The Sewing Place

Curtain Header Tape Suppliers

Acorn

Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« on: January 09, 2020, 20:38:36 PM »
I need to replace the header tape (standard 3 inch stuff) in a pair of long, and therefore heavy, curtains.  The current tape has not worn well - the bit the hooks go into has stretched appalligly, although to be fair the curtains are over 25 years old.

Where would you go to get good quality tape?  I'm thinking that John Lewis should be reliable, but does anyone have other recommendations?  And also, are the metal hooks any better than the plastic ones?  I've only ever used the plastic ones, and some of them are terrible quality, although the better (stronger) ones seem fine.
I might look as though I'm talking to you, but inside my head I'm sewing.

HenriettaMaria

Re: Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2020, 20:57:54 PM »
As I live 15 min walk from the local John Lewis I go there for header tape.  However, I use my local independent hardware store for hooks because they do old-school brass ones and for long/wide/heavy curtains accept no substitute.  Having said that, it looks like JLP also do brass hooks although I haven't seen them in-store so if you are buying online you can get everything there.

sewingj

Re: Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2020, 21:03:18 PM »
I find Swish plastic hooks are fine
Attempting to be a Tailor of Gloucester

Greybird

Re: Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2020, 21:05:31 PM »

Acorn

Re: Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2020, 21:23:56 PM »
That's interesting @Greybird - I found Merrick & Day when googling this morning, but they were so much cheaper than John Lewis that I was a bit wary - 9m at JL would be £22.50 (+£3.50 delivery), but £2.27 (+£8.34 delivery) from M&D!

That's when I decided that a recommendation would be useful!
I might look as though I'm talking to you, but inside my head I'm sewing.

sewingj

Re: Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2020, 21:51:56 PM »
I've had tape from Terry's Fabrics (online) and it was fine but they weren't very heavy curtains. I think they do different qualities.
Sorry, can't do the link on my phone
Attempting to be a Tailor of Gloucester

Greybird

Re: Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2020, 22:43:20 PM »
@Acorn I think they are mainly a wholesale seller but are quite happy to sell to anyone. I have had curtain tape, lining, cushion pads and roman blind components from them and been very happy with everything. Also, if you order before noon(I think?) you quite often get the parcel the next day.

twopence

Re: Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2020, 23:03:55 PM »
@Greybird that link looks very interesting.  Perhaps that fabric that I have waiting to make into a roman blind for the bathroom will finally be stitched this year.

Hummingbird

Re: Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2020, 08:44:16 AM »
Merrick & Day are one of the go to suppliers for curtain makers - you will not go wrong with anything they supply. Make sure you buy tape with woven hook pockets (not string ones) it's worth paying a little more. M&D always give good service and are happy to give knowledgable advice.

Metal hooks are always preferable over plastic which goes brittle over time.

(The company owners wrote the Encyclopedia of Curtains which is known as the curtain maker's bible....they also run soft furnishings training and have their own workroom)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 11:27:52 AM by Hummingbird »

Helen M

Re: Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2020, 10:51:59 AM »
Thank you for this site @Greybird  :)

I spent ages looking at the different 3" pencil pleat tapes! I had issues with made to measure curtains last summer which were eventually returned as (among other things) they were wider than ordered and even when pulled up tightly were too wide for my track. I then ordered from M&S and their tape (Rufflette) had much wider spaces between the hook pockets than the other ones had, so when hung they fell just right without too much 'training'.

I notice that cheaper tapes stretch more as you sew them on.
Stash Busting 2020
Goal: 35 metres
So far: 9 metres

Elnnina

Re: Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2020, 11:38:54 AM »
I had some trouble with my existing curtain tape Rufflette last year when I found that I had had the iron on too hot and this had melted the plastic parts that keep the tape rigid and what a pain to unpick this and then find a suitable replacement.  Rufflette themselves were taken over by an Austrian company so I do not think you can buy tape with that name on any more - eventually I got my tape from Merrick and Day, and this is where I also bought my rather thick string curtain weights which I use on my dress form, I also ordered some pull rods - rather long ones, and whilst the packing box was long enough someone had put the wrong length rods in - they couldn't have been any shorter, but Merrick & Day sent me the correct length ones with no problem and I was told to keep the short ones (4).  Someone on here also mentioned Swish curtain products, well Swish no longer make curtain tracks and accessories they only make the plastic boarding for cladding houses.  So any Swish products you see in the shops are likely to be old and in cases very old stock - the packing around my Austrian Blind track just disintegrated as I unwrapped the delivery packing and what a mess as the plastic box just went everywhere - the track itself was absolutely fine it was just the box which had gone a horrible browny colour.

Hummingbird

Re: Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2020, 09:20:25 AM »
The Swish brand is now part of the Sunflex company. Swish products (tracks, poles and accessories) are still current and available through lots of trade and retail suppliers so you will still see them online and in shops.

sewingj

Re: Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2020, 20:42:59 PM »


(The company owners wrote the Encyclopedia of Curtains which is known as the curtain maker's bible....they also run soft furnishings training and have their own workroom)
@Hummingbird  do you know if there is a substantial difference between the original edition of this book and the latest? I can get a second hand copy of the original for about £3 but the latest is over £30!

Update:  actually Hummingbird - ignore that - I`ve decided to treat myself the the latest edition - £25 from Ebay which is a lot less than buying from Merrick and Day directly!
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 08:52:20 AM by sewingj »
Attempting to be a Tailor of Gloucester

Hummingbird

Re: Curtain Header Tape Suppliers
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2020, 12:06:14 PM »
No problem.

I have both @sewingj - although the information and techniques in the older book are all still sound I was going to recommend the latest book as it has important updates and new curtain headings.

The main changes are including information on wave and eyelet curtains and improving the fabric quantity and pleat calculation sections. There are lots more photographs with the various instructions, and the whole roman blind chapter has been updated to reflect the new tracks available and the very important area of blind cord/chain safety regulations.

Hope you enjoy your purchase!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 08:24:39 AM by Hummingbird »