Pelmet Precision

Pelmet Precision 

Hello everyone, 

                                well it has been a while, sorry to have neglected you but I have had my hands full with my new business. Also due to the restrictions on image sharing it has been increasingly more difficult to get examples of the type of work I rattle on about. So without further ado, a post about pelmets!!

Enjoy.

Elsie Wolfe

 

Pelmets

O.K. lets just clarify what I mean when I say PELMET. 

Pelmets are hard flat box dressings that go across the top of blinds, curtains and even beds. They are usually made out of essex, ply or bucrum. (I personally would not recommend bucrum as it has a tendency to warp, especially on bigger items, also they tend not to have a sharp return to the wall ) . They can be shaped or flat. Interlined or padded using foam.

Traditionally they were attached to pelmet boards using tape stitched to the top back edge of the pelmet then tacked to the board (occasionally they still are). These days strong Velcro is used and additionally a panel pin is put in at the side to stop the returns popping out. The fabric can be lifted over the tack to disguise as best as possible. Thinner fabrics are obviously harder to hide the tack with. Tacks can sometimes be hidden with a trim such as a braid.

When measuring and designing a pelmet there are crucial things to take into consideration.

  • How much space have you got to play with above the window / door.
  • Does the door / window open in or out.
  • Is there coving, beams and / or a picture rail, how big and where are they positioned.
  • What is going under the pelmet.
  • The pattern on the fabric.

 

I will answer the above in order to clarify exactly how these points effect the style and design of the pelmet. 

How much space have you got to play with above the window / door.

This is an obvious one. You need this to help with the depth of the pelmet and also how the item will be fitted to the wall or even the ceiling when there is no “dead light” (name for wall above the window or door). This helps you to decide what brackets to use and where to position them or if you have to drill into the ceiling. Sometimes beams are in the way, a skilled designer / manufacturer can sometimes create pelmets to cut out and fit round beams, more than one measure is required at times for this so that templates can be created for accuracy.

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clews-bedroom

 White Wolfe Interiors . www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

 

Does the door / window open in or out.

Again a really obvious one but one that can be easily looked over. If the window or door opens in, the pelmet has to be positioned so as not to hinder it opening.

ER

http://www.englishrooms.co.uk/

door

White Wolfe Interiors. www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

Is there coving, beams and / or a picture rail, how big and where are they positioned.

In some cases there is coving you have to either shape round or cut out in order to position a pelmet where you want or need it. The same goes for picture rails. Exacting sizes need to be taken as well as templates of what to are shaping round. Also being very careful when fitting into a gap /dorma space.

 

 finishing-touches-interiors-based-in-selby-4

Finishing touches interiors. http://www.finishingtouchesinteriors.co.uk/ 

What is going under the pelmet.

This piece of information effects the depth as well as the projection. The height of the pelmet as well as what is under it is integral to the balance and proportion the the finished article. Scale drawings may be needed to play around with this to get it just right. Work on fifths and thirds, then adjust accordingly. It is not an exact science, it is what looks right in the end. The projection is controlled by the size of item under the pelmet and the rail being used. E.g = curtain heading projection, stack of blind or is it just a pelmet dressing on its own in which case very little projection is needed to stop it looking like there is something missing.

edward-grace-interior-design

Edward Grace Interior Design
www.interiordesigneressex.co.uk

kitchendining

White Wolfe Interiors

Finishing touches interiors. http://www.finishingtouchesinteriors.co.uk/

The pattern on the fabric.

I have mentioned this briefly in the “Pattern Perfect” blog. Centralising a pattern can dictate and the depth of a pelmet, you can also shape around a pattern, or even turn the fabric on the side and run it across the pelmet. Can you use the fabric in a way so as to avoid seams on the fascia (a preferable look)? Centralising a pattern always enhances the look of the finished design.

One thing I strongly recommend is when putting a pelmet inside a bay window, please get it professionally measured and made. They can be very tricky and require more than one fitting in most cases. Boards first then a check measure, make the final item and fit.

 

standard-roman-with-pelmet-closer

Designed by K.White (White Wolfe Interiors)

When putting pelmets into dorma’s / recess of windows, I generally recommend having no returns on them. This is primarily due to the return stopping the item underneath fitting as close to the wall as possible. The extra bulk of a return increases the gap from item to wall (not ideal in my mind).

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http://www.englishrooms.co.uk/

Shaping On A Pelmet

Shaping is to be carefully considered and I would recommend scale drawing before hand just to make sure it fits with the pattern, size of the window,  and is in keeping with the item underneath. You can do all sorts with pelmets beyond shaping. You can add trims, layers as well as additional padding (wadding) to add to the luxury of an item.

 

Items 1,2 & 4 = Fox Ridge Interiors@Foxridgeinteriors

Item 3 = Finishing touches interiors. http://www.finishingtouchesinteriors.co.uk/

Into The Window

Be very aware ( especially when shaping) that the wall is still covered, particularly in the situation of curtains being used. Ideally you do not want wall showing. Unless there is a restriction I recommend a minimum of 3″ going into the window / past the reveal. It is also worth mentioning that depending on how tall you are or where you are stood in the room effects how far the pelmet can go past the reveal to cover the wall and underside of the inside of the window. I recommend holding a tape measure up, standing back and seeing where you are happiest the pelmet ending.

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Curved (bow ) pelmets are particularly difficult to measure and construct. Different manufacturers work differently. Some score the back of the board so the ply bends and some use flexible ply.  You must be very aware that the more curved the bay the more the fabric can ripple. Some people construct on site and some don’t or only do partial construction. But all bays and bows need more than one fitting / measure.

Designed by K.White @ White Wolfe Int

It is amazing how a pelmet is constructed. Once you understand that it is a highly skilled craft to design and create a pelmet you then appreciate the cost involved.                            The manufacturer is actually upholstering a shaped construction, many accurate measurements are applied, the craftsmanship of a wonderful pelmet is simply sublime.

Multiple window sizes and shapes must also be taken into consideration at the design phase. Balance and unity of the design must at all times be considered, with the consideration of the overall look of the room at the heart of the design. In the design below the bottom of the contrast on the curtain is designed to be in line with the base of the pelmet on the other window, also the pattern on the blind is level with the pattern on the curtain

IMG_1249.JPG Designed by K.White @ White Wolfe Int www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

http://www.englishrooms.co.uk/

I do hope you have enjoyed this post and want to thank all the designers who have contributed their beautiful work.

Kind Regards and please look out for my next post.

E.Wolfe

 

The Silk Road

E.D Wolfe

                  Hi all. Silk is probably my most favourite of all the furnishing cloths. Unfortunately it is one of the more costly, tricky to work and live with due to its properties (see blog FABRIC FLARE (the basics)  Published on 3/27/2015).

                   From its texture to its luxurious sheen. Even the silk that doesn’t have a sheen has a drape that I go week at the knees for. 

                   This post is going to explore the application of silk in interiors.

Enjoy the read

E.D.Wolfe

THE SILK ROAD

This was the original trade route through regions of Asia.

Silk_route

Extending 6,000 kilometres (4,000 miles), the Silk Road derives its name from the lucrative trade in Chinese silk carried out along its length, during the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE).

han-dynasty-silk

For more than two thousand years the Chinese kept the secret of silk altogether to themselves. It was the most zealously guarded secret in history. Next to the protection of tea cultivation.

According to well-established Chinese legend, Empress Hsi Ling Shi, wife of Emperor Huang Ti (also called the Yellow Emperor), was the first person to accidentally discover silk as weavable fibre.

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One day, when the empress was sipping tea under a mulberry tree, a cocoon fell into her cup and began to unravel. The empress became so enamored with the shimmering threads, she discovered their source, the Bombyx mori silkworm found in the white mulberry. The empress soon developed sericulture, the cultivation of silkworms, and invented the reel and loom. Thus began the history of silk.

Whether or not the legend is accurate, it is certain that the earliest surviving references to silk history and production place it in China; and that for nearly 3 millennia, the Chinese had a global monopoly on silk production.

The major silk producers are still in Asia, accounting for 90 % of mulberry silk and 100 % for non mulberry silk, but also silk is produced in Brazil,Bulgaria, Egypt and Madagascar . The main raw silk producers in the world are China and India, but also Brazil and Thailand have their share of silk production.

If you want to learn more about the history of silk go to http://www.texeresilk.com .


Silk is a wonderful looking fibre it has its ups and downs.

  • Strong filament.
  • Elastic and resilient.
  • Refracts light, lustrous appearance.
  • Insulates.
  • Easy to die.
  • Watermarks easily.
  • Rots in sunlight.
  • Fades in sunlight.
  • Creases.

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This was a raw silk by Swaffer http://www.swaffer.co.uk/ that is sadly now no longer in production.

Curtains By E.D.Wolfe

Interlined and lined, double pleat with contrast leading edge and “pin trim“. (A pin trim is when you insert a piped trim between a leading edge and the main cloth then pull out the cord. Giving you this lovely thin contrast)

IMG_1291

As you can see, great for blinds and curtains. It was wonderful to work with. At first glance it looks like a thin linen, but when you touch it, it is wonderfully soft and supple. My workroom made a comment of how fantastic this fabric was to work with.

HOW TO WORK WITH SILK

When working with silk it is strongly recommended that you hand stitch where possible, it makes for a far neater finish especially the hem. Also with interlining being required you would have to hand slip the sides and hems to stop puckering and tension issues.

Why Interline?

Due to silk being a light weight fabric that is also susceptible to fading, interlining is required to add weight to the curtains and blinds and an extra barrier against the sun damage.

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   Whiteheads Silk 101 http://www.whiteheadshome.co.uk/

Without interlining the silk would appear thin and limp. And to be honest they look awful in my opinion.

I would never personally recommend silk used in an area that got a lot of sun, eg:- south facing room and or window, conservatory and I would never recommend it was used on upholstery, it would not last five mins. I have seen it used on the odd chair for pure decoration though.

When manufactured correctly they look beautiful and can be used to manufacture many styles, modern and traditional.

When making throws with silk I would line and at least lightweight interline. Do make clients aware that it is a decorative item only,it will not stand up to even medium wear and tear.

You have to really watch manufacturing with silk velvets, they can be very slippery. It takes a highly skilled seamstress to handle this type of cloth.

http://www.sweetpeaandwillow.com/

http://www.sweetpeaandwillow.com/

One of these fabrics is a silk,viscose velvet. It has so much movement you cant make it into blinds and the curtains have to be pooled because it relaxes so much. It is however one of my utmost favourites. Intaglio Collection by James Brindley

Intaglio-Cashmere

Intaglio Cashmere. http://www.jamesbrindleyfabrics.com

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Three Designs above by www.darleydesign.co.uk in Stellar by James Brindley

I have even put lining on the back of silk to turn them into cushions for extra strength.

original_lola-silk-cushion-amethyst noton the highstreet

Cushions from http://www.notonthehighstreet.com

3

James Hare Silk www.jameshare.com

They also look great with trims.

Amy O'Riely 1

Curtains Manufactured and Designed by http://www.foxridgeinteriors.com/

Unfortunately I would advise against cleaning interlined silk curtains most times the results would be dreadful. They also must be kept out of damp areas such as bathrooms, mould loves silk.

There are several different types of silk and they all vary in appearance, quality and benefits. Some have short filaments and some long strong ones. All are beautiful.

Charmeuse, Chiffon, Crêpe de Chine, Dupion Silk, Fuji Silk, Habotai Silk, Noil Silk (raw silk) and Tussah Silk (or shantung). 

Companies are using silk mixes at the moment to reduce the down sides to silk but keep the luxury. In fact there are quite a few combination fibre fabrics that are very convincing faux silks.

Inedit2

http://www.casamance.com/

Inedit1 INOUI Casamance

 INOUI by Casamance

 73% VISCOSE, 17% SILK, 10% WOOL

The choice of silk these days is amazing. Printed, plain, embroidered, shiny, shot, matt. There is a silk for every occasion.

Gold-Curtains-Designs-1

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Harlequin Fabrics Saphora . Double pleat interlined 3 inch kick onto floor. Master Bedroom

http://www.harlequin.uk.com

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Plain Silk curtains and Pelmet. Designed By Uber Interiors

www.uberinteriors.com

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Curtains Manufactured and Designed by http://www.foxridgeinteriors.com/


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Great embroidered Voyage silk. I made some great dining room curtains out of this a year back, they looked wonderful.

www.voyagedecoration.com

You sometimes have to watch the embroidered silks. If there is a lot of embroidery on them they tend to have ripples between the stitching. This will not necessarily disappear during manufacturing. It can be a problem when making curtains with a pelmet. You make the pelmet and due to the pulling of the cloth in manufacturing the ripples are smoothed out, however they will have remained in the curtains, thus the same fabric can take on a different appearance textually. (Something clients need to be aware of).

I designed a pelmet curtain combo a few years back. The pelmet was a gradual bow curve. In this case the ripples came in handy because when you curve a pelmet it ripples the fabric. With the ripples already being there, there was no issue.

GP and J Baker silk embroidered curtains and pelmet fully lined and interlined.

GP and J Baker silk embroidered curtains and pelmet fully lined and interlined.

www.gpandjbaker.com

I hope you have enjoyed our brief romance with silk?

Till next time.

Thank you

E.D.Wolfe

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