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Drapes and valances for a 4 poster bed

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  • Drapes and valances for a 4 poster bed

    Hi everyone, I am a first time visitor to this site
    Can anybody give me some advise on the correct way to attach valances and drapes to a 4 poster bed. Maybe a bit of pattern advise ? In fact any advise that you can give me would be most helpful as I haven't attempted this before.

  • #2
    Re: Drapes and valances for a 4 poster bed

    Hello sewandsew...

    Firstly, welcome to the site...

    With regards your question your options very much depend on few things; what your bed is made out of, does it have a ceiling, and do you want the curtains to function?

    Assuming wooden and you require the curtains to function you should then use a discreet tracking system, if you look at this picture Four poster bed you will see a second valance is used inside the frame, this finishes the look from the inside, and also conceals the tracking and fittings.

    If you just want dress curtains and they are light weight, you can use a net curtain wire and track for the valance or even tension rods in some cases - screw eyes can also be used.

    If a metal frame or turned wood and you can't position a track then you could consider draping fabrics securing with plastic ties, tab top or tie top curtains.

    I hope this helps sewandsew..

    Dear sewandsew

    The work that you can see in the pictures is quite straightforward really when you break it down into elements. These elements are Curtains, Valances and Canopies.

    You need to start by making a few decisions based on the structure of the four poster frame. Most frames are made from timber and generally consist of four upright posts connected together with timber rails at the top. The interconnecting points of the frame may consist of mortise and tennon joints or metal connecting blocks. The first thing to learn is what the client has in mind as a final design and the second is what facility the frame offers in terms of fixing points to accommodate the finished fabric. There are many ways to achieve this from nailing the curtains in place as the old curtain makers would have done to using more sophisticated tracks and thin poles. The more ornate the timber work the less one would want to interfere with the makers intended design.

    As the field of four poster soft furnishings is so vast I will try to offer guidance in relation to the job pictured in my photographs as this is the most common bed structure you will find. This design consists of three dress curtains (one at each side and one at the back), a valance to the outside, a further valance to the inside, a sunburst canopy and a mattress valance around the base of the bed.

    The mattress valance is very simply made from face fabric, interlined and lined as you would a curtain but with the lining stitched in at the bottom. Three panels almost touching the floor each attached to a flat sheet beneath the mattress with a strip of hook and loop tape.

    The curtains are dress curtains so they do not need to move apart from dressing them out every now and again. The tops of the curtains are not visible because of the valances so they are mounted onto small rings on a thin pole about 18mm diameter with down standing brackets fixed to the underside of the top rail of the bed frame. The type of rails that you would buy from B&Q to use as a towel rail is perfectly adequate to support the curtains. The curtains themselves are interlined with 260grm domett and hand pleated to provide the correct shape and form.

    The outside valance is made in one continuous length. Lined and interlined and hand pleated. The finished length of the valance is 55ft before pleating and is finishing at 21ft after pleating. It is attached with loop tape stitched to a band which is hand sewn to the back of the valance after pleating is complete. The valance is then attached to hook tape stapled to the edge of a flat board fixed down to the top of the bed frame as you would normally attach it to a pelmet board.

    The inside valance is simpler and is made in four sections in a cream coloured Laure Ashley cotton fabric hemmed at he bottom, turned over four inches at the top with a pocket machined into it about 2 inched down and simply gathered onto a metal rod as you would a net curtain. The rods are then hung onto small brackets inside the frame.

    I am afraid that the construction of the sunburst canopy is more difficult to describe and not something I would advise on in writing. There are always problems with designs which involve stretching fabric as some of the stretching must be carried out on the bias of the fabric which, of course, elongates considerably more than on the warp or the weft. I could only advise on this at the bench with the fabric in my hands to demonstrate.

    Poster's account deleted
    MyDecozo Admin


    • #3
      Re: Drapes and valances for a 4 poster bed

      Many thanks for all the information. It confirmed some of the points that I was unsure of. Just yet I'm not certain what my client needs until I discuss it with her next week when the bed is delivered. She was asking for my input so I don't think she has much idea herself what she wants. I have researched some designs from the internet to show her and am keeping my fingers crossed that she chooses a simpler design, for my first attempt. What a wonderful site this is where people are prepared to take the time to help others, will certainly be coming back in here...... thanks again