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  • Roman Blinds

    This thread is designed to help you to understand the concept of making a roman blind.

    As always it will be broken down int 4 basic elements.


    ..............Designing the blind


    ..........................Calculating the folds


    ............................................Setting out the work


    .................................................. ..............Making the blind


    First we need to decide just what it is we want to make. There are three basic elements to consider.



    Firstly

    A plain blind with all the folds equal and level at the bottom

    or

    A blind with cascading folds



    Secondly

    With Plain fabric

    or

    with patterned fabric


    Thirdly

    To fit inside the reveals of the window

    or

    To fit outside the window reveals on the face of the wall


    Here are some examples of blinds made with plain and patterned fabric, cascading and plain at the bottom.


    Patterned fabric with cascading folds
    .


    Plain fabric with cascading folds



    Striped fabric with even folds



    Patterned fabric with cascading folds


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    So let's start at the beginning by providing some measurements to work with


    When taking measurements from inside the window reveals allow 1cm at each side and the bottom to provide the finished blind with a little bit of running clearance.
    .......................................

    When taking measurements from outside the reveal decide how far the blind is to sit from the ceiling and measure from this point down to where the blind will come to rest 1cm above the window board or where it will come to if it is to pass the window board. The width of the blind should be around 5cm wider than the window opening at each side albeit there is no hard and fast rule here as it can be as wide as you require it to be.

    ........................................


    The next measurement you need to have in mind is how deep the blind should be when it is viewed as a sort of pelmet when it is pulled up to its highest position. This is a very important measurement as it will affect the whole of the design and will provide you with a definitive point to calculate to as we move on to the design calculation stage.

    Here are two simple blinds one fitted inside the reveals and one sitting outside the opening on the face of the wall.








    The mechanism of a plain corded blind is quite simple and is constructed from a piece of wooden batten about 20 to 25 mm square with a piece of sticky hook side Velcro attached to the face. The cords are guided by screw eyes placed at intervals of approximately 50cm with a further screw eye screwed into the batten at the very end on the side that the you wish the cord to be drawn up from. Here you can see a blind hanging from a pelmet board in my workroom. The brass eyes are screwed up into the board as they would be into the batten.
    ....................


    After we have taken the required measurements we need to start the calculations for the folds. After this we need to create our setting out measurements and then we need to make a cutting list for our materials.

    The process of the work flow is quite important here. When we are making curtains we cut, seam and hem our linings, then we cut our interlining and lastly we seam our face fabric which stays on the bench to be worked on.

    The work flow is back to front with roman blinds and and we will cut out face fabric, turn and pin our two side turnings and place this fabric over the rail. Next we will cut our interlining and after this we will cut our piece of lining. This piece of lining stays on the bench as it is where all the setting out work and most of the machine sewing is carried out. One slip here and the job is ruined. A perfectly prepared lining will usually result in a perfectly formed blind but there's many a slip twix cup and lip so we need to carry out each operation with the utmost care. Making roman blinds is more akin to fabric engineering than curtain making so we must check and recheck our measurements and at every possible opportunity through the procedure.

    The calculations that we make will be in two parts. The first part will provide the design and the second part will provide us with the measurements for setting out the lining. The setting out measurements will result in a number of pins placed down the side of the lining which will look like the next picture.



    So now we have an idea of where to start and we have taken some measurements we can move on the the design calculations and the setting out measurements.
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    Next...Design calculations and Setting out measurements
    Last edited by Classical Genesis; 08-10-2010, 06:44 PM.
    Learning together for profit or pleasure
    I could be unhappy with my life but someone keeps sending me spring

    Blog https://classicalgenesis.wordpress.com


  • #2
    Oh dear you make it look frighteningly simple I might just have to give a go once the Christams Market is out of the way and I have some time
    Karen
    www.angelicfolk.co.uk
    Bespoke clothing for your little angels
    http://angelicfolk.etsy.com
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/angelic.folk?ref=profile

    Comment


    • #3
      Clive, are you having a problem loading something, I notice you have deleted some posts. Anything we can help with.
      By the way, I have just printed off all your instructions so will be having a go - prob. next month.
      Carol
      God helps them that help themselves.

      Comment


      • #4
        No Carol, no problems here I have just been resizing some pictures for the next post and I keep making a hash of it so I wanted to see what they would look like on the finished post. I think I have got it nearly right now so thanks for asking. Next post in about 15 mins...............C
        Learning together for profit or pleasure
        I could be unhappy with my life but someone keeps sending me spring

        Blog https://classicalgenesis.wordpress.com

        Comment


        • #5
          OK. I'll go back to sleep then.
          Carol
          God helps them that help themselves.

          Comment


          • #6
            Design Calculations and Setting out

            Calculation 1

            Designing and setting out a plain blind with equal folds

            Armed with the finished drop of the blind and an idea of how deep we want the blind to be when we pull it up to its highest point we can start to do some calculations.

            The first thing we need to do is to draw, on a plain sheet of paper the schematic shape of the end of the blind which is shown in the top picture below.

            This will enable us to start to put in our minds the shape of the finished blind. You don't need to draw the mechanism pieces like the batten and the rod but you do need to measure all the components you will use to make up the mechanism and add them together.

            The standard fabric allowance for a rod pocket is 25mm which when folded in half to make the pocket and containing the rod will calculate to 12mm.

            The ring you sew on the edge of the pocket will be around 13mm but this can vary.

            The screw eye should be quite a large one as small screw eyes produce more friction on the cord and breakages will occur more often if you use small eyes. The size I use is 15mm

            The batten may vary but if you buy small battens from B&Q or Homebase they will normally work out at around 20mm square

            These measurements added together + 5mm for final adjustment of the blind make 65mm and this is the first measurement which I need to enter into the calculation as you will see in the second picture.

            It is important for you to measure all the components you intend to use and add them up together for your own calculation.

            Look at the first picture below and make sure you understand what I have drawn.




            You will see that I have entered the measurement of 65mm in the drawing below. This is the volume of fabric which sits and does nothing but cover up the lifting mechanism of the blind.

            In a blind with equal folds all the remaining fabric below 65mm is drawn up into equal panels and it is this amount of fabric which we need to divide into sections. The schematic drawing below consists of 7 vertical lines. Two of these lines form each of the first three folds of fabric and the last line forms the tail of the blind.

            Unlike the calculations for a cascading blind which provides infinite control, the only way to control the depth of the blind with equal folds is to add or deduct rod pockets. More rod pockets will produce more folds making them shorter and less rod pockets will produce less folds making them longer. i.e. 2 rod pockets will make 5 upright lines in the drawing and 4 rod pockets will make 9 upright lines. The corresponding division sum will produce a higher or lower value.

            In this example I have opted for 3 rod pockets therefore my division will be by 7. If you want to try this calculation yourself using 5 or 9 you will see how much the blind is shortened or lengthened by adding or subtracting rod pockets.





            Now we have, successfully carried out our design calculations and we are satisfied with the drop or depth of our blind when it is pulled up to to its highest point we can move on to our setting out measurements.

            It is vital that we do not step off these measurements down the side of the blind by pinning and then moving the ruler each time we move to the next pin.

            You will see that I have marked the top of the blind as A and the bottom of the tail as E. The points in between are the positions which the rod pockets must be inserted and firstly we must calculate the distances between points A - B - C etc.

            The simple arithmetic is set out on the right of the drawing and then these numbers are transferred to the bottom of the page. You will note that at points B - C - D I have inserted a rod pocket marked R/P.

            After I have written down these measurements I will produce one further line of numbers beneath where I add the numbers consecutively so that I can use one long rule or steel tape laid alongside my lining enabling me to place my pins in the lining at precisely the correct points to form my rod pockets.

            You will note that I have written sanity check against the last number at the very bottom of the blind, point E, This is because I need to check the accuracy of my final calculation and this final total represents the finished drop of the blind plus the measurements of the three rod pockets. If I deduct the rod pocket measurements from this figure it must be the same as the finished drop of my blind. If it isn't then I will go back through my calculations and find out where I have gone wrong





            The green line of measurements will now be represented by the line of pins that we place into the side of the lining prior to folding, pinning and sewing our rod pockets.



            Next... Design calculations and setting out measurements for cascading roman blinds
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            Last edited by Classical Genesis; 07-10-2010, 07:38 PM.
            Learning together for profit or pleasure
            I could be unhappy with my life but someone keeps sending me spring

            Blog https://classicalgenesis.wordpress.com

            Comment


            • #7
              A roman blind is simply a flat piece of fabric pulled into horizontal folds enabling, when lifted, the entry of light into the room and a view of the outside world from within. It is, in reality, the simplest form of achieving these two objectives.

              The beauty of the product lies in the simplicity of its form. Whilst the craft element is quite straightforward the design and calculation of the folds appears to give most curtain makers severe heartburn, consequently very few commercial blinds are produced which offer any inspiration.

              The art of producing an elegantly cascading blind lies firstly with the curtain maker’s eye for proportion and elegance and secondly his or hers mathematical ability to calculate the volume of fabric in each of the folds and produce a list of measurements by which to set out the rod positions in the lining.

              As we discovered in the previous lesson, when designing a plain blind with all the folds level at the bottom the only form of control that can be exercised to make the blind longer or shorter when it is pulled up into its highest position is to increase or decrease the number of rod pockets thus increasing or decreasing the number of folded sections which then become longer or shorter respectively.

              A cascading blind is different however as the extra dimension of the folded fabric provides us with infinite control over the proportion of the folded sections of the blind when it is pulled into its highest position.

              In the picture below you will see the schematic shape of a cascading roman blind viewed, as in the previous lesson, from the end of the blind showing each of the folds of fabric. The lifting mechanism being used in this calculation is a rotary fitting which will, therefore, take up a little more room at the top of the blind.



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              In the last calculation we deducted the volume of fabric which covers the mechanism at the top of the blind and divided the remainder of the fabric into 7 equal sections or panels.

              In this calculation we are going to do something very similar but to arrive at the volume of fabric contained in the green section below we must now deduct the volume of fabric both above and below. This will enable us to divide again by 7 and arrive at a value for each of the sections or panels in the centre, green, section
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              We now need to assign some values to this blind.

              Firstly the volume of fabric covering the mechanism. In this instance the measurement is 110mm (11cm)

              Next we must determine the overall drop of the blind. This is 1.518 metres

              Now we must decide how far down the window the blind will drop when we pull it up into its highest position. We will set this as a target and alter our calculations until we arrive at the correct measurement. My target drop is 450mm (45cm)

              For the first calculation we can set the cascade at a fairly small measurement. This will give us an indication of how to adjust the calculation in favour of our target measurement. We will set the cascade at 25mm (2.5cm)
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              The pelmet drop of this blind is 354mm

              After deducting the volume of fabric which sits outside the centre section we can deduct this total from the dead drop or finished drop of the blind.

              This will leave the volume of fabric which is to be divided by 7, each of these divisions representing one section or panel of fabric through the centre.

              You will note that when you add up all the measurements from the top of the blind to the bottom of the cascading sections, the measurements add up to 354mm. The target measurement was 450mm so the design is carrying insufficient depth and the calculations will need to be rearranged.

              If however we had designed this blind with a target depth of around 350mm then we would probably be satisfied with this calculation and we could proceed with the setting out calculations.

              As we did in the calculations for a plain blind we need to add up the measurements and place them in a line at the bottom of the page so that we can produce our setting out measurements. Add the measurements from A to B and then B to C etc through to E.

              Now all we need to do is to add them up consecutively and take the list to the bench to set out our lining.
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              Here are the measurements set out along the edge of the lining so that you can form the rod pockets accurately.
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              .Next week - How to adjust your calculations to meet your target drop
              Last edited by Classical Genesis; 05-11-2010, 05:48 PM.
              Learning together for profit or pleasure
              I could be unhappy with my life but someone keeps sending me spring

              Blog https://classicalgenesis.wordpress.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Adjusting calculations to meet the target pelmet drop

                A roman blind is simply a flat piece of fabric pulled into horizontal folds enabling the entry of light into the room and a view of the outside world from within. It is, in reality, the simplest form of achieving these two objectives.

                The beauty of the product lies in the simplicity of its form. Whilst the craft element is quite straightforward and the design and calculation of the folds appears to give most curtain makers severe heartburn, consequently very few commercial blinds are produced which offer any inspiration.

                The art of producing an elegantly cascading blind lies firstly with the curtain maker’s eye for proportion and elegance and secondly his or hers mathematical ability to calculate the volume of fabric in each of the folds and produce a list of measurements by which to set out the rod positions in the lining.

                As we discovered in the previous lesson, when designing a plain blind with all the folds level at the bottom the only form of control that can be exercised to make the blind longer or shorter when it is pulled up into its highest position is to increase or decrease the number of rod pockets thus increasing or decreasing the number of folded sections which then become longer or shorter respectively.

                A cascading blind is different however as the extra dimension of the folded fabric provides us with infinite control over the proportion of the folded sections of the blind when it is pulled into its highest position.

                In the previous example of a cascading blind calculation we failed to hit the target drop. In fact we ended up with a pelmet drop of 354mm instead of our intended 450mm, all in all a bit of a catastrophe from a design point of view.

                In this lesson we need to take a look at the methods which are available to us to adjust the folds so that the drop of the blind, when pulled up, is accurate to the target drop.

                Let’s go back to the beginning, to the measurements we take from the window and the wall before we attempt to design the blind

                These are always two measurements which we need to take before we start our calculations.

                1, the overall drop of the blind

                2, the drop of the blind when it is pulled up and folded into its highest position. This is a target measurement and we aim to get as close to this target measurement as possible when we calculate our folds.

                The width is, of course, an important measurement but it has no bearing on the calculations which need to be made to achieve your target measurement.

                Here is a sketch of the measurements we wanted to achieve in our first calculation.





                Here is the calculation we used to design it. The finished drop was 1.518 metres and our target pelmet drop (when the blind is pulled to its uppermost position) was 450mm.


                Unfortunately this design did not live up to expectations and the pelmet drop we ended up with was only 354mm. We need to look, therefore at adjusting the calculation to make the blind a little longer when it is pulled up to the top.

                If we extend the cascades the effect will be to add more fabric to the folded area and reduce the volume of fabric in the area which we will divide by 7.

                We will recalculate using 80mm as the measurement of each cascading fold. When we do this you will see that the pelmet drop is increased to 480mm which is probably as close to our target drop as we need to get.


                So, increasing the measurements in the cascade will increase the pelmet drop and decreasing the measurements will shorten it. This is the easiest way that we have to control the pelmet drop of the blind so that we can produce an elegant looking product.

                The second method is to reduce the number of rod pockets. We considered this when we looked at reducing of lengthening the drop of a plain roman blind.

                This method is more radical and will immediately produce a dramatic effect in the drop of the blind. If you can not achieve your target drop with three rod pockets then you may wish to recalculate using only 2. You will need to work backward and forwards throough these two options until you produce a design which you find most pleasing.
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                Next week - Choosing the materials to make your blind
                Learning together for profit or pleasure
                I could be unhappy with my life but someone keeps sending me spring

                Blog https://classicalgenesis.wordpress.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Materials and Mechanisms

                  Firstly we need to look at the various mechanisms currently in use which allow us to lift the roman blind into its pelmet like position at the top of the window.

                  It is important that whatever mechanism you use the blind lifts evenly and the folds of fabric are formed in straight lines.

                  The simplest and most traditional of these mechanisms is a corded mechanism. This consists of a wooden, plastic or composite batten, square or oblong in section which is fixed to either inside or outside the window reveal, if inside the reveal it can be fixed either to the window frame or the underside of the window opening. If the blind is to be hung on the face of the wall then the batten can be fixed either to the upright face of the wall or into the ceiling.

                  Another variation of cording can be found in tab top roman blinds where the blind is hung from tabs, as you would form in a tab top curtain. The screw eyes are fixed into the pole and sit, at intervals, beneath the tabs and the cords pass through eyelets or button hole like slots in the back of the tabs. I will endeavor to demonstrate this design later in the series.

                  The corded mechanism looks works in the following manner.




                  p



                  The materials involved in this type of mechanism are shown in the picture below.





                  Here is a roman blind face down with the batten fixed to the Velcro at the top of the blind. The cords are passing through the rings which are attached to the rod pockets.

                  The size of the batten is a matter of choice and can be varied according to how far the blind needs to protrude from the wall or window. Usually a small batten of around 20mm x 20mm is sufficient.





                  The next type of mechanism is a rotary fitting. Here the cord or chain drives a bar that winds up the tape evenly like a series of small fishing reels.


                  Here is a simple rotary type of fitting which is attached to the wall, ceiling or frame with small brackets in the same way that you would attach the wooden batten in a corded mechanism.

                  This fitting is a little deeper and takes up more space at the top of the blind





                  The most modern of these mechanisms is the cassette rail. The type shown below is small and compact with only fine cords to lift the blind. The mechanism works in a similar fashion as the last one but is much neater and will take up less space at the top of the blind



                  The cost of mounting your blind on a corded fitting will be around two or three pounds but both the rotary and the cassette type headrails can be quite expensive. It can cost infinitely more to purchase the mechanical fittings than all the materials and fabric will cost you to make your roman blind. My advice would be to shop around if you wish to use a rotary or cassette mechanism.

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                  To be continued
                  Last edited by Classical Genesis; 20-12-2010, 01:27 PM.
                  Learning together for profit or pleasure
                  I could be unhappy with my life but someone keeps sending me spring

                  Blog https://classicalgenesis.wordpress.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi,
                    I make roman blinds and own my own business called 'The Curtain House'.Mod Edit. This is not a sales platform, it is against the rules to advertise.
                    Last edited by Critchley; 24-03-2013, 06:50 PM.

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