Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Appropriate pairing of fabric and treatment

The first element of a successful window treatment of any type is choosing a suitable fabric, or vice versa, choosing the right treatment for a chosen fabric.  When the designer fails to consider the appropriateness of the pairing of a treatment and a fabric, the results can range from disappointing to tortured, even if the fabric is super-high-end-awesome and the treatment is stunningly original.   Expertise in evaluating a fabric's appropriateness is acquired mostly through a great deal of exposure to fabrics and some understanding of the structure of a treatment.  Often the swatch in a sample book is insufficient for judging; sometimes not even a memo sample is enough.  When a lot of money is going to be spent on fabric, it's a good investment to order actual yardage and make a mock-up to be truly certain that the right choices are being made and that the fabric is going to perform as expected.  That mock-up can become a workroom sample, or a treatment in, say, the designer's sister's powder room, or cut up for pillows.

Here is a great example of a successful pairing of fabric and treatment: this stripe, beautifully printed on a finely woven cotton, was just made to be a Roman shade.

It pressed perfectly, folded up on the first try, and remembered its pleats without keeping creases.   The folds ripple softly and effortlessly.

Ladder shroud tape was chosen for this shade.  My newest way of using ladder shroud is to run the tape and then sew the rings over it, catching the shroud as the rings are sewn. 

A fabric stapler, one of my favorite workroom tools, secures the tape at the top.  I love the little magnetic staple remover!  We have two fabric staplers, one for each side of the room, which has saved many footsteps.

The ladder will be tucked into the hem and sewn in with the weight bar pocket stitching line, and then the bottommost row of rings will be attached.  The tape won't be awkwardly tied and knotted around the bottom ring. 

Here is a hallmark of custom work: matching thread!  For this asymmetrical stripe, five different colors of thread were used to match the stripe running along each lift line.

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