Passementerie [pas-men-tree; French pahs-mahn–tree] noun – trimming of braid, cord, bead, etc., in any of various forms. Passementerie is the term used to describe all the little extra trimmings we use to embellish soft furnishings. You’ll see a lot of passementerie used on scatter cushions – pompoms, fluffy fringes are particularly popular.
Passementerie has become quite a large industry in itself and now produces an enormous range of luxury trimmings for the textiles business including fashion and soft furnishings industries. Although often regarded as rather a traditional look, there are many trimmings available that would suit a contemporary interiors scheme. There are many types of passementerie that you can add to curtains, roman blinds, pelmets, cushions and lampshades and we’re going to explore some of the options for you here.
Fringes can be sewn into seams or onset onto edges of curtains, lampshades or cushions. There is a huge range available, from simple cut to elaborate fringes, short or long and they may even be made with several colours or just one colour.
Braid, Gimp and Ribbon
Braids, ribbon and gimp can look beautiful along the edges of curtains, flat pelmets and roman blinds. They often have buttons, bobbles or beads pre-attached for greater embellishment as in the photo above. The choices are huge!
Button Tufts and Rosettes
Button tufts and rosettes are a delicate trim for cushions and are also used on curtain headings as a trim at the base of goblet or french pleats. The photo above shows a rosette used to embellish a throw.
Ropes and Tassels
You can use ropes and tassels to embellish just about anything. You are mostly likely to have seen tassels used as a curtain tie back as in the photo above or knotted across pleats in the curtain heading. The range of tassels is huge and you can find something for all styles of interiors from traditional to modern and simple to elaborate.
Piping isa decorative finish to a plain seam and you can use it on scatter cushions, bed valances, tie backs and pelmets. It is very easy to make piping but if you want more intricate piping then head to Samuel & Sons or another passementerie supplier for a wide selection of piping in a range of fabrics and styles.
Borders are a wonderfully easy way to add interest to your soft furnishings. You might considering adding a border to the edges of curtains as shown in the photo above. You may also add them to the sides of box cushions and to scatter cushions.
My favourite passementerie suppliers are Samuel & Sons (All photos in this blog article are from Samuel & Sons) and Houles. To have a look at their entire collection you’ll need to visit their showrooms in Design Centre Chelsea Harbour which is open to the public. It’s a wonderful place to get design inspiration. If you need any advice on your soft furnishings projects please don’t hesitate to contact me.