our portiere fabrication method, which has been used on the draperies that haven't been photographed yet.
"Portiere" drapery, traditionally, is heavy draperies hung across a doorway (derived from French "porte" which means door). The fabrication method takes into account the fact that they are seen from both sides... there is no "back" or "wrong side" and therefore a regular rolled side border is not appropriate. The lead edge of the drapery needs to be "knife-edged" or "pillowcased" and may or may not have a trim.
Nowadays "portiere" might refer to any drape where the lead edge is made this way rather than rolled and blind-stitched, even if the drape isn't going into a doorway. Usually the lining is a decorative contrast fabric.
What bothers me about portiere draperies is when the fabrics gap away from each other at the lead edge, which might happen because the fabrics don't cling to each other, or because of the weight of trim applied on one side. I wanted to find an attractive way to secure the lead edge to prevent that.
The seamstress needs a good eye and a steady hand to topstitch perfectly! No extra caffeine til the sewing is done.
I must mention here that the only song I've ever heard that contains the word "portiere" is Warren Zevon's "Disorder in the House."