"I hope to have many more Austrian Shades in my future!"
space-saving GENIUS idea
when to use KIRSCH Ripplefold
color of the year - ULTRA VIOLET
book EXCERPT for fabricators and decorators
course preview- RIBBED ROMAN SHADES
how to care for BLACKOUT fabric
Photo credit: Tulsatinystuff.blogspot.com
I am originally from the New Orleans, Louisiana area where I began my business in
Why Are Slipcovers called Summer Dress?
Rose Mary LeBlanc
I am originally from the New Orleans, LA area, where I began my business in 1992.
In the late 1990's I received a phone call, and an elderly lady asked, " Do you do Summer Dress?"
I replied, " Yes ma'am, what pieces of furniture do you need slipcovered?"
She replied, " You're hired. No one else knows what Summer Dress is anymore."
She had two large sofas to be covered, so I went over to her house to cut and reverse pin. She must have been around 75 years old and, while I worked, she spoke of her memories of growing up in New Orleans in the early 1900's.
One story was particularly relevant to me. She told me that there was a slipcover seamstress who brought her sewing machine with her to sew slipcovers for the whole house. She stayed at the house till she finished all of the slipcovers!
So you ask why slipcovers were called Summer Dress?
New Orleans is not only 14 feet below sea level; it is also between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River. To add even more moisture to the mix, Southeast Louisiana juts out into the Gulf of Mexico. (When you are in the French Quarter, you can actually look up at the Mississippi River and watch boats going up and down the river!) With all of that water, it is no wonder that the humidity is so high!
In the 1800's, with the invention of air conditioning still decades away, the summers were very hot and sticky, not only outdoors but inside as well. Architecture was designed to pull in any cool breeze available. Ceilings were high - 12 to 14-foot ceilings were common - and rooms were positioned to take advantage of cross ventilation with tall windows that could be opened wide.
The good furniture throughout the house was upholstered in heavy velvet and upholstery fabrics. Rugs were wool. In the summer months, the heavy wool rugs were picked up and homes were transformed from winter warmth to summer cool.
To protect the good furniture, muslin or cotton slipcovers were sewn to keep the expensive fabrics from being damaged by perspiration during the hot and humid summers. The lighter color fabrics also looked much cooler than the darker upholstery fabrics.
Hence the name, " Summer Dress".
Gallier House (pictured) was designed and built in 1857 by prominent father and son architects, James Gallier and James Gallier Jr. It is located at 1132 Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70116 and tours are available.
Rose Mary LeBlanc started her business in Louisiana in 1992 fabricating window treatments, slipcovers, bedding and pillows. She moved to North Carolina in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina. RML Custom Home Creations is a ‘to the trade workroom’ offering a wide range of services to designers including measuring and collaboration on design and hardware. She specializes in high end fabrication techniques including hand sewing and is compliant with roman shade safety standards. Having been a member of WCAA since 2007 when the Charlotte Chapter began, Rose Mary has served as Vice President, President and Past President. She continues to serve the fabrication community by teaching for the WCAA Charlotte Chapter, Custom Workroom Weekend, the IWCE Construction Zone and has instructional videos available on her company website.
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Ceil shares a clever, space-saving product she created using a rolling garment rack and peg board.
Click here to purchase a rolling garment rack like the one Ceil used.
Ceil DiGuglielmo has owned Sew Much More, a custom workroom to the trade in Warrington, Pennsylvania, since 2005. Passionate about education in the window coverings industry, Ceil regularly attends conferences and classes to keep up with industry standards and improve her skills. Ceil was Vice President of the Southeastern PA WCAA Chapter and is currently the Immediate Past President as well as the Secretary of the National Board. Ceil hosts and produces the Sew Much More Podcast; an interview-style podcast for people in the Custom Home Furnishings Industry. Ceil completed the Evernote Certified Consultant Training Program and offers Evernote Training for designers and workrooms to help them run their businesses more efficiently and profitably.
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Everyone Should Know
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For 40 years people have paid me to come to their homes and tell them what to do. How many jobs result in the customer often crying with joy, hugging you and then handing you money.Not many, but here I am 40 years later, still surrounded by happy tears. The beauty of this job is that it is an industry with longevity. Studies show many make major décor changes every 3-5 years. Bottom line, one is never really done decorating a space and, if you are good, your clients will depend on you.
So what does it take to create beautiful rooms?Great decorating is much more than heading to Home Goods or similar stores to shop. In that vein, here are a few valuable fundamentals I implement in each of my projects. Whether you offer design services or simply want to talk the talk, my fundamentals will help you feel more confident.
Make it Personal - Bottom line, unless it is your home, this is not about you. That old adage, “God gave you two ears and one mouth," reminds you to listen twice as much as you talk.Although your client may not know the vernacular, they have a vision of the room they want. Your job is to create a room that supports their life, not yours. Create spaces unique to each client.
Inform not Dictate - When making suggestions, back it up with the whys.“Let me tell you why you should use this color, put the sofa here, or discard that piece of furniture”.Validate your suggestions without appearing judgmental, by helping your client understand how your ideas will impact the space and them.
Understand What You Need to Accomplish - Is your goal to make the room seem larger, smaller, cozier, or more open?There is no right or wrong, just understand where you are headed. Don’t get distracted by the latest decorating style du jour, remember the goal.
Bottom Up - Begin the decision-making process in what I call the “Function Zone” located from the floor up to 36”, the anchor for the entire space. Color selection, art placement, and accessories all hinge on what happens in the function zone. Complete it, then move up to the Power Zone, 36-78” and the Skyline Zone, 78” up to and including the ceiling.
Big Picture It - The biggest mistake many make is to get caught up in creating decorative vignettes with little or no regard to what else is in the space.A room should feel cohesive and allow you to appreciate the space as a whole not just a series of table scape or wall grouping vignettes fighting for attention throughout the room. Even if the vignette is lovely, refer to #3…does it help you accomplish your mission?
Use Functional and Creative Space Planning - Remember the caveat about working from the floor up?Not only do you need to find that perfect sofa or chair, but where you place it is critical.Take a quick look at your room right now…have you arranged your furniture in an expected pattern?In the redesign classes I teach, we work hands-on in real homes to solidify the learning process.It begins with emptying the room and placing the furniture in a way to accomplish our mission.I always challenge my students to look at the room and think, “Could my client do this”? If the answer is yes, then look for other options. Perhaps the room would benefit with an angle or by floating the sofa. Whatever it is, I always strive for the magic words from the client, “I never would have thought of that."
Add Organic Components - The days of silk florals placed everywhere are gone.However, every room will benefit from a touch of something organic to add visual interest.Dispose of dated trees and flowers that grow in colors Mother Nature doesn’t provide.The current trends lean toward palms, orchids, and simple arrangements.
Measurements that Matter - Here are a few numbers that work every time to ensure consistency and cohesion in your design plan.
Art Placement-Hang art 54-60” from floor to center of art or grouping.
Conversation Grouping-Seats within 8-10’ of one another for easy conversation.
Art Width - Fill 2/3 of the width of space over a piece of furniture with your art or grouping.
Traffic Flow - 24-36" wide.
Chandelier Diameter - Half the width of the table plus 4-6"
Decorate for the Senses - A beautiful room is much more than the visuals. Remember to treat the sense of touch by mixing textures, add great fragrances, eliminate or reduce unpleasant noises, and listen for the compliments.
Use Color Values Like Mother Nature - If you look at many paint strips, you will notice the lower you go on the strip, the deeper the value becomes.Look outside; Mother Nature does much of the same.The ground is usually a deeper value, but as you move up to the sky level, the value gets lighter. To keep it interesting, there are elements of mid or deeper values interspersed, like the dark value of the branches of a tree positioned against the light value of the sky. Mimic this by placing the deepest value of your colors on the lower levels, much like the trend in today’s wood floors and add deep values in art, accessories or window treatments.As you work your way up the room vertically, slowly lighten the color values.
As the founder of One Day Decorating, JoAnne Lenart-Weary doubled her business in one year by simply using what the client already owned to start the design process. This led to appearances on HGTV and ABC-TV and the founding of The Decorating and Staging Academy which was created to teach others how to turn natural talent into a lucrative business. JoAnne has also created the Confident Color System, the Confident Consultation System and many support forms to help the decorating professional do their job more effectively. She is a frequent speaker and writes for a number of industry publications.
Linda Erlam is an Interior Decorator and Workroom owner/operator, and she hears both sides of the story.
Decorators and fabricators told her what they wanted their counterparts to know, and this book has the answers; such as
how to measure a window,
how to choose a window treatment,
what pleating to pattern means, and
what equipment goes in a measuring toolbox.
It’s full of information, charts, how-to’s, checklists, a glossary of window treatment words, and even some ‘Insiders Tips.’ This is the book for a workroom to give their designers, or to have available for retail clients.
Read an excerpt from Linda's book below:
Selvage Color Codes:
The colored dots along the selvages of printed drapery fabric are the registration marks for the fabric printers, and they serve several other purposes.
They show each color used in the print.
They indicate the accuracy of each color print pass. If the color for a particular dot is not fully contained within that dot, that color will be off-printed everywhere it appears. If the pink print on the registration dot is off 1/16th, the color will be off 1/16th of an inch on each flower.
If the dots are off-printed on 20% of the dots or more, the fabric is considered a second - like the second image to the right.
You may also see the following printed on the selvage: the loom, pattern name, maybe the fiber content, and often a small arrow indicating the direction to the top of the design, as shown in the third image above.
Measure the distance along the selvage from the start of one word to the same position in the next printing of that word and you have the vertical repeat.
Linda's book is available for purchase and download from The Workroom Marketplace.
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Photo by Martins Zemlickis on Unsplash
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Introducing PRO-Retrospectives, where entire projects are detailed from concept through installation. Our first episode features the South Shore Project by Donna Skufis and Ginger Thoerner, and presents their beautiful and creative work in a 19th-floor penthouse condo in Kentucky, with stunning views of the Ohio River and Cincinnati skyline.
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For 110 years, Kirsch has set the standard for style and design in drapery hardware, combining colors and materials to highlight and accentuate any window. The new Buckingham® Collection builds on this tradition and expands the offering to give designers, decorators, and consumers even more choices to make the perfect complement to their soft treatments.
New program highlights include:
New 1 3/8” Finials – 16 new finials at a smaller diameter to better fit medium-sized windows.
Three new 1 3/8” end caps – additional choices for finishing poles in corners or tight spaces.
Two new finishes – Ash and Cottage White. Ash brings out the finer points of the finial with a beautiful taupe glaze, while Cottage White has a gorgeous gray wash to highlight the details in each style. These new colors are available in all Buckingham® products.
Three new 3” finials – new selections in our largest size.
·Three new 3” end caps – to give more options in this very popular style.
The Buckingham® Collection now has a complete line of 1 3/8”, 2”, and 3” finials and end caps. Each size comes with coordinating poles, rings, brackets and accessories. As you may know, the Buckingham® Collection is hand crafted in High Point, North Carolina. Our launch kit pays homage to this heritage as we highlight the effort of American workers to imagine, design, and develop the next generation of this collection. The process starts with skilled professionals hand carving wood models for each individual part. When models are complete and approved, the mold is created and first articles are made. Then the process of hand finishing begins to get the perfect combination of colors to accentuate the details in each piece. We hope you enjoy the new additions to The Buckingham® Collection from Kirsch!
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The Kirsch Ripplefold® system is becoming very popular in the Custom Window Treatment Industry. Ripplefold Drapery Systems have been available for many years and were mainly used in commercial situations and in very Modern Décor applications. Today the straight clean look of a Ripplefold Drapery is becoming popular in many other areas. This article will answer many of the questions designers have about this mysterious drapery design and shed light on the process of choosing, selling, and pricing this treatment. This series will not deal with the questions on fabrication, only on the selling side of the equation. If anyone has questions on the fabrication of Ripplefold Draperies, I would be glad to walk you through it.
Step 1 - When do I use the Kirsch Ripplefold Drapery System?
If you are looking for a nontraditional drapery heading with straight, clean lines
If you want to have maximum clearance of window and minimum Stack Back
If the cost or availability of the fabric is a factor. Ripplefold Draperies make a nice presentation with less fullness
If you want the print of the fabric to show with little distortion but with some fullness
If you want multiple panels going in multiple directions on the same window wall using a baton draw
Click here to read more and learn about Steps 2-4:
Step 2 - How do I choose between Overlap and Butt Master Carriers?
Step 3 - How do I determine the correct fullness for my situation?
Step 4 - How do I determine Price and Yardage?
Steve Landis is President/CEO and co-owner of Merrill Y. Landis, Ltd (MYL), located in Telford, Pennsylvania, with over fifty-three years' experience in all aspects of the Custom Window Covering Industry. MYL is a family owned and operated business which started in 1949 as a local Retail Custom Window Treatment Outlet and Manufacturing business. Today the company has grown into a regional Custom Window Treatment Workroom/Products Distributor to the Trade Only. The company operates out of an 18,000 sq. ft. facility and employs approximately 70 people. They service the Wholesale Market in the Mid-Atlantic States with free pick-up and delivery service in most areas and ship their products throughout the United States. Steve has a Bachelor's degree in Business Marketing/Management from Temple University, has been trained in Lean Manufacturing Techniques, is involved with his local church and is currently serving on the board of the Bucks-Mont Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Steve is married to his high school sweetheart, Sue, for over 45 years. They have two adult children and four grandchildren ranging in age from 5 - 16.
Understanding Kirsch Ripplefold Drapery System
By Steve Landis
Angel's has been a family owned and operated full-service provider of drapery linings since 1977. We established the company on our guiding principles: Serve the customer with the highest quality fabrics at competitive pricing, and give them the absolute best service you can.
Angel's distributing offers over 200 products consisting of the highest quality drapery linings, blackout fabrics, sheers, thread, buckram, and drapery weights from some of the world's most reputable companies.
The best quality drapery linings at prices you will appreciate!
Let Angel's enhance the way you use blackout fabric! See the article on the next page.
Blackout Fabric Care
Angel’s Blackout fabric has a soft finish which requires careful handling and storage to reduce any chance of marks or bruising on the material itself.
- Bolts should be carried along the length of the tube to avoid any damage
- Do not drag the bolts of fabric along the ground
- Avoid contact with/storage near sharp objects
- Bolts should not be dropped on or stored on the end
- Pyramid-style storage helps avoid any damage
- When necessary, evenly distribute weight amongst the length of the bolt of fabric
- Avoid storing too many bolts in a stillage
- Do not store the blackout fabric in cold conditions, as this may cause the fabric to crack when handling
- Allow fabric to warm before handling
Regular brushing or careful vacuuming can enhance the look of the blackout fabric and remove any unsightly dust.
If washing is required:
Loosen header tape cords, flattening the fabric. Remove any pins/plastic clips.
Follow the care instructions. Only iron the non-coated side.
Use a large-capacity drum and do not overload.
Use very mild liquid detergent, ensuring that no bleaching chemicals are present.
After washing, immediately remove the curtain and delicately shake the curtains to remove excess water. Do not squeeze or twist the materials.
Hang curtains to dry–if possible, hang full length with face sides together to reduce bruising.
Only professional dry cleaners should be used to prevent any damage to the fabric.
Before dry cleaning:
Loosen header tape cords, flattening the fabric. Remove any pins/plastic clips.
Measure the curtains prior to washing, and pass that information along to the dry cleaner
Run underweight loads–do not over-load the cleaning machines
Short-run with no added moisture
Straighten and hang to dry immediately–avoid coating to coating contact
Receiving Goods: any visible damage (packaging, broken tube, dirt) should be noted upon receiving the goods
Care: if there are any obvious creases or waving of the fabric, cool iron the fabric on the non-coated side
Cold Cracking: when a fabric is exposed to very cold temperatures, there is the potential for the coating to crack. Allow blackout to warm up before handling.
Pin Holes: these are rare, but can and will occur naturally in blackout fabric. They can be caused by the flock which can create a small tunnel of light through the face of the fabric. They should not increase in size or frequency unless the product is subject to poor handling/storage.
Angel’s Distributing provides a blackout solution that can be painted onto the coating to cover any pinholes.
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Angel's Distributing, Inc.
Check out these tips on caring for Blackout Fabric from the experts at Angel's Distributing!
Enjoy this preview of The Workroom Channel's Ribbed Roman Shades course with Elki Horn. In the course, she shares advanced techniques and trade resources developed through many years of workroom experience; combining her expertise with that of other industry professionals. The program includes how to build the structural body of the shade, determine rib and ring placement, and how to tie special knots to secure blackout, interlining and face fabric layers.
to have ANYTIME ACCESS to the full program.
Pantone's Color of the Year 2018:
This post first appeared in Kelly's blog, What's Stitching?, which you can read here.
Color evokes a vibe, emotion, energy. This year's featured color announced by Pantone definitely contains energy, like that of the galaxy. It is said that violet stimulates imagination, individuality, and spirituality. That certainly rings true for this shade of Ultraviolet. With the endless color that surrounds us, each can be appreciated. It seems that Pantone simply sets the stage for a color that may have been overlooked for others in the current trend. Here are a few selections that bring Pantone's color of the year to the forefront in textile design.
Flip through the images using the arrows.
From this galaxy, and beyond, I look forward to spotting this shade in its natural settings every day! Enjoy these beauties featuring show-stopper ultraviolet from a few of the front runners in upholstery textile selections.
Kelly McGrory owns and operates Covered, a cottage industry workroom in Kennett Square, PA. Kelly is a furniture tailor, transforming pieces by creating custom fit slipcovers and upholstery services to the trade and community. Driven by a love of textiles, and quality construction, Kelly enjoys sharing information and exchanging knowledge with the trade community. When Kelly is not stitching, you can find her with her husband and dog on the trail, or in the garden.
Photo courtesy of Kelly McGrory
Austrian Shade Tutorial
by Deb Cronin
This tutorial first appeared in Deb's blog, which you can read here.
Fabrics just want to have fun. You know, they want to drape and swoop, swish and sashay, and look smashing. That's why Austrian shades will never go out of style, like swags: they allow fabric to look and perform at its absolute best.
So I thought I'd show off my latest Austrian shade, for Crosstown Shade and Glass, letting its fabulousness detract from the fact that this is my first blog post in a month (I'm sorry!).
While sheer fabrics swoop languidly, dupioni silk drapes in a delicious, crunchy way. This shade is unlined, so we allowed more than triple fullness vertically. The shade needed two cuts of 54" fabric. We folded and pressed along the separate swoop lines to provide a stitching guide for the tapes.
We prepared the two cuts, sewed three rows of tape onto each, then joined the widths in the center and sewed the final tape.
The sides were folded with a single hem, and the tapes sewed over the raw edges.
In the old In the old days, I would tie the tape strings to a post in order to shirr them up. For this shade, I got to use my new Drawmatic clamp bar to secure the bottom of the shade, one clamp at each tape.
I began shirring the shade down the table.
The printed grid table canvas allowed me to keep track of the length.
With the bottom securely clamped, it was easy to ensure that all the columns were shirred equally.
I use safety pins at every third ring as visual guides to check that the swags are distributed equally. Once the shade is dressed, the pins are removed.
The rod pocket style is an unusual - perhaps old-fashioned - but effective way to manage the horizontal fullness.
This was fun to tackle this unwieldy project in the new, more spacious workroom!
I hope to have many more Austrian shades in my future.
Deborah Cronin, a life-long sewer, has worked in the home decorating industry since 1986. While working in retail sales and management, she was also a part-time workroom, which became full-time in 1999. Leatherwood Design Co fabricates soft furnishings exclusively to the trade. Workroom projects and operations are documented in Deb's blog, leatherwooddesignco.blogspot.com
Recently Deborah has been enjoying sharing more about fabrication with other workroom professionals, teaching at venues such as the Custom Workroom Conference, the Custom Workroom Technical Center, and webinars. Deb also hosts one-on-one or small group classes in her workroom in Croton on Hudson, NY.
You can reach Deb at firstname.lastname@example.org
At Workroom Tech Deb will be teaching "Hobbled and Austrian Shades Masterclass," March 29-31, 2018
Along with Rosemarie Garner, Deb will be co-presenting at the WCAA-NJ yearly event, "Windows to Success," May 2, 2018. Our two-part seminar on Roman shades: "Resolving Challenges- From Designer's Vision to Installation" and "Innovative Fabrication Techniques."
Deb will be teaching at the Custom Workroom Conference October 1-3, 2018- class info has not yet been published.
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Custom Workroom Conference!
An impressive lineup of industry professionals will be presenting at the 2018 Custom Workroom Conference, which will take place October 1-3, 2018 at the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Spartanburg, SC.
Custom Workroom Conference is the only educational event and trade show specifically for window treatment, upholstery and slipcover workroom professionals, and is produced by Susan Woodcock and Rodger Walker, owners of Home Dec Gal and Custom Workroom Technical Center. Custom Workroom Conference is sponsored by Hanes Fabrics, and Window Coverings Association of America is the supporting organization.
Save the date! Early bird registration will open May 3, 2018. Follow Custom Workroom Conference on Facebook, or visit the Custom Workroom Conference website for more information.
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Fourth Mondays on the
SEW MUCH MORE PODCAST
In Episode #1, Jeanelle Dech talks with Ceil DiGuglielmo about the launch of the Curtains & Soft Resource Library. She shares this PM Channel interview with David Hillson, AKA the RISK DOCTOR, and introduces RISK as uncertainty, with both positive and negative outcomes.
Click the image below to view the podcast feed on the home page of the Library.
Listen in on OPPORTUNITY THINKING- Episode #2, available on Monday, February 26th, 2018. Vita Vitgoska will join the conversation to discuss the dilemma facing many small business owners, "to grow or not to grow?"
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February 2018 photo credits
Kelly McGrorry, Covered and Stiched
Deb Cronin, Leatherwood Design Co.
Liz Kelly, The Workroom Channel
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