We’ve recently caught up with Morwenna who is the expert behind The Curtain Guru. Having been taught how to use the sewing machine when she was little by her mother, she designed and made her own clothes from a young age. With years of experience and a talent for crafting beautiful items with fabrics, she took her sewing skills to London and ran a soft furnishings workshop for 15 years and used to run curtain courses. Here, we find out all about her life as a curtain guru and her thoughts on the window treatments industry.
How did you discover your passion for making curtains?
Out of pure necessity! I bought a Victorian house, and the only way to afford the grand drapes I wanted was to make them myself. Then I discovered that curtain making was way easier and quicker than dressmaking – no fiddly darts or shaping, just lots of stitching in straight lines. And I loved the theatrical nature of dressing windows.
Wave curtains and duo roller blinds are getting increasingly popular. What do you predict to be the next biggest trends in the window treatment industry?
With the return of floral fabrics, I think there’ll be a return of softer and more layered window treatments, such as Roman blinds combined with full-length curtains. Blocks of colour will be more important than everything matching. And trimmings, especially pom-pom fringes, are making a big comeback.
When buying ready made curtains, what are the things that you would look out for to ensure quality?
I look for the quality of the stitching – I want to see a matching cotton or polyester thread rather than everything held together with nylon monofilament. Are the linings neatly done or a bit baggy and droopy? Is the stitching of the lining to the main fabric too tight at the sides, so the bottom corners pull up? And I look at the hems – I don’t expect hand stitching on ready mades, but I would prefer an invisible machine stitch with as little as possible showing on the right side.
Visiting a local curtain and blind shop for window treatments used to be the norm. Why do you think people are now turning online for Made to Measure curtains and blinds?
It’s more convenient and gives people time to ponder, and not feel pressured to make a quick decision. You can save ideas and come back to them later – it’s perfect.
In this day and age, we are always surrounded by Pinterest, Instagram and home interior blogs. Home interior trends are now communicated to the mass quicker than ever. Why do you think people still stick to plain curtains and blinds?
It is a bit of a mystery! If people are just researching fabrics they are quite adventurous and really explore – the moment they’re looking at made-up curtains some cautious instinct kicks in, and they start playing safe, rather than going with their heart.
Who has been the most influential figure throughout your career in the curtains industry?
Absolutely my Mum – who taught me how to use a sewing machine, and gave me a dress allowance as soon as I was in my teens so I could make my own clothes without her interference. She always did the dispiriting job of unpicking any sewing mistake I made, so all I had to do was re-stitch. By the time I started curtain-making, she had given me the confidence to understand and copy any window treatment I saw.
Describe yourself if you were a curtain.
In spite of the fashion for simplicity, I still love a bit of flounce and bling, so I’d be a gently swagged Roman blind, with a line of extremely expensive hand-made trimming all along the bottom edge!
Check out Morwenna’s blog here!