Quality Draperies & Soft FurnishingsSince starting Gailani Designs, Inc., I have used the highest level of quality for all my draperies and soft furnishings, and have taken great pride in exceeding industry standards.

Over the next few months, I will teach you how to differentiate between quality draperies & soft furnishings and those of less quality.   You will become an expert in spotting the quality in things such as bedding, cushions, table cloths, table runners, napkins, and decorative pillows before you make an investment.

Here’s what you should look for:

Thread – Make sure that the thread used in fabricating the draperies and custom furnishings is cotton/polyester and not monofilament. They are very easy to tell apart. The monofilament thread is clear in color and tough.  It resembles a fishing line.

Why do some manufacturers use monofilament threads?  They are significantly cheaper.  They are strong and rarely breaks while sewing, therefore it is less problematic during manufacturing.  Lastly, since it is clear in color, the manufacturer does not have to stock different color threads.  This saves time during production by not having to change spools while moving from one piece of product to another.

The monofilament thread is used for products where quality is not a priority as the products are meant not to last more than a year or two.  On the other hand, quality custom products are meant to last much longer!

Seams – The width of most textile goods is 54”.  Therefore, when the product to be fabricated needs to be wider than 54” two or more widths need to be joined. Take a close look at the seams – the pattern must be perfectly seamed otherwise the product will look cheap and the work room is not competent.

Welting – Welting is usually synonymous with cording or piping.  There is a technical difference but most people use these words interchangeably. A quality workroom will cut the welt fabric diagonal to the grain of the fabric (on the bias). The welt on the finished product should look smooth and without puckering or wrinkles.

Banding – Banding should always be sewn on the front and then turned over to cover the edge. An inexperienced seamstress or workroom will cut the band and apply it to the face fabric without turning it over.  The result being that the sides will have a tendency to turn toward the room and will look terribly bad. The second mistake is some workrooms glue the banding on, which is a big NO and it shows poor quality.

Fringes and Trims – Decorative trims and fringes should never be glued.  They should look evenly applied and be free of lumps where it was sewn. Many of the trims that I use are appliedy by hand to avoid damaging the main fabric, the trim or the fringe itself.

Tassels – The same rule goes for using tassels as the trims and fringes. They should never be glued. They should be securely hand sewn to the body of the products. Good quality must be selected for tassels otherwise the tassels will fall apart just by touching them.

Buttons – Buttons should be sewn on securely and also well snapped on so they do not pop out.

Zippers – I recommend zippers for pillows, duvet covers, and cushions to name of few. Zippers should be sewn on neatly, without puckering, and must be hidden under a flap of fabric to hide completely.

Valance boards – Always cover valance boards with the same fabric as the valance and be sure to check underneath so no wood is visible (or white lining).  Keep in mind that some workrooms use lining to cover the board.  In my opinion, using the same fabric is neater.

Pattern match – The pattern on the fabric must match whether it is a valance, draperies, pillows or any other product. The pattern repeat must be matched or centered.