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Covid 19 Coronavirus update

We will be open but temporarily trading at a safe distance as a protective measure

With the government now advising against all unnecessary social contact, we have taken the difficult decision to stop browsing in Bridport and Yeovil to all visiting customers from close of business on Thursday 19th March, to protect our customers, our staff and their families

After this time, although you won’t be able to visit and browse, we will still be here at Livingstones to help you with your sewing projects online, on the phone, and by email, and we’ll still be sending out orders and samples, as long as a postal service is available. Closer to home, we are looking into providing a way for our local customers to get hold of their essential crafting supplies, and will be keeping you updated on our website and on all the social media channels. In the meantime, stay safe and please get in touch, we’re here and happy to help.

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Curtain Fabric Calculator

Calculating fabric for your curtains can be a complicated process. We published a helpful guide to how to measure for curtains and calculate fabric requirements, but now we have gone a step further and developed a calculation for you. Simply enter the details of each curtain in the form below, using either inches or centimetres for all your measurements, enter the fabric width and any pattern repeat in the same measurement unit (inches or centimetres) and the calculation will be done for you. Please note that as this is an automated process it cannot take account of any savings that can be made by having less fullness or reducing hems. This calculator is in a testing phase, so please do let us know if you encounter any problems or need further help with calculating requirements in one of our fabrics. Please see below for a selection of our current curtain fabrics, details including width and pattern repeat can be found by clicking on the fabric. All fabrics can be ordered from our website in multiples of 1 metre. The calculator will give a result to the nearest 0.1 metre which can be rounded up to purchase from the website. Please note for half drop repeat curtain fabrics we suggest you add an extra half pattern repeat to the calculated figure before rounding up.

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Box Cushions

picture of box cushions

Some of our makers have been busy recently producing these beautiful box cushions, designed and finished to customer requirements.

A box cushion has the top and bottom panels joined with a separate piece of fabric to create structured sides. These can be quite substantial, as for a sofa cushion, or slim, for something like a window seat. Box cushions can be finished piped or unpiped, depending on the look you want to go for.

We’ve recently made these luxurious piped velvet cushions, and also these hardwearing unpiped stripey cushions which are now giving a camper van a fresh new look. If you would like to reinvent any aspect of your soft furnishings – in your house, caravan, camper or cottage – ready for spring, then call in to one of our shops to be inspired by our huge stock of fabrics. We’re always happy to discuss your ideas and give a no-obligation quote.

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Bengal Tigers In Bridport

We are still adoring this jungle velvet and so are our customers and we’ve had an order this week for an unusual project. You may remember that we published a story about a lady called Debbie who made a dress out of our silk furnishing fabric featuring a bee design. Well she’s creating another dress, this time using the Bengal Tiger velvet as her fabric which we think will look sensational! Because of the varying weights and modern digital printing techniques the fabrics that we have in our shop can be crossed over into all kinds of projects, some of the lighter furnishing fabrics can be used as dress materials and many of our heavier dress fabrics, like wool or Melton coat fabrics for example, can be used as a curtain fabric. This week we’ve made up these lovely eyelet curtains in a mustard Melton cloth, quite simply because the colour matched our customers room scheme perfectly and there was nothing quite right in our soft furnishings range.

We can order anything from our large collection of fabric books too , even just a sample if you want to double check colours before you make the jump.

These eyelet curtains have been made by us using Antique rings and we can also make up eyelets in other colours such as Nickel and Black. There are a few options available designed to suit the rail you currently have in place or ask us for details on our continuous metal poles with no awkward joins to try and drag the curtains over.

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New Gift Card Service

Fuss Free Gifting

We are excited to be able to offer you a great new service from Livingstone Textiles, we can now send our shop gift vouchers out by post to you or a loved one for you. We’ll pop it into a Christmas or other relevant celebration card and pen a hand written greeting on your behalf. It’s simple and easy, just drop us an email here with your contact details, the amount of the gift voucher you would like to purchase, the occasion and the recipients name and address with the greeting and we’ll do the rest. Our gift vouchers are available as £10, £15, £20 & £50 plus £1.20 to cover the card and a stamp and we can give you a ring for payment over the phone and then pop it in the post. All of our gift vouchers are valid to spend in either of our Livingstone Textile shops on fabric, wool, haberdashery or anything else that we sell and there are so many lovely things to choose from if you enjoy making and you can purchase one voucher or a combination and we will send them out in a cheeky little penguin card for Christmas.

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Interlined Curtains

Curtains made with interlining or ‘bump’ are much fuller and more luxurious than those made with just lining alone.
The bump literally ‘bumps up’ the fabric making it thicker and has the added quality of providing a layer of insulation against cold windows.
Interlined curtains are an especially popular choice in a house with older windows and those with listed building status but are also used in more modern homes where an appearance of luxury is required.
The window size must be taken into account when considering interlining because they can easily swamp a room with too much volume. The fullness of the finished curtain also has to be taken into account but don’t worry because all of the staff working across Livingstone Textiles are trained to advise you in the appropriate way. Find out more here.

When we make your interlined curtains we use a more involved method of making where the interlining is first locked into place with Herringbone stitch under the side turns of the fabric and along the seams of any joins.

A picked hem is then worked through both the interlining and into the show fabric where a tiny line of equally spaced stitches will be barely visible.

Finally, the pencil pleat heading tape is sewn into position making the curtains look really plump and luxurious.

For these curtains we have used a lightweight polyester lining and we also stock polyester in a heavy weight as well.

If you prefer a natural fabric, we can supply and/or make interlinings in both lightweight and heavyweight cotton bumps as shown below.

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Blind Cassette Repairs

Detached Strings wound inside the cassette

Very occasionally strings on a Roman Blind pull out of the safety toggle at the bottom of the blind, particularly if it is a very heavy or long blind and has been subject to force. It can seem quite an impossible task to work out how to get the cords out of the cassette and threaded back through the blind. Fortunately because we assemble these blinds we are able to help and advise you on how to get it working correctly again and if you don’t feel confident about doing it yourself, you can leave it with us and we’ll take it apart and get it going. There is usually a small fee for this which also covers any other minor repairs that need doing such as loose rings or missing safety devices and we can replace any worn strings as well. Give us a call or just pop in to the Bridport shop with the blind and we’ll see to it for you.

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Swedish Blind

We are introducing an exciting new style of blind to our make-up service!

The Swedish blind is ideal for windows where a roman blind doesn’t work and a roller blind is just too dull, or just for a slightly more adventurous splash of colour at your window. This introduces a great soft furnishing to your window with the freedom to choose two complimentary fabrics, meaning the blind looks great from both the inside and from the outside.

This blind works by using a similar system to a tradition roman blind, in which a top wooden baton is used with eyelets to guide the cords. These cords loop around the fabric to pull it up from the bottom this creates a roll that travels up the blind. This way of rolling up allows the lining fabric to be seen from the inside of the room giving this blind its unique look.

Love this blind but would like black out material to stop the light coming in? We can also make these with black out material inside so that you still get two fabrics and a black out blind!

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Eyelet Curtains

Did you know that we make high quality professional eyelet curtains with pressed rings? This superior method uses an industrial press, which ensures that all of the fabric layers are sealed together in the heading. This method means the eyelets are an integral part of the curtain making them much stronger.

What are the benefits of eyelets? Having eyelets that are pressed into the fabric not only makes the finished curtain more robust, but also means they are also smooth and easy to slide when opening and closing your curtains. They give a great modern finish and there is no need for curtain hooks and rings for you pole!

With our eyelet curtain make up service, you can choose from a range of colours for the eyelets, so you can have the finished look you desire. Why not come and have a look at our range? We can give you a free no obligation quote and talk you through the options we offer.

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IKAT

We don’t just do curtains and blinds here at Livingstone Textiles, we do an array of cushions. You can choose from zipped, piped, envelope, boxed cushions and chair pads as well. These kitchen chair pads were made with ties and stitched in the centre to create a buttoned effect through this very cool looking Ikat fabric. When you bring us an idea for a project you have been thinking about, our staff and makers will endeavour to create something to fit your requirements and take into account everything you explain to us before helping you decide on fabrics and colours. Pop in to either of our shops and speak to us. We’ll do our very best to help you realise the look that inspires you, all without expensive design consultation fees.

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Beautiful Bill Beaumont

Elegantly gracing the drawing room of a modern home in West Dorset are these lined pencil pleat curtains made from the collection ‘Elspeth’ by Bill Beaumont. We currently have a large quantity of heavily discounted roll stock in Bill Beaumont designs at our Yeovil shop and throughout the month of August we are giving away free poly cotton lining with every curtain order placed until the 31st.

If you can’t find a suitable design on a roll we can offer a good selection of Bill Beaumont designs on our hangers and whilst these will not be as competitively priced, they will still qualify for free lining until our offer ends. You can upgrade too, just pick another lining such as Blackout, Thermal or Cotton and only pay the difference! We also offer a bespoke Lampshade making service so you can create a whole new integrated look for your room.

Follow Bill Beaumont on Pinterest for great ideas on where to use his fabrics

https://pin.it/nrgwqjpbirkrym

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Why you need curtain lining

We often get asked in the shop, as customers are choosing some lovely curtain fabric, if curtain lining is really needed. We understand the question! Curtain lining lives under the table in the big room in bolts of unexciting neutral colours; it looks a bit boring, and although it’s just a few pounds per metre, it might seem like an unnecessary spend when you’re more interested in the gorgeous show fabric.

So here’s a great example of why you need curtain lining! We often dress the shop with fabric that is quickly stapled into place, rather than use our beautifully hand-finished curtains, and a couple of us recently decided to change the fabric that had been up at the window for almost two years. It wasn’t lined, and when we took it down you can see from the picture that the fading was very obvious indeed, even though the windows do not even get direct sunlight.

We also sell a lightweight polycotton curtain lining, but the best choice is the standard cotton lining that we use when we make your curtains (unless you ask for blackout or thermal lining, of course) Our standard cotton lining comes in cream, white and stone, and is available online as well as in our shops. It is Solprufe, which is a superior 100% cotton fabric, designed to withstand the effects of light for twice as long as other linings without fading or degrading.

As we’re lucky enough to live in the sunny southwest, and especially if you live near to the sea, curtain lining will make your curtains live longer and keep the colours bright and true for longer. They’re worth it!

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What is…Haberdashery?

Haberdashery is the word used to describe all the small bits and pieces used for sewing. This is things like needles, buttons, zips, thimbles and much much more!

The word is thought to have come from the Anglo-Norman word hapertas, meaning “small ware”.

We have a huge range of haberdashery in both our Bridport and Yeovil shops

What is a Draper?

Draper is an old English word used to describe someone who sold cloth and textiles. So here at Livingstone Textiles we would of been described as a Drapers, however recently the word has fallen out of use. There were 2 other Drapers in Bridport town before Livingstone Textiles opened in 1971 and there business adverts can still be seen above the bar in The Ropemakers pub in the town.

Fenwicks was located in the building now occupied by Lilliputs and Braileys moved from their premises in West Street to a shop in South Street. Their new shop was situated near The Dorset Pedlar, a little tea room run by Percy & Ruth Baldry who were the parents of the now owner of Livingstone Textiles Tom Baldry. Tom was a school boy when his parents opened The Dorset Pedlar in 1969 and they were good friends with drapers Joyce & Arthur Brailey.

What is Mercery?

Mercery was derived from the French word mercerie, it initially referred to silk, linen, and other high quality textiles imported to England in the 12th century. The term later extended to goods made of these and the sellers of those goods.

The mercerisation process was devised about 1844 by John Mercer, who treated cotton with solutions of sodium hydroxide followed by washing. Mercer observed that the treated fabrics shrank, had more strength, and could take up dyes more easily. When wool is washed and shrinks like this we call it ‘fulled wool’ so this new product was called ‘fulled cotton’ in order to recognise the same processes undertaken that gave similar outcomes.

The silk-like lustre now commonly associated with mercerising is produced by tension, and was discovered by Horace Lowe in 1890.

The improved lustre of mercerised cotton is due to the production of nearly circular cotton fibres under tension. Another characteristic feature is the untwisting of the cotton hair.

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Tapestry Cushions

These beautiful tapestry cushions are made from a durable woven material priced at £18.50 per metre. It is available in a selection of different designs from our webshop.  They have been made without piping as the design is striking enough to not need a contrast but they do have a zip in the bottom enabling them to be dry cleaned.

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Recent makes

These cushions were made by our maker Madeline recently for a customer to update their conservatory furniture.

This lovely fabric really works well with the box cushion as the seat and a
more complex shaped cushion cover for the back which is joined together with a zip, the finished result looks lovely.

The smaller round chair was recovered in the same fabric by our upholsterer Laura. This fabric really suits this conservatory and the garden.

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Punched Metal Eyelet Curtain Service

For several years now we have been making up curtains using our eyelet header tape, where plastic rings click into a tape applied to the curtain. Eyelet curtains give a wonderful modern finish and mean you do not need any rings on your pole as the rings are contained in the curtain. We still have this eyelet header tape available for our customers’ use along with our easy to follow instructions on making eyelet curtains. We are pleased to be able to announce that we have upgraded our service on our made to measure eyelet curtains to offer punched metal eyelets as standard. You can see below some pictures of the eyelets being applied to a pair of curtains. Buckram is used within the curtain header to provide stiffness, then holes are punched at intervals, and finally metal eyelets are applied.

The advantages of punched metal eyelets are that there is a clean finish with no tape visible at the rear of the curtain, and heavier fabrics can be used without the fabric pulling out from the rings. This means that eyelets can now be used even on heavy weight curtains and room dividers where the curtain can be seen from both sides. The punched metal eyelets are available in silver and gold colour finishes.

If you would like eyelet curtains making up, simply call into our Bridport or Yeovil stores and browse our extensive range of fabrics from roll stock and sample hangers. You can even borrow the sample hangers to take home and check colours. Alternatively you can check out our online selection of curtain fabrics. Then supply us with your curtain measurements and we will be happy to give you a quote. With making prices for eyelet curtains starting at only £28 per width of fabric our prices are very competitive both locally and nationally!

 

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Curtain making in Bridport

In both our Bridport and Yeovil shops we offer a bespoke hand-made curtain make up service, along with roman blinds and cushions as a few more examples. With a local team of self-employed makers at each shop we can offer a wide range of high-quality hand-made, soft furnishings for your home at competitive prices.

We are proud to say that we have a huge range of fabrics to choose from and our friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to guide you through choosing the right fabric for you. We are also able to offer a measuring up service in the local area for people who need it, we can also offer advice on this in the shop if you just need a little guidance. Also see our guide for measuring curtains here.

Here are some of the latest bespoke curtains with matching scatter cushions we have made for a happy customer.

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Cushion Covers

 

We had an order in this week for a pair of curtains and two scatter cushions in this fresh spring fabric and they looked gorgeous when they came back from the maker.  We know that our customer will be so pleased with them, the cream piping perfectly compliments the soft white of the flowers.

Remember that we can make up all sorts of soft furnishings for you, from pencil pleat curtains and roman blinds to boxed and piped cushions and our prices are very competitive, just pop in to the shop and ask for details or take a look at our website, our making prices are the most competitive in the area.

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soft-touch furnishing fabric

Take a look at this lovely new fabric range, freshly arrived in store!

Contemporary designs in subtle colourways are printed on the softest soft-touch fabric you can imagine. This range is perfect for bringing a fresh,  crisp, understated style to your home when made into cushions, curtains and roman blinds; ideal for your spring homemaking project, or our expert makers can create any of your soft furnishings to your complete satisfaction.

Come in to Livingstones to discuss your ideas, and borrow the hanger to try the fabric out in your home; it’s available to order from us now.

100% polyester, 138cms wide, and only £21.50 per metre

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No Business like ‘Sew’ Business

 

 

Bridport Arts Centre is all ready to kick off its Fashion Week event to celebrate fashion history, costume and the recent upsurge in the popularity of sewing.  Starting on Monday 4th March and running through to Sunday 10th March there is sure to be something to whet your appetite and inspire you to get your sewing machine out.  Livingstone Textiles is very proud to have been able to sponsor this event and during the week we will have a stand in the Arts Centre foyer where you can pick up information about our locations and the products and services we provide as well as a huge selection of fabric and haberdashery to choose from.

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The events consist of talks on pattern drafting, pattern reading, historical fashion and the influences of modern London fashion through the experienced eye of Saville Row tailor, author and tv presenter James Sherwood. Also visiting Bridport to talk about the Royal Wardrobe are the Curators of Bath Museum of Fashion. They will be explaining their current exhibition on modern royal fashion as well as the royal wardrobe of Queen Alexander, Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and our current Queen Elizabeth. Continuing the fashion history theme, Bridport museum will be giving a unique insight into their textile and costume collection dating back 150 years and Arts Centre Director Curtis Fulcher will be giving an informed talk on Tudors and Historical costume. Curtis is an experienced costume designer and maker and has made a couple of recreations to demonstrate his talk with questions. There are also a great range of films to watch about some of the greatest fashion designers that have ever lived and you can find more information about the whole weeks events here

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Ceiling Mounted Tracks

We handmake beautiful soft furnishings at Livingstone Textiles and we are very proud of our products and services but did you also know that we supply and fit curtain poles and rails?

We have a selection of up to 3 metre long metal poles with brackets and finials in different colours to finish off your room.  We also supply and fit Roman Blind cassettes and curtain tracks.

Nowadays you can choose from a selection of plastic or metal tracks to suit your window or door, they can be bent around corners and you can even have ceiling mounted tracks to match in with the colour of your paintwork.  This means you can transform a bay window with a curved track, even curving it back around the reveal enabling you to hang a curtain that sweeps effortlessly around the bay but sits well away from the windows without taking light from the room.

Shown below are some pictures of a ceiling mounted track that we recently fitted from which to hang a draught excluding curtain with a thermal lining.   The curtain had to hang across a rear door to the property and a stairway so it was important that the curtain could be pushed back on either side as required.  The curtain was made from a heavy wool fabric and with the weight of the thermal lining as well it was quite a substantial curtain.  However it was no problem for our mini professional curtain track as it’s made from strong and durable metal and once secured in place it can easily bear the weight of heavier fabrics.

For more information on pole, rail, blind and track fitting contact us here.

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Elegant Linen Voiles

Laura, one of our curtain makers and Lynne our track and pole fitter have just finished dressing the patio doors in this elegant dining room.

The Rennaisance mini professional track is excellent as a discreet wall mounted curtain track and can also be used as a ceiling mounted track.  The curtain hook fittings glide effortlessly along and it is extremely strong, making it suitable for heavierweight curtains, even with thermal and blackout linings.  It is also available in other colours to match in with your decor should you wish it.

The unbleached Russian linen chosen by the customer was made into unlined curtains to act as a screen against brilliant sunshine and to protect a collection of beautiful old maps and pictures.

We think you’ll agree that the effect is clean and natural and will look even better in the daytime with light filtering through the weave.

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Practical, stylish ticking stripes

Ticking never goes out of fashion, especially as we have it in so many colourways. Whether you’re minimalist, rustic, or going for a maritime theme; whether it’s for blinds, curtains or cushions ticking fabric will fit right in.

For some creative inspiration, follow the link to see how Laura, one of our curtain makers, used ticking to line some charming curtains for a shepherd’s hut. It contrasted perfectly with the scandi trees show fabric, and the curtains look gorgeous! So if you feel you have a great home furnishing idea but don’t feel confident to make it yourself, at Livingstones you can have curtains, cushions, blinds and more hand made and hand finished by our makers, who can be as creative as you want them to be.