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
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
It’s the last two days of our great May offer, we’re still giving away free poly cotton lining in every pair of curtains orderd in May and if you want to upgrade your lining to a blackout or a cotton lining you only have to pay the price differential.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
We had to make a door curtain to cover a rear door that was situated at the bottom of a staircase and creating a cold draught in the main living room of this home. A number of fabrics had been mixed by the customer to create a comfortable country living look so we had to find a fabric that didn’t fight with the rest of the colour scheme. After careful consideration of fabric books and several swatches the customer settled on this fabic by Isles. The Dove grey colour really softens that corner of the room while complimenting the colour scheme of blues and being made of wool it has thermal qualities that keep the room warmer. The customer also decided on a thermal lining to eliminate any cold air passing through the cloth and this has made it look very thick and luxurious whilst doing exactly the job intended. Isles Harris can be purchased from Livingstone Textiles and we can send out samples of any colour in the series.
We’ve all done a fair bit of sofa surfing over the Christmas period and you may not have been entirely happy with the comfort afforded you. Some of you may have even bought a new settee in time for Christmas but may discover that the bounce in your cushions isn’t really all that great.
Foam has a shelf life and although it will last many years, eventually it will start to deteriorate and crumble and you will need to think about replacement cushions.
Many manufacturers of synthetic sofa cushions now also use only a thick wadding in the covers. A sofa with foam inserts will not be bought at a discount sofa sale because they cost a lot more to produce. Your wadding cushions will seem fine for a few weeks but very quickly you will notice that they sag and squash into nothing because the polyester will not bounce back to its original shape. To rectify this we offer a bespoke service that will make your old or new settee bounce back in to life. We cut foam exactly to the size and shape of the cushion cover and then wrap it in thick wadding. In this way you get all of the bounce and shape retention from the foam with the addition of softness and comfort from the wadding. To finish up we wrap the whole squashy sandwich in stockinette for easing your cushions back into the covers – without a hot sweaty battle.
Is your foam still ok but your covers are looking a little tired? Pop in and talk to us about renewing your existing sofa, especially if it is an inherited or memorable piece. We offer a full and bespoke upholstery and re-cover service from our workshops in The Long Room at Livingstone Textiles,Bridport Dorset.
If you would like information on sofa cushions please contact us and we will be happy to give advise or a quote.
Maybe you’re thinking about joining one of our sewing workshops in Yeovil and haven’t used your machine in a while, or maybe your trusty workhorse is struggling with your latest sewing project? If so, don’t get mad, get a service!
All makes of machine are serviced or repaired by our talented repairs man Mark. He travels over from Bristol once a month or so, to tend to your ailing machines, and in most cases will fix them on site and on the day. He will repair overlockers too.
For an initial deposit of £10 (non-refundable) Mark will initially check that the machine is serviceable. The charge for a service is an additional £49.90 and if any parts are needed, Mark will give you a ring before spending any more of your money.
Mark services the machines at our Bridport store, but you can drop off and collect your sewing machine at Bridport or Yeovil.
If your machine is unfortunately deemed unrepairable, you have the option to donate it to Tools for Self Reliance – we also accept donations of working, unwanted machines for this fantastic charity at both of our stores.
Whether you’re just starting out on your sewing journey, have just moved to the Bridport area and are hunting down new soft furnishings or need some advice on a current project we are looking forward to seeing old and new faces in 2019. Our normal shop opening hours are now resumed: Mon-Sat 9-5. Closed Sundays.
This beautiful new fabric from one of our regular suppliers is a celebration of autumn depicting leaves and berries in vibrant jewel colours. Made up into a pair of Roman blinds they will compliment our client’s dining room windows and tell a story of the seasons swinging from an English summer into autumn.
This cotton fabric in the featured Rust colourway can be purchased in our shops for only £20.90 per metre, or see below to order online. We also offer a full make up service with our skilled seamstresses.
We’ve not had this new range in for long but it’s already proved incredibly popular. We’ve made up a lot of orders for our customers and it’s continues to be a popular choice for scatter cushions. Our latest order was for this pair of curtains using two widths in each curtain so they’ll be lovely and full. We don’t advise anything less than double fullness so you achieve a more luxurious window dressing and you can find out more about calculating your fabric requirements here. Of course, if you’re not confident with that then any of our trained staff are on hand to help you either in person, over the phone or via email.
We’ve used the Camille range in this project and the colourway is Pervenche. The designs are evocative of watercolours by the Impressionists and have a softness to the printing that mimics a real painting. This is all achieved with the digital printing process and we’ll be telling you more about that in the future. A wider range of designs, colours and fabric uses are shown below.
Long, dark evenings call for cosy curtains, and these beauties that one of our talented makers recently finished for customer certainly fit the bill! The stylish woven fabric is deliciously heavyweight and hangs beautifully, adding warmth to your room without feeling oppressive. We have this fabric and others in the same range, including a fabulous circles design, which we all like very much.
Pop in and have a look at the range, pick up some samples, or order some curtains of your own! This fabric is also suitable (and fabulous) for cushions and sturdy enough to use for upholstery.
We cut sooooo many pieces of foam for our customers at Livingstone Textiles and we have a re-use or re-cycle policy where we every member of the team makes maximum effort to minimise waste. Part of our efforts to do this include recycling all of our packaging, both plastic wrappings and cardboard and also our foam.
When the foam is delivered to the shop it arrives in enormous sheets measuring over 2 metres square! This is manhandled up the 3 flights of stairs to our roof where it is carefully unrolled and laid out for use. We then cut your requirements from the sheets in a way that creates as little waste as possible. Obviously, you all want different sizes and shapes, from window seats to sofa cushions and dining chairs to campervan beds so we always generate odd pieces that we cannot make use of. These offcuts are saved up and the really small and hopeless pieces are returned to the foam company where they are chopped up into little pieces and used to make the coloured chip foam that we also supply, but we also have other pieces left over that can be quite a useful size and because reuse is even better than recycling, we pop all of these into a basket that we put outside our shop door every day that we are open. Folks can then come and choose what they need and make use of it when packing parcels for safe transit, stopping draughts and wedging into gaps in sofas or caravan beds for better comfort. We only request a donation that we collect for Harbour House in West Bay, for the benefit of the residents. Follow the link for more information on our foam and services we can offer you.
One of our customers has had our upholstery department transform this lovely junk shop chair using our delicious zebra pattern chenille fabric. We think the finish is just fantastic, and you can see how the upholsterer has centred the fabric carefully so the zebra pattern looks just right. This quirky low slung no-leg chair is now updated with an equally quirky fabric, giving a totally individual finish which will look amazing in the customer’s home.
Even better, a project like this will not take much fabric – a single metre of fabric is often enough depending on the pattern. If you are inspired to try a project like this yourself you can now purchase the fabric directly on our website by mail order, by clicking on the picture below.
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.
You can buy this elegant grey bird fabric in our shops and throughout September you will receive free curtain lining* with any curtain or blind order.