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littljn
16-01-2009, 01:38 PM
I have made curtains for myself and would like to start a small business offering a curtain making service, however as I have had no formal training I feel it is important that I complete a professional curtain making course.

I live in Berkshire and am finding it difficult to find a course, all the ones I have found so far seem to be midlands based, which does not make it very easy for me. Can anyone recommend a course that is more local for me - I am not far from london so would consider travelling into London.

I have looked at the course run by the National Design Academy who offer Professional Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings' Diploma which can be done as a 'home study' course with an initial 'get started' 1 day tutorial. Has anyone got any experience of this, would you recommend this, or is it better to attend a course in person?

As well as gaining experience on making curtains I am also looking for advice on starting up the business, so if the course covers this also that would be great - probably asking too much though!!!

Thank you

Jane

sharon
16-01-2009, 04:58 PM
Hi

If you are going to be doing curtains professionally I would definately recommend going on a course - there will be loads of questions you need answering & the other students will have questions that you hadn't even thought of. You'll also pick up shortcuts from the tutor as well. Look on it as re-training for a different career - a course lasting 2 to 4 days should cost between 180 - 360 plus B&B of about 30-40 per night. You may be able to claim the cost of travel, course fees & lodgings (but not meals) against your tax return.

I did soft furnishings professionally for about 6 yrs & am so glad I went on a course to learn the techniques hands-on rather from a book. You can use the books as back up.

I would recommend either CFF (Cambridge Fine Furnishings) or Merrick & Day for courses, & Merrick & Day's Encyclopedia of Curtains as a reference book. Be careful when you go on the courses that you don't go mad & buy loads of books - you don't need them!

Good Luck

Sharon

Critchley
16-01-2009, 05:01 PM
(welcome)Nice to see you here. Know what you mean about being professional. I make curtains for myself and friends - straight up and down ones but start talking about swags and thats me off. You will get some good advice here.

knitnstitchsue
16-01-2009, 05:50 PM
Professional Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings Course from the National Design Academy (http://www.nda.ac.uk/index2.php)

A friend completed it last year. She's been sewing for many years, but she said it taught her a lot.

calp
09-03-2009, 02:11 PM
Ready made curtains are really good for your windows and doors. It can make your windows more beautiful. There are many online shop for ready made curtains and curtain poles. You can easily buy it from there.

leannafowler
10-07-2011, 07:15 PM
i think its better to attend a course in person but if it doesn't fit your schedule then home study is a great option for you.

Flamboyant
29-02-2012, 11:30 AM
Hi Jane, just stumbled upon your post and was wondering if were still interested in mastering how to make bespoke curtains. I deliver short, 1-2-1 classes at my London based home studio. I'm an experienced soft furnisher and have been in the industry for almost 18 years. If you would like to run a curtain making industry, then I can help you with the necessary skills and advice. Remember, I can tailor lessons to meet your requirements.
Get in touch if you would like to discuss further

Best Wishes

Rosina




I have made curtains for myself and would like to start a small business offering a curtain making service, however as I have had no formal training I feel it is important that I complete a professional curtain making course.

I live in Berkshire and am finding it difficult to find a course, all the ones I have found so far seem to be midlands based, which does not make it very easy for me. Can anyone recommend a course that is more local for me - I am not far from london so would consider travelling into London.

I have looked at the course run by the National Design Academy who offer Professional Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings' Diploma which can be done as a 'home study' course with an initial 'get started' 1 day tutorial. Has anyone got any experience of this, would you recommend this, or is it better to attend a course in person?

As well as gaining experience on making curtains I am also looking for advice on starting up the business, so if the course covers this also that would be great - probably asking too much though!!!

Thank you

Jane

harpermagic
03-03-2012, 03:05 PM
What basic equipment can you recommend for curtain making, going to give it a go

Classical Genesis
04-03-2012, 11:51 AM
What basic equipment can you recommend for curtain making, going to give it a go
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http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn174/ClassicalGenesis/Curtain%20Training/Training1.jpg

Here is a picture of the tools most commonly used in curtain making, at least they are for me anyway.

1,Your bench is the first and the most important tool for you to have It provides you with a natural square shape with lines to work to and a padded surface with which to pin your work down to the bench surface. Without this you will be left scrabbling around on the floor trying to cut your fabric square and never acheiving it. Making curtains on a dining room table, however large your table is, can be a complete nightmare. Benches are quite easy to build really and I am happy to send drawings of a vatiety of ways to make them to anyone who asks. Here is a small PDF document you may find useful. http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/2699251/work-table-pdf-march-27-2011-3-48-pm-759k?da=y

2, T square and straight rulers. You can not have too many of these. They will invariably be of different lengths, widths and thicknesses which is a boon because you will always be able to turn to one of them for just the right measurement when you are adding a seam allowance or trimming off an edge of fabric here or there. It is imperative that when you buy rulers and tapes that they are all checked to the same length. It is an absolute tragedy when you take one tape to site to measure the drop of a curtain only to find that when you make the curtain using a different tape it is a cm too short because the tapes measure slightly differently.

3, Scissors, I prefer large tailors shears for general cutting out, a smaller pair for pattern cutting and of course there is always room for a pair of thread snips.

4, Pins, I use long 9.mm x 50mm glass headed pins and find these the best. It is easy to loose pins inside curtains ans these are visible and easier to find when misplaced. The volume and thickness of fabric being pinned when you are fixing your pleats can be quite heavy and small pins don't cope very well with this.

5, Magnetic pin cushions, these are quite wonderful and there is always one on my machine to receive discarded pins. I really can't imagine going back to little tubs full of pins.

6, Hand sewing thread and needles, I have found John James No. 7 extra long darners to be the best for curtain making they are slim, flexible and easy to hold especially when pushing through 18 layers of fabric when you are stitching triple pleats. Coats Terco size 36 (metric) hand sewing thread is a superb example of hand sewing thread. I have been using this particular thread for over 10 years and cannot speak highly enough of it.

7, A pencil for marking out, I prefer a propelling pencil with a .9mm lead. These are a little difficult to come by but are usually available in Rymans or the like. Be careful here as they are made in three sizes, .5mm, .7mm, .9mm, the first two are not strong enough and the leads will snap with very little pressure. I tend to shy away from tailors chalk as it is difficult to remove the excess marks, disappearing markers either don't disappear on light fabric or disappear so quickly you hardly have tome to cut along the mark. When cutting out dark fabric you may need to bring a silver of gold roller ball or gell pen to the bench to mark a one off line but generally ink is banned from my bench for obvious reasons.

Kind regards Clive