Thursday, 31 May 2012

A lampshade makeover

Living room looking a bit dull? Bedroom a bit boring? Shine a spotlight on your creativity with this playful peek-a-boo lampshade tutorial.

                A collection of various colourful fabrics
                Bias tape
                Muslin or some other type of beige fabric
                Non-flammable fabric glue
                A ruler
                A calculator

  1. Start by making a template. To do this you’ll need to measure the circumferences of the top and the bottom of the lamp shade and the length of the shade. Plan your new shade, determining how many strips of fabric you want to peek through on your finished shade. Now calculate measurements A and B using the following equations:

Top circumference = A
No. of strips

Bottom circumference = B
No. of strips

On a piece of paper draw a straight line that equals the length of the shade (Line 1). Using measurement A, draw a straight line (Line 2) across the top and perpendicular to Line 1. Line 1 should meet Line 2 at its midpoint, giving the appearance of a T. Next draw a third line using measurement B at the bottom of Line 1. Like before, make sure that Line 1 meets Line 3 at the halfway mark on Line 3. Join the tips of Line 2 and 3 to get your template.

  1. Using your template, cut strips out of the coloured fabric.
  2. Apply some water based NON-FLAMMABLE fabric glue to the wrong side of your strips and lay them onto your lampshade. Don’t worry if they overlap, the muslin will cover up these little indiscretions, but do make sure that there are no bumps or bubbles.

  1. Now to cut the muslin strips. Lay your template on top of your muslin. Add a 0.65cm seam allowance to the sides, but not the top. Cut out double the number of muslin strips as you did for the coloured fabric.

  1. Place two of the muslin strips right sides together and sew just the sides of the strip. Remember your 0.65cm seam allowance. Repeat for the rest of the strips.
  2. Turn your strip right side out and press.
  3. Find the half way point on your muslin strip and make a small light mark on the fabric using a pencil.

  1. Fold the muslin strip in half lengthwise and hand sew a little tack between the two sides where the mark is.

  1. Place the muslin on your lamp shade between two strips of coloured fabrics and baste the top of the muslin piece to the shade using a needle and thread. DO NOT CUT THE THREAD. Place another strip of muslin between the next two pieces of fabric and baste with the same thread. Repeat with the remaining strips of muslin.

  1. Use the above method to secure the bottom of the muslin strips, but this time remember to fold the bottom corners in slightly.
  2. Finally complete the look by hand stitching the bias tape along the top and bottom of the shade.

For more home make-over ideas like this one visit 

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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A bird in the hand... sewing a fabric flock

Bring back memories of summer with with these delightful fabric birds (click here for pattern). We love the eye-catching fabrics and feel that there is only one way these could get any better and that's if you use Da Gama's range of Coral Tree Fabrics when you create these beauties. The range's vibrant colours and shweshwe patterns are sure to chase those winter blues away.

Remember that at Fabric and Textile Warehouse you can get fabrics from designers like Da Gama Textiles at wholesale prices. 

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Monday, 28 May 2012

Stuart Graham – sophisticated designs & sumptuous fabrics

Stuart Graham Fabrics, one of South Africa’s largest and most prestigious fabric houses, has launched a collection of delicious fabrics that are perfect for making your house a home.

Partake in a bohemian rhapsody with the Explore range of embroidered linens and take a trip back in time with Garden of England, a range of kitchen fabrics that embodies vintage chic.  Then there are the queens of drama. The rich colours and opulent textures of the jacquard fabrics in the Medici and Mexicana ranges will leave you breathless and wanting more. And why not? With ranges to suit your every need and desire, and at rock-bottom wholesale prices too, why not indulge yourself at Fabric and Textile Warehouse.

Garden of England
Remember that just because we don’t have the book, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the best price. If we stock the designer we’ll source you the fabric. Just give us a call on our Golden Number (0861 322 839 | 0861 FAB TEX) and we’ll help you out.

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Friday, 25 May 2012

“Keeping up with the Joneses” has never been this easy

So, you're eager to take advantage of our fabulous birthday special, but either don't have the time or know-how needed to create a pair of curtains that'll blow their socks off. Not too worry. We're here to help. All our stores offer a make-up service that will help you to create some divine drapery. Just bring us your window dimensions and pick your fabric and we'll do the rest.

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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

How to make a puff quilt

Puff or biscuit quilts are created by assembling the sewing squares to form pockets, which are then later stuffed giving the quilt the distinctive 'puffy' look.

                Polyester Fibrefill
                Fabric A - your quilting fabric cut into 100   12.5cm squares.
                Fabric B – a plain fabric to be used as a backing, never to be seen and cut into 100 10cm squares.
                Fabric C – backing for the quilt.

  1. Placing the wrong sides together, align a corner of Fabric A with a corner of Fabric B.
  2. Fold a pleat into the middle of the larger Fabric A square, aligning the remaining corners of the two     squares and making them equal in size.
  3. Sew three sides of the square, stuff and sew along the fourth side. You have created your first puff,     now to sew the rest.
  4. Sew your puffs into rows of 10 and then sew these rows together. You should end up with a quilt           top comprised of 10 x 10 puffs.
  5. Cut enough of Fabric C to cover the back of the quilt.
  6. Pin the right sides of the backing fabric and quilt top together and sew, leaving a portion open so          that it can be turned right side out.
  7. Turn the quilt inside out and slip stitch closed.

And there you have it, your very own puff quilt.

Top Tip: Take the time to plan out your quilt before you start - get some graph paper and some coloured pens and map out what will be going where before you commit yourself to disaster. 

For this and other great ideas visit 

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Monday, 21 May 2012

What's what? A glossary of curtain styles for you to choose from.

With so many choices out there how do you know what curtain style is the one for you. The  best choice is always an informed choice, so here is a glossary of 5 commonly used terms used to describe curtain headers and styles.

Rod pocket (aka channelled, cased or slotted)
These curtains are possibly the simplest to make and to hang. A pocket is created at the top of the curtain, into which you slide the curtain pole. There is therefore no need for heading tape or hooks and the arrangement of the curtaining on the pole creates a shirred look. One of the most popular curtain styles out there, rod pocket curtains are highly versatile and can be made from any type of fabric.

Tap top
These are perfect for those of you looking to create a feature out of your curtaining. These curtains are created by sewing a tab or fabric loop to the top of a flat panel of fabric and because these tabs are evenly spaced apart, portions of the curtain rod will be on view. This is therefore the perfect choice if you have rods worth displaying.

Pencil pleat
Always a safe bet, pencil pleat curtains are amongst the most commonly used styles available. The deep, crisp pleats ensure that your curtains always look even and neat. Pencil pleat tape allows you to suspend you curtains from any type of curtain tack, giving you the option of hiding the rail or putting it on display.

French pleat (aka triple pinch pleat)
Traditionally this style's characteristic ruching is created by groups of 3 pleats, space evenly part along the length of the curtain. A small stitch at the base of a group of pleats helps complete the effect. If you decide to go this route it is best to use a medium weight fabric. This will prevent the pleats from looking thick and bulky when join together.

Goblet pleat
Oh so elegant, goblet pleats certainly make a statement. Their stately appearance makes them perfect for use with woven fabrics or jacquards. This style looks wonderful in formal dining rooms where rich colours and true luxury are favoured.

For more stunning styles and beautiful design ideas visit

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Saturday, 19 May 2012

Hanging curtains – how do the professionals do it?

Yes, there is more to hanging curtain than simply slipping the hooks through the track’s runners or curtain rings. For a truly professional look, you’re going to have to put a little bit more effort in, but we guarantee that you won’t be sorry you did.

  1. To start with make sure that you have all the essentials. A sturdy ladder, some brand new clothing pegs and light weight cord or string and plenty of spare curtain hooks should the others slip out and fall onto the floor. Remember you’ll be up a ladder so your pockets would be a good place to store these bits and bobs.
  2. Check that you have a strong support system in place. Make sure that your curtain rail or rod is securely attached to the wall and that the brackets are strong enough to take the weight of the curtain and the rail. If your window is particularly large, you will need to ensure that there are a number of brackets spaced evenly along the rail. This will prevent the rail from buckling or breaking under the weight of the curtains.
  3. It is a good idea to check now that the number of hooks slipped into your curtains heading tape is the equal to the number of runners or rings on the rail.
  4. Move one runner or ring to the outside edge of the rail beyond the last support bracket. Don’t worry about it slipping off as the stoppers of finials at the end of the rail should prevent this. By doing this you will not only ensure that the curtain covers the outside edge of the window frame completely, but also conceals the last support bracket.
  5.  Before going any further go wash your hands! Clean hands are essential, especially if your curtains are lightly coloured.
  6. Time to get hanging. Start from the outside edge and work your way in, carefully slipping the curtain hooks into the runners or rings as you go.
  7. Once they’re up you are going to need to open the curtains, but this is not as simple as it seems. Taking the inside edge of the curtain, making sure that the right side of the fabric turns in towards the window, gather the curtain together, drawing the heading and the whole curtain back completely into neat even folds and creating pleats down the fabric.
  8. Using your new washing pegs, peg the curtain folds together across the top of the curtain. *Tip: Have your pegs point down towards the floor as this vertical arrangement will hold the pleats together more effectively.
  9. Tie a piece of light weight cord around the middle of the curtain. Not too tightly though – you are just looking to keep your folds together. Do the same around the top and bottom of the curtain.
  10. Leave your curtains tied like this for a few days. This will ensure that when your curtains are finally released, they will gently fall back into these beautiful folds every time.
  11. Remember that unless you have one-way glass in your windows you are going to be able to see your curtains from the other side. So, always check from the other side of the window that the lining is falling smoothly.

You can find these and more useful tips on curtains when you visit 

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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Some hot tips about curtaining

With our shelves overflowing and those crazy specials on the go, we thought that we would give you some helpful advice on what to do with your new curtaining.

  • Firstly, don’t just rush out and buy the first pretty fabric you find. Take the time to consider what you want from your curtaining. Are you looking to enhance or disguise the view? Is the room light or dark? Do you have other elements, like colour or pattern, limiting your choice? Although they may not appear it, curtains are a big deal. The have the power to shift the décor from the realm of tranquil harmony to complete and utter chaos. So, choose carefully.
  • Full length curtains are always better. Shorter sill-length curtains can leave the room feeling disjointed and are a lot less dramatic than their fuller counterparts. So, even when there are additional elements fixed underneath the window, we recommend that your curtains touch the floor. Having said that there are always exceptions to every rule. We do not recommend having your curtains tumbling into your bath or kitchen sink.
  • Make sure your measurements are correct. Under estimating the amount of fabric you will need can cost you more in the long run. We would even go so far as to say buy more fabric than you need. Any scraps and off cuts can always be used somewhere else in the room. Click here for a guide on how to measure fabric for your curtains.
  • Hidden lead weights in the hems of your curtains will help you curtain to hang correctly and look gorgeous. You will need to hide a weight in each corner. If your curtains are comprised of more than one width of fabric, you'll need to place an additional two weights in the hem where the panels have been joined.
  • Lining your curtains is always a good idea. Lining will help to protect your curtains from sun damage, prolonging their life span.
  • Accessorize. If you’re going to make your curtains a feature then don’t hold back. Metallic or wooden curtain poles with eye-catching finials are a great way to shine a spotlight on your window treatment. Tiebacks are also a nice touch, letting light into a room, without you have to shovel the curtains off to one side.
  • If you’re sewing your own curtains, it is a good idea to press all seams and stitches as you go. Not only will the heat set the stitches, but the flatted seams will ensure more accurate measuring on your part.
  • Hang your curtain like a professional. For most of us the task of hanging curtains involves climbing a ladder and hooking the curtain on onto the runners or rings and that’s about it. But, if you’re looking to make your curtains a feature, we suggest you go the extra mile and hang your curtains as an expert would. This may seem like quite a complicated process, what with all the pegs and string, but the results speak for themselves. If you want to know what we’re talking about, keep an eye on this Blog.

If you found any of these tips particularly helpful or have any more advice to share please let us know. 

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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

And the party continues...

As most of you know it's our birthday this month and to celebrate we are offering  you some spectacular specials and super savings.

Firstly, there is the fabulously exclusive offer of 10% OFF ALL CURTAINING we're making available to all our loyalty card holders. This is just one of the many ways we like to reward you, our dedicated supporters.

Next on the cards is an amazing sale on ready-made voile curtains. At R150 per curtain this is a deal not to be missed.

Rush down to your local store today to take part in the celebration. These specials are valid until 31 May 2012 and you don't want to miss out on the party. Loyalty cards are FREE and available in-store. 

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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

How to make curtain tiebacks

So you’ve taken advantage of our crazy curtaining offer and are now looking to add the finishing touches to your window treatment. Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, curtain tiebacks are a great way to secure your curtains to one or both sides of the window. They let light into a room and create attractive folds in the curtain. Carry on reading and discover how to make your own curtain tiebacks.

Curtain fabric
Lining fabric
Iron-on interfacing
Matching thread
Measuring tape
Four small curtain rings
Two decorative hooks
Screws & wall plugs

  1. With the curtains open, wrap the measuring tape around the curtains in the area where you would like the tiebacks to sit. Remember to gather the curtains to the final fullness you require as this will affect the measurements.
  2. Make a mark on the wall where the tieback hook will need to be positioned and, using this spot as your basis, measure around the curtain to get the length of the tiebacks. You will need to allow 10cm or more for the width of the tieback, depending on how wide you want them.
  3. Draw the design of your tiebacks onto a piece of paper, making sure that they are to the correct length and width, and then cut it out.
  4. Fold the curtain fabric in half, right sides together, and pin on your pattern. Cut out, leaving a 20mm seam allowance on all sides. Do the same with the lining fabric.
  5. Using your pattern, cut out two pieces of interface. In this case you won’t have to add a seam allowance.
  6. Pin and iron the interface on to the back of the curtaining. Be sure to centre the interface so that there is a 20mm overhang of fabric on the edges.
  7. Fold the seam allowance of the fabric over the interfacing and pin. Make small V-shaped notches in any curves to allow the fabric to lie flat. Press and machine stitch in place.
  8. Turn under a seam allowance of 25mm on all sides of the lining pieces. As with the curtaining pieces, make v notches in any curves and press.
  9. Pin the wrong side of the lining over the interface to the wrong side of the curtaining. The edges should be 6mm in from the edges of the curtain fabric. Press and using an invisible slipstitch sew the lining in place.
  10. Sew a small curtain ring to each tieback end.
  11. Find the markings you made earlier on the wall and drill two small holes so that you can fit the curtain hooks to the wall. Insert the wall plugs and screw the hooks into place.
  12. Finally, wrap your tiebacks around the curtains and hook into place.
  13. For this and other creative window treatments visit 
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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Hertex Fabrics: Hide & Sleek

Hertex Fabrics has launched a new line of faux leather fabric that is perfectly suited to your décor and reupholstery needs. Unlike reproduction leather of the past, which bore little resemblance to the real thing, the new range provides you with a sumptuous and elegant visual experience. Named Hide & Sleek the range offers customers a choice between “the dull buffed look of Amarillo, the heavy embossing of Tooled and Bark, the linen look of Enigma and the metallic finish of the Reptile Skins”.

At Fabric and Textile Warehouse you’ll find designer fabrics at wholesale prices. Even if we don’t have the book, if we stock the designer we’ll find you the fabric. Give us a ring on our Golden Number for more info. 

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Monday, 7 May 2012

Curtains – a spa treatment for your window & a facelift for your bedroom.

Often the first choice made when decorating a room, curtains have the power to revitalise, rejuvenate and reinvent a dull room. Not only can they considerably improve the view, but they keep our secrets safe, our rooms warm and our life vibrant. Curtains are, in all seriousness, something a room can simply not do without.

It is a good thing then that we’ve just offloaded another container filled with curtaining. So, if you’re looking to give your window the special treatment you know where to come. And don’t forget, May is our birthday month and to celebrate this auspicious occasion we’re giving our Loyalty Card holders a 10% DISCOUNT on ALL CURTAINING. Just our way of saying thank you for all your loyal support over the last 10 years. 

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Saturday, 5 May 2012

A decade on and still going strong - Fabric & Textile Warehouse turns 10!

It’s finally May, which can mean only one thing - it’s our birthday!

Not ones to hog all the cake, we asking you to join in the celebration with special deals and exclusive offers. As a special thank you to all our faithful customers we’re offering all Loyalty Card holders a 10% DISCOUNT on ALL CURTAINING*. What makes this special all the more fantastic is the fact that we have just unpacked yet another container of fabulous fabrics. Our shelves are just teaming with curtaining. So, hurry on over and join the party.

*This special offer is valid until 31 May 2012 and is not to be used in conjunction with any other offers or discounts including the Loyalty Card holder discount of 2.5%.

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Thursday, 3 May 2012

Ribbons, lace and pretty things – how to make ribbon bracelets

You've taken a stroll through our haberdashery and are now feeling inspired, but to what you are not sure. Why not create some of these dainty ribbon bracelets, perfect for you or your little princess at home.

Various cuts of ribbon (depending on how many bracelets you are looking to make) at least 18mm wide
A collection of beautiful buttons and beads
Wire – thin enough to thread through the beads and malleable enough for you to manipulate
Wire cutters
Needles and thread


Design 1
Select your ribbon and button. Fold back one end of the ribbon and sew a button hole big enough to fit the width of the button. Measure the wrist and add an extra 3cm to the end of the ribbon without the hole. Fold the ribbon back on itself and size it on the wrist. Finally, sew the button on.

Design 2
Select your ribbon, a button and some beads. Fold back one end of the ribbon and sew the cut edge, keeping the sides free and open. Cut a 12cm length of wire and thread it through the opening. Using the wire as thread, create a loop of beads large enough to slip over the button. Twist off the wire and trim wire edges using the cutter. Measure the wrist and add an extra 3cm to the end of the ribbon without the hole. Fold the ribbon back on itself and size it on the wrist. Finally, sew the button on.

For this and other magical items to make with the goodies you buy in our stores visit

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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

From fabric to fine art

Sometimes we come across a piece of fabric too beautiful for words, and are suddenly faced with the terrible dilemma of not having anything create with it. We've already upholstered the couch and trimmed the windows, stitched the dress and sewed the skirt. But... we really love this fabric – it’s simply a work of art. If that is really the case, then why not make it into one.

Stretch the fabric over a canvas frame and convert it into the new focal point of your lounge, bedroom or conversation. Remember that at Fabric and Textile Warehouse you will find some stunning designer fabrics at amazing wholesale prices.

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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Adding the final touch with fabric finials

Sometimes it is nice to do something a little different and these fabric finials may just be the ticket.

2 old tennis balls (like all good things, tennis balls improve with age, it will be much easier to cut than brand new ones)
Fabric that will coordinate with your curtains

Carefully stab the tennis ball with the closed tip of sharp scissors. Make another stab wound 2.5cm away from the first. Using these 2 wounds as markers, cut a hole in the tennis that is slightly larger than the diameter of your curtain pole.
Cut a 30.5cm square of fabric. Wrap it around the ball and push the excess fabric into the ball.
Push the ball onto the end of your curtain pole and voila, you have just created your first fabric finials.

You’ll find this little gem and others at

At Fabric and Textile Warehouse you can get all the fabulous fabrics you need to dress your windows and at wholesale prices to boot. Loyalty card holders get a further 10% discount on all curtaining during the month of May - it's our birthday and we thought you should join in the celebration. Get your loyalty card today at your local branch.

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