Monday, 30 October 2017

What is the Best Fabric for Curtains?

Elle Decoration

Things to Bear in Mind

Edale Plaid Fabric Sand
Edale Plaid Sand
When deciding on the best fabric for curtains, the fabric you choose will dictate how your curtains perform and last, as well as how they look. Textured fabrics such as wool give a more luxury quality and natural feel, and will last longer, and there are lots of designs to choose from such as checks, plains, tartans, and herringbones, whereas synthetics or the current trend for prints and metallic thread have a more trendy, short term appeal.

Seeking only beauty?

Pavia Sheer Fabric Stone
Pavia Stone
You can get away with lighter weight fabrics such as lightweight linen and wool if you are looking purely for a nice set of curtains to brighten up a room and you don’t need to block out light or keep warm. There are so many beautiful fabrics from plain colours to checks and sheers. Choose a key colour and select from there.

Do you need to keep the cold out?

Buttermere Wool Fabric Gunmetal
Buttermere Gun
Wool, chenille or velvet are the warmest options. Lining or interlining will add further to the warmth value, and will also help with fading if the window is very sunny. It is always best to line curtains, but if you don’t want to line your curtains then go for a heavier wool, but bear in mind that the fabric will fade much quicker.

Need to block out the light?

Cadogan Mews Fabric Sand
Cadogan Mews Sand
Heavier weight fabrics will block out light, and you can add a blackout lining if you want total darkness. Sunlight fades all fabrics over time so if the room gets a lot of direct sunlight it may be best to go for neutral colours as these are will appear to fade less.

What is the best fabric weight to use?

 

If your fabric is too lightweight your curtains won’t hang well. You need a decent weight to create nice folds and drape. However, a fabric which is too heavy or stiff may not fold back nicely when you draw the curtains back. Just a note to add to this. If you are lining your curtains remember this will also add some body and smooth out the drape. You can, of course, vary the weight and stiffness of your lining. A good curtain maker will give you advice on this before you start.

Finally, any good curtain maker will be happy to use your own fabric.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

NEW FABRICS - EDALE

Edale Spice

Edale Pimento

Edale Sand

Edale Grape
 Just out - our brand new range of Edale Wool Plaid Fabrics.   Inspired by the colours of the Derbyshire Peak District in the UK.  It is woven from 100% wool, has a 30,000 rub test.  Perfect for domestic upholstery and curtains/drapes and accessories.


Friday, 28 July 2017

Best Fabric for Upholstery

Elle Decor Room
Elle Decor Magazine

You might be wondering ..... what is the best fabric for a sofa or chair?

 

Are you looking for fabric for upholstering a sofa or chair?  Usually, the first thing that most people do when thinking about choosing a fabric for upholstering furniture is what colour to choose.
But, think about other factors too.

Durability (Rub Test)

 

Something we are asked about quite a lot is what is a rub test and why does it matter?  This test is also sometimes known as a Martindale Test and will give a good idea how long you can expect the fabric to last.  Clearly, this will depend on where you place your furniture, how often you use it and whether there are children and pets.

If the fabric does not show a rub test then presume it won't last long.  So, check the rub test to see if it is appropriate for the project.

Types

 

There are many engineered textiles now which look increasingly like natural fabrics, and can withstand wear and tear,  but many natural choices are nearly as durable. - it all depends on what you choose.

Wool

 

Here is one of our best selling lines and is 100% wool.  It is available in both domestic and contract grade.

arundel wool herringbone fabric in light grey
Arundel Wool Herringbone Light Grey

Contract Fabric

 

Contract textiles are also an option.  These are highly durable textiles specially produced for use in commercial buildings, although the selection is more limited.
Other durable natural textiles you can use include wool, velvet, linen, especially machine-washable Belgian linens.

Belgian Linen

Como Linen Fabric in Chameleon
Como Belgian Linen Chameleon

Belgian linen is very good for upholstery and loose covers, but choose one to to stand wear and tear.  Not all linen is the same, and there are some bad, cheap imports.

Belgian linen is only manufactured in Belgium. Our Belgian linen is manufactured by three mills in Belgium. We know the owners personally and have a very good relationship with them.

Other Fabrics

 

It’s harder to generalise about cotton, because the category is so broad. Some are durable, others aren’t. Fabrics to avoid include silk, rayon and rayon-polyester blends.

Nearly as important as composition is where the textiles are made.  We only sell textiles that have been manufactured in the UK or EU, and where we know the weaver well and get great service from them.

Woven patterns will usually last longer than printed ones, as do those with tighter weaves. However, just because a fabric looks chunky and durable, it might not be so check the rub test before you buy to ensure it is suitable.

Care

 

Firstly, always follow care instructions.

How long can you expect the fabric to last? Well, even the most durable fabric will break down if you don’t maintain it.  Always vacuum furniture at least once a month, to get rid of dirt on the surface as combined with the friction of people moving back and forth, it will wear out the fabric faster than anything else.

If you want loose covers and be able to wash them, go for a washable fabric, but bear in mind that the fabric could shrink a little so check the shrinkage rate (if there is one) when buying the fabric and allow for this when making your choice.

Design

 

Choose a fabric that complements both the piece of furniture and the interior decor of your room.   Merging different styles together can give a good result.  Experiment as this will add originality to the space.

Another point to bear in mine is whether the fabric can be railroaded.  Some fabrics can be railroaded, others can't, so check this too.

Don't be slave to fashion, but choose a fabric that echoes your own style and the mood of the decor in the room.

Consider the scale of the pattern. It should be appropriate to the size of the furniture it is covering as well as the room size. A large bold, pattern might work better in a larger room, while a more muted or smaller one might be a better choice for a smaller space.

Lindsay Modern Tartan
Lindsay Modern Wool Tartan

Tartan fabric is particularly relevant regarding this. Some tartans have huge repeats which will not be suitable on a small piece of furniture. Always check the repeat is going to work well for you.  Tartan is very hardwearing and is suitable for furniture.

Colour

 

As said before, colour is very often the first choice you make when upholstering furniture, and it has a significant impact on the decor, especially if the is a large sofa that will dominate the space.

Make sure the colour choice is one you can live with happily with. eg it might be best to avoid a very bold color for a smaller room, especially if the sofa is also large. If you are unsure, neutrals are generally easy to live with and the safest bet.

Avoid light coloured fabrics if you have children and/or pets.

Warm and cool colours affect the mood of the room and depending on whether the room is bright or on the darker side.

Avoid trendy colours, unless you really like them as they can date a room long before the sofa or chair needs recovering.

See Elle Decor Article about Decorating with Colour.

Fade Resistance

 

Does the room get a lot of sun?   If it does, then a dark fabric will fade quicker than a lighter one, so take this into consideration when choosing.

Friday, 24 February 2017

NEW FABRICS - PATTERDALE

CONTRACT HOUNDSTOOTH FABRIC
Patterdale Steel Grey

CONTRACT HOUNDSTOOTH FABRIC
Patterdale Chilli

CONTRACT HOUNDSTOOTH FABRIC
Patterdale Espresso

CONTRACT HOUNDSTOOTH FABRIC
Patterdale Heather

CONTRACT HOUNDSTOOTH FABRIC
Patterdale Latte

CONTRACT HOUNDSTOOTH FABRIC
Patterdale Light Grey

CONTRACT HOUNDSTOOTH FABRIC
Patterdale Paprika


CONTRACT HOUNDSTOOTH FABRIC
Patterdale Sky Blue
Just out - our brand new range of Patterdale Contract Houndstooth Fabrics.   Inspired by the colours of the Lake District in the UK, it is woven from 80% wool and 20% nylon yarn it has a 50,000 rub test.

How to Design a Headboard


How to design a headboard

Article by Elle Decor

What is the optimum size for a headboard? ‘Bedding will make a bed appear broader, so allow up to 7.5 centimetres extra width at each side of the bed to make your headboard look more generous,’ says Bertie Clayton, director at interior design firm Jane Clayton & Company (janeclayton.co.uk). Avoid anything much wider, unless you want a retro look. Contemporary headboards can be as tall as you like and, if you have a high ceiling, a large headboard makes a great focal point in the room.
What are the best materials to upholster a headboard with? Leather is hardwearing and will last for years, while Alcantara faux suede is also durable and stain resistant, making it a good choice. ‘If you’re using fabric, look for something textural that’s not too lightweight; this will maximise the life of your headboard,’ says Clayton. ‘And don’t forget, all fabrics must meet fire regulations.’ The advice from Ian Lea, CEO at textile company Spruce London (sprucelondon.com), is to choose a tightly woven cloth. ‘This prevents the interlining showing through when it’s stretched over corners,’ he says. In terms of decoration, Laura Kelway-Bamber, creative director at The Headboard Workshop (theheadboardworkshop.co.uk) adds, ‘as a rule of thumb, if you have an exciting fabric, keep the shape of your headboard simple. If the fabric is plain, go for a more exotic shape, or add buttons, studs or contrast piping.’
How should it be mounted? Smaller designs can be attached directly to the bed, but larger headboards should be wall mounted. ‘This prevents movement,’ says Kelway-Bamber. The Headboard Workshop can provide suitable struts or a batten mounting system; alternatively you can pick up a pair of concealed fixing brackets for as little as £5.70 on Amazon (amazon.co.uk). Wall mounting is also space-efficient, as you can push the bed right up against the wall and allow the headboard to sit on top.
How do I protect a fabric headboard from marks and stains? Treat it with an upholstery protector spray such as Scotchgard (scotchgard.com) or choose a model with a removable cover that can be machine washed.
How much would a bespoke headboard for a double bed cost? Expect to pay from around £200 for a simple design in a plain fabric.
Words: Claudia Baillie
Picture: Broste Copenhagen