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  • Steaming curtains

    I have just had a question from a customer for whom I have provided a quote for pencil pleat tape headed curtains, blackout lined. The fabric they like is Villa Nova Bilbao, a washable cotton. He says that 'a friend of theirs had curtains made from a natural fabric and the curtain maker hung and steamed them to improve the finish. Is that something you do and included in your quote?'

    I do hang the curtains as part of the job but I don't usually steam them. If it is a hand pleated heading I bind the curtains to fix the pleats, but a pencil pleat heading doesn't really need that. Obviously I make the gathers as even as possible and the curtains will be nearly 2 metres long with weighted hems.

    I just wondered what others did about steaming and whether I'm being horribly neglectful and slapdash in not doing it. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

    Thank you.

    best wishes
    Liz

  • #2
    Re: Steaming curtains

    As a general rule, I don't steam curtains as I'm always wary the steam affects the length. However, I do have a little hand held steamer from Morplan which I take on jobs for "touch ups" which works very well.
    CatherineL
    Catherine Lepreux Interiors

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    • #3
      Re: Steaming curtains

      Thanks Catherine.

      My feeling also is that there are a lot of fabrics which don't like steam and generally creases will fall out once the curtains have been up in the room's atmosphere for a few hours.

      I'll try using the little hand-held steamer I have if that will convince the customer that I'm doing a 'proper job'! In this instance the fabric should cope.

      Best wishes
      Liz

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      • #4
        Re: Steaming curtains

        I've only once steamed curtains, as the fabric was a very creasy linen and the client's previous curtain maker had steamed the ones they made. I warned her about the possibility of shrinkage, and borrowed a friend's boiler iron. It did help with the creases but wasn't easy to do, a steamer with the long handle would be easier.
        Kind regards
        Pen Harrison
        Colly Brook Fine Furnishings

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        • #5
          Re: Steaming curtains

          Thank you Pen, that's very reassuring!

          Best wishes
          Liz

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          • #6
            Re: Steaming curtains

            Customers should not think that 'steaming' is an important part of hanging and dressing good quality curtains. It may be necessary only if the creasing doesn't naturally fall out after two or three weeks. BUT always beware because shrinking can occur with high heat and moisture, and I've known the opposite to happen! I use a steam-generator iron very lightly in my hanging of curtains before they go out to customer's homes if the creasing is very pronounced.
            Caroline

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            • #7
              Re: Steaming curtains

              Thank you for your reply Caroline.

              The customer has accepted the quote very happily and I suspect the question related more to the hanging of the curtains than anything else. The steaming bit was only mentioned because someone they knew had had their curtains steamed.

              Best wishes
              Liz

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              • #8
                Re: Steaming curtains

                Glad you got the job, I sometimes think that words like ' steaming' are dropped into the conversation to see what your reaction will be or to show that the customer thinks that she has some knowledge of the making etc of soft furnishings.........

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                • #9
                  Re: Steaming curtains

                  Thanks Enid.

                  Yes, you may be right. On this occasion I think they thought the hanging and dressing might be extra to what I had quoted- maybe their friend's curtainmaker made a separate charge. Makes me wonder if I could/should have charged more...

                  Best wishes
                  Liz

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                  • #10
                    Re: Steaming curtains

                    Hhmmm........that's another topic to think about..........

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