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Do I need to do a curtain making course?

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  • Do I need to do a curtain making course?

    I came across this message on another forum and it is me to a 't'...
    I have made curtains for myself and would like to start a small business offering a curtain making service, however as I have had no formal training I feel it is important that I complete a professional curtain making course.
    I am completely self taught to date where curtains are concerned, I did do some dress making courses but feel curtains are a much easier way to go on. Would someone mind holding my hand and advising me if a course is necessary? I've attached an image to show I am not a complete novice. (except at getting my image the right way up!!)


  • #2
    Re: Do I need to do a curtain making course?

    It looks to me like you have curtains and swags cracked!

    I would suggest that unless you really fancy the idea of going on a course, you think carefully about if there are any specific areas you want to learn more about - is there anything you dread customers asking for? anything you struggle with that you feel 'there must be a better way'? Or perhaps something more business related like book keeping?

    Last year I went on a one-day course to learn about dressing arched windows. It was lovely to be with a couple of other curtain makers, have a day away from home (where I work) and learn some new skills. Still haven't been asked to dress an arched window but I thoroughly understand the technique now.

    Maybe you don't need a course right now, but would benefit from spending the money on something like an eyelet press or blind hemmer?

    There are lots of course providers listed here if you fancy taking a look.

    sigpic Simply Sewing


    • #3
      Re: Do I need to do a curtain making course?

      I agree totally with Louise - The picture you have added looks great, design and proportion work well. My advice to you would be to take as much as you can from the members off this forum, thumb your way through the M&D Encyclopedia of Curtains and ask for help if you need to. Looking at the picture above, I can't imagine you'll need much!

      One thing I would say on the design front, two contrast under-swags would have worked well here, and they would have covered the dead space above the windows.

      If you do decide to enroll on a course, courses offered by the NDA are a great confidence boost for those starting out and I would recommend this course to anyone. If you are living in England the courses are heavily subsidised and the cost to the student is very little.

      Have you registered your business yet?

      A MyDecozo Directory


      • #4
        Re: Do I need to do a curtain making course?

        I have done the NDA professional curtain making course and their advance curtain making course and I would say that while it has given me a good base to start a business, experience counts for far more together with the advice of the people on this forum.



        • #5
          Re: Do I need to do a curtain making course?

          Thank you Louise, that is a good suggestion to invest in some machinery rather than a course. One of the main reasons I thought of a course is because I am sure there must be easier ways to do things at times, things that you only find out by talking to other like minded people. The business side is no problem as my OH is an accountant!

          Thank you Schuhby for your suggestion of under swags. That is a point a proper designer would know instantly and is one of the things I will have to learn. I made the curtains quite quickly as we were moving house and needed to get something up asap. I will work my way through the Merrick and Day book, I've also purchased the Maureen Whitemore book about soft furnishings, she makes everything sound so simple I love the way she explains things almost as if she it talking to you personally. Currently I am making some simple lined curtains and hand stitching rather than machine sewing the linings to the main fabric, it makes such a difference to the look of the curtains. I've just got the headings to do but I will use pinch pleat tape for that.

          Adria, thank you too for your input, I'll look into the list that Louise gave me and see where it leads.


          • #6
            Re: Do I need to do a curtain making course?

            In answer to your comment about there being easier ways of doing this,yes, I suppose there are, but I don't honestly know if going on a course would tell you that. As has already been said, most of the best ways to do things come about by just that..doing and asking.
            Looking at your picture, you seem to be well able to do things, and if you are handstitching linings because it looks better.....then you don't need a course to tell you that.
            The next thing that you need to try is buckram for the pleats.




            • #7
              Re: Do I need to do a curtain making course?

              Hi Susan,

              Wow for a first attempt , you did really well. Great photo.

              My view, with regards to your question about whether or not tosign up to a course would be:

              I started curtain making much the same whay you have, self taught. Although I was happy with my work, I was slightly worried that I wasnt doing things properly hence making me feel less confident in my work. So, as I got busier and moved from making the odd pair for myself to people booking a commission then recommending me to friends and family, lead me to take the bit between my teeth and I signed up to a 3 year City and Guilds course.

              Having completed the course ( some time ago now) I can honestly say I feel much much more confident in my designs and the work I produce. Its the small tips, the interaction with other students with the same passion and personal tuition that helped me immensly. Its true that you learn your mistakes as you go and find your own way of what suits the way you work, but to have the basics right before hand gives you that slight edge of confidence, especially when facing quite a big task ahead thats going to make you a considerable sum of money. Training is an investment in yourself more than anything else. and one you can be proud of achieving. JMHO

              So I guess its down to personal preference, Id honestly say,, decide whether you will benefit from a confidence boost if you do sign up to a course or not.

              Good luck


              • #8
                Re: Do I need to do a curtain making course?

                On a lot of courses you may find your tutor has a lot less experience than you!!. I have my City and Guilds in Soft Furnishings and Design. I also did a Higher in Design at the same time which taught me a lot about the works of William Morris and the Industrial Revolution but nothing about practical design. I learnt nothing new about curtain making but a lot about using a heat gun to make artwork from plastic bags.
                Still I had the experience of doing it and it is handy to actually have the qualification which is the real reason I did the course.

                I recently did the NDA Interior Design course and learnt a lot more from that and it was home study. You have to weigh up the pro's and cons but even though I am qualified I still maintain I am self taught. Merrick and Day courses are good but you may just pick up a few hints as you already have experience. Good Luck
                Karen Rhodes
                Karen Rhodes Design
                Pole Design