Taking the next steps in soft furnishings...
Tea break
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Tea break - tips and tricks

Once you are ready to consider having a dedicated workspace for soft furnishings, the thing that really improves your workflow is a dedicated worktable.

Once you are ready to consider having a dedicated workspace for soft furnishings, the thing that really improves your workflow is a dedicated worktable.

The best height for comfortable use is to set the table top at just above hip height. As a first project, you could raise a dining table or some kitchen cabinets on sturdy wooden blocks to be a base, then cover a large sheet of chipboard to lay on top to be the table surface. If necessary, this top can then be lifted off and leaned against the wall when not in use.

IKEA sell height adjustable table legs (look for OLOV or GERTON) and also adjustable wooden trestles called FINNVARD which would all support a worktable top.

Some makers prefer working on a bare or varnished table-top (smoothed to ensure nothing snags the fabric) while others like a covering of plastic tablecloth or oilcloth stapled in place. If you choose a wooden surface, you can draw measured guide lines or a grid on the surface with a permanent marker pen to speed up measuring and folding hems etc. You can also attach a measure to one edge to help with cutting lengths of fabric and lining.

If you prefer having a table you can pin into, or iron on, then you will want to stretch a covering over the surface. This can have heat-resistant protective covering (like that used on dining tables) or curtain interlining stapled on first, then covered with stretched sheeting or double width curtain lining to make a smooth clean surface.

For a covered table, you can also buy sturdy canvas worktable covers with a pre-printed metric grid which are stapled in place and help tremendously with curtain and blind making. They allow you to quickly and accurately measure cut drops, fold hems and ensure corners are at right angles. These are available in the UK from Denton Drapes.

If you would like to extend your table, then consider using sturdy adjustable locking brackets which allow a ‘flap’ to be folded down when not in use. These are available from DIY suppliers and will bear weights of up to 200kg.

Those of you lucky enough to consider having a table built for you might be interested in some excellent instructions available from the US workroom supplier Rowley Company. These can be downloaded free of charge as a PDF from their website.

There is also a webinar you can watch to show you how to build the table which is free to use once you have registered your business email address.

Finally, if you are in a position to buy a table from a supplier to the trade, then take a look at an electric adjustable upholsterer’s table from a specialist supplier, or a beautiful wooden bench as made by EMIR in Kent.

Suppliers:-

Denton Drapes table covers

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