Custom window coverings are an investment, which means you don't want to have to replace them too often. After awhile, though, they can begin to look tired or out of date. Don't resign yourself to the cost of new drapes – it is possible to breathe new life into older custom drapery for a fraction of the cost of buying new. The following tips can help.
Tip #1: Get a Good Cleaning
High quality drapes generally require professional dry cleaning. You likely maintain the drapes between cleanings by vacuuming them with an upholstery brush, but eventually dust, dirt, and the skin oils from your hands will build up and make the drapes look permanently soiled. Simply scheduling an in-home drape cleaning, or taking down the drapes and taking them to cleaners like Majestic Rug Cleaning Co. Inc., may help them look good again. The cleaners won't just get them clean, they will also reset the pleats so they look crisp and neat again.
Tip #2: Consider a Dye Job
If the color of your drapes no longer complements your walls or décor, why not dye them to a more pleasing shade? Drapes are usually made of wool or a mixture of natural and handmade fibers, and they include a different material as the lining. For these reasons, it's best to have them professionally dyed so that the different fibers absorb the dye uniformly. Keep in mind that you can dye drapes darker shades, but you can't lighten them.
Tip #3: Add Some Trim
Sometimes all your drapes need to look new and fresh again is some fresh trim. If you are handy with a sewing machine, you may be able to update them yourself. Consider adding a strip of wide lace to the bottom, or sewing narrow ribbon down their length to create vertical stripes. You can even use fabric to create a chevron band across the drapes to give them the trendy treatment. If you aren't sure about a permanent change, simple pin the trim in place and secure it with fabric fashion tape, which is meant to hold clothing in place and is fully removable.
Tip #4: Change Up the Top
Another simple yet effective change is to add a valance or swag to the top of the drapes. You can create a box valance out of crown molding; just make it long enough to cover the full length of the curtain rod. Fabric swags are another option. Choose fabric in a color that contrasts yet complements the drapes, or drape artificial vines, lengths of lace, or colorful scarves over the curtain rod to create a quick but eye-catching swag.