curtains Archive

Juliet Fishenden

If you are looking for a curtain or blind maker, then you’ve come to the right place. Despite one of our customers saying that it’s “…almost a shame to hang the curtains on them, the rods look so good as they are,” our curtain poles are crafted with curtains in mind. And we are thrilled to be working with one of the best curtain makers out there.

Natalie Canning has a passion for exquisite window treatments. She is a renowned specialist in the design and creation of beautiful, unique curtains, blinds and soft furnishings. She founded Natalie Canning, The Soft Furnishing Experts in 2005 and has developed a reputation for her ability and dedication to the craft.

Natalie is continually working with Made by the Forge as her customers love the clean lines and simplicity of our made to measure iron poles. Richard often creates bespoke brackets to accommodate the unusual shapes and dimensions of the windows Natalie has to work with.

Traditional skills and expertise form the cornerstone of every project Natalie undertakes. She works with the finest fabrics, a talented close knit team of seamstresses and exacting standards. This commitment and devotion ensures beautiful results every time.

If you want to arrange a consultation contact Natalie at https://nataliecanning.co.uk/pages/contact-us

Make a window, make a room!

 

Juliet Fishenden

Natalie Canning is passionate about beautiful materials and we are delighted to share her 5 top tips to help you choose the best curtain and blind fabric for your home.

1.    CONSIDER THE LOCATION

  • If the window is in a sunny location, does your curtain fabric or blind fabric need to be thick enough to reduce some of the light?  Would you prefer a lightweight material offering privacy but still allow the light to come through?
  • Silk fabric is always a luxurious choice but will rot if exposed to sunlight…always interline and line silk curtains or silk blinds.
  • Is the window draughty?  Heavy weight curtain fabrics or blind fabrics help reduce draughts.  Lighter weight materials may still be used but it would be advisable to line and interline them.
  • What is the style of the room?  Country home or contemporary? Consider patterns and colour.

 

CustImage1Thumper finial above.

 

2.   CURTAINS OR BLINDS?

  • A heavy cotton fabric will hold it’s shape beautifully in a roman blind, whereas a lightweight fabric will appear more floppy and potentially lose shape over time.
  • If the material has a pattern consider how it will look on the finished item e.g. if the pattern is large, will you see enough of it in your chosen window dressing?
  • Far more fabric is required for making curtains, than roman blinds see 3. below.

 

my-home-unboxedHoney Dipper finial above.

 

3.  THINK ABOUT YOUR BUDGET

  • If you are trying to keep your costs down, I would recommend that you buy inexpensive fabric for making curtains but have them lined and interlined for that luxury feel.  A more expensive coordinating fabric can then be used for smaller items e.g. cushions or roman blinds to complete the overall scheme.

 

Curtain in alcoveRecess Pole above.

 

4.   MEASURE

  • Always measure your windows with a metal rule.
  • Measure once, write down the amounts, then measure again to be sure.
  • Always check the width of the fabric you are going to buy as these can vary greatly.

Please use this link to see Natalie Canning’s helpful measuring guides for How to measure for curtains and How to measure for roman blinds.

 

5.   ALWAYS LOOK AT A FABRIC SAMPLE

  • Before you buy your curtain fabric or blind fabric, it is always best to order a fabric sample.  This allows you to see and feel the material before you make a decision to buy.
  • If you are buying curtain fabric or blind fabric, hold your fabric sample up to the light in the position you would like it to be. For all soft furnishing fabrics place the fabric sample next to any other colours and patterns that will be used in the room.

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@nataliecanning.co.uk.”

If you are considering Made by the Forge’s solid curtain poles and finials we are always happy to help. These poles are made to measure especially for you too.

 

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.

silkwormsBlog

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.

singlesilkwormcocoon

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

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

Juliet Fishenden

One of our customers lives in an old cottage and is used to draughts but the one through the front door into the hall was becoming a problem. Richard made her a new curtain pole and Cannon Ball finial to replace the old wooden one which didn’t support a thick curtain very well as the fixings were not strong enough and were pulling away from the plaster.
MBTF_hot cannonball

“With a recess bracket on the left the curtain can sit tight to the wall now and the strong solid pole with a robust bracket supports a heavier curtain. With a classic Cannonball finial it looks really smart and adds a finishing touch”. Thanks G from Suffolk
Cannon Ball Finial on slate
Made by the Forge’s Style Tip: We in the office felt that, if there was enough room, the curtain and space may benefit from a tie back hook and a separate tie back. In the summer months when we look for drafts the curtain neatly tucked away could be of benefit. There are lots of different options for tie backs. They can be made from the same curtain material or there are many tassels on the market to choose from. A door curtain can have that finishing touch and be really quite decorative.
tie-back-hook-01

We at Made by the Forge are always keen to pick up any design tips for window dressing. Designers say that if the window in your room is the best feature then hanging patterned curtains will draw attention and highlight the space even more.

989eba5ab44a8db116525fb87b0228d3

Take care though to hang the curtains so they can be drawn right back past the frame to show off the window and make the most of the light.

19fde165e9754b75b26340fbca800272