Juliet Fishenden

There is something wonderfully decadent about silk. It is so beautiful to touch and always a delight to see framing a window or a cushion. It is a timeless, natural fabric which works well in soft furnishings for both contemporary and country home interiors.

Natalie Canning, a curtain and blind expert, generously shares her views on Dupion silk and the silk worm with us;

“Dupion silk is one of the most popular silk materials as it is easy to sew, drapes beautifully and is wrinkle resistant. It is created by two different silk worms spinning their cocoons closely together and their fibres tangling.


The thread created is rougher than other silk materials and the finished fabric contains bumps and irregularities called slubs which are part of its unique charm.

The humble silkworm is blissfully unaware of its importance to the natural fabric industry. It is said that a Chinese Empress discovered a silk worm’s white cocoon after it fell into her tea cup. The Empress was a keen weaver and after noticing a strand coming away from the fuzzy object she began to study it more closely. She unwound the cocoon into one long filament and the rest is history. The amazing silkworm caterpillar feeds on mulberry trees until it is ready to pupate and then uses huge silk producing glands to spin a cocoon. The clever caterpillar adds a protective gummy protein to the thread which makes the silk cocoon rigid.


The Chinese Empress had accidentally discovered a way to remove this hard coating and release the fine silk thread….immersion in hot water! Or in her case a cup of tea! The Chinese kept the source of this beautiful, natural silk thread secret for well over one thousand years. There were many speculations and theories but the penalty for sharing the secret was death!”

We love the contrast between dupion silk and our solid iron poles so if you would like some help combining the two we would love to hear from you.

3 poles for blog

Juliet Fishenden

Grand Designs – February 2016 – Made by the Forge Farrier’s Cage


Country Homes & Interiors – February 2016


Juliet Fishenden
Fire, hammer, anvil pic

We are forging ahead with new ideas for more wrought iron products which we will offer you in 2016. In the spring we will be meeting up with our collaboration partners Anthony Dickens, Gareth Neal, Chris Eckersley and William Warren to bring you the best of British design made by British blacksmiths.

Richard is looking forward to the festive holiday and seeing the new Star Wars movie!

Let the Forge be with you

If you have a project you would like us to quote for? We are always happy to help. If you have an idea, email a sketch and we can take a look and let you know if we can make it. Alternatively just call us on 01473 487118 to talk it through.

Juliet Fishenden
3 finials for blog

The new Made by the Forge brochure has arrived. If you would like one please just send us a note, with the address you would like it sent to, and we will post it to you.

It showcases all our ironwork products and is designed to give you ideas for styling your home.


If you need any help, just call us on 01473 487118 or email sales@madebytheforge.co.uk. We are always happy to answer any questions; we pride ourselves on an efficient caring service.

Made by the Forge is different because we believe in making high quality ironwork that will last and last. All curtain poles are made to measure, so a perfect fit for your window is guaranteed. Simply key in your measurements online, using our helpful measuring guide, and see the price before placing your order.

It is always comforting to know that a tree is planted for every product sold, the ironwork is hand-crafted in our Suffolk forge and the beeswax, we use to finish the ironwork, is collected straight from a local hive.

Juliet Fishenden
Curtain and tie back for blog

At Made by the Forge we love making wrought iron curtain poles. At Natalie Canning Interiors, Natalie loves making curtains and blinds. She has become a fan of our poles and we have become a fan of her absolutely fabulous, fabrics and creations!

Natalie's hands for blog

We have teamed up with Natalie so that we can shed some light on the most commonly answered questions regarding all things concerning curtains. For this post Natalie focuses on interlining and sheds some light on exactly what it is and the reasons for using it. She has a wealth of experience and is the perfect person to advise us on how to get the most from our window treatments.


Interlining is an additional layer of soft, flexible fabric which is secured between your face fabric and lining.
It comes in various weights and can be made up of natural or man made fibres.

Interling for blog


The top answer (from Natalie’s point of view): is the difference between having luxurious, full bodied curtains that hang beautifully and having thin, listless curtains that struggle to drape in any way at all.
Interlining is also a great insulator, keeping the heat in and the cold out. It is a bit like hanging a lightweight but very warm blanket at your windows. This is the perfect solution for your window treatments if you live in an old property or a country home with draughty, single glazed windows.

In addition to all of this, interlining protects your face fabric from the sun. This is a vital requirement if you are using natural fabric silk in your curtains or blinds as the fibres will rot if exposed to the sun.

Natalie Canning offers a medium and heavy weight no shrink interlining (some interlinings shrink if exposed to even the tiniest bit of moisture). These two weights should suit most of your soft furnishings requirements.

Natalie takes great pride in designing and producing, the most beautiful and unique soft furnishings. She is always available in her Suffolk work room to discuss ideas and requirements. All of her curtains and blinds are hand made to the highest standards using traditional skills and craftsmanship. Contact Natalie on 01379 668170 or natalie@nataliecanninginteriors.co.uk.”

Curtain and tie back for blog

Juliet Fishenden
Autumn tree colours

Our relationship with nature still features as a keen trend in interiors at the moment – maybe as an alternative to all our modern day screen time! With the beautiful autumn colours all around us we are certainly noticing the changing of the seasons. Natural materials are still very fashionable in curtain fabrics and throws; texture is also very sought after with lots of layering of heavy cottons and rustic linens. Our tie back hooks are a great way to add decorative fabric tie backs to your curtains, which keep curtains looking neat when drawn back, and add a perfect finishing touch.

fabrics and tieback

All our curtain pole collection is inspired by nature, from the Ram’s Horn finial to the Ball and Twisted Cage. The complete range is handcrafted and finished in either traditional matt black paint or locally sourced, natural beeswax.

rams horn 600x300

Twisted vine 600x300

Our range of finials also includes the Cannon Ball, the Honey Dipper (shown below from one of our happy customers), the Thumper and the Button. Our poles are 20mm solid iron rather than hollow so can support heavy winter curtains. Every pole is made to your measurements and if you need help there is a helpful measuring up video. There is also an easy pricing guide which works out how much your individual poles are going to cost. If you need any help we are always willing to answer any questions on 01473 487118.


Juliet Fishenden
Blog - tree lined road

Table and bench display Heal's

Using mixed materials to create something different has brought a wow factor to the above table and bench. The wrought iron legs are hand forged in our Suffolk forge using traditional, age old skills. There has been a lot of interest in the Tree to Table range which is a collaboration between Made by the Forge and the designers Anthony Dickens and Sebastian Cox.

Made by the Forge already plant a tree for every product they sell and have pledged to plant a tree for every table or bench sold. The planting takes place in Suffolk with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

The table and bench are available to view at the Celebration of Wood event in Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road store now. You have a choice of 4 beautiful table and bench tops, Ash, Sycamore, Beech or Oak, hand picked by Sebastian, and completely unique. The official launch is Spring 2016 but they are available to order by special arrangement.

Table and bench frame(blog)

Juliet Fishenden

Foraging in the hedgerow is a deeply satisfying pursuit. One that takes us out of doors and makes us marvel at what nature provides us and the birds. Yesterday, 23rd September, was officially the first day of autumn and this time of year brings us many foods for free.


Blackberries are everywhere in the hedgerows right now. They are fabulous eaten straight from the hedge, wind in hair, sun on face! We are snacking on blackberries, adding them to smoothies and using them to make delicious, homemade, blackberry and apple crumble. There are so many available it is also the time to look for recipes for jam and jelly. We will be using this one below and no doubt putting it on the table on Christmas Day!

Hedgerow jelly

Juliet Fishenden
Trees being planted for blog

In the Spring of 2015 Made by the Forge donated money again, from each product sold, to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. This helped to buy trees to plant on newly acquired land at Ager Fen.

Singing Wren by Stewart McDonald

SWT purpose is to help regenerate this land, which has been extensively farmed, and let nature return and thrive. The trees were planted by volunteers so all the money we gave the Trust was spent on trees which is what our tree planting pledge is all about.

Trees being planted + truck

Below is a recent update from Will Cranstoun the West Suffolk Sites Manager.

” The trees at Grove Farm have established themselves well in somewhat hot and dry conditions. We (the reserve staff) have been going over frequently to water them making sure their roots get off to the best start. We also placed bark chippings around their base to retain moisture and stop the ground drying out. As you may be aware we have also substantially protected the trees from deer browsing by means of wooden tree guards. I’m sure they will go for from strength to strength, moreover with all the recent rain and dare I say it a mild winter I have heard being forecast. ”

Solo Tree SWT

Juliet Fishenden
Mailcoach1000 copy

If you are thinking of restyling a room and your window needs a curtain pole we can offer some poles immediately. For that desperate rush when one needs to get a pole fast we can now offer you a variety of express pole kits.
Express poles
You can now order the same handcrafted quality in a pre-defined size, shipped to you to arrive within 48 hours if you are in the UK. This is ideal if you decide to do a quick make over for those short notice visitors!
hot cannonball
The packs feature our popular Cannon Ball or Button finials in 1.2 metre, 1.5 metre or 1.8 metre lengths complete with all brackets, rings, fixings and a pictorial guide to help you put the pole up.

Please note that if you order at the weekend or on a Friday then your poles would be despatched on Monday to arrive with you on Tuesday.

Below is the Button finial curtain pole.
Button beeswax