Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Upholstery Tufting Class in Atlanta

Laurie Medford, Rowley Company's Expert Services Manager and in-house upholstery expert is also an experienced and popular teacher.  On January 26, 2012 Laurie led a hands-on class on the art of deep tufting upholstery for the Designers Workroom Council in Atlanta, GA.

 Attendees brought their own fabric and covered buttons (lots and lots of covered buttons!) and learned step-by-step how to plan the tufting pattern, mark and cut the foam for button placement, and pull "just right" to achieve an even tension with a beautiful deep tufted, diamond pattern.  This technique can be used for upholstered furniture, ottomans, headboards and cornices.

Marking the foam with the diamond tufting pattern
Cutting holes in the foam with the Foam Hole Cutter.
Adding holes to the foam allows space for the fabric and buttons to be pulled down into the padding.
Holes are drilled into the wooden base at the same marks.
The foam is then covered with upholstery batting.
In this photo Laurie Medford is using chair legs to wind off the cord that is used for pulling the buttons.
After enough cord is wound  it is cut through - creating evenly measured pieces for tufting.
Now the fun part!
Pulling buttons through the fabric, to the back of the wood base where the cord is stapled in place.
With practice you  will learn the "feel of it"...  creating  perfect tension and even tufting.
Happy DWC members with their deep tufted upholstery samples!
As you can tell from the photos everyone had a fun day together, learned a lot and left with beautiful samples (and perhaps a few sore fingers).   

Thank you DWC for hosting this event.  If you would like to learn more about the Designers Workroom Council in the Atlanta, Georgia area, click here:  DWC

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Our New Website has Launched!

Today is a very exciting day for us, our new website is live!

Each year we conduct a survey to gather your feedback about what we can improve to make your experiences with Rowley even better.  You've asked for an enhanced website and we've answered.  

-Our website has been upgraded to make searching and ordering easier. 

-We've brought back the quick order form.  

-You can shop by category or easily search by item name or number. 

-Videos, instructions and other educational content is linked on the home page and product pages.

-And the biggest change of all; we have secured access to pricing and shopping for the professional trade customer.

We hope you will enjoy using our new website.

Please join us on Friday, January 20, 2011 at 11:00 am Eastern Time for a live, webinar presenation where we will share the new features and answer all of your questions. 

Click here to register.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Retrofitting Corded Window Coverings

Window coverings like Roman shades and traverse draperies have accessible cords which can be a hazard for young children.  In 2010 Standards for Corded Window Coverings were issued by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to address the issue of cord safety.

The standards require lift cords on the back of shades to be contained or that the lift cord or combined loop of fabric and lift cord not form a loop larger than 16”. 

Cord or bead chain loops, used to operate traverse rods or shade lift systems must be held taut and not dangling, with a device that will make the window covering partially inoperable if the device is removed.

Older shades were made with shade rings and lifting cords.  The cords can easily be pulled from the shade. The solution?  Create new shades and retrofit older ones using Encased Lift Cord Tape or Tube, which when sewn on as instructed will    not allow for an unacceptable sized cord loop to be formed.

On this old shade you can see how easy it is to pull the cord away from the shade.

The cord is contained within the shroud, preventing it from being pulled away from the shade.

To retrofit an existing Roman shade, cut cord from shade and carefully remove shade rings, leaving only the rings across the bottom of the shade.  Replace the rings with Encased Lift Cord Tape or Tube, sewing the tape to the shade where the rings were sewn.

At the bottom of the shade, fish the cord from the tape and tie off to the old shade ring.  At the top of the shade, fish the cord from the tape allowing enough to operate the shade and then cut off the empty tape even with the top of the shade. This creates a shade with lift cord that move freely but is contained within the shroud.  By sewing the tape with fixed spacing, the loop is minimized.

See this video to learn how:  Retrofitting a Roman Shade

If your shade has multiple cords exiting the side of the shade, the cords can be connected together with a Cord Condenser, allowing for a single pull cord.  A cord cleat must be used to secure the shade in a raised position and to keep cords out of the reach of children.  Install the cord cleat as high as possible.

Another simple and easy option is to create a stationary shade.  To do this, pull up your shade to the desired position and cinch together the rings using a split-ring or small cable tie and then cut-away all cords from the shade.

If you have a shade with a cord or bead chain loop, a Universal Drive Tension Device can easily be added.  Not only will this make the cord or bead loop less likely to become hazardous, it will make the shade smoother and easier to operate.  

Before delivery the bead chain loop is cinched to the tension device and a safety warning tag is added.  Be sure to follow all product instructions.
Draperies that are installed on corded traverse rods can be retrofitted with a Universal Drive Tension Device.  Older devices will need to be replaced with ones designed to meet the new standards.

Traverse rods can also be made completely cord-free and hand operated.  To do this cut the operating cords, being certain to cut away knots at the back of master carriers and carefully pull the cords from the rod.  A baton or wand with a metal clip can be attached to the back of the master carriers which will allow for operation of the drapery without handling the material.

Other Safety Tips:

Do not place cribs, beds or furniture next to windows where children can climb on them and become entangled in the window coverings.

Choose cord-free window coverings in nurseries, playrooms and homes with children.

For more information about window covering safety visit the ConsumerProduct Safety Commission and Window Coverings ManufacturersAssociation

Thursday, January 5, 2012

50 & Focused on Customer Service

Rowley Company is proud of our 50 year legacy of service to the window coverings industry. As we’ve grown and evolved since 1962, we’ve remained true to our original focus of providing excellent customer service and delivering an experience that exceeds your expectations.

Rowley provides a customer experience unlike anyone else by offering a large selection of competitively-priced, innovative products that are in-stock and available for same day shipping, building custom solutions for shades and traversing draperies, and providing expert technical support and training. We are here to equip you with products and solutions to make your jobs efficient and profitable.

 As we enter 2012 and look to the future, we renew and strengthen our commitment to you, our customer! Our focus remains on providing the best customer experience in the industry. We value your input and feedback in our annual satisfaction survey, and have enacted many changes to improve our service level. We look forward to our continued partnership and assisting you in achieving your business goals and delighting your customers.

Over the last 50 years, a lot of things have changed at Rowley Company, but one thing has remained: our customer focus. Our goal is to not only maintain the founders' strategy, but continue to improve our customer service and product innovation by listening to our most valuable asset...YOU, THE CUSTOMER!