Custom Crafted Products

Caring for your Custom Drapery

Avoid surprises upon installation of your custom drapery and keep your treatments looking fresh.

The day has finally arrived. You got the call from your window treatment aficionado and your custom soft fashion window treatments arrived and are ready to be installed. After careful installation by a professional, you can’t wait for the unveiling of your custom drapery.

You take a peek and VOILA! Oh.

Something just doesn’t seem right. You hired somebody with experience, and you chose the fabrics you loved. You invested in custom, quality interior fashion that will provide your home with function and style for years to come, but you feel like your draperies just aren’t looking perfect. Before you gear up to make a frustrated call to your Dealer, take pause. 

Don’t panic!

Just give it time. Yes, wait it out.

The draperies you just purchased just went through a custom-crafted experience to get to your home. While creating your treatments at Lafayette, your fabrics were hand-measured and cut, pleats were hand folded, hems were sewed, lifting systems put in, quality checks were made, and then they were carefully shipped out to you and installed. We’d love to say this arduous creation process would leave your draperies sitting as pretty as can be as soon as you receive them, but they might need a little time to breathe. It can take up to a week for wrinkles to settle out of your custom treatments, so give it some time and see what happens. 

A note on pleated drapery: (Not applicable to stationary grommet panels that sit on a rod or fabric shades, so feel free to scroll past!) Breaking the buckram is key upon installation of pleated drapery in order for your treatments to slide back and forth on a track properly. A buckram is a stiff fabric that is folded and sewn into the top of a Pleated Drapery. It must be creased between each pleat for a drapery to traverse properly. Your installer should know all about this, but it’s good intel to have to ensure proper dressing.

Here are some Pleated Drapery Installs from our fabulous dealers to check out the buckram creases for yourself.

Feel free to check out our video on installing pleated drapery. It’s a little lengthy but has quality content if you’re interested in all the deets.

If you’re still worried:

Call your Lafayette Dealer – Whether that be your designer, your window treatment expert, or your installers. 

Your trusted treatment provider should make sure your window treatments are dressed properly before leaving your home and show you the tips and tricks to keep them looking good throughout the wears and tears of the day.

If you’re working with a window treatment expert, they should be able to help you navigate the fabrics, materials, styles and for your needs, as well as oversee installation. 

Get the look you need, and learn how to maintain it.

Before Purchasing:

If you have a room that needs window treatments to meet a certain demand, whether that be extreme sunlight, changing humidity, direct exposure to heating vents, or plenty of wear and tear due to frequent dressing, make sure your specialist knows this. This will help them decide which fabrics and styles are in line with your desired look and function. 

The Lafayette Dealer you are working with should be familiar with the best fabrics for your needs, although it’s good to know that we do label all of our fabrics with a Fabric Code indicating the best function and form of the material. It is also very important to make sure your dealer takes note of the cleaning code and relays that information to you. This information is also available in our Digital Fabric Book online. You can find which book your fabric was in by searching for it in our Materials Library. 

Check out the Fabric Details Index in our Moody Hues Book to read all the fine details on those materials.

Maintaining a fresh look:

Fabric isn’t perfect, all draperies are not the same, and there is no rule of thumb to follow across the board to clean your custom window treatments. The best place to start is to know what kind of fabrics they are made of and find an experienced professional. There are a couple of maintenance tips you can make to prevent having to seek a professional for laundering.

Board Mount Valance
Tuxedo Board Mount Valance in Pineapple Tree, Fabric Book Moody Hues

Prevent:

Regular dusting and vacuuming will prevent unnecessary work to clean your draperies in the future. Since it is best to let a professional handle any washing of your draperies if possible, the best thing you can do is some preventative cleaning of airborne dirt and dust mites that can collect. If this dust has time to build up, and then something does happen to spill on the fabric, it will just make the stain worse. Unless a severe dirtying event occurs, regular maintenance with dusting and vacuuming should keep your draperies looking great for years.

Before caring for your treatments, make sure you wash and dry your hands to avoid soiling your drapery.

To vacuum: Use a small brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. If your attachment seems dirty, wrapping a cheesecloth around the top, and securing with a rubber band will help protect the drapes. Vacuum or dust from the top down, to avoid extra work. Consider vacuuming every 3 to 6 months for optimal care.

To steam: If your treatments can handle heat without damage, and steaming is an option, always use distilled water, and steam from the back of the lining. Wrapping a thin nylon stocking or cheesecloth over the top of the steamer and securing with a rubber band can help to prevent water sputters from splashing on your fabric. 

  • Custom Drapery Custom Fabric Shades
  • Custom Drapery and Hobbled Roman Shades

Washing:

If you feel your custom creations need a washing, ensure you are working with a dry cleaning professional who knows how to handle the cleaning of custom drapery or shades. Ask about their acceptable shrinkage rates in advance to know what to expect when they come back from the cleaners. If the look of your draperies is just skimming the floor, or slightly sweeping, then any shrinkage will vary that preference. 

Incredibly complex draperies, with multiple pleats and different finishes such as trims or linings, will not all be washable in the same way. So, washing and drying might churn out different results. Believe us, by the time your draperies are looking worn, faded or in need of a wash, you’ll probably be tired of them and ready for a new home update. A drapery lining will also do a lot of the hard work to protect your fabric from the elements. And again, with regular dusting and vacuuming, you may not ever come across an instance where you need your drapes laundered in full. 

Re-Hanging/Dressing:

If you’ve taken your draperies down to clean them, let your cleaner, installer, or another certified professional help you re-hang and dress them. With something as custom as drapery, it is best to let the professionals help you out. Unless your custom draperies are explicitly labeled as machine washable and you are confident of the outcome, don’t throw them in the washing machine. Some draperies may be able to be hand-washed, dressed appropriately and hung to dry, but it certainly depends on their size and material.

Custom Drapery and Custom Sheers
Custom Soft Fashions add a unique touch to your home. Consider custom draperies, sheets, bedding for your home.

Hopefully, this article helped ease some concerns. To summarize, remember when it comes to custom drapery:

  • Know what you need in function and what you want in style. Be upfront about these going into your consultation to avoid surprises from the start.
  • Treatment styles can vary in look from one fabric to another and custom means just that; your treatments are being created uniquely for you. Fabric positions may vary during manufacturing changing pattern locations. Be explicit with what you want to ensure accuracy with your vision.
  • Learn what you need from your installer (Cleaning methods, Fabric Codes, Re-Dressing methods). 
  • Prevent damage down the road with regular maintenance. 
  •  Stick to working with reliable professionals if your window treatments need maintenance, you wouldn’t take a Maserati to a chop shop—and you shouldn’t take your Custom Draperies to any old laundromat. 

Thanks for reading. We hope you enjoyed this piece on custom drapery. We’d love to hear your comments or questions. Share below or contact us at lifblog@lafvb.com.

Lafayette Interior Fashions is a family-owned company specializing in custom-crafted window treatments and interior fashions. We do blinds, shades, shutters, draperies, bedding and more. Find a local dealer near you to shop our products. 

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