Monday, December 20, 2010

Look for the 2011 Rowley Company catalog, which will begin showing up in mailboxes in January.  

In the 2011 catalog, you will find an abundance of exciting new products including our patent pending Sure-Shade Shade Components, favorite go-to tools and supplies, plus time-saving Custom Solutions for our traversing drapery hardware and shade lift systems.  

Sign up now to attend the 2011 Catalog Sneak-Peek Party, a free, live, on-line presentation, where we will share what's new, and how the new additions to our catalog can help you in the success of your Design, Drapery, Upholstery or Installation business.  Click the link below to register for the December or January webinar dates. 

2011 Catalog Sneak-Peek Party 
December 21, 2010 at 11:00 am EST

2011 Catalog Sneak-Peek Party 
January 6, 2011 at 11:00 am EST  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Free Seminars from Rowley Company

Detail from a project included in the "Make Your Own Upholstered Seating Cube" webinar.
Did you know that since 2009, Rowley Company has offered FREE monthly online seminars?  Attending a webinar is easy and convenient and the live presentations offer a unique opportunity to interact with the experts from Rowley in real time.  Learn valuable information about shade safety,  step-by-step fabrication methods, design ideas, trends, hardware, how-to use products, and time saving tips and techniques.
Photo from "Cornice Board Construction from Start to Finish" webinar.
Our webinars cover a variety of topics for the professional drapery or upholstery workroom, interior designer or decorator, installer or anyone in the home decorating industry.  If you are new, and would like to learn more, attending a webinar will give you a sneak-peek behind the scenes of how custom soft furnishings are created, installed and designed, and other  information that can help you start your own business.  
Photo showing steps for adding a zipper the "All About Cushions" webinar.
 Missed a webinar?  You can still enjoy and learn with our recorded webinars, which are available on our website, and can be viewed at a time that is convenient to you.  As always, there is no charge to attend the live or recorded webinars.

Step-by-step photos like this are included in the "Sure-Shade™ Shade Components" webinar.
Recorded webinars include popular topics like All About Pillows, Upholstered Headboards, Clean and Contemporary Ripplefold Panels, Deep Tufting for Upholstery, All About Grommets, Linings and Interlinings and so much more.  Check back often, the list of recorded webinars is growing and is a wonderful resource for your business. 

Learn how to make this pillow with a mitered flange in the recorded webinar "All About Pillows
To learn about our live, monthly webinar topics, or to view a recorded webinar, visit our website and click "webinars" near the bottom of the home page.  If you want to attend a live webinar, be sure to register early, space is limited.

Coming Up:
2011 Catalog Sneak-Peek Party
Creating Seamless Style with the Swing Door Top Treatment Kit
Sure-Shade™ Shade Components
Distinctive Upholstered Ottomans
Creating Tailored Top Treatments
Window Treatment Installation

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The S-Fold Cording Tip

This tip was shared in the recent webinars "Upholstered Headboards" and "Cornice Board Construction from Start to Finish" and creates a clean edging for cornice boards, head boards or other upholstery projects.  This method is for a self cord where the cording and wide, attached lip are all the same fabric.  Test this method on a small piece first to be sure the fabric you are using is suitable.

Step One: Cut bias strips wide enough to cover the size of welt cord you are using plus several extra inches for pulling and turning under the edge of your project.  Cut enough pieces to trim your project.  Sew bias strips together and press seams open.

Step Two: At the sewing machine, place the bias strip face up and turn over the right edge.  (To determine how much to turn over, test with a piece of welt cord).  Place the welt cord on the folded-over fabric, 1/2" from the right edge.  Wrap the fabric over and sew all together using a cording foot on the sewing machine.

Step Three: After the welt is sewn, there is a clean seam with no stitches showing.  Apply to the edge of your upholstery project with tack strip and staples or hot melt glue.

Monday, November 29, 2010

You Can Teach an Old Shade New Tricks

The 2010 ANSI/WCMA Standards for Safety of Corded Window Covering Products was recently released.  This standard defines what products need to do to comply with the enhanced safety standards.  To learn more about these standards, visit the Window Coverings Manufacturers Association or the Window Coverings Association of America.

To meet the new standards, the Research & Development team at Rowley has created Sure-Shade™Shade Components.  Using these new products, in combination with existing materials and supplies, workrooms will be able to create any style of shade with confidence.

Available in the 2011 Rowley Company Catalog

New Sure-Shade™ Shade Components include:

Lift Band Material A sturdy, yet sheer, 100% poly, 10" wide band for raising and lowering shades

Rib Center Support Rings and End Caps A sew-on ring used to hold fiberglass ribs in place on shades using Lift Band Material.

Encased Lift Cord A shroud tape with lift cord included that replaces cords and rings on shades.

Universal Drive Tension Device Holds bead or cord loops taut and must be installed correctly or renders the shade partially inoperable.  Available in 7 colors.

The benefits of using Sure-Shade™Shade Components include:
- Can be used for any style shade including London, Relaxed, Ribbed or Flat Romans, Balloons, Austrians and more.
- Enhanced safety.
- Cost effective.
- Easy to learn.
- Easy to retro-fit existing shades.
- Can be used for Italian Stringing on draperies.
- Versatile for any project

Roman Shade featuring the Sure-Shade™Shade Lift Band System

Roman shade featuring Encased Lift Cord and the EZ-Rig Shade System

We understand that many workrooms have a large stock of unused shade items and are concerned they will no longer be able to use them to fabricate shades.  With the new Sure-Shade™Shade Components, most of the previous shade items will still be used including lift systems like EZ-Rig™ Shade System, Soft Shade Traversing Clutch, Roller Clutch and Roller Spring.  Other stock items like orbs, rings, bead chain loop, ribs, rib tape and more will also be handy for making the the new, safer shades.
To learn more about the new products, including fabrication tips, join us for the FREE webinar, Sure-Shade™ Shade Components on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm EST or Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 11:00 am EST.  Visit our website to register.

Encased Lift Cord used for a London Shad

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pleated Pillow Design

This pillow features a pretty, pleated surface that is beautiful when made from silk.
To create the pillow, pleat fabric to fit pillow front, allowing extra for seam allowances and take-up.

After the pleated pillow front is secured to the stabilizer, hand stitch the center of each pleat, pulling the thread to the back and knotting in place.

After the pleats are tacked in place, measure and trim off excess to the size needed.  Add welt cord and the pillow back.

Small beads or buttons can be added at the center of each pleat for an added detail.
This pleated design can be used as an inset on larger pillows such as a pillow sham by adding a border around the pleated design.

Printable instructions are available on our website.  From the home page, choose the Innovations & Technical Service tab and then select "How-To's" for step-by-step instructions for this pillow and many other creative ideas.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fun with FirmaFlex™

Susie Ruhland with Window Fashions in Remsen, Iowa  created this detailed and handsome Cogsworth costume for her son Nathan to wear in "The Beauty and the Beast" using Rowley products including FirmaFlex™. She shared that it was really light-weight to wear and obviously Cogsworth is quite proud of his new look! Thanks Susie and Nathan for sharing your picture with us.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rowley Company Regional Seminars

Susan Schurz demonstrating
roman shades 9/2/10.

Rowley Company has been on the road, presenting regional seminars across the USA.  First stop, Wilmington, NC where Susan Schurz shared new products with the Southeast NC chapter of the Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA).  Next, closer to home for a seminar detailing new shade lift systems with Laurie Medford and Susan Schurz presenting for the Charlotte, NC WCAA chapter at CHF Academy.

Next, on to Georgia where Rowley participated in a lively round-table event "Windows of Opportunity" sponsored by the Atlanta, WCAA on September 9, 2010.  Our topic was "Cordless Roman Shades" and the attendees were very interested to see and learn how to create
shades in new ways.

Susan Schurz attends the Atlanta WCAA
educational event.  Photo courtesy of Debbie Green
The next seminar was held at the Paoli Design Center, Paoli, PA where Susan Schurz unveiled her latest display creation and shared how to layer multiple design ideas in one treatment for the Southeast PA chapter of the WCAA on September 14, 2010.  Attendees loved the detailed handout included with the program.  Susan and her sample case then headed south to the lovely Tampa Bay area to present the same program on September 25, 2010.  This event included a delicious lunch and enough door prizes for everyone to go home with something wonderful.

Valerie Kile, President, Greater Tampa WCAA
welcomes attendees.  Photo courtesy Anne Lubner.
Next stop... Iowa, New York, New Jersey, Massachuttes and Illinios.  Stay tuned for updates as Rowley hits the road to share information about the products and services that will help to make your workroom, design or installation business a success.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How to Join Fabric when Deep Tufting

In the recent webinar, Deep Tufting for Upholstery presented by Rowley Company, Laurie Medford showed steps for creating deep tufting; a beautiful, padded upholstery surface. 

Included here are the steps for joining fabrics.  This was a popular tip and many attendees requested to see the steps again so we are sharing them here.

 If you missed the webinar and would like to learn how to do deep tufting from start to finish join in on the next live presentation  November 5, 2010 at 11:00 am EST. 
Click here to register:
When creating deep tufting in upholstery, the fabric is joined on the piece, and not sewn together prior to tufing the project.  To do this place the next fabric piece over the area to be covered and match the pattern/grain line.  Tuck the fabric into the hole as if you are adding a button and tufting and mark.    (Note: On this sample the fabric was turned in the opposite direction for photography purposes, the grain line should match).
Draw lines to connect the marks.

Cut fabric allowing at least 1/2" past the lines drawn and clip at the "V".
Tuck under the allowance and pull as usual, making sure to catch the edge of the fabric with the needle when adding the buttons.  Continue tufting the piece using tension to match the rest of the piece.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pet Beds

Custom pet bedding is a hot trend, from small upholstered settee's to large, over-stuffed cushions, luxury bedding can be created for your customers homes and for their pets.  Most pet beds are square or round boxed cushions.  Details such as ruffles or appliques can make pet beds a conversation piece and helps them to fit smartly into the room decor. 

When creating pet beds, pre-wash fabrics and serge all seams for longer wear.  Add zippers or hook & loop closures so the covers can be removed for cleaning.  Create a soft, cozy bed by using Poly Cluster Fill (PJ90) or Pillow Stuffing Fiber (PF90) which is available in large, 10 lbs bags, covering with a durable fabric like canvas.

For free, printable instructions visit our website for this and other project ideas.

Add ruffled and match the room decor with elegant fabrics.
Photo courtesy of Susan W. Schurz

A very simple pillow is used with a small, iron daybed.

Fun prints in faux fur will delight your pet.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Inspired Ideas

Our Free, Online Webinars Spark Custom Creativity

Cammie Berger, Cammie Berger Interiors, Charlotte, NC was inspired after attending the All About Pillows II webinar.  She created this beautiful pillow out of linen selvages.  What a great way to recycle what would normally be thrown in the trash.

Carol Collord, Creations by Carol, Medway, MA was inspired by ideas she picked up by attending the All About Pillows and The Best of Rowley Company Tips & Tricks webinars.  Carol created this grommet embellished pillow as a customer thank-you gift.

Many thanks to Cammie and Carol for sharing their pillows with Rowley Company.  We would love to hear from you!  Click here to submit pictures of your inspired creations.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


A lambrequin is a style of pelmet or cornice with long ends that extend down the side of the window, often to the sill or even to the floor.  Lambrequins were popular in the early to mid 19th century and were made with stiffened buckram, paper or wood.   The red, silk lambrequin above, c. 1850 is featured in the book Upholstery in America & Europe from the Seventeenth Century to World War I (1987 The Barra Foundation) where designs for lambrequins are "first being seen in The Workman's Guide in 1883, where they are praised as being 'very simple and may be cut to any shape'..."
Another interesting historical reference and a sound piece of design advice can be found in The American Woman's Home (Harriet Beecher Stowe and Catherine Beecher,1869) "...the patterns of these can be varied according to fancy, but simple designs are usually the prettiest.  A tassel at the lowest point improves the appearance."

Miss Beechers housekeeper & Healthkeeper, Catherine Esther Beecher, 1873

Early lambrequins were made with buckram, paper or wood.  These option are still available to the modern workroom as well as new materials such as FirmaFlex, a lightweight polyester fiberboard that allows for large, shaped projects with less weight than wood.  Before upholstering the structure batting or interlining should be added for softer edges and a  more uniform appearance.  The reverse side is usually lined (or painted) and a gimp braid covers any tacks or staples.

Lambrequins can be combined with draperies, shades or shutters.  The length of the sides helps to control light when blackout is desired.

Adding trims such as braid, fringe, banding or upholstery nails helps to outine the shape and give added texture and dimension to this flat style of window treatment.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Learn Upholstery Tips, Tools and Techniques

ROWLEY COMPANY has many products for the upholstery workroom such as upholstery nails, staple removers, pliers, mallets, jute webbing, gimp, air staplers, foam cutters and fiber.  If you would like to learn more about upholstery, visit our website for free instructions, videos and webinars.

Click on the INNOVATIONS AND TECHNICAL SERVICE tab near the top of the page and select "How-To's" from the drop down menu for printable instructions for an "Upholstered Seating Cube" or how to make a "Headboard with Decorative Hardware". 

Click on VIDEO SOLUTIONS at the bottom of the homepage to see the new videos for the Foam Cutter, Air Stapler and Locking Button Form Clasp.

Click on WEBINARS to register for an upcoming, upholstery topic such as "Upholstery Tips & Techniques", "Make Your Own Upholstered Seating Cube" or "Deep Tufting for Upholstery".