What Curtain Fabric To Choose

16427213_1181795025260903_1906443613162295143_nHello everyone.

This is probably the most common question I have been asked by clients over the last 20+ years. Obviously there are several factors that effect your selection. If you are someone who prefers to look for your own fabric or just simply want an idea of what is out there, then this post is for you.

1.   COLOUR

Colour, the first question. What colour?

There are several ways to tackle this. You can match up with existing item/s in the room. You can choose either a complimentary or a contrasting colour. You can select a colour based on the type of room using colour theory. 

Yellow = A thinking colour, great for offices and places of activity.

Green = A relaxing colour, it is a calming shade. This is why you see it in doctors and dentist waiting rooms and on surgeons gowns. 

Red = A strong, warm colour not fantastic in huge quantities in a room you wish to relax in, can have a tendency to make people feel uncomfortable.

Blue = A cold colour, not advisable to use in north facing rooms or dark rooms, as it can make you feel colder than the room actually is.  

There are so many other parts to colour theory, that involve many factors, one of which is balance. This is largely related to the “Golden Section”. In basic terms the balance of 3, or 3 to 1 ratio. If, however you want to get technical = \varphi ={\frac {1+{\sqrt {5}}}{2}}=1.6180339887\ldots .

Simply put                                                                                                                                        For example if you are painting your walls and you want to use 2 colours, never paint 2 in one colour and 2 in another. It will never look right. I recommend you paint 1 in one colour and 3 in another. Or paint the alcoves in one colour and the rest in another, or paint the fire place one colour and the other walls another and so on. Selection of fabric can control this especially if the window takes up a big space.

Some people like the curtain / blind to blend with the wall, others like them to stand off / contrast with the wall. Some companies specialise is certain colour combinations. This factor is a personal design choice or style.

 Pattern

This is the big one. There is a plethora of choice out there, so what I am about to say only skims the surface. Some companies focus one a particular style and or pattern. Most companies have a mix of patterns across their portfolio.

Here are some of the basics.

Stripes = Great on blinds and windows you want to make look taller. The wider / bigger the blind / cutain the wider the stripe needs to be, please don’t put a pin stripe on a patio window, the chances are it will send your eyes funny.

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www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint Harlequin fabric blind on an Evans Rail

Checks= Checks work on blinds and curtains, please be aware though that if the pattern runs out on the fabric, it always stands out more on a check.

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Florals = These also go in most places, it is a style choice though. Modern florals and traditional ones are available. Closed pattern or open with lots of gaps. It is up to you what you can live with.vvsyqlphsjeahxfo.JPG_640x480_q85
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Designs by Kelly White at www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint 

Plain= This works pretty much anywhere. You can make them more interesting by using contrast leading edges, borders and trims. A designer can go over choices with you.

 

 

Designs by Kelly White at www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

Add In Fabrics= So you already have a pattern in a room?  What to put with what?

Stripe= Never use more than one type of stripe please, it very rarely works. However if you have a floral settee you could use a stripe on the window and cushions.

Check= Same rule applies as above. Checks are great as they go with anything. There are so many out their, modern and traditional. They are a great add in fabric.

Floral= Mixing florals can be tough but there are collections out there that do it for you, this can be very handy. You can find large and small florals in one collection in the same colour way.

Traditional  / Modern = This all boils down to a clients personal preference, existing furniture and type of house. You do not have to have a fussy fabric for a traditional design or a completely plain one for a contemporary design.

 

Designs by Kelly White at  www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

Company

Some companies specialise is a style, pattern, colour combination or even price range. It can be difficult to find the fabric you love only to discover it is out of your range or you feel it is more than you want to spend. These following companies are the tip of the iceberg and what I would class as the most well known of the companies.

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Harlequin fabrics ( www.harlequin.uk.com )= This company do a wide selection of patterns but largely focus on contemporary design. Florals, stripes, checks, you name it, they do it and they do it well. Middle to upper price range.

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Romo Fabrics ( www.romo.com ) = This company do a mix also, however they are the ones I tend to go for if I need a stripe or check. They also have a great range of contemporary linen florals that drape really well. Middle upper price.

 

Sanderson ( www.sanderson-uk.com )= They have some contemporary designs but their strength lies in their traditional William Morris prints and weaves. These are beautiful, they are very good at re colouring them to make the colour pallet more relevant to today, as well as having traditional tones. Middle upper price.

 

Prestigious Clarke and Clarke ( http://www.prestigious.co.uk  & http://www.clarke-clarke.com/ )= These are companies that focus on good price points with crowd pleasing designs. They have a nice mix of patterns but stick largely to a more affordable price range.

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Fibre Naturelle (http://www.fibrenaturelle.com/ )  = This company I would go to for rustic weaves.

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Moon (www.moons.co.uk )= Brilliant for wool checks.

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Voyage (http://www.voyagedecoration.com/ ) = Weaves, embroidery a bit of affordable bling. They also have some great country prints. Middle upper costs.

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James Hare ( http://james-hare.com/ )= Silk

 

Designers Guild ( www.designersguild.com )= Unusual and vibrant colours and strong patterns. Upper price range.

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Scion Fabrics ( www.scion.uk.com )= Modern, fun almost Scandinavian in style affordable and good quality.

Drape / Fit For Purpose

This area I would recommend you get professional help with. It takes a certain level of experience to understand from a small piece of fabric how it will hang / drape. And if the type of cloth fit for purpose, for the room it is in. There is an earlier blog that goes some way to assist you in this area by listing the properties of some of the most well known fibre types. Only your designer / seamstress can guide you, however,  to how a particular fabric will work for you, the window treatment and how it will hang.

Fabric fit for purpose

Upholstery fabric has a martindale test. The Martindale is a unit for quantifying the abrasion resistance of textiles, especially when used for upholstery.

Soft padding
[Martindale]
Hard padding
[Martindale]
Private use 10,000 15,000
Office use 25,000 35,000
For public transportation 30,000 40,000

This is the official info. I personally would not touch an upholstery fabric less that 20/25000 rubs for domestic. 40+ for contract. The fire certificate is also different for domestic than contract. make sure you get a certificate. Contract is a higher rating and needs to be what is called crib 5.

I would not advise a Backcoated fabric treated for upholstery to be used on blinds or curtains as it has a tendency to be quite stiff, this can ruin the way the fabric hangs. The fabric can struggle to lay flat on a blind and skirts out on a curtain. The treatment also makes it tough to sew. Some people have chosen to use it but in the knowledge of the possible aesthetic results.

Often fabrics have on the back of the sample or book what their use is. There will be a picture of a curtain or settee for example.

There are also different fabrics for using in the gardenYou can also get indoor and outdoor foam.

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Designed by Kelly White at www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

                                             I hope you have found this blog helpful / informative. If you have any questions with regards to this or any other post, even if it is just what the fabric is that I have used, please do not hesitate to contact me on this site or on www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint .

Thank you for reading.                                                                                                              Best regards

Elsie Wolfe                                                                                                                                   (Kelly White)

It’s Child’s Play

Hi Elsie here,

It isn’t something you do every day but when you get involved in designing a child’s bedroom it is so much fun!!!!

Through the years I have been very lucky to design many children’s bedroom soft furnishings. It never ceases to amaze me at the scarcity of choice.  

Read on to see what I found?

E.Wolfe

Roald-Dahl-quote

BOOKS

Children’s books have been a wonderful place to start where interiors have been concerned.

From Beatrix Potter, Winnie The Pooh and more recently some of Roald Dahl’s creations.

Osborne & Little/London

                                                           Osborne & Little . Zagazoo                                                              http://www.osborneandlittle.com

Roald Dahl Collection with John Lewis and CB Interiors

 Roald Dahl Collection with John Lewis and CB Interiors

http://www.johnlewis.com/search?Ntt=roald+dahl&Nty=1&_requestid=6106916

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John Lewis Bedding

I find children’s interior design liberating in ways that other rooms are not. Clients embrace their own inner child when making choices for their offspring. They are not frightened of colour and being brave with it. Nor are they worried about lots of little details, textures and quirks.

Guess Who. Scion

     www.scion.uk.com

Scion‘s (part of the Harlequin Group) latest collection Guess Who? is wonderfully quirky, inventive and colourful. It is a collection of wallpapers, fabrics and other accessories that are fun and liberating to work with.

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It is really funny, because even though these are children’s designs I would be quite happy to use some of the fabrics (even the ones like the birds above) in any room in the house. As I have said this book is lots of fun. Quite a hit for SCION‘s FIRST CHILDREN’s COLLECTION!!!

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This Guess who wallpaper is particularly brave in its choice of depth of colour. But I feel the dark background enhances those wonderful colours of the animals bringing them to life.

Harlequin have always been ahead of the game with their children’s designs. They are equally as good with boys as well as girls rooms. What is also great is the way they make sure there are always colour-ways that are gender neutral which is awesome. I like pink but sometimes you can have too much in your life.

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What A Hoot . http://www.Harlequin.co.uk

What a Hoot is a fab, fun design with a great mix of colour ways. It makes me smile. I feel this is the essence of a children’s design, it should be fun and make you smile.

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Brighton Beach by Harlequin

Also a big favourite of mine, it is immensely vibrant and boundary pushing as far as children’s design in concerned. To be honest this is yet another that I would quite happily use in other rooms, not only a child’s bedroom. I would definitely use it in a Kitchen.


Designers Guild, have always been renown for there bright colours and unusual colour blends so creating children’s designs was never going to be too much of an issue for them.

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AROUND THE WORLD FABRICS. Designers Guild

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http://www.designersguild.com

This quirky design filled with animals and maps has turquoise as a main colour.  Its pallet is reminiscent of one you often find in French designs, requiring the designer to at times think outside the box when putting it together.


This is true also of  Casadeco a French company. They are very subtle and sophisticated even when it comes to children’s designs.

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Alice & Paul. http://www.casadeco.fr/

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I love Casadeco, especially for babies bedrooms. I personally find there muted choice of colour  is generally more suited to a nursery than a toddlers room. With its calming hues and softness of cloth makes it a definite go to for the little bundles first room.


Prestigious Textiles are at the lower end price point but they have some lovely designs that you can play with.

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Forest Friends http://www.prestigious.co.uk

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Play Time . Prestigious Textiles

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Be Happy

Prestigious Textiles have over the years put some lovely designs out with a sharp price point. Their quality has also gone from strength to strength. Lovely cheerful fabrics. Owls and Pandas are in this year and Prestigious have joined in with these carefree collections.


Harlequin, Designers Guild, Casadeco, Scion, Osborne & Little and Prestigious are just a few of the companies out their making the most of this rarely tapped market. There are others but these are the ones who have mastered this niche particularly well and have caught my eye this year.

I will leave you with another quote from the eternal child Roald Dahl, he can say it so much better than I…………………………………..

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Fringes, Frills and Frosting (The love of trims)

Hi Elsie Wolfe here.

Some people love them and some people loath them. I intend to show you with this blog that a trim, tassel or diamanté do not have to be fussy or overly extravagant if you don’t want them to be. In the contrary they can enhance and define a look or colour within a given scheme.

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This is what frightens people who don’t like trims. This image (or something like it) enter their head.

Don’t get me wrong some people love the fuss, to them more is more (I like it in the right place).

Companies like KRAVET, TROYNORTH, HAYWOOD, BRITISH TRIMMINGS, HANDSOME and HOULES to name but a few specialise in a wide range of trims specifically for soft furnishings of all kinds. Modern, classic and traditional.

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You do not have to go all fussy and frilly to make a statement.

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It doesn’t have to be a tassel, it can be a simple braid.

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Or a more detailed one.

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It doesn’t even have to be a braid, it can be a contrast border or piping (with the pipe removed), or a double border trim, like the ones in these images below.

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A trim can have a practical use to hide a join that is needed. Like in this next image where two plain fabrics have been used the trim makes a feature at the same time as hiding the join.

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But most of the time it just adds a bit of something special to a curtain, pelmet, throw or cushion to enhance a look or make a flat design look more interesting and three dimensional.

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Trimmings are so versatile that fabric companies such as Designers Guild, Harlequin and Zoffany have their own ranges to specifically match the colour pallets in their collections.

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This clever bit of marketing also makes it far easier for a designer to put those little extra details together to create a beautifully coordinated end product for the client.

Most collections also have matching tie backs.

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Other companies such as Haywood will make trims and tie backs to a custom colour.

You can even get diamanté and feather trims for your soft furnishings now.                                    Handy if you like a bit of bling!

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Trims on soft furnishings are just like jewellery on person.                                                                Some people like rich excess and some like classic and understated.                                               One thing is true, we all like to were a little decoration don’t we?

I hope you have enjoyed this blog and will consider the addition of trims to the next design in your home?

Elsie Wolfe

http://www.harlequin.uk.com , www.haywoodstrimmings.com , /www.britishtrimmings.com , /www.zoffany.com , http://troynorth.com/ , www.handsometrimmings.co.uk , www.kravet.com , www.houles.com , www.designersguild.com ,

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.