For tips, tricks and trends for beautiful spaces
Passementerie, or trim, is the art of making elaborate trimmings or edgings of braid, cord, embroidery, coloured silk or beads for clothing or furnishings. There are many types of trims available locally, which can be added to your window treatment or soft furnishings to give it a rich professional look that sets it apart from the rest.
Even if it is just one carefully chosen embellishment, trim can transform an otherwise perfect window treatment into a unique feature in a room. Trimmings of any kind, braid, fringe, ruffle, etc, can further enhance the personality of an already beautiful window treatment, whether it is a simple curtain, drapery, valance or shade. It can match or contrast the colour, pattern or texture of the fabric.
All of these factors combined will build the custom look you want for your treatment. For example, ornate or opulent fringe on a heavy drapery panel can create the look of a period treatment beautifully. A gathered fabric, ruffled along an edge, will soften the look of lightweight curtain, giving it a feminine feeling, while a pleated ruffle will bring a formal, traditional look to your drapery. Using rickrack trim inserted in a seam or on the face fabric is playful and casual and perfect for a child’s room. Simple bands of contrasting fabric trim on the edge can reinforce the edges so that it can stand up to more tugging or handling over the years.
If you are having your treatments and soft furnishings custom made, then your window treatment specialist will select trimmings to coordinate with your fabric and hardware. If you are purchasing ready-made treatments or making them yourself, you can embellish them with store-bought or handmade trims and accents.
Types of Trim
Trims are high quality decorative textile bands, which are an easy way to provide detail and liven up a simple curtain, drapery or soft furnishing. They range from tassels to cords, lace, velvet and ribbons. There are many varieties available; most come in natural fibres and synthetic fibres, the more luxurious trims, which are referred to as Passementerie, are often made from silk or linen. Very often rayon or viscose is added to cotton or wool to provide sheen to them. The following list is just a few that are available locally at our many fabric and accessory shops: braid, gimp, lace, decorative buttons, ribbons, cord, piping, tassels, tasselled tiebacks, tiebacks, tasselled fringe, beaded fringe, bullion fringe, brush fringe, onion fringe and rosettes.
a When selecting your trim, it is always best to choose one that has the same care requirements as the fabric being used in the panel or soft furnishing.
a A sample of the fabric is necessary to match trim.
a The most important thing to remember is to keep the scale, weight and proportion in keeping with the dimension of your treatments.
a If you are making your own panels and trim, remember to buy adequate yardage.
a Keep it simple and choose a design that is in keeping with the style of the fabric and style of the room.
Methods of appying Trims
Flat braids, ribbons and appliqués can be stitched to the face fabric of the treatment.
Piping or covered cord with a selvage are meant to be inserted into a seam. Beaded, bullion, onion, tasselled fringe, etc, can be glued with special fabric adhesive. There is also the method of hand sewing or machine stitching the fringe before adding the lining, if one is being used. With this method, if need be, you have the option of removing or changing the trim.
If conventional trimmings do not excite you, use non-traditional and unusual elements or make your own trimmings when decorating your window treatments or soft furnishings. You can attach beads, small shells, crystals, jewelry, metal chains, lengths of leather, embroidery or more to embellish your furnishings. Happy trimming!
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