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.

clews wc

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.

7d446129-1c26-4968-a0b2-51dacbbb4ba4

www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

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
IMG_1206

 

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.

 Lilaea-thumb

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.

kelso-04

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.

Bali_M002

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

moon_header

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

voyage-couture-2-enchanted-forest-fabric

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

Evolution

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

 

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

7-Noukku-Wallpapers-Carousel

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.

IMG_3040

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)

Box Bay Blinds

Hello all, 

                 Elsie here, here we are onto the next phase of blinds in bay windows. I hope the last post was helpful and works as a basis to add this next post to?

Box Bays

Measuring the recess is as before. With box bays however the positioning of blinds is very different.

If there are mullions or each window is separate the blinds will then function in their own recess and pretty much any blind can be used.

If however the windows are only separated by the window frame I have found that Romans or shutters are best for close fitting and minimal gaps.

Positioning of Romans in a box bay I find the following to be best……..

unnamed-8

Plan view of possible box bay configurations.

I find putting the back blinds in first is best.

Where you have two blinds butting up to each other in the same direction across the back. I always allow 1/8″ clearance between the two OA. This gives a nice close fit without them touching. 

unnamed-11

Where you have a side blind butting up to a back blind the following needs to be allowed. Rail projection including bracket (varies in size depending on type and company), thickness of velcro and blind (aprox 1/4″) and then 1/8″ to 1/4″ depending if the blind is lined or interlined. Don’t forget the 1/8″ from the other side of the side blind if in a recess !

unnamed-13

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

As the above window, some box bays will have the back windows as french doors. This of course makes the back blinds longer than the side ones. Nonetheless you need to make sure that when up they are still level with the side blinds despite the length difference.

It is also worth noting that some one who is tall would need to duck under the blinds unless they are fixed onto the doors themselves. In a situation where there are door blinds, you still need to make sure the patterns line up even though the top of the blinds on the doors are lower and when up they are still level. This makes for a more aesthetically pleasing look and most people appreciate the attention to detail.

When positioning blinds on doors you also need to make sure that the projection of said blinds will not impinge on the door opening.

Because of the positioning of the blinds the side blinds will never sit centrally to the window they are on. 

Also pay attention to if your side blind will cover the glass of the window it is on. This can all be worked out mathematically before anything is purchased.

Some box bays are not recessed on the side blinds. Be aware that because of the projection you will be able to see down the back of the blind and possibly out of the window. Dress curtains on the outer of the bay can help mask this.

unnamed-12

Design by Kelly White at http://www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

This is another way of dressing a box bay that has mullions but you are wanting to maximise light by dressing on the outer and like the added look of a pelmet. Due to the measurements of this bay it made sense to have the pelmet as one with the blinds centralised over the openings .

Box bay Roman blinds

Design by Kelly White at http://www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

There are situations that call for the blinds to fit tip to tip, but these are rare and often occur in the window styles above where the corner means that an overlap results in too much glass being visible. A gap is inevitable due to the bulk of the blind but in these cases it is a case of the lesser of two evils. See above and below examples. This and the client requests it.

Blind bliss

 Uber Interiors http://www.thedesignpractice.com/

As I have said before I would strongly recommend that you get a bay professionally  measured. This blog however should help in some way in understanding your particular bay.

There are a few good companies that you can get high quality roman blind rails from. Evans Textiles, Silent Gliss, Tulip Blinds.

I Hope you found the blog helpful.                                                                                                                                Till next time, thank you for reading.

Elsie Wolfe

Measuring For Blinds In A Splay Bay

Hello Everyone, Elsie Wolfe here.

I know I have gone through how best to measure windows before. To a certain degree there is a huge overlap with that and what I am about to guide you through in order to measure up for blinds. I hope this will help, I found when I stuck to the following it helped immensely, to avoid forgetting a measurement and in reducing the chance of mistakes. 

Enjoy.

Reading The Tape Measure.

I know, I know. The first time someone asked me when I was training, “do you know how to use and read a tape measure ?” I rolled my eyes. seriously though, so many people think they know till they watch someone who really knows how to use a tape measure, use one. 

There are lots of little tricks that I will show you in up coming blogs but this is the first with regards to recess’ , specifically for those using the lo tech tape measure and not the digital ones.

Width and drop recess. You can sit most tape measures in a rebate this way due to them have a size written on the side marking the length of the casement. take the size at the point it hits the top of the case then add the case size on. This gives you the recess without having to bend the tape measure. tape-recess2

If you are old school  and prefer to measure this way, the measurement you take is just as the tape begins to curve. In this case 64 1/4″ . This is also the same off measuring drops for curtains to a floor level. I measure in inches because some of the windows I measure are quite large so reading the cm/mm would be practically impossible with me stood in the middle of the tape measure.

Recess Sizes

How to measure a rebate is largely effected by the type of window we are dealing with. In this blog I am only going to focus on the following type of window when measuring for blinds.

Bay Window

Lets put the varying types glazing to one side, and focus on how we attack measuring for blinds in a bay once we have decided where we are fixing said blinds to begin with.

As a rule I tend to advise against using traditional style Roller blinds in bays. I have yet to see them fit neatly, function properly and not have huge gaps caused by brackets and side controls. 

With this in mind lets look at how blinds fit into a splay bay windows.

sheila-garside

http://www.curtain-up.ltd.uk/

  1. Measure the recess (corner to corner as well as top and bottom).
  2. Measure each angle. Top and bottom of the recess (just in case of variances).
  3. Measure from the top of where the blind will sit to where you want it to finish. In this case the sill. Measure at several points around the bay ( I recommend 2 for each blind).

As previously advised, please use simple line drawings and fill in the sizes. This is so much better than a list of measurements. There is also less chance on getting them wrong or mixed up. I find plan drawing helps for width sizes and a separate elevation drawing for drops is also useful.  

Now you need to work out the size of the blinds that will be made.

This will be different because the projection of the blind reduces its width because of the angles.

Step By Step Guide to Sizeing Blinds in a Bay Window

unnamed-10

Draw in the angle of the bay, then using the real sizes (Not scale), draw in the front edge position of the blind. This needs to be the rail + the thickness of the blind. (I normally allow about 1/4″ blind thickness.) In the example I have drawn it is 4cm just for the purposes of this exercise.

unnamed-5

Draw in the front edge of where the back and side blind intersect.

unnamed-6

Measure in aprox 1/8″ from the intersection on both sides.

unnamed-7

Draw right angle lines back from this point to the wall.

unnamed-4

unnamed-1

The above has to be done for every angle where two blinds meet. 

Take measurement and – measurement from both sides of the middle blind. 

This will give you size = the blind size.

unnamed-3

The side blinds sit just up to the corners on the outer edge. Measure forward at a right angle then go past edge of rail aprox 1/2″. Due to the projection of the blinds and the bay there will be gapping at the side . The 1/2″ reduces this gapping. You can also have external dress curtains to hide the gaps.

fti1

http://www.finishingtouchesinteriors.co.uk/

Side blind is as follows. – + 1/2″ = F. Be aware that the rail size excludes the 1/”.

If you want a snug fit on this outside edge a batten system using an adaptor for safety from Evans means you can shape into the angle.

This then changes the workings on the side blind to ………….

D – E + distance from edge of blind to wall – 1/8″ =  blind size.

Keep in mind that the back of the batten will be a different size to the front (blind size).

The 1/4″ and 1/8″ allowances are to stop / reduce the blinds from rubbing as well as helping them to fold up properly and so the gaps are not too big.

Always size the blinds using the shortest and narrowest sizes obtained.

Use the shortest drop for the blind drop but do not take anything off that size. The blind will naturally spring up slightly.

 

unnamed

Finished blind positions.

fti3

http://www.finishingtouchesinteriors.co.uk/

 

victoria-hill

http://victoriahillbespokesoftfurnishings.co.uk/

Some bay windows have frames or mullions that allow the blinds to sit within a rebate and not interfere with each other. These are just worked out using the recess sizes of each separate area. A 1/4″ off the width size needs to be deducted so the blind does not rub. It can be a real feature having the frame, framing the blinds.

Kelly White @ www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

Swaffer fabric and Evans rails were used in the above design.

I hope you have found this post helpful / informative. I plan to write additional posts about blinds in other types of windows so keep your eyes peeled ?

Thank you for reading.

Elsie Wolfe

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.

DSCF2930

 

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).

1970659_449755421821923_349102684_n

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.

unnamed

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

 

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.

EYELETS

IMG_1272

Designed by Kelly White @ White Wolfe Interiors www.facebook.com/WhiteWolfeInt .

Harlequin, Fusion 2538

Harlequin Fusion fabric.www.harlequin.uk.com

 

eyelet+colours

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 

 

Wave by http://www.silentgliss.co.uk/           &        Easyflow http://www.evans.co.uk/

UBER_prj-3W-kchn__0450-Edit-1170x650

Uber Interiors Design. http://www.uber-interiors.com/

English Rooms2

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

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

IMG_1198

French Pleat curtains deigned by Kelly @ White Wolfe Interiors. www.facebook.com/WhiteWolfeInt

 

English Rooms

Pleating to pattern by Jules @ http://www.englishrooms.co.uk/

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.

Technology

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).

MRS_circel

http://www.evans-textiles.com/

pps_13095_00_el_5090SG

http://www.silentgliss.co.uk/

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.

Safety

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 :- http://www.makeitsafe.org.uk/.

 

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?

E.Wolfe

 

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.

 

Blinds, Blinds Glorious Blinds

Hello again it is I Elsie Wolfe. I hope you enjoyed the first blog?

I have been busy this week hunting around the net to see what your big questions are surrounding BLINDS. Some of you are getting confused about which blinds are which, where they are best used and why aren’t yours doing what you thought they would.The main issues, from what I could see, tend to be with Roman blinds. I will address these issues as best as I can later. To begin with I will clear up blind classifications.

1. Roman Blind. Hand made, lined, black out or and interlined. Most fabric can be used to create. They come in several forms. Standard, Cascade, Waterfall and soft folding. Standard roman with pelmet

Standard Roman with a pelmet.

Prestigious Fabric

Even when up you can still see the folds due to tapes and fabric thickness when folding and there will always be a band of 10 / 12 inches, sometimes more when up, so light can be lost.

bathroom

 

Waterfall Roman blind. Designed by www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

Bigger gaps between the folds to make a feature when up, makes the blind even deeper.

Cascade Roman Blind

Cascade Roman.

Has pleats even when down unlike all other Roman blinds that become flat when down.

Soft Folding Roman Blinds

Soft Folding Roman.

A more casual look created when there are no battens used to create the more classic ridged structured effect normally expected from a Roman.

2. Venetian Blind Wooden or metal horizontal slats that can come in varying sizes, made using tapes or string to pull up the slats. Many companies make them such as Sundew, Sunway or Silent Gliss to name but a few.

venitian blind

Wooden Venetian blind made with strings.

3. Plisse’ Blind Concertina style blind. Companies only use there own specialist fabric in a single or double layer with wires to lift and lower. They can also be used to close up instead of down. plisee blind

Plisse’ Blind single layer.

Most companies, such as the ones above, make them.

4. Vertical Blind Vertical slats. Come in companies own cloth. My least favourite of the blinds but they do have some very practical applications. There have been recent developments, I have seen ones in wood! The slats or louvres twist open and close as well as sliding open to one or both sides depending on your preference.

Vertical BlindVertical Blind Colour

As you can see they come in many colours.

5. Plantation Shutters / Blinds Highly specialised product custom made. In wood or PVC. Slatted, in its own frame and can open and closed via slats or bi-folding. Plantation Shutters. Blind

Wooden plantation.

6. Festoon and Austrian Blind Both very similar and blousy looking. You tend not see this style these days. Austrian blind folds drop out as blind is lowered but a festoon retains its folds. I must admit I am not a fan of this fussy look. Each to their own.

Festoon Blind

Austrian Blind

7. Roller Blind. As long as the fabric is flat and not too thick your choice of cloth can be used and treated to create a roller. In the main the manufacturers fabric is used. There are books full of purpose created fabric for this item. Be aware due to the brackets there will be big gaps at sides, so if you want black out completely you need one with a casement / its own frame. Roller Blind

Casement Roller blind

Left normal, right casement. I recommend reverse rolling a blind to avoid handles and makes the roller at top more discreet. Hope this has cleared any confusion over blinds and their classification you may have had.


Roman Blinds 101

The following information is hopefully going to answer any questions or problems you may have with regards to Roman blinds. They are ones I have noticed cropping up on the net as well as surfacing in my career. I have put images of blinds throughout. These are ones I have designed or ones I just like, I hope you like them too.

Before I delve into the world of Roman Blind trouble shooting I would like to tell you a little story of something that happened to me a few years back that I hope you enjoy and can take something away with you.


The Blinds that were too good to be true

I priced up some blinds for a friend of mine for her conservatory and gave her the best price I could. I included the cost for head-rails and fitting. My friend (very sensibly) got a few prices and found one cheaper with similar fabric, I could not lower my price further. I did ask her to check the quality of the lining, fittings and manufacturing.

“Ask to see a blind they have made?” I recommended before she placed an order.

I explained that even though I possibly was not the cheapest, I was one of the best and to make sure her pricing was like for like. I also said if the price is that much cheaper it will be for a reason and to make sure they were reasons that she was happy with.

A few weeks later I received a call from my friend asking me to come and look at her blinds, I did.

They were not very good at all, but not wanting to hurt her feelings I asked what she thought of them and was she happy. My friend was a little worried, she explained that there was something wrong with them but she didn’t know how or why that was.

“They just don’t look right” she said.

I explained that I did not want to pass comment before she had because the main thing was that she liked them but seeing as she did not I said I agreed with her, they were not right at all.

I took out my tape measure and checked a few of them, inspected them fully, lifted and lowered.

The person that she had ordered them from was coming round to chat about them and my friend wanted me to sit in. I was a touch uncomfortable with this but I said I would listen and advise after.

The gentleman came.  My friend reiterated her concerns and the gentleman said there was nothing wrong with the blinds. The fabric (a plain poly cotton) was not the best choice for a Roman and this was the look of them. Also that he would not recommend blinds this big.

I was not happy to say the least! So I felt I had to speak up. I explained who I was and got out my tape measure  explaining that the biggest problem was with the smaller blinds not being made straight so they would not hang or pull up straight, gaps between battens varied causing this. There was nothing wrong with the fabric that if it had been made straight there would have been no bellowing. The larger blinds would have been fine if a more substantial batten had been used as opposed to a flimsy plastic / carbon one. This would have stopped the bowing, also having more cord pulls to support the blind would have rendered more support.

The man said he would take our comments, talk to head office and call us.

They did not want to remake them and did not take the remaining balance off my friend in compensation. I personally would have asked for a refund because they were just not right, but the choice was my friend’s.

Moral of the story. Go off recommendation, try and view a company’s product so you can see the quality before hand and make sure you are fully aware of what a product is going to look like as much as you can as well as understanding how it will function, before you purchase.


Back to Roman blinds and how they work.

There are 2 main systems.

1 = on a head rail with a chain pull. I personally recommend Evans or Silent Gliss .

2= the traditional cleat and acorn (you wrap the cords around a metal cleat on the wall). These can be helpful on some bays and situations where you do not want the blind to project too far forward.

Even though it is a bit more expensive I tend to go for the rail in most situations. The rail does the work and not you so the blind lifts and lowers the same and not wonky. The rail also can increase the life of the blind.

CORDS

So many times have clients come in saying that the cords have snapped on the traditional version, this is mostly caused by misuse. Not pulling cords straight down, letting go of the cords causing the blind to drop abruptly and snap the cords. Not pulling cords all together causes the blind not pull up evenly.

If the cords are pulled together but blind is still wonky it will probably be one of two things.

1. The cords on the back of the blind need equalizing (very easy to do)

2. The blind has not been made straight (Potential remake).

HOW THEY FIT AND WORK IN A RECESS

Most windows are not 100% true. Blinds are made true so they function correctly. When a Roman is made the most narrow points of the window are used and a small deduction is taken again so the blind does not rub on the recess.  This deduction causes some gaping (that may vary depending on the accuracy of the window). This in turn can cause light leakage on Black out Romans. On black out Romans you also get a row of pin dots, this can be reduced with interlining and stab stitching. Stab stitching the Roman reduces the quantity of holes and the interlining closes around the stitches reducing light leakage. Curtains on tops will assist also.

Roman Blind behind a curtain

Silk Roman inside recess. Outside curtains.

(For maximum black out use a casement blind)

If you have a window that runs out a lot I would recommend putting the blind on the outside of the recess and hanging it past the sill if possible. Doing this hides the problem as well as taking less light off the window. I also feel if it is the only window dressing it finishes off the window better.

VN Seville plain fabric

Blinds in and out of a recess. VN Seville plain fabric.

https://www.villanova.co.uk/

Roman Blind with co-ordinating silk border inder a pelmet

Harlequin Silk.

http://www.harlequin.uk.com 

Roman Blind double window

As you can see outside recess Romans look great especially with a pelmet. I feel Romans also look best in bays (better than any other blinds). They also work really well in box bays and bays where the blinds fit even closer than shown below.

Roman Blinds in a bay

Swaffer silk plain. Double bordered.

www.swaffer.co.uk/

Box bay style windows.

Box bay Roman blinds

 

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.

Good luck with your Roman blinds.

Please email or leave a comment if you have any queries that are not covered in the above post and I will respond as soon as I can. Hope you enjoyed the post.

E.D.Wolfe

 

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.