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  1. #1
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    Question Fabric quantities

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    Hello all,

    I've recently changed my focus of business to be interior design. From the few possible customers I've come across it seems curtain making/blind making is the thing people are interested in.

    I've nearly finsihed my curtain making course and have worked in a soft furnishings shop. I know from my study that a lot (not all but a lot of) types of headings you should allow 2 - 2.5 times width of window. However, when I then quote for people it always seems to be very expensive becuase that is so much fabric - even before you start adding on your labor costs etc. Has anyone come across this problem? I've thinking of people like my sis who needs handmade curtains rather than buying off the peg but won't want to spend a fortune. I just quoted her for not very big windows and all in it was about 100 just for fabric and linigs etc when the fabric was only about 5/m. I could use heading tape but do you always just do hand sewn pinch pleat?

    Any ideas??

    Sorry I don't know if that made any sense - but any thoughts/help much appreciated!!
    Caroline

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  2. #2
    AnnieAnna is offline Senior Member Super mega big crafter
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    I'm sure Clive will pop up in a minute and tell you all but I have met this problem with my costume making.
    What I do is offer them a choice.
    Eg. If you buy the fabric from a charity shop and do it yourself it'll cost you -not a lot. I can make you a very plain costume for so much, a more decorative one for so much more, if you wanted a highly decorated one it would cost - a lot.
    Psychologically if you give them lots of high prices they slide down to the cheaper options but don't usually choose the cheapest.
    And you make the cheap options look very boring and the dearer one very desirable....unless you can be clever and invent new styles of curtain?????

  3. #3
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    Dear Caroline

    If you are working with pencil pleat tape then anything upwards of 2 x fullness will normally be acceptable.

    If, however, you are hand pleating to reasonable proportions then fullness is not a term which is used for calculation purposes.

    The head of the curtain is divided into two distinct parts. The flat bits, which sit allong the pole or track and pointy outy bits which are called pleats.

    The accumulated measurement of the flat bits will always be a little longer than the pole as you have to take into consideration side turnings, a centre overlap for each curtain and a little ease into each of the spaces. You can't make this measurement any shorter as it represents the actual length of the pole plus a few necessary extra bits.

    Any additional fabric which is used from here on in will naturally be diverted into forming the pointy outy bits or pleats. This is where the fullness, for want of a better term, comes into being.

    The correct size of the space, including around 5% ease should be somewhere between 135mm and 150mm so you can divide the actual length of the pole up into spaces of around that size. For each space you will need one pleat. The amount of fabric in the pleat should exceed the size of the space by about a third so a space of say 150mm (15cm) will carry a pleat of around 200mm (20cm). This ensures a pleat space ratio of 4 over 3

    If you add up the amount of fabric used across a curtain, where the spaces are 150mm and the pleats are 200mm and convert this measurement into a ratio of fullness then you will find the average will be 2.7 times fullness.

    Compromise can always be made here but you will need to remember that any reduction in fabric can only be taken from the pleats as this is the only fabric which can be reduced.

    If your intention is to be a compitent curtain maker then my advice here would be to seperate issues. If cost is a problem for your client, even with fabric at 5.00 a metre, then stick to pencil pleat tape where compromise on fullness can be somewhat disguised. Do try not to confuse the terms hand made or hand crafted with the term made to measure.

    When you intend to create classic hand pleated curtains never compromise on either design or fabric quantities. There are many households in this country and even in this ecomomic climate where 1000 a window is a pretty normal price to pay for curtains albeit half of this cost is going into the fabric.

    Annies' point about offering choice is very relevent here

    The guidance written here pertains only to the most basic plain fabric curtains. Working with patterned fabric and pleating curtains by pattern design is in an entirely different league.

    I hope this helps to put things into perspective.......................Clive
    Last edited by Classical Genesis; 08-12-2010 at 10:54 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Default Eyelet spacing

    I think this depends a little on just how you are going about applying the eylets to the curtain D-D.

    If you are using eyelet tape the eyelets will normally be spaced at around 120mm. The fullness ratio here will depend upon how deeply corrugated you want the curtain to look when it is drawn to the centre. These tapes generally cater for ratios of 2 to 2.25 times fullness but, of course, if you prefer you can easily compress more fabric into the curtain.

    If you were to be making curtains and stamping the eyelets yourself then you would have more choice. If you are using patterned fabric and pleating by design with a horizontal pattern repeat of 34/35cm then the resulting fullness ration would be in the order of 2.7 times and you would probabably want to use a similar ratio if you were using plain fabric.

    It all depends on just how sumptuous you want the finished job to appear.

    .............................Clive
    Last edited by Classical Genesis; 11-12-2010 at 12:46 PM.

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    It is a bit like dresses - some people love buying from Primark, others from designer names. They are not usually interchangeable.

    You can make curtain headings like handmade cartridge and inverted pleats with slightly less fullness, but most taped headings need a minimum of 2x fullness.

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    Wondered when you would pop up again Schuby?

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    Seems you didn't need to ask the question then D-D, with such a well informed reply

    Good luck you two........................Clive
    Last edited by Classical Genesis; 17-12-2010 at 01:13 PM.

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