Prêt à Vivre carries an edited range of plain, semi-plain and textured fabrics to create endless styles for all rooms in your home.
We have long standing relationships with our mills and work together with them to understand the weave, production process and expected performance of each of our fabrics. The decision to include a new fabric to our range is a considered process involving thorough testing. Potential fabrics are made up as both blinds and curtains to evaluate their handling and reaction to the making process. These are then hung to assess how the fabric drape and movement may change over time. We commit to providing only high quality fabrics with excellent performance to our clients.
Below is a guide to help you understand our fabrics, how they are used and how they should be cared for. You can also find fabric-specific information in our showrooms, on the back of each fabric hanger, and on our website. If you have any questions please ask one of our Designers who can advise you in relation to your own project.
WIDE WIDTH FABRICS
Traditionally a standard width fabric will be 137-140cm wide with multiple drops of a set length stitched together to create the curtain. Wide or double width fabrics such as 280-300 cm may be sufficiently wide for the width of the fabric to be used as the length of a floor length curtain. In this case the fabric is turned, or “railroaded”, to avoid vertical seams.
This is of interest for voile curtains where the seams would be more visible. Many of our voile fabrics are wide or double width.
The fabric may have to be folded for transport so there may be a crease on the width which may take some time to disappear and, in some cases, a small faint line will be apparent in some lights.
It is impossible to guarantee against colour fading regardless of fabric composition. To best protect your curtains and blinds we always recommend the use of a lining. For additional protection use voiles to filter incoming sun.
All our linings provide UV protection and a few of our roller blind materials have specific UV protection properties, please enquire for further information.
Fabric is a woven material and regardless of the composition as such is subject to relaxing or contracting. We include an allowance for this movement when making your curtains and/or blinds however each fabric, room temperature and humidity combination is different therefore it is advisable to expect changes over the course of the seasons and over time. Industry standards stand between a 3-5% allowance.
Natural fibres may be more prone to this movement, to increase the stability consider an interlining. Alternatively consider a curtain length which breaks on the floor to better disguise these changes. Similarly, roman blinds can be interlined to help stabilise the fabric which we strongly recommend for fabrics with high linen contents.
Movement of curtains in-situ should not be seen as a fault in either the fabric or the make up and any alterations may be chargeable.
To prolong the beauty of your bespoke curtains and blinds it is best to invest in regular upkeep. Curtains and blinds will become dirty as they accumulate dust, dirt, smoke and grease from the air as well as accidental staining.
Never wait until there are visible signs of dirt before washing or cleaning. We recommend regular light vacuuming with an appropriate attachment ideally once a week. In the event of an accidental stain please consult a specialist cleaner. Ensure that your chosen specialist is aware of the fabric composition and appropriate process to minimise agitation and specific solvents which may damage the fabric. Please note that dry cleaning is not a dry process and may result in shrinkage. Be sure to address this point with your specialist cleaner prior to any cleaning treatment.
It is important larger items such as full length curtains are not washed in a domestic washing machine. The drum will be too small and cause the fabric to crease, wear and potentially lose colour as well as shrink.
Spot washing or handwashing may be appropriate for smaller items such as pillow cases. Never use bleach when washing, this includes washing detergents which may contain optical brighteners, but opt for a mild liquid detergent. Do not allow fabrics to sit in water for long periods of time and dry on a flat ventilated surface. As a reminder do not wash velvets in water as this may cause permanent marking.
Our roller blind fabrics can safely be wiped with a dry cloth to remove dust. Before using any type of cleaning product be sure to test it in an inconspicuous area to avoid staining or bleaching the fabric. Roller blinds should not be immersed in water.
The composition and weave of a fabric will affect its suitability to a particular look and product. For example, a high linen content fabric will crease and move – contract and relax in relation to changes in ambient temperature and humidity – and therefore is more suited to a relaxed look.
The delicate look of silks stems from their fine and delicate fibres. Silks require more care in their make up and in their ongoing maintenance.
We strongly recommend interlining and lining silk curtains or blinds; blackout lining will also help preserve your curtains and blinds longer. Consider using silk only on windows which do not receive direct strong sunlight; use a voile panel or voile curtain to filter light and potentially use a stronger fabric on the leading edge border.
Roman blinds should be made with an under hang to protect the folds from sunlight; again, consider a bottom border with a stronger material such as velvet.
The pile of the velvet confers its shine and texture, caring for the pile will keep your velvet looking its best.
Velvets should always be stored suspended horizontally in boxes to avoid permanent creasing. When re-rolling velvet be sure to roll with the pile on the inside.
Marking and /or pile distortion are normal characteristics of velvet and are not an indication of poor quality or poor wear. It is not possible to protect curtains and blinds from pressure marks when being handled and transported from the workrooms, through the checking process and during transport to your home.
Our fitters will dress your curtains at fitting but will not steam them. During use shading and pressure marks should diminish or disappear altogether. The pile of the hung product will continue to improve over several months due to its weight and atmospheric conditions.
This “bruising” of velvet may be improved with the use of a soft brush.
Do not spill liquids onto velvet as it may stain or show watermarks which are difficult to remove.
The creases in Linen curtains and blinds should be viewed as an integral part of their look, expected to increase over time with use.
Natural fibres such as linen are more prone to movement in line with changes of room temperature and humidity. For this reason we recommend linen-rich fabrics are either interlined to add stability or used in a relaxed look such as curtains which break on the floor. See our “Curtain length” document for further information or discuss with one of our Designers.
Similarly, linen rich fabrics should be interlined when used for roman blinds where a smarter appearance is desired.