In some cases, a valance or drapery made with your choice of fabric and sized to fit your window would be called “custom.” But in a custom workroom and in the Interior Design profession, they may be called “custom” but are truly “made to measure.”
What then sets them apart? A “made to measure” treatment is made in a factory setting. Lower quality materials are often used. Clear mono-filament thread may be used to fabricate your treatment, as opposed to color-matched cotton. That saves time changing thread and bobbin every time a new fabric is used. If you have ever had a garment with clear mono-filament thread begin to unravel, you know how quickly your garment can come apart.
These factories use a lower quality, inexpensive lining made usually of a polyester blend. Lower quality linings do not drape as well as 100% cotton lining and are not as compatible with most face fabrics. The weight of quality lining also enhances the lifespan of your treatment.
Decorative pillows tend to “take a beating.” In a custom shop, all components are serged (prevents fraying) before assembly. This adds greatly to durability. Also, “custom” is to always add a zipper, for easy removal of the cover for cleaning. Another factor is the quality of the insert, including the ticking (cover,) many details that create a great end product!
I recently saw a display of a valance with a seam right down the center! This saves fabric and labor, but is clearly NOT what I would think of as “custom.” When price is the deciding factor in how a treatment is made, seams will be placed in visible places, patterns may not be matched, and poor quality materials will be used in its fabrication.
Why should you be certain that your treatment is truly “custom?” Quality window and bedding treatments last for years. The average life span for a lined treatment is twelve years. So take the “sticker shock” out of the initial outlay by looking at the longevity of the item. The use of high quality materials and excellent construction add to the lifespan and beauty of your treatment.
Carolina Window Designs offers these features as our standard. We work with Interior Designers and Builders to create a truly “custom” treatment that will last. Being local also makes us more accessible for the designers to come in and approve pattern placement, or to see a “mock up” of something they have designed. Make the investment in a “custom” window treatment and you will be very satisfied.