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Draping Fabric

user-216215 | Posted in General Discussion on

I was watch Project Runway and looking at the designers creating garment from draping  the fabric, is it hard to do, working with the bias grain how is it stablized, and where can you learn how to do draping?

Where can you can a book on how to price Window Treatments?


  1. suesew | | #1

    The simple answer is that you learn to do draping by draping. You need to have a dress form and then you start to hang" fabric around it and see what it does and what you like. You pin and cut and sew and repeat and sooner or later you have something. You can learn a lot about fabrics that way and what they can and cannot do.
    Window treatments are usually figured by the "cut." Figure out how much time it takes to hem each side, whether lining is involved, or anything is added to the header. Some will be simple and some will be miserable. The bigger they are the harder they are to handle, cut straight, measure accurately, etc. Just be sure to charge enough. I just narrowed l0 unlined drapery panels. I had to open the header and bottom hem, cut off 5 inches from the width, and restitch the side and the hem and header stitching and then press what I had just stitched. I charged $8 for each.

    1. user-216215 | | #3


      Thank You!!!!!   Whenever I purchase my dress form, I'll see if that works for me.

      Pricing on Window Treatments, I plan to take my certification in Window Treatments, very soon in the near future, wanted a base price on Window Treatment until then.

      There isn't any publication referencing prices. Thanks Again Want  To Sew


      1. oldusty | | #7

           Hello Want To Sew ,

                    We own a window coverings business and have our own work room , the majority of treatments gets charged by the widths involved .Some very long panels cost more to produce as well .

             Draperies sell for the fabric cost plus so much a width , if they are lined the labor and price per width increases as well as the time to fabricate them .If you think about it a valance takes close to the same labor burden as a long panel will .

            Many of our  fabric suppliers now have workrooms of their own since there are so few independent workrooms anymore , you can get a price list with wholesale prices that a decorator would pay . This would be a guideline so you don't under or over charge .

           The trade magazines such as Draperies & Window Coverings have many links to workroom experts , if you do a Google search I'm sure you will come up with a good selection . Also price is certainly different in all regions so you really need to know what your local market prices are .

           good       luck              dusty


        1. user-216215 | | #8


          Thank you for your reply, I know of a workroom person in window treatments, and she is making a living on it as a matter of fact for years.  And still doing well.

          I am in the fashion business and love all parts of sewing, and took a window treatment course in Charlotte N.C. and did some of my own.  It  is hard to find a fair price, I have been told several ways on how to calculate the fair price for window treatments, by the widths, and foot, and rod, in a general way, I did subscribe to the magazine and it was helpful on installation tip and others I still have the magazines as a matter of fact.  I will look into the matter further, and I sure a good basic price will work out of it.  Thanks so much for the information.  Marlece

  2. User avater
    artfulenterprises | | #2

    Dear Want To Sew:

    While experimentation is always a good thing, there are a few basic rules to the art of Draping. There are only a few books on the subject, one being " Draping for Apparel Design" by Helen Joseph Armstrong available at Amazon.com who is a brilliant teacher (which I am fortunate enough to have learned first hand) and another is " The Art of Fashion Draping" by Connie Amaden Crawford.

    I teach fashion draping here in my studio in California's wine country although my methods are slightly different, principles remain the same. I had a wonderful draping teacher who was trained in the Paris couture house of Jacques Fath in the 50's. Threads has published several articles written by Suzanne Stern which you may still be able to find in their archives. Her methods do not use pre-marked muslins which is the standard procedure in these American texts. I believe a little amalgam of both methods would be handy though.

    I also teach classes in the French couture method of developing a body double dress form cover. A dress form that replicates your figure is a key tool for draping.

    If you are still fascinated by draping and want to learn, pick up a book or two and do a little "homework". Check out your local junior colleges...sometimes they have classes. And, occasionally a forward thinking fabric or sewing machine store or sewing club will offer classes. And, if you are close to Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, there are Fashion Design schools which will allow you to take a single class. I started my
    fashion degree by taking a summer class at LA Trade Technical College in Fashion Draping. There are similar opportunities out there if you take a close look.

    Just remember, "grain" is the word! :o)

    Susan Fredrick
    Artful Enterprises

    1. user-216215 | | #4


      I appreciate the information and the tips on applications. Still getting my degree in business and fashion merchandising, draping has been a wonder to me, I would love to learn how to drape, if seem it will take out the pattern making quite a bit.  I will look into the publications that you suggested, I am sure it will be very helpful to me.

      I wanted to take a course in draping online, not feasible, not offer in my area. Talked with Fashion School in Chicago Ill. and New York. Something will work out.  Thanks Again   Want To Sew, Marlece


      1. stitchagain | | #5

        It is not difficult to learn how to drape if you have no expectations on the outcome

        1. user-216215 | | #6

          Thank You stitchagain, I have high expectation on the out come. (smile)

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