There could be no custom window treatments without workrooms.
The individuals who imagine, manage the myriad details and fabricate
one-of-kind treatments are all-too-often unheralded heroes.
D&WC asked several industry insiders their thoughts on the challenges facing workrooms today, and how technology has changed the workroom environment. Here are their replies.
Supplier Innovation Helps
ZMC Window Treatments
Workrooms, and the talented technicians who create and fabricate,
are the very backbone of custom soft window treatments. The talented
technicians combine exacting skills with the latest in stitching
technologies to provide unique home fashions. But the problem is,
these days it’s hard to find experienced technicians, not
even skilled sewing operators. Workroom suppliers are working to
relieve this problem by creating products that make fabrication
easier and faster.
The Roman Shade Bar System offered by ZMC, for example, eliminates the need for sewing and creates perfectly straight pleats every time. The No-Sew Hobbled Tape™ is coupled with Cord Guide for accurate spacing and easy assembly. With them, you can easily make two different styles of Roman shades: a flat Roman shade and a hobbled Roman shade. The Bar is attached to the fabric very easily. First, mark the fabric for drop length and the number of pleats required. You can use a measuring tape to mark the fabric, or use a cardboard template. Once the fabric is marked you proceed to fold over the fabric. Depending on the type of fabric you work with, you can make a crease by hand. If you are working with a decorative fabric you might want to use an iron to crease the fabric with ease. Now, place the inner rod into the folded fabric and then slide the Roman bar. You can also attach the Roman bar first and then slide the inner rod into the Roman bar.
No matter the experience of the workroom or the technician, products like the Roman Shade Bar system with No-Sew Hobbled Tape offers a solution for creating elegant Roman shades with a variety of fabrics from ornate to simple.
Consistent Top Quality
The custom workroom market is very large. The ADO workroom is an
essential part of our company that produces more than 13,000 custom
orders a year.
Use of modern technology allows us to bring the consumer more flexibility in design choices with a faster turnaround time at a lower cost.
Today, workrooms must provide quality of construction and reliability. You must be able to produce quality products quickly that are consistent and reliable or customers will find a company that can produce these results. All, of course, at a good price.
Emphasis Still on Handcrafting
Leslie Ann Bedrock
Lafayette Interior Fashions
As the window treatments industry has turned more towards a larger
means of fabrication, custom drapery workrooms still tend to maintain
their roots as being small and independent. As an entire category,
the drapery market is on the rise and has been for the past three
In a large custom workroom, there have been technological advances and mechanization of many aspects of fabrication, but emphasis is still placed upon handcrafting the window treatments. In the small, custom workroom, programming has become available to designers to help provide ease in placing orders and in assisting with the creation of stylish pieces and designs, complete with corresponding pricing for the consumer. In the actual workroom, both large and small, the window treatments are still created in the same manner that has driven this faction of the marketplace. Each treatment is individually imagined, designed and crafted for that one-of-a-kind look that can only be found with the help of a designer and completed in a custom workroom.
The handcrafted aspect is what has set the drapery industry apart from the rest of the window treatments industry, whether the workroom is large or employs one person or two. Even as design trends change, the drapery marketplace will continue to grow, as it is always adaptable to the changing look and desires of the consumer marketplace.
Sharing the Vision
Technology has drastically changed the current workroom environment.
Automated machinery, with an assortment of attachments, is an obvious
and necessary upgrade in technology. But the most effective use
of technology has come in the form of communication.
The ability to send pictures, sketches, measurements and specifications via the Internet has been the most significant consequence of technology. The workroom can now have the same vision and design concepts as the designers themselves. This practice can save workroom valuable time and money when trying to create a difficult window treatment designs, as well as allowing the workroom to make suggestions in manufacturing without compromising the design.
Workrooms in today’s economic environment have many challenges. Trying to maintain quality at a competitive price has always been the challenge. It has become exceedingly difficult today due, in part, to a shortage in labor—people who are wiling to lean to sew or who are able to sew. It is a talent that many no longer have or desire. In addition, as all aspects of our expenses increase, we must be cognizant of the price the ultimate consumer is wiling to spend on our product. So pricing must remain competitive, even though expenses continue to increase.
Workrooms that are clean and organized are usually very efficient. With organizational efficiency and technology along with a multi-tasking labor force, workrooms will remain an essential force in the window coverings industry.