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Tea break - tips and tricks

When fitting a pelmet outside the window recess there are various ways of securing the returns securely.

When you are making the pelmet face, there are a few things you can do to make sure the returns fold back easily and stay in place once it is fitted.

  • Cut the front face piece slightly longer than the front edge of the pelmet board. For instance, if the pelmet board (shelf) is 159cm long, then when using 5mm ply, cut the front board 160cm long so that it extends for 5mm either side when attached. This leaves a space for the return to fold back into.
  • When making the returns as separate pieces of board, make sure you leave a gap to allow for the board thickness when attaching them to the main front section with a ‘hinge’ of tape or glued lining. E.g. with 5mm ply leave a gap of about 4-5mm between the main face of the pelmet and the return section. This may seem too floppy and loose before the wadding and fabric is attached, but will be fine once it is finished.
  • When you are attaching the interlining/ lining and then the face fabric, do not pull it really tight as this will stop the returns folding back easily. Clearly you want to ensure a smooth finish, but folding the returns back at a right angle will add enough tension to get rid of a slight slackness.
  • Once you have finished covering the board with wadding/interlining, clip it at the hinges (or even cut away a sliver of the interlining) so that the hinge does not resist being folded back.
  • If you use backtack strip to secure the lining on the reverse of the pelmet, use separate pieces on the front board and returns. Do not carry them across the hinge fold. Do the same with the Velcro across the top of the board.
  • If the face fabric is not too delicate, you can tap a panel pin into the top corner of the return into the pelmet board. Once in place, gently ease the fabric over the top of the pin with a darning needle so that it disappears.
  • If the pelmet is heavy or you are concerned the returns will not stay in place, add tabs of fabric to the top edge of them so you can use Velcro on top of the pelmet board as well as the front edge to secure them.
  • For extra piece of mind, you can also use a short piece of wooden batten to add ‘legs’ to each end of the pelmet board. Then you can use extra Velcro down the outside edge of the return to secure it to them. Alternatively, you could fix a piece of batten to the wall behind the pelmet for the same purpose.

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