View Full Version : workroom tools

01-02-2010, 12:29 AM
Hello I'm new to the forum and hope someone can help. I was talking to someone recently who attended a curtain making course and the trainer had a brilliant method of using flat stainless steel straight edges for making the the hems of the curtains. I think they were about 2m long and 3.5cm and 7.5cm wide. Does anyone know where you can purchase these from. I didn't manage to find out which course the lady attended. I've looked on the Merrick and Day website but they don't sell anything like this.

Many thanks

03-02-2010, 11:41 AM
Try Jones & Co of Nottingham.

I tried them years ago but found them a bit fiddly to use on a long stretch of hem (such as double/triple width curtains) - I preferred to measure up from the raw edge & then fold back.

03-02-2010, 01:44 PM
Or buy a plank of wood, or get a bit of melamine cut...?

20-02-2010, 04:53 PM
I've just had some aluminium ones made at Smith Metal Services who are based in Worsley, Manchester. Takes about 3 to 5 days and you can either collect them or have them delivered by Parcel Force. I paid around 25 for each strip, not cheap but well worth it in my opinion.

Classical Genesis
23-02-2010, 05:03 PM
Hi there, The trainer you are referring to is me Jane. I developed this as a hemming tool and have been pioneering these folding bars for quite a few years now. If you follow this link to the craft tutorials section of this forum you will see the folding bars being used on my workbench.


Most of the ladies I have trained have requested that I produce a saleable version of them as the only option is to go to an engineering workshop and get a set guillotined from a 2 metre sheet for quite a lot of money.

The reason that this has not happened to date has been twofold, firstly the price, the last set of 4 pieces I had made cost me over 100.00 which is not a cost I would like to pass on to my trainees. The second reason is that stainless steal has two properties which I don't like, 1, it is not very tensile and tends to bend a lot, 2, it transfers heat from the iron at too rapid a rate and the 2 metre length will deflect like a banana within milliseconds of heat being applied to it. Having said all this the folding bars are so fast to use on hems that even with these problems they can not be denied a place in the workroom.

EUREKA The problem is now solved.

In the last month I have found an engineering company who use a process of water and garnet to cut shapes electronically. This means I can now produce a set of 4 folding bars cut from 1.5mm very high grade tensile aluminum which will not bend through normal use, will not deflect through heat with normal use and will cost half the price. I pick up the first order of 20 sets on Friday and they will be available to trainees after I have checked each set for workmanship defect, straightness and cleanliness.

They may be available to purchase on my website soon but I've got to get the shop going first.


curtain maker
25-02-2010, 09:08 PM
Hello Jane

I find the best way to level fabric is to lay if out lined up with your cutting table and then use a set square and ruler to get your straight edge. Using the edge of your table to line the fabric up will make all the difference.

curtain maker
14-07-2010, 11:24 PM
Further to this thread I have recently purchased a 150cm long T square, this is an excellent tool for straightening the hems. I bought if from an online store called merrick and day. Cost me 40 but worth it.

Classical Genesis
15-07-2010, 09:44 AM
I used my Merrick and Day T square for turning hems for some years before I decided to have my own made but for a long time it did an excellent job and I was very thankful to have it around. The only problem I ever found with it was that the plastic T section got in the way a bit.

When I eventually had them made I had them cut at 2 metres long and a variety of widths, 75mm and 50mm for hems and 35mm for the side turnings on roman blind linings. After this things improved at a pace and I can now turn hems at lightning speed.

I have now secured a permanent supply of these which I pass on to my students for less than 50 for a set of 4.

curtain maker
15-07-2010, 11:30 AM
I have always used a length of steel, mine are 1.5 metres long and work very well but I'm an experienced curtain maker and can turn a hem without much thought. A T square is perfect for those with less experience, and the plastic T section makes it so much easier, you can line the fabric up with the table and the T section sits perfectly straight against the side of the table, giving a perfect straight hem line.

Like I say, I have both now, T square and lengths of steel, and I have to say, the T square wins for me. Thanks for your advise classical genesis, but not for me this time.. I'm converted!