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Glossary of Terms

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a la Duchesse
A type of bed with a canopy suspended from the ceiling rather than supported by posts (also known as an angel bed).
acetate
Many convincing artificial silks are made from acetate. It has almost the same finish and draping qualities as silk but is less prone to fade or rot.
acrylic
Soft, lightweight, man-made fiber, which is warm, strong and crease-resistant.
ADO
Fabric vendor specializing in lace and sheers. (851 Simuel Rd., Spartanburg, SC 29301)
aluminum-coated lining
Without adding much extra bulk, this type of lining will help to exclude light, cold, or heat. It can be used with curtains or, when bulk is particularly unwelcome, to line shades. The aluminum- coated surface faces inside the curtain or shade, while the visible side shows cream-colored woven cotton.
appliquÈ
A form of decoration produced by superimposing one material on another. It may consist of figured patterns cut out and applied, or embroidered bands of patterns.
arabesque
Decoration characterized by symmetrical intertwining branches, leaves and other plant forms together with abstract curvilinear shapes.
architrave
A wooden surround to a door or window frame; also the molding around an arch.
Atlantis miniblinds
1" commercial aluminum blind made by Hunter Douglas.

Austrian shade
A soft fabric shade that pulls up on vertical cords into swags and appears gently ruched at the base when let down.
awl
A pointed tool that makes holes in wood surfaces.
baize
Dyed green or red, baize is a flannel-like cloth used for card tables and the linings of silverware drawers. Its color and texture make it handy for improvised curtains or shades. Baize will fade in strong sunlight.
Baker, Knapp & Tubb Furniture
High quality traditional furniture manufacturer. (1661 Monroe Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505)
Bali Blinds
Blind fabricator. Products include CustoMiser miniblinds, Heritage miniblinds, Classics miniblinds, Neat Pleat Ultra, and others. A division of Springs Industries.
balloon shade
A shade that has fullness in the width, sometimes formed into inverted pleats, and is raised and lowered by cords threaded through rings at the back.
Bamboo shades
A roman styled shade made of reeds. Made by many manufacturers including Levolor and DelMar.
basic fibers
The vast majority of furnishing fabrics are made of cotton or cotton mixtures. Its principal charm is its versatility. Cotton can be dyed, printed, or finished in a multitude of ways. It can be made colorfast, will withstand heat and light, and yet is inexpensive. Drawbacks, shared with all natural fabrics, are that it tends to crush and can react to humidity by mildewing.
Basswood
A popular type of wood with a smooth finish, used to make wooden blinds.
batik
In this dyeing process developed in Java, wax and other substances that resist dye are applied, then washed out to leave dramatic patterns.
batten
A thin piece of timber that slots into the base hem of a roller shade or Roman shade so that the fabric hangs straight and rigid. Also timber struts nailed vertically to the wall for fabric walling.
batting
A fluffy man-made fiber sometimes used to pad edges.
bay window
A window consisting of three adjacent windows projecting from the building and forming an alcove inside.
Beacon Hill
Fabric vendor with a European flair. (1 Design Centre Place, Suite 200, Boston, MA 02210)
BeyondWoods
Faux wood blinds made of synthetic material, made by Hunter Douglas.
bias binding
A strip of cloth cut on the bias, at 45? to the selvage, which gives stretch to the fabric. Used as an edging or to cover piping cord.
blackout lining
A layer of opaque material is sandwiched between two layers of cotton fabric. In this way all light is excluded. Some are heavy and difficult to penetrate with a needle, while others are softer. Both will add to the weight but will also improve the draping qualities. Usually in cream or white.
block fringe
A fringe trimming colored with equal blocks of contrasting color.
Bottom rail
The bottom of a shade or blind.
bow window
A rounded bay window.
box pleat
A flat symmetrical pleat formed by folding the fabric to the back at each side of the pleat.
brackets
Supports for either a rod, pole, shade, or valance shelf.
braid
A woven ribbon used as edging or trimming.
brocade
Originally of silk but can be made in cotton, linen, wool or man- made fiber. It is usually woven in one or two colors, with the additional colors applied to the woven surface, which is what distinguishes it from damask. Heavier than damask, it is often woven in silver or gold thread. It is used for curtains and special upholstery. Traditionally patterned with both floral and naturalistic motifs, the raised design is woven on a Jacquard loom and has long horizontal threads along the back.
brocatelle
A type of silk strengthened with linen. It seldom uses more than two colors. It has a satin or twill figure on a plain or satin ground and is distinguished from damask by raised areas of pattern that are formed by a double warp. It does not drape well and in the 17th century was used mainly for wall hangings.
Brunschwig & Fils
High-end fabric vendor. Very traditional and exclusive. (75 Virginia Road, North White Plains, NY 10603)
buckram
An interfacing used as a stiffener inside handmade curtains, drapery, and valance headings, as well as tiebacks and cornices. Made from cotton or jute, it is available in different weights, in fusible and sew-in versions; it is normally 4in (10cm) wide.
buckram, fusible
This is a strip of white cotton impregnated with glue. It is used inside hand-pleated headings, giving the requisite stiffness without the visible machine stitching of a sewn-on decorator tape. This buckram is fused to the fabric with a hot iron.
buckram, fusible heavyweight
An open-weave fabric, made from jute, then impregnated with glue, this type of buckram is used as the base of a cornice. It is very stiff and is best cut with a heavy-duty craft knife. A hot iron will release the glue to fuse it in place. It is turned on its side along the cornice.
buckram, non-fusible heavyweight
Made from jute, this material is not impregnated with glue but is double starched and two-ply. It is sewn into the cornice. Use a heavy-duty craft knife because non-fusible buckram is not easy to cut. It has the same uses as the fusible version but is more easily cleaned.
bullion fringe
A fringe trimming formed of twisted loops of rope, made in wool or silk and available in a variety of lengths and thicknesses.
bump
A cotton-waste interlining used to add body and insulation.
bump interlining
This heavy, blanketlike cotton interlining imported from England is available bleached or unbleached. Table felt or reinforced felt is similar but is somewhat stiffer. Cotton flannel can also be used instead of bump. All interlinings are sewn into a curtain between the fabric and lining; lockstitch links the interlining to the curtains. These heavy interlinings can also be used for cornices but are too heavy for swags. They are often too heavy to use with silk or other light fabrics.
burlap
A strong, coarse fabric made from jute or hemp fibers.

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