When using the latest in iron-on products and techniques, creating fabric cornices is nearly effortless and less messy and time consuming than using plywood, and they improve the characteristics of even limp fabrics creating a more valuable appearance.
The most important part of this process is selecting a fabric stiffener that is versatile, easy to work with and will get the job done right. For example, the fabric stiffeners from döfix are available in various widths and three different styles: velour-backed, single- or double-sided coated. The Microdot coating is extremely strong and durable and allows cornices created with them to be dry cleaned to maintain their appearance for as long as the customer owns it. They also are chemically treated to guarantee they will not shrink, which would cause the cornices to warp.
Fabric stiffeners are easy to work with. They can be cut with scissors to any shape desired. For example, the top and bottom of the stiffener can be trimmed to follow the print on the fabric. The stiffeners are simply ironed to the back of the decorative fabric. Stiffeners that are coated on both sides are supplied with a silicon paper that prevents them from adhering to the table while the first layer of fabric is applied.
As long as the stiffeners are hot, they are very soft and can be formed to any imaginable shape. Once they cool, they will retain that shape. This feature enables cornice returns to be created just by bending the fabric at the appropriate place. But it also means one of-a-kind, three-dimensional designs can be created.
The only limit to design is the decorator's imagination. Iron-on fabric stiffeners can be used in combination with decorative rods or with the newest oversized 1 5/8-inch grommets through which swags and cording can be draped. These grommets, also supplied by döfix, even can be used with 1 3/8-inch wood or brass poles.
Because cornices made with stiffened fabrics are so lightweight, a decorator can fabricate unique designs that just are not possible using plywood. They even can be installed with fabric tabs to create a whole new look.
Scrap pieces of fabric also can be put to use. Using the velour-backed stiffener from döfix, scrap pieces can be used to create outstanding place mats and coordinating lampshades which will complete a perfect room setting.
Another big advantage of fabric stiffeners is that the finished cornices can be rolled, which makes them easy to transport. This feature is especially appreciated when it comes to designs for large treatments. The installation is simple, too. As lightweight as the fabric stiffeners are, it takes only one person to mount a large cornice using hook and loop fastener.
These are just a few ideas of how using coated fabric stiffeners can open a whole new world of design possibilities for any window treatment workroom or home decorating business.
Robert Döhlemann is vice president of döfix No*Sew Inc., an industry leader in iron-on products, 1947 Ironway Dr., Sanford, MI 48657; (517) 687-7999; fax: (517) 687-7220.