woman at sewing machine

What is a ‘workroom’?

A drapery workroom is the place where the magic happens for fabric fashions for your home.

If you are doing some home decorating on your own it is a good idea to find the local workroom and make friends with the operator. Just like any professional, a workroom operator will have invested considerable time and money in training and equipment and the workroom is a reflection of that. I generally wouldn’t take my car for service to the guy operating out of his garage in the back alley so please don’t be surprised if the quality of work you receive from the home sewer is not to the standard of a professional workroom.

 A professional workroom has standards

Professional workrooms usually work to a standard consistent throughout the industry. For example, most professionally made drapes will have a hem that is 4” deep, turned twice. There is a reason for this, the weight of the hem helps keep the drapes hanging properly and allows ample fabric if alterations are necessary. All hems should done on a blind hemmer so the stitches are not visible on the right side of the fabric. – All professional workrooms have industrial blind hemmers and this commitment to professionalism costs about $1000.00 and does just this one thing.

 The cutting table is a tell.

The largest cutting table I have seen in a workroom was one 6 by 14 feet. Most workrooms have tables 5 feet wide and 10 feet long which enables them to cut, handle, and press large pieces of fabric with ease and accuracy. If your chosen workroom is using the floor, or dining room table, as a cutting surface, rest assured your drapes will most likely be crooked.

They network, which is good for YOU

Like any professional, the workroom will be associated with other professionals; supplies, like the cord used in cushion welting, will be of a superior grade to that available at the local fabric store ( it won’t shrink, for example).


They can do the math.

A professional workroom will be able to assist you in calculating the fabric required for your home décor project and most likely will not charge you for this service. Many workrooms are operated by people with interior design or decorating training as well as superior sewing skills. These professionals spend their days handling fabric. If you have questions, call them. They are usually quite willing to help the ‘novice’.


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