Monday, June 3, 2013

Stuck in a Rut?

Do you always specify welt for the edges of your pillows, valances, and bedding?  You are not alone.  The most common edging used in home dec projects is welt.  Welt is cord covered with fabric. Let's take a look at three edge options that are a step above welt and really add to the style and function of the project. 
Micro Flange
A micro flange is a 1/2" wide flat edge.  It is sometimes referred to as a cordless welt.  The flange can be mitered in the corners or a couple of tucks can be added to ease around a corner.  I love how Interior Designer Elizabeth Butler used the micro flange on this contemporary bedding set.  Each of the four shams has a different color micro flange.  And notice the micro flange on the ends of the bolster.  Even the toss pillow at the foot of the bed has a micro flange in the same color as the body of the pillow.  You can see in the close-up that the corners are mitered.

Double Bead Chain 
Double bead chain is made like welt but instead of covering soft cord with fabric, two rows of beaded weight chain are covered with fabric. Beaded weight chain is most often used in the hem of sheer drapery panels to prevent flaring. Beaded weight chain makes a flat, heavy edging that when applied in a seam looks like narrow banding but has the added benefit of weight .  It improves draping when used in the hem of a valance and helps to prevent waving on wide flat expanses.  Interior Designer Janis Reed used double bead chain beautifully on this powder room valance.  The color and size of the edging make it look like a continuation of the fabric design.

Mini Ruffles
You might think ruffles are so 1980's but when scaled down to a scant 1/2", they can be an interesting edging without being overly feminine.  Here mini ruffles are inserted into both edges of the boxed round pillow in this teen's butterfly chair.  They soften the pillow and add charm to the setting.

On your next project, consider breaking out of the welt rut.  If you need a workroom that will give your designs an edge, e-mail me at