In Gone With the Wind, Scarlett O’Hara rips the velvet drapes from her windows and makes a dress out of them. At Classic Cleaners, though, some frayed drapes came back to life under the loving care of master seamstress Ohi Suhre and are now once again a proud part of the homeowner’s décor.
The set of eight drapery panels was brought in to Classic Cleaners for dry cleaning, but the edges, as so often happens with prolonged exposure of drapes to sunlight, had become weakened and “sun rotted”. As you can see in the photo, Ohi was able to finish off the outside edges of each panel. (Drapes are shown here before pressing and finishing, with the frayed edges placed across the white inside portion of the panel.)
Window dressings have been around a long time, but draperies (pleated and heavier than curtains) became popular in the late 1800’s. Interestingly, in 1950 Emily Post referred to the word “drapes” as an “inexcusable vulgarism”, advising ladies to refer to window hangings as “draperies” or curtains.
However you choose to refer to them, drapes serve several important functions:
- Block or filter light
- Provide privacy
- Frame the outside view of the home
- Traverse drapes hang from a cord-operated rod and open and close.
- Casement drapes (sheers) are translucent, hanging close to the window.
- Inverted pleat drapes are stationary panels, closely gathered at the top and hanging loose.
At Classic Cleaners, we meticulously care for draperies of every type, from swags to jabots.
Once dry cleaning or laundering and stain removal is done, we place the drapes on special equipment that gently dries them while pleats are refreshed as needed.
Unlike Scarlett O’Hara, you’ve probably no plans to use your drapes as dresses. Nonetheless, they are dressings – for your windows. As part of a well-dressed home, drapes should be cleaned at least once every two years.
At Classic Cleaners, we want to help your home make the Best Dressed list!
By Reb of the Classic Cleaners blog team