Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dyeing ladder tape

OK, here goes.  Sometimes you just have to start, and the rest follows.
I've been staring at my computer for ages this evening trying to decide what to write about!  I have a number of subjects lined up, but they're all poorly documented- when things are busy I usually forget to take at least one critical photo to create the visual story.
OK, I'm going to write about my latest dyeing venture.
I've dyed ladder tape before, as well as lift cord and chain weight.
This time, two substantial projects were being fabricated out of grey semi-sheer unlined fabrics, and although I have nearly every color of ladder tape made, there is no grey version that I know of.
I started with a nearly full bottle of black Rit dye, and added a pint of white vinegar.  I cut the white ladder tape into the lengths I would need, and set them to soak overnight.
Naturally, I forgot to take the picture until I had mostly emptied the inky black liquid the next morning.  But I caught myself just in time, and here you might be as surprised as I was to see that the mostly drained ladder tape has a purplish hue, and as I did expect, it's very definitely not black.
I rinsed and rinsed until the water came clear.
The end result was a cool, true grey.
And lo and behold, it perfectly matched both of the grey fabrics!  Here's the first fabric, a textured semi-sheer stripe for flat romans. 
The other project was made from this double-wide linen-like fabric that I could hardly believe was actually polyester; the tape perfectly matched.
Clear rings and grey lift cord make the working part of these shades nearly unnoticeable.
I'm so happy with my latest favorite thread: Coats "Outdoor" thread which comes in fantastic colors.  One of which is the perfect grey which I've been using a LOT.
Do I have a picture of the grey striped shades?  Of course not.  One of those shots I forgot to take.  But I do have some good shots of the faux linen, thanks to my installer extaordinaire Mario Fuentes who kindly took these for me after installing them for Paris Interiors.


  1. Wonderful attention to details, the job is beautiful!

  2. Hi Deb, love your beautiful work on these shades. Most of the shades I've made are blackout, but I have a client that might be interested in some linen/see thru type shades in the near future. Can you please tell us where you get these ladder cord shroud tapes (web site or company name would be great)? And the stock number or name/type they are?? Thanks

    1. Thank you, Laura-
      I get ladder tape from Designer's Resource in Lodi NJ. You can just call them to order. They carry about 4 colors. If you need additional colors, you can get it from Julius Koch USA which is in Massachussetts- again, just Google either company and call them and they'll know how to help you.