Modern Times

Hi all,                                                                                                                                                                                              Elsie here. It has been a while since my last communication. I apologise profusely but my attentions have been split due to new business ventures with White Wolfe Interiors, and my on-line presence. Too much to do and not enough fingers to type!


Since the beginning of my career at the age of 16 there have been advancements and changes in the world of soft furnishings. I must say though, I was not sad at the change in fashion away from the heavy chintzy floral’s of the eighties, lol.

I want us to look at my favourite designs / items that have been added to the repertoire of Interior decoration history.



Designed by Kelly White @ White Wolfe Interiors .

Harlequin, Fusion 2538

Harlequin Fusion



This is a great one to start with. I loved the Eyelet the moment it came out. Shockingly the company I worked for at the time were insistent they were a “faze”. They would not listen to my recommendation that they invest in an eyelet punch machine, I insisted that they were here to stay, they would have none of it. Boy were they wrong!  I must admit the lower costing eyelets on tape with plastic clip in rings were not great. Stick with the metal ones every time is my advice, the extra cost is well worth the superior end results. If you make your own curtains there are some companies who are only to happy to just charge for putting them in the top of your curtains and leave the rest of the construction to you.




Wave by           &        Easyflow


Uber Interiors Design.

English Rooms2

Even though Wave Heading is a trade name by Silent Gliss, it is also what the industry calls this heading, despite where they get this style of tape and rail system from. Wave is a similar type of pleating to eyelet. However the main obvious differences are the tape required, how the spaces are worked out and the fact it is under-slung. This great modern heading gives a neat flush fitting and allows you to use in tight spaces and ceiling mounted. The down side, if there is one, is the fact you cannot just use any old pole for the above tapes. There is a tape on the market that allows you to use any pole, but I must admit I am not a fan. Everyone has their preferences.

French Pleat


French Pleat curtains deigned by Kelly @ White Wolfe Interiors.


English Rooms

Pleating to pattern by Jules @

Whether you call it French pleat, Parisian or Top Pinch, it is all the same.                             The original pinch pleats whether they are triple, double or have four pleats have been around for decades. Traditionally with a stitch set down several inches it is a more traditional heading and historically was pleated to pattern. In my opinion the pleat to pattern art is practised by few in the industry these days, it is a beautiful art and should (in my opinion) be studied and learned by all those who wish to consider themselves superior curtain manufacturers. French pleats are stitched at the top and (in my opinion) tend to look best as double pleats. This heading has made a resurgence in the last few years, it looks smart and lends itself to the more modern setting.


There has been a huge change in technology in the world of interiors over the last decade. 

  • Remote control blinds and curtain rails.
  • Electric Pole systems.
  • Solar and battery Powered systems.
  • Home Cinemas and controlling the whole house at the push of a button.
  • CAD (Computer Added Design).



There are many more than the companies and rails featured above. They vary in price, style and capability. Each designer has their preferences and each job requires a different rail solution. The choice is out there.


Legislation does not effect, let alone change  the interiors world often. The milliners law, retail law and FR regulations are mostly what we have had to work with for many years.    In 2013 a big change rolled across the soft furnishings business, and as with a number of laws it involved SAFETY, specifically the safety of children with relation to corded and chain operated systems.

logo-child-safety-RGB-transp-contChild Safety Device 10483make-it-safe-logoRear-Cord-Breakaway


Break away chains and distance of chain to floor are amongst some of the items outlined in this very important legislation. Some customers have not liked the changes but the law is the law. Any legislation that protects children is a good thing. 

The law = BS EN 13120:2009+A1:2014  

The BSI (Bristish Standards Institute) published the document, it is in the public domain and effective immediately. This was on the 28th February 2014.

Please note that when you are either making or advising the use of blinds please ensure the BS safety regulations? I refer to Child Safety Requirements for Internal Blinds BS EN 13120, BS EN16433 and BS EN 16434.

For more information on this legislation that is keeping children safe with regards to chain and corded systems go to :-


There have been other changes across the last ten / twenty years but the above are the ones that are foremost in my mind. This is probably because they have occurred during my career. Like any design / art form, interior decoration is constantly changing, evolving, reinventing and coming up with new innovations. I love the history of this world, enjoy its present incarnation and eagerly anticipate its future and what it has to offer.

I thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed this blog. If this is your first visit, please check out my other posts?



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.



Quantifying Fabric For Curtains

FGoblet pleat”One of my strongest convictions and one of the first canons of good taste, is that our houses, like the fish`s shell and the birds nest ought to represent our individual taste and habits.”

Mary Hawies

The comments above were made by Mary Eliza Haweis she is best known as an important figure in the female literature of household taste that flourished in the 1880s, her most famous work being “The Art of Decoration” (1881). I feel her comments still stand firm today { a point that some designers in the industry need to be reminded of}.

I am E.D.Wolfe interior decorator / designer, technical expert and soft furnishings specialist with 20 years experience in the public sector of the wonderful world of interiors and home decoration. Needless to say I feel I have a lot to say about the industry, trends and who is doing what and how well.

I have started this blog for several reasons mostly because I have more family commitments and can no longer work the hours required by demanding employers and clients, as well as not wanting to work for other people and having to adopt their ethos which did not always coincide with mine. This often has got me and my big mouth into trouble until I finally evolved to the stage that I would bite my tongue. So many times my point of view clashed with the powers that be. I hated having to put profit and loss before the design or the clients needs . Frustrating is an understatement.

I found the only advice I felt completely free to give was when I was giving it freely {without payment}. I have therefore begun this blog to pass on my experience and advice to whomever needs it.

You can glean from it what you will without fear that I am trying to sell you something.

Hopefully I can stop people making huge mistakes, helping them with a problem or advising them how to tackle an issue. Not to mention how to avoid being screwed over by the greedy and inexperienced in the industry.

{ how not to line the owners pockets with money furnished by reselling the off cuts you have rightfully paid for}

This can be simply avoided by understanding how fabric quantities are worked out.
DO NOT WORRY. It does not a mathematician take. I barely scraped a C in GCSE maths {with help} and even I can do it.

It is kind of like hanging wallpaper if you have ever tried this . You will notice depending on height of wall, size of pattern repeat and how this comes together the size of the off cuts {waste} will vary.

Hopefully the images I have provided will also help.

cutting repeat

Information Needed.
1. What are you making
2 Pole / rail size and finished length of product when hanging.
3 How many drops of cloth are needed
4 What is the pattern repeat. {this info is readily available in books, on samples or by the
cloth manufacturers, all else fails and you have a piece then measure it vertically}

For arguments I am going to work out a basic pair of pencil pleat {normal gather} curtains.
We will work in cms for simplicity. But please work in inches if you find that easier {I do}

Pole = 2mtrs
Finished length = 2mtrs

Pencil pleats normally work on between 2 to 2 1/2 x the fullness.
I like a fuller curtain personally.

200cm x 2.5 = 500 cms

Now fabric is normally 137 cms wide this is the width of a roll. The bit of fabric along the edges that sometimes has only writing on is called a selvedge {try not to get caught out with the speech, it can sound like a whole different language but it is not and some try to use this language to confuse, as well as make themselves look clever and occasionally to make you feel not as clever . I only used it when someone annoyed me and looked at me as if to say what does she know. (Joke)

selve edgeexamples of selvedges.

So we know we need 500cms across the pole for a nice full curtain so lets see how many drops that is? 500 divided by 137 = 3.64 Oh know I hear you cry. Do not panic. You have a choice you can go for 3 which is just about 2 x full or 4 which is 2.74 x full. I would advise 4 on a flat window and 3 on a bay {less room in a bay}. But it is completely up to you, also if it is a thick cloth stick to the 3.

4 DROPS THEN. So that is a pair of curtains with two widths in each curtain.

The Pattern is 64 cm {most are this or 30cm give or take}



200cm FINISHED so you will need a bit extra for hems {bottom} and turns {top}.
I used to work on 22 cm {9 inch} in total. It does vary from company to company.
Some use a little more and some a little less.

SO 200 + 22 = 222 now how many patterns fit into this?


4 pattern repeats at 64 = 256 cm {This is your CUT}

4 drops at 256 cm = 10.3 mtrs. This is how much cloth you need. Any seamstress or company trying to add a repeat on every drop should be professional shot.
Extreme I know but this is a wasteful way of doing things and costs you a lot more.

If the pattern has something on that you want to start in a particular place you will need to add a repeat if you are ordering it in, if on the roll just take a look and start in and pay for the bit extra you need to do so.

With this example you end up with approx 34 cm waste . Not a lot I hear you say. Not on this occasion but sometimes you can end up with enough waste for cushions and they are better off being your cushions than someone else’s who has bought the off cut re sold at 100% profit by the people who made your curtains.



I know there are many other styles and types of curtains but this is the basic. Please do message on problem chat if you have style not mentioned or detail not outlined and we will endeavour to help you. The chart below details basic curtain styles and the recommended fullness.

Pencil = 2 – 2.5

pencil pleat heading

Pinch (this can be 2 or 3 pleats) = 2.5 – 3


Goblet = 2.5 – 3


Eyelet = 1.5 – 2


These estimations are all based on hand sewn pleats and not tapes, please use the tape manufacturers guidelines.

BLINDS, BLINDS, BLINDS. All about blinds in the next post, keep a look out?

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.