Pleating to Pattern
One of the hallmarks of custom drapery fabrication of a patterned fabric into window treatments is “Pleating to Pattern.” Simply said, the layout of the fabric into pleats takes the fabric’s pattern into primary consideration, and this Custom technique (yes, with a capital C) is standard at Center Stage Interior Designs. Because you will find that the pleats make a pattern of their own too.
Here is an example of a ready-made drapery from Ballard Designs that is NOT pleated to pattern. It’s a great fabric, one which my client Nicole (and I) absolutely adored to go with her living room painted in Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue (HC-143).
But…the fabric looks a bit slouchy on the window, and the haphazard pleating scheme was definitely not the tailored look my client wanted. So, here is the way I fabricated Nicole’s draperies “Pleated to Pattern.”
Here is another example of a gorgeous geometric fabric pleated to pattern in a dining room:
And, finally, a photo of an otherwise gorgeous room that has, regrettably, NOT pleated their custom draperies to pattern. I put this in the “what were they thinking category?” This photo is from Elle Décor Magazine, and their caption states,
“In the master bedroom of an apartment on NY’s Upper East Side designed by Brian McCarthy, the armchair upholstery and linen curtains from Quadrille are custom printed with a fern-like pattern.”
Well…in my opinion, if you get CUSTOM-PRINTED fabric, you should be able to control the pattern repeat so your custom draperies would be pleated to pattern. Can’t imagine how much this room costs, and really, I just love all the elements (maybe minus the zebra head). However, their custom workroom should have advised them of the pleating issue, and the designer/workroom team could have figured out a way to make the fabric work better. As a drapery fabricator and designer, I want to take these draperies back to my own fabrication studio in Sudbury and make them perfect…
That’s it for our lesson of Pleating to Pattern. May all your patterns be pleasant and draperies pleasantly-pleated!
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Barbara Phillips, interior designer and owner of Center Stage Interior Designs, has delivered impeccable window treatments and design services to both residential and commercial clients in Massachusetts since 2001.