I had an urgent call from a homeowner in Voorhees. He was looking for a drapery that would cover the entire wall in a two story family room. The wall in question consisted of an expanse of windows with a southern exposure. The windows were rectangular in shape, each row of windows was topped by a quarter circle pane. Each individual window was framed in a decorative , wooden trim. When I pointed this out to the customer, he agreed, but indicated that in the day the drapery would be open. The drapery he requested would be about the size of one in a movie theatre! I brought up the subject of sun shades or blinds but he is set on a drapery. I told him I’d check on a price.
July 28, 2009
June 12, 2009
Exciting Windows! by Craig & Darlene proudly offers 25% off any custom fabric window treatments!
To all our friends in S. Jersey (Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Medford, Mt. Laurel, Voorhees, etc.) : Select any treatment, add options, upgrades, coordinating soft shades, top treatments and bed coverings and we’ll participate with a 25% discount on the entire order. (Offer expires July 19th)
February 6, 2009
Rayons, acetates and triacetates are man-made fibers produced from cellulose such as cotton linters or wood chips, to which various chemical solvents are added. When a French scientist reproduced the chemical actions of a silkworm feeding on mulberry leaves and spinning a cocoon, he came up with a sort of artificial silk. This new fiber, produced from wood pulp, was called rayon. Because rayon is made from plant material, it is sometimes called a man-made natural fiber. Rayon dyes better than other synthetics, withstands strong sunlight better than silk and produces a durable, economical fabric. However, it does not wash well and wrinkles easily.
Acetates are truly synthetic fabrics, since they contain synthetic protein (cellulose). Acetates are available in a wide range of colors and a variety of weaves. One step in the process of producing acetate includes dissolving particles in acetone. This same substance is found in nail polish removers, perfumes, air fresheners and bug sprays. Therefore, any of these acetone-based products can make holes in the fabric by dissolving it. Acetates normally have a high luster and are frequently used alone or combined with other substances, to create satin, taffeta, and other silk-like fabrics. That they cannot be cleaned well is a major drawback of acetates, but they do not rot and do hold colors well.
Triacetates are related to acetates but include more synthetic cellulose to give them extra body. In addition, because less acetone is used, triacetates can withstand greater amounts of heat, which means that they can be treated for permanent press. Triacetates fall in beautiful gathers and can be cleaned or washed without particular effort or concern.
Our next post will be about Nylon…
February 5, 2009
What looks and acts like natural fiber but isn’t the real thing? Synthetic fiber. Man-made fibers attempt to duplicate the advantages – and eliminate the disadvantages – of natural fibers. To a great extent, they have succeeded. The color brilliance of silk and the beautiful wearabilityof wool and linen are not exactly equaled by synthetics, but their versatility and lower prices make them very popular – even in the most expensive interiors. Frequently, synthetics are mixed with natural fibers to derive the qualities from both.
More on these fibers, tomorrow…
February 2, 2009
Wool fabric is particularly valued for its fine body and durability. Wool continues to be considered a fabric of quality, although its use in home furnishings is limited primarily because of competition from lower cost synthetic fibers.
Wool is an animal fiber with exceptional resilience. Because it adjusts so easily, wool upholstery looks taut and unwrinkled and will not develop stretch waves with use.
Another fine characteristic of wool is its colorability. It accepts dye beautifully. Wool resists spots and stains if given immediate care. Wool fiber is the weakest natural fiber, but the fabric is made more durable through the use of selected grades of wool and hard twisted ply yarns.
The type of wool yarn and its construction determine the type of finished woolen fabric made from it. Fabrics are made of thin or thick, fluffy wool yarn and are soft to the touch. Worsted wool fabrics are produced from combed yarns to remove short, loose fibers. The resulting yarn is firmer, tougher and thinner. Worsted fabrics can be more tightly woven, are less bulky and much smoother and stronger than non-worsted.
Of course, wool does have a few limitations. Unless woven in a very tight weave, it is casual in appearance and not appropriate for semi-formal or formal decorating schemes. Also, the price of good wool upholstery fabric often prohibits its use. In addition, unless wool is processed, it can emit an undesirable odor, especially in damp climates. Finally, some people are allergic to wool.
What do camels, vicunas and Kashmir goats have in common? Their furry bodies produce different types of wool. These wools are particularly valued for their softness and are seldom, if ever, worsted. Camel hair, vicuna and cashmere are all more expensive that the finest of other wools. Use these luxury fabrics on rare occasions, and only when they won’t receive lots of wear, such as for decorative pillows.
Cotton is the next topic of discussion…
February 1, 2009
It takes 36,000 silk caterpillars 60 days and one ton of mulberry leaves to produce 12 pounds of raw silk. This reduces down to even less fine silk. So if you ever question the high value placed on silk fabric, just remember these facts:
- Silk accepts dye better than any other fabric, which means it can be made in the most beautiful assortment of colors possible. Intricately detailed patterns are produced crisply and clearly on silk, and no other fabric has its elegant, soft sheen.
- Silk is very durable when the fabric is well constructed. Its use for parachutes is the highest recommendation that can be given for the strength of its fiber. The great length of the filament, a factor in strength, imparts smoothness to the constructed cloth.
Its rich colors, delicacy, and high cost have earned silk the nickname, “the fabric of royalty.” This high quality fabric sets a tone of formality and elegance in a room. Because of its special qualities and regal associations, many people love to have silk used in their interiors. However, it should be used only where it will be subject to a minimum amount of wear from sitting, rubbing or pulling. Also, its use in fabrics for window treatments is limited as it performs poorly in sunlight (it will rot in a short time).
Tomorrow, we’ll discuss wool.
January 22, 2009
Curtains are materials that are hung over a window for decoration and other purposes. The main purposes are to provide privacy, block sunlight and decoration.
If the window looks onto streets or sidewalks, then curtains can be used for privacy.
Curtains are also used for light control to prevent glare, for sleeping during the day, or watching TV etc. Opaque curtains are suited for light control. For partial light control sheer or net type curtains are better suited.
Curtains are also used for increasing the aesthetic appeal of a room. An elegant curtain greatly increases the aesthetics of a room and gives an opulent look. On the contrary dirty or ill matched curtains give a room a gloomy look. When the window looks onto a street it is better to give thought to the underside of the curtain as the curtain can be seen from outside and will dictate the appearance of the house. more