Many of you are probably wondering what on earth a lambrequin
is? It is a unique style of rigid, fabric covered window dressing that forms a complete
frame from for the window and is installed without curtains - read on to find out more!
|What is a lambrequin?
|A lambrequin is very similar to
a modern stiff pelmet made of MDF, but is a lot more rigid. In the case of a lambrequin,
the top pelmet board is actually fastened to the front and sides to form a box frame. A
stiff pelmet is only attached to the top board (fastened to the wall) at the installation
Still a bit confused? Check out these simple design illustrations
|If you are
new to upholstery but keen to have a go, then a lambrequin would be a great place to
start. It is relatively simple to make and requires no complex skills. Alternatively, if
you have tackled some simple modern upholstery before and are keen to apply your skills to
window dressings, then this could be just the project for you. Lambrequins are a great
stepping stone from which you may then feel you want to move on to headboards or simple
are very popular at the moment as they suit the minimalist look in interior design. They
are particularly useful for dressing small windows and are just perfect for cloakrooms and
bathrooms particularly when teamed with roman or roller blinds. This article aims to give
you the insight and inspiration you will need to begin designing and making your own
Lambrequins and features extracts from our practical guide TEACHYourself LAMBREQUINS.
lambrequin is somewhat different from making the lighter weight soft furnishings that you
might already be familiar with. However, you will be able to produce a really eye-catching
article that will be a talking point with your friends without any extra heavy duty tools
or special craft skills. This simple upholstery work involves the use of glue and staples,
so gear yourself up accordingly. Do the carpentry work and gluing in the garage or
workshop and then move into your sewing room to finish off. Your best dining room table is
definitely not the place to work! Spending some time at the design stage is
invaluable with lambrequins as with all soft furnishing projects, but take special care
with the following:
|Choose the right face fabric
mind that you will be cutting the fabric into a certain shape and tensioning it over a
frame, so choose a tightly woven fabric with no stretch and be wary of fabrics that fray
easily. A stiff, closely woven cotton is ideal - no velvet, checks or stripes for your
first project! It you are using a patterned fabric, then make sure the shape of the
lambrequin complements the pattern to best effect.
size and location
suit small windows best, so do not plan to make one for a large drawing room window as the
scale is destined to be completely wrong! The lambrequin has to be fitted outside the
window recess, so steer clear of windows with immediately adjacent walls or the lambrequin
is likely to look unbalanced. As with stiff pelmets it is important to get the proportions
right. This is not an exact science but ensuring that your final design looks balanced and
in proportion to the window and setting will be aided by producing a scale drawing or a
template to hold up to the window.
|Selecting a trim
|Lambrequins look good with a trimming applied to the inside
edge as this adds both weight and definition. Here we have used a twisted cord trimming to
match the accompanying roman blind. There are a vast array of trimmings available today
and some of the colour combinations are stunning. Our second introductory guide TEACHYourself SOFT FURNISHING SEWING TECHNIQUES contains a handy
section explaining the many different styles of trimmings you can choose from.
|For inspiration its always worth visiting a
branch of KA International
or the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre for the ultimate in stylish trimmings, but don't
forget that a wide variety of good value trimmings are available from high street fabric
retailers and department store haberdashery departments. There's bound to be somewhere
near you. Check out our Supplier
Directory to find your local fabric retailer.
type of sewing project you will need several more unusual materials than when making
lighter weight soft furnishings. These include a staple gun and glue, which you may not
have to hand. You may also need to make a trip to your local DIY store to purchase the MDF
and consider how you will have the board cut to your desired shape. Make sure you
take your time over the preparation stage and plan thoroughly to avoid expensive mishaps!
|This said, making a
lambrequin is not just about cutting and stapling, there are also some important sewing
steps involved! If you are completely new to making soft furnishings, then its a good idea
to ensure that you understand the basic sewing techniques used - ranging from different
types of hand and machine stitching and seams, to the techniques for jointing trimmings.
You can use Simply Furnishings' free guide
to Basic Sewing
Equipment and Techniques to learn these essential skills. The guide can be downloaded,
viewed online and printed or saved to disk in no time at all and it should prove a
valuable addition to your workroom!
|We have also produced a unique
step-by-step guide to help you tackle your first lambrequins project with confidence. TEACHYourself LAMBREQUINS offers all the practical
advice you'll need on how to make lambrequins with a truly professional finish, including
a full list of materials and tools, design guidance and step by step cutting out, sewing,
assembly and installation instructions. We hope these tips will prove useful and that we
have helped to inspire you to give this exciting new sewing project a try!