Thread – Something so small is so important to a successful sewing project. In this blog post we will share with you our favorite types of thread. This list doesn’t include every thread out there so if your favorite isn’t here please tell us what it is in the comments below.
First there is the thread work horse that we have all used forever – Coats and Clark All Purpose sewing thread. It’s great for everything from clothing to bed skirts and comes in a zillion colors.
Serger thread on cones is also another universal thread with the same uses and size as Coats and Clark.
#69 Bonded nylon upholstery thread Tex 70. Love this one! This ultra strong has a variety of uses from slipcovers to really thick drapery pleats and comes in many colors but not as many as regular sewing thread. The outdoor version has only a few basic colors. This thread works best in industrial walking foot sewing machines because it is too thick for most machines.
Gutterman Skala 200 dtex 150(1) thread blind stitch thread and Serafil 200/2 blind stitch thread are both great for blind hemmers. I also use them for hand stitching drapery panel side hems and hand sewing trim. They are very fine but also very strong.
Button thread #16 Tex 106 is an extra strong glazed cotton thread and comes in more than two dozen colors. Although it has many uses we love this one for sewing shade rings on roman shades. It holds a knot very well.
Silamide Waxed Hand Sewing thread comes in skeins and is great for hand sewing.
These are just a few of the many threads that are available to us. Each thread also has many different applications. What are your favorite threads and how do you use them? Please let us know in the comment section below.
Threads and fabrics are the two most common and important elements in all types of sewing. In fabricating soft furnishings for the home, it is necessary for a good finished product to use elements that are suited for the application.
Let’s talk about thread. Using the correct thread can be the difference between success and failure. We wouldn’t use upholstery thread for sheers or a fine hand sewing thread for slipcovers. Therefore, it is important to know the correct size or weight of thread to use for each item to be sewn.
What is thread weight? We all see those numbers next to the thread name. Did you ever wonder what those numbers mean? Thread is weighed or measured in 5 different ways: Weight (WT), Denier (Td or d), Tex (T), Number, and Composition.
Weight is a length measurement and is determined by measuring the length of one gram of thread. If one gram of thread is 30 meters long then it is 30 weight thread. The higher the number the finer the thread.
Denier is also a thread length measurement and is the weight of 9000 meters of thread. The larger the denier number, the heavier the thread.
Tex is the most consistent of the thread measurement systems. It measures 1000 meters of thread in grams. One thousand meters of thread that weighs one gram is 1Tex. The higher the Tex number the thicker the thread.
The Number System was developed in Japan and is called the Gunze Count system. It is used on finer thread and should not be confused with a weight measurement. It is designated as No. 50 or #50 for example. The smaller the number the heavier the thread is.
The Composition Standard was developed for cotton thread but has also been used for polyester. This can be confusing because a cotton thread and a polyester thread with the similar numbers aren’t always exactly the same. Compare cotton to cotton and polyester to polyester. Let’s look at a 30/3 thread. The first number is the same as the Number System explained above. The second number is the number of plies of thread twisted together. For our example, a 30/3 thread is a No. 30 thread with 3 plies twisted together.
So now that we know what those numbers mean, selecting the correct thread for the job is based on more than just guess work. With this knowledge we can also compare different threads for the qualities we need knowing that the job will go easier with the correct thread. Knowledge saves us time and money.
Shaped bandings are a beautiful custom detail for roman shades, valances, draperies or pillow flanges. In this latest article in WFVisions Magazine we explain how to add a shaped band to a roman shade that will result in a shaped facing on the back as well as the front. Click the link below to read the entire article. You can find other industry related articles at Window Fashion Vision.
Ever get confused when the workroom or installer asks you what the hardware return is? Or what projection do you want on that valance?
Projection and return are two different things. The best way to explain it is this way. Projection is going from the wall out. Return is going back to the wall.
Drapery hardware projection and return are shown in the diagram above. As you can see, the projection is the whole bracket measurement from the back of the bracket to the front. The return is measured from the middle of the rod back to the wall.
Fabric returns back to the wall. For drapery panels the return is the fabric on the panel side that folds back to the wall and blocks the light on the sides.
Boards and hardware project out from the wall. For board mounted window treatments, the projection is depth of the board. The return is the fabric that is on the sides of the board mounted window treatments.
Shutters and binds project out from the window.
Knowing the difference comes in to play when ordering hardware or specifying a valance that has to clear shutters or blinds.Here’s an example of what can happen if you don’t understand these terms.
A designer specified drapery hardware for a window with existing shutters. At the measuring appointment the workroom was told by the designer what the bracket return should be. Panels were fabricated with the return measurement that was given. But when ordering the drapery hardware, the designer thought that the bracket projection and return measurements were interchangeable. At the install, she was shocked to see that the bracket return was much too small for the panels to hang clear of the shutters. The panels would not clear the shutters and thus laid over the top of them.
For more information on drapery hardware please go to the Seamless Workroom blog and download the PDF titled Soft Furnishings Designer Basics Drapery Hardware Explained. See link below.
One part of our job as window treatment professionals is to calculate the correct yardage for traversing drapery panels. These calculations involve several steps.
First exact measurements of the window must be taken correctly and in all of the right places. Be sure to use a measuring sheet so that you will not forget any important information.
Secondly, the finished width, finished length and fullness are determined. This information will need to be discussed with the homeowner and/or designer to make sure the drapery will cover the area desired. (We will be using the measurement for the whole window width plus the amount of wall to be covered on each side.)
Thirdly, we need to know what fabric and linings will be used. Does the fabric have a repeat?
After this information is gathered, we are ready make our calculations.
- Multiply the finished width by the fullness amount and add 27”. Then divide this number by 54” to find out how many widths of fabric are needed.
- Add the hem and header measurements to the finished length to get the cut length.
- Divide the cut length by the fabric vertical repeat to find out how many repeats it will take to make up one cut length.
- Multiply the vertical repeat by the number of repeats to arrive at the total cut length. This will be longer than the cut length. Round up this number.
- Multiply the number of widths needed by the total cut length. Divide by 36” for the number of yards needed for the whole window.
Once the face fabric yardage has been calculated you must also calculate the lining yardage using the same method.
Want an easier, faster, and accurate way to calculate traversing panel drapery yardage?
Seamless Workroom Traversing Panel Workbook will do all of this and more for you. As fast as you can type in the basic information, the workbook will calculate your fabric and lining yardages and pricing, trim pricing and yardage, banding yardage, labor costs, hardware costs, miscellaneous costs and sales tax for you. It also includes a workorder form, installation information sheet and change order form.
Last month we were invited by Marcella Davis Burke, instructor at Central Piedmont Community College located in Charlotte, North Carolina, to present Introduction to Window Treatments to her Residential Interior Design class. After a brief discussion on what window treatments could include we delved into the topics of fabric suitability, linings, pattern repeats, railroaded fabric, pleat styles and drapery hardware. These students were so interested in all the topics that we could have talked all day and not covered everything! We hope we left them with the desire to learn more and become informed about window treatments and how they can be an excellent product to offer their clients. This was our second year presenting to Marcella’s class and we certainly look forward to future invites. It is so refreshing and invigorating to be around young and talented designers!
If you are interested in any to these topics, be sure to check out the Soft Furnishings Designer Basics section of our blog on our web site.
All our best,
Amanda and Rose Mary
This excel workbook will help track every detail of multiple projects from start to finish. Sections included are Jobs in Tracker, Job Details, Materials, Processes Completed, Pricing & Yardage/Meterage, Change Order & Remakes, and Vendors Used.
We have added many new features to our project tracker! Click the link to see how it works.
Rose Mary LeBlanc presented to the Interior Design students at Central Piedmont Community College on Tuesday, February 20th . (Amanda tagged along as her side kick and official photographer!) It was a great opportunity to discuss custom window treatments with these soon to be professionals in our industry. Thanks to Marcella Davis-Burke for inviting us into her class, we thoroughly enjoyed out time with them! And also thanks to Marcella for this wonderful note:
Rose Mary & Amanda did a FABULOUS job presenting window treatment basics to our class of budding designers! These industry professionals brought their talent, energy and enthusiasm to the class sparking a keen interest in the creative field of window treatment design. EVERYONE appreciated the gift of their time, knowledge and team building opportunity as they break into the field of interior design! HATS OFF to Rose Mary & Amanda!!!!