Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Custom Outdoor Drapery Panels

One of the easiest ways to dress up your outdoor patio is by adding decorative drapery panels! These can either be decorative "fixed" panels OR decorative and functional panels.  For decorative panels you need only small corner draperies on a short rod to add color, style and warmth to your extended living area.  Depending on how large the overall patio area is you may use one width of material (standard drapery fabric width is 54") or two widths of material, which stacks back nicely to the side or corners of your porch.  Custom drapery hardware is available for short pieces of 24" or longer if desired.

Functional panels that draw across and enclose your patio have many benefits.  They provide privacy to your area, block the sun during sunrise and sunset, and also cut down on the heat making it cooler to enjoy your veranda.  During winter months it also reduces the wind and provides some insulation from the cool air.  On rainy days you can close off the patio to limit moisture and spray from damaging furniture and protect your cushions from getting saturated.

When selecting your header for drapery panels please keep in mind the fullness requirements when they are functional.  The Rod Pocket header style requires a minimum of 1.5 times fullness while when using the Over-Sized Grommet header style with the inside diameter being 1.5" or greater - requires a minimum of 2 times fullness. Tracking systems or outdoor shower curtains require use of Small (size #2) Grommets for the header and these require 1.5 times fullness.  The Tab Top header style is typically recommended to have 2 times fullness; however, if you are on a budget you may opt to use only 1.5 times fullness and it will still function and achieve the overall decorative look for your draperies.  Other header styles are also available which require more fullness to achieve their overall look.  When a greater fullness than that of 2 times is used on exterior applications especially over long expanses you should consider the ease of removing and re-installing the panels when cleaning is required.    

There are many manufacturers in the industry today of all-weather outdoor material ideal for drapery applications.  One of the most popular is Sunbrella by Glen Raven Mills.  They are the leader in high-performance fabric manufacturing and are the only mill with a 5-year warranty on their furniture grade material.  Their warranty coverage is for fade, mildew and water resistance.  However, if you are frequently washing your drapery panels you may wish to re-treat the material with a fabric guard should the need arise.

Bella Dura is another all-weather textile manufacturer who has beautiful colors and styles of material available.  Their yarn is a patented blend to withstand the harsh weather environments and has one of the highest yarn durability of 30,000 double-rubs!  They offer a 3 year warranty against fade, mildew and water resistance.

Production time is always a factor when ordering your custom drapery panels.  A reasonable custom production allocation time table is 2 to 3 weeks from the time your order is placed.  If you have to wait 4 to 6 weeks for material or production OR you cannot speak to someone on the telephone to discuss your order - be aware they may not be the best or most reputable choice for spending your hard earned dollars!

Ordering your custom production drapery panels should be fun and easy.  Be sure to request individual fabric cuttings to ensure you are completely happy with the color selection, style and feel of your fabric.  Complimentary samples are a must for clients ordering custom production.  Although they may charge  $1.00 for the initial samples to be sent...always ask for a credit back when you order.

Now that you have the knowledge you need - receive a custom drapery quote to ensure your order falls within your budget.  The following is a link to the drapery estimate request form which can be used to receive your quote.  Replies to drapery estimates should be received within 24 hours.  If you do not get a reply back within that time - call and verify your request was received!  

Drapery Panel Estimate Request

Here are a few images of the header options described above: