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  • What went wrong?

    I fitted the 12 foot long buckram pelmet today, and took it straight back down again as it was horrible once up. It's gone all wobbly down the length, so when you stand under it and look up, you get a "lovely" wave effect. Obviously this isn't what the client wants, and as I expected she agreed with me to take it back down.

    I've never made one before and can only assume the buckram isn't as dimensionally stable down a long length as I expected. The pelmet depth is only 11 inches so I guess that won't help. The smaller pelmet is perfect, and I made both the same way, so I'm guessing the problem is that 12 foot is just too long for buckram at this narrow width. At least, that's what I think went wrong. Is there anything else that could have caused this? I thought when I was making it up that the buckram seemed a bit warped and twisted - perhaps I've not treated it correctly and have caused this?

    I'll replace it with an upholstered wood one, as straightness is extremely important to this client. I think a wood one's the only way to go to salvage the situation and get me paid for the whole job!

  • #2
    Re: What went wrong?

    Oh Poor you, Bluebell!

    Off to bed now but will catch up with you tomorrow. Was it really that bad - to be taken down?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What went wrong?

      Horrible, absolutely horrible, when seen from below. From the front it was fine. Looked really sumptuous as the wadding padded out the silk beautifully. But standing underneath and looking up.....all wavy and wobbly.

      Clients unfortunately are right old pains in the behind, want it absolutely flat and straight and weren't happy (neither was I from that angle, but who in reality looks at a pelmet that way more than once.....?) and wanted it taken down and changed. I'm okay about this as it was not something to be proud of.

      However, they've this morning also changed the size of the track they wanted for the faux curtains, from 800mm (fitted yesterday and the curtains hung at 9pm) to 1200mm, so my fitter now has to re-order new tracks and re-fit, meaning I can't fit the wood pelmet until he's done that. So bang goes my being paid early next week for all this damn work. I was hoping to fit the pelmet on Monday evening, but he won't get the tracks till next Friday when his rep brings them. I'm sick to death of this flaming job and just want it finished and to be paid.

      Now, another question - I quoted for a buckram pelmet and it's changed to wood, because the buckram's not up to the job. My hubby insists I should charge them for the re-make and the wood, whereas I'm of the opinion that my experience (or lack of it) was the cause, not them changing their minds, so I was going to do it foc. Opinions please?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What went wrong?

        Hello

        I'd certainly put this problem down the the size but there could be a simple solution to fix the problem. Consider attaching a length of wood to the back of the pelmet to straighten out the wobble, or make a new pelmet shelf with sides and front for the buckram pelmet to fit too, cover the pelmet board with lining fabric.

        Philip
        Have you registered your business yet?

        http://www.ukcurtainmakers.co.uk


        A MyDecozo Directory

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What went wrong?

          Bluebell - I think you have fallen into an old trap here. Long pelmets made with buckram are notoriously difficult to fit. The problem is that any small or even fractional undulation in the straight line of the top will cause a wave in the bottom line. This is always more evedent in long narrow pelmets. When you make your pelmet try to construct it with a band of loop tape on the back and staple corresponding hook tape to the leading edge and your pelmet board . You can either machine your loop tape directly to the lining or sew it to a band of lining fabric then stitch the band to the lining of your pelmet. This will give you the flexibility to reposition your pelmet fractionally such that you can work slowly from one end to the other gently positioning the hook and loop tapes together ensuring the top line is absolutely straight and the bottom of the pelmet is wave free. Pelmet buckram is often not the easiest material to work with as it deforms so easily when heat is introduced and you can so easily create problems on the bench which you are not aware of until you fit the pelmet later. You are often better using 3ply as it overcomes this wave effect problem in long narrow pelmets. If you have space and the facility in your workspace try to have one long pelmet board attached to one wall where you can hang all your pelmets, valances, romans etc to check them out before you take them to site. This way you know exactly how they will look and how to fit them when you take them to the clients house.

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          • #6
            Re: What went wrong?

            thank you both for the great advice.

            I did have velcro fitted to the shelf and the pelmet, so perhaps the main cause of my problem is how quickly I fitted it. I'll know to take more time next time. It was certainly really difficult to handle at this size so it's no real surprise that it didn't go perfectly. I was just grateful it stuck.

            I like the shelf idea for my workroom/spare room as long as I position it carefully so visitors don't walk into it! It would also give me somewhere to put them once they're finished but prior to delivery.

            As it stands, they now expect a wood one so I'll do that this weekend and get it out to them asap.

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            • #7
              Re: What went wrong?

              Hi Bluebell,

              So sorry to hear you had such a problem, so annoying when you have put so much thought, time and attention to detail in a project. If you had thrown the thing together that would be different, but I know that you are a stickler for perfection. You are only as good as your last job in this line of work, and in my opinion you should re-make at your expense. If you do not you will always regret that it is there, and you know that they will be saying unflattering things about you for years to come. However, their change of heart over tracks is not your fault, and you may be able to recoup some of your losses there.

              I have had some success on small pelmets with buckram, but have experienced the waviness on longer/deeper ones myself. I have decided to stick with hardboard myself, although transporting that size in one piece will be a problem, unless you have a van or something.

              Don't be down about it, put it down to experience.

              Sue.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What went wrong?

                Another point to mention here - If transportation is a real issue, have a courier service collect and deliver for you.. This will cost around £15.00 up to 3 metres in length - Courier Services Link

                Philip
                Have you registered your business yet?

                http://www.ukcurtainmakers.co.uk


                A MyDecozo Directory

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What went wrong?

                  Yeah, you're right Sue. I'm mostly frustrated with myself. I always have to learn the hard way though, so that's the main thing to take from this. Every job brings new challenges and this one's no different. The nice thing about my clients (ok, I'm calling them names earlier but I don't really mean it, I'm just letting off steam where it doesn't hurt anyone) is that they chose me over someone much larger business-wise, as I asked them what they wanted when the other team TOLD them what they were getting. They're both incredibly artistic - he made the original models for all the Disney castle figurines that they sell in the Disney stores worldwide, so they are definitely used to looking at things in a great deal of detail.

                  She's already been telling neighbours about me so I really really want this job to be perfect for them. I'm actually pleased to be doing a wood one, as that's another first, and I think the tailored look with the button feature will be much nicer over a 12 foot run than leaving it entirely plain. Now I'm over the initial disappointment that what I'd done didn't work, it's gloves off and on with the job. We'll buy the wood I need tomorrow - if we can get it in hubby's van, then we can get it in the van for delivery.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What went wrong?

                    Hi Bluebell

                    What a pain - I am sure the wood one will look brillant and you will know you have made the right decision, you can then put it down to experience!

                    Good luck with this one Bluebell and I look forward to seeing the photos.
                    K W Designs
                    Bournemouth

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                    • #11
                      Re: What went wrong?

                      Got the wood pelmet fitted last night and it worked a treat. I had to split the hardboard into two lengths inside the fabric "envelope" as it wouldn't have fitted in hubby's van otherwise, but using the polyester wadding as the padding worked in my favour, as the split was completely invisible once up. I was actually really surprised about how firm the velcro fitting was and, after a firm tug downwards to check, so was the client. The hardboard wasn't actually that much heavier than the buckram was. I didn't use any nails at all, nor did I have to handsew on the buttons to disguise the nail location, so it was in and out in less than 30 mins. I'm keeping the buttons safe though, just in case....they may well change their minds!

                      They'd also decided to stick with the track lengths they'd originally agreed to, without of course telling my fitter so the poor soul ordered them. He says he can use them somewhere else. I'm still waiting on payment for the job - usually I get payment on delivery and don't leave without it, but she told me she'd send me a cheque today or tomorrow. Once I get that cheque in my bank account I will finally believe this chaos is over. But only then.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What went wrong?

                        Great result, Bluebell . I'm sure the client is now very happy you've resolved the problem and I'm sure you're feeling much happier too. She can only speak highly of you to others now. You would have thought she could have written the cheque there and then after all your hard work though. Hope it arrives pronto.
                        Jane

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                        • #13
                          Re: What went wrong?

                          Got cheque for full amount on Friday. Now I can relax about this one!

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                          • #14
                            Re: What went wrong?

                            Well done YOU. I bet you're really thrilled now. Another big tick in the box.

                            Jx.

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                            • #15
                              Re: What went wrong?

                              Be careful when using wood. I made one from plyood and it had a join done by the carpenter. It also had one undulation and I had no idea how to make it perfect. Plywood is also flexible.
                              Karen Rhodes
                              Karen Rhodes Design
                              Pole Design

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