I am in the process of designing a master bedroom suite for my client. The window treatments have been designed and finalized, including fabric selection. We are in the process of designing a comforter ensemble for the bed and coordinating accessories. I am having some difficulty locating dependable yardage calculation information. The workroom I am using for the custom window treatments does not design comforter ensembles. I would like to be prepared with yardage requirements for the bed before I locate a fabricator.
It is vital to calculate yardage before ordering material for custom bed ensembles. The yardage requirement table below offers approximate requirements. All fabricators vary somewhat in their work. Use these numbers as quick-reference guidelines. Always confirm final yardage requirements with the fabricator. Keep in mind there are many variables which will affect the outcome of your order.
Yardage depends on the width of the fabric. Fabric widths vary from 45 inches to 54 inches. All yardage is calculated for one side of the comforter. Yardage estimates also vary according to a straight match of the fabric or a large pattern repeat, which may up the yardage requirements. You must allow a bit for shrinkage. Consult your fabricator for their recommendations on shrinkage allowance.
Welting around the edge of the comforter will require additional yardage. A standard drop for a comforter may be 12 to 13 inches. Remember, many bed treatments today have additional drop lengths. These variations are due to the size of a custom bed frame, and the new "pillow top" mattresses.
Comfirm with the fabric manufacturer that the fabric chosen is recommended for use as a bed ensemble. Fabrics vary in "hand" and how they will hold up for an ensemble, which will be sat on, slept with as a bed covering or pillow, etc. Fabric manufacturers are always willing to offer this information. In fact, many times this information is stated in the sample book.
Additional information for yardage requirements for custom bed ensembles can be obtained from the fabric supplier or your fabricator. Some excellent reference books include The Decorating Guide and Sketch Collection by Anderson Fabrics and The Encyclopedia of Window Fashions by Randall (third edition).
Dust ruffles also vary in yardage according to the style, whether they are shirred, tailored or box pleated and the size of the drop required. The successful outcome of the dust ruffle depends upon your careful measurements of the three sides of the bed and the drop requirement. Also keep in mind pattern matches for the ruffle.
Pillow shams differentiate from two to three yards for each one depending on the pattern placement for ruffles or welting. The same is applicable for pillow covers.
Overall, custom bed ensembles have a variety of considerations that must be dealt with prior to calculating yardage. First consult your fabricator to get an idea of how they determine yardage. I have experienced variations from one fabricator to another.
The beauty of custom bed ensembles will please your clients. But most importantly, you must do your homework to ensure quality control.
Editor's Note: This is a continuing series of articles written by Sharon L. Anderson which will answer some of the many questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings, as well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business. If you have a question you would like Anderson to address, please send it to: DesignSolutions@DWCdesigNET.com
Sharon L. Anderson, Associate Member, Interior Design Educator's Council (IDEC), has more than 14 years experience as a commercial and residential design professional. She has taught numerous courses at colleges and universities throughout Southern California and is a published author and frequent public speaker.