The key to success in any business is to have reliable partners. This is also true for the products the interior design industry provides to their clients, including custom window treatments and custom bedding.
I have been working with Virginia Quilting for a while and finally set a date on my calendar to visit the facilities. I wanted to learn about its processes and products, and meet everyone I am in contact with when working on your projects. So, if you are curious about how the workroom looks, come join me.
Virginia Quilting is located in a small Virginia town of La Crosse. It employs about 200 people, most of them have 15-20 years of experience in custom window treatments and bedding fabrication. It has two divisions, residential and commercial. The commercial division fabricates window treatments for big hotel chains and casinos. Residential division is more custom oriented and is open to handle smaller, personal projects. Orders come from all over the country.
The first section we visit is the quilting area.
The workroom can make many variations of quilting patterns and has different machines to handle different styles. The most popular patterns are Clouds, Shells, Squares, and Channels. As far as design style, I can see this going in either direction, traditional or contemporary. Not only do they quilt fabric but wallpaper as well! Imagine that – quilted wallpaper!
I asked Cindy Clevinger, the plant manager, if they see any changes in window fashion trends just by the orders they receive. She says that there is always less of something. Currently the workroom sees more orders of curtain panels rather than top treatments. The bestselling styles are French and Euro pleats.
As for colors, patterns, and textures, they see it all.
And it is true. I am seeing all different colors, it is not all gray and linen as one might expect these days. I also notice a great variety of patterns: French Country, geometric, floral, stripes, abstract, lattice, and so many others. Which confirms one basic philosophy: you have to design for yourself, for who you are.
I noticed some empty worktables as it is a slow season after the Holiday rush in December. I ask Cindy how may orders the workroom has on an average day. She says that in one week they make about 1000 bed skirts, 300-400 curtain panels, several hundred pillows, 30-40 board mounted treatments, and other things. I am impressed with the volume this workroom can handle.
So I say, “The question I want to ask you…store-bought curtains vs custom made?
“Well”, she says, “There are some out there that are well made and there are some that will not last as long. You will have a limited number of styles, and in the case of rod pocket style, the pocket will be limited to the diameter of the hardware the store sells. This limits fabric choices.
The panel sides have a single stitch hem while custom hems will be blind stitched. Quality of the lining will vary”.
She is right. I also tell my clients that curtains should be fitted to their unique windows and room size. Proportions should be balanced and design elements should be chosen to enhance the overall look and serve a specific function: decorative, room darkening, heat control, etc.
I have also learned that it takes nine pairs of hands to transform the fabric into a custom drapery. Yes, if I bring you a pair of curtain panels, you can be sure nine people worked on it!
While we sit in Cindy’s office I see this unusual pillow cover.
– Yes, this one is a mitered corner, double flange pillow, – she says.
There is always something new to learn! Cindy tells me that when they see new design features in window treatments, bedding or pillows popping up in design magazines, they immediately try to figure out how to replicate it, because they know they will be getting orders for new designs soon and they want to be ready.
As I am leave the workroom, I can’t wait to get to my studio in Durham, and start working on my design projects. When I send them off to Cindy and her team I know they will be in great hands!
If you are looking for custom window treatments or bedding, and would like engage a design professional, pleases give us a call 919.389.6444 to talk about our services and schedule a design consultation. Also, check out our services page to learn about the 5 easy steps to your beautifully dressed windows.
Let us take you on a workroom tour!