Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Let's Move!

When your customer wants a sleek, tailored look for drapery panels, grommet panels are a great option.  They have clean lines and a no fuss heading.  Interior designer Eve Elzenga used them beautifully in this living room.
The one drawback to traditional grommet panels is that they are not easily operable.  When you move the leading edge of the panel, the grommets tip at an angle and get stuck on the pole, making it difficult to open and close the panels.
Why doesn't this happen with pinch pleat panels or ripplefold panels?  Because carriers in the drapery hardware are connected to each other.  As the leading edge of a panel is moved, the next carrier is pulled along and with it the drapery panel.  
When I was tasked with making operable grommet panels at the Pultneyville Grill, I used this same concept by connecting the grommets with bead chain.  The Grill owners wanted to be able to separate the dining area for private parties and special events.  Interior designer Elizabeth Butler specified grommet panels so that the panel header would look good on both sides and also have minimal stackback.  Here is a close-up of the grommet header.  I sewed bead chain from grommet to grommet on the front and back of the panel.  The length of the bead chain was set so that when the chain pulled taut, the panel just fit the opening.  Below are pictures of the panels fully closed and open with a tieback.  You have to look very closely to see the taut chain on the closed panel!

Today you can buy grommets specifically made to accommodate this bead chain concept.  Rowley Company sells a product call Grom-A-Link (photo at right).  Below are pictures of the back of a panel using the Grom-A-Link grommets.

We often hear the rallying cry of "Let's Move" from our First Lady.  Now we can heed that cry even when using grommet panels.

If you are looking for a workroom that can come up with innovative solutions to your next drapery problem, contact me at