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Open Swags


Open Swags

Open Swag on wood blocks and pegsOpen swag is similar to the traditional swag except it is usually found mounted onto a pole, small blocks of wood, or sometimes attached by tabs. Most of the time, a complete swag unit will have some combination of panels, cascades, jabots, or other add-on items included. To learn about add-ons click here.

Open swags are more labor intensive to manufacture than the traditional swag styles because creating the open throat requires more steps (click here to learn anatomy of an open swag), and the finishing and mounting are considerably more complicated.  When open swags are ordered, typically the entire swag and all of its components are made and assembled in the drapery workroom. The open swag is then installed at the job site as a completed unit. Open swag hardware, such as the pole, need to be handled carefully to prevent any damage.  If the rod is iron or metal then the swag needs to be more carefully prepared for mounting by means of a hook and loop tape or attachment with pole pockets which must be constructed separately.

When open swags are specified, the business rule says the treatment will be pattern cut and have a structured form, meaning the fabric is cut from a pattern, and then folded, and formed into the swag shape. Sometimes open swags are confused with a window scarf because the wrapping of the swags are similar. To learn about window scarfs click here.

Open swags can be fabricated with the pattern being cut on the bias, upright, or railroaded. This is also known as fabrication style and is specified by the designer. There are limitations to consider, because each method, print direction, or pattern on the fabric can have an impact on how a open swag treatment is designed and made.

To learn more about open swags, order our publication “Elements of Soft Treatments” To learn about formulas to figure yardages order our publication "Study Guide To The Ultimate Designers Workbook"

Open Formal Swag

Open Swag FormalAn open formal swag will have evenly spaced pleats along the top plane of the swag. The swag are then dressed, causing the swag to fall in evenly spaced folds.

The open swag style tends to be quite dressy looking and may be used in more formal applications than some of the other swag types. The fabrication styles used are bias, upright, or railroad cut. These swags are also usually combined with multiple swags and other add-on components.

 

Coming next month... samples of each fabrication style.

 

Open Gathered Swags

Open Gathered SwagAn open gathered swag is far more casual looking. Rather than evenly spaced folds, this style is shirred/gathered. The shirring is not uniform in size and has no specific spacing. Depending on length fullness, the gathers will create semi circles of many folds.

They are fabricated upright or railroad, and rarely are they bias cut. These swags are also usually combined with multiple swags and other add-on components.

 

 

There are 2 types of swags; open swag or traditional swag. To learn about traditional swags click here.

Open Swag Configuration

Open swags are slightly different, because in addition to specifying the overlapping pattern of the swags themselves, the overlapping pattern of the pole should also be considered. This becomes particularly critical with the addition of a cascade and how it will overlap the swags in corner or bay situations where two sets of overlapping swags are joined together. The samples below are for the styles Formal II. The configuration works the same for a gathered looking swags. These are only a few samples of configurations, the possibilities are endless based on the position of the cascade i.e. under swag or over swag. In situations where complicated overlapping patterns must be described, a diagram or scale drawing is the best method to communicate the desired outcome.

The gray color swags are used for display reason only to show swag domination.

Traditional Swags

In the open swag group there are the following formal swag types.

Open Kingston Swag
Open Empire Swag
Open Bell Swag
Open Kingston Swag
Open Empire Swag
Open Bell Swag
Necklace
Medallion Swag
Wood Block
Open Necklace
Medallion Swag
Open Wood Block

To learn more about swags order our publication "Elements of Soft Treatments"

Open swags are divided up into sub-categories. Join our membership areato access the full library of images for each of the sub-categories.  Each  category consists of:

Bias Only - Formal II Swags

Formal II swag sets can be configured for corners, bays, and bow windows. The style code numbers are for swags manufactured by the bias cut method only.

Upright-Railroaded Formal II Swags

Formal II swag sets can be configured for corners, bays, and bow windows. The style code numbers are used for swags manufactured by the upright or railroad method.

Upright-Railroaded Gathered II Swags

Gathered II swag sets can be configured for corners, bays, and bow windows. The style code numbers are used for swags manufactured by the upright or railroad method.

Upright-Railroaded-Bias Empire Swags Empire swags have a cone shaped decoration or "horn" at the corners and between each swag section which are attached directly to the swag sections. The swag folds are located along the top of the swag.
Upright-Railroaded-Bias Kingston Swags Kingston swags have a cone shaped decoration or "horn" at the corners and between each swag section which are attached directly to the swags. The folds on Kingston style swag are located along the swag sides behind the horns.
Upright-Railroaded-Bias Bell Swags Bell swags have an appearance similar to the Kingston and Empire styles except the cone shaped horns or "bells" are cut and made separately from the swag sections.
Upright-Railroaded-Bias Custom Swags Products This category will include any open swag style which is new, unnamed, or can not be otherwise created through the use of existing components or add on items. Also included here will be open swag re-work labor and pattern or sample making services.

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General Information
  • State on the work order if the open swag is wall to wall mounted
  • Workroom needs the pole and brackets to mount the swags
  • Pole is supplied by designer or customer
  • Returns on open swags are limited by the manufacturer of the pole and return brackets
  • Swag configuration, overlapping pattern, and add-on specification is the designer’s responsibility
  • It is recommended that you send all parts that go to the pole so the workroom can determine the correct
    return size needed.
  • State whether the swag is to be gathered or formal
  • If mounted onto an iron rod Velcro will be used and there could be an up-charge. Check with your workroom

Pricing Options: (Check with your current drapery workroom)
  • Swags are priced per swag or per linear foot. Check with the drapery workroom to find out what pricing method is used.
  • If pricing is per foot, there will be a minimum per foot charge
  • face width + both returns divided by 12, round up = number of linear feet, and is the billable footage
 

Tips When Measuring
  • Plan to mount a minimum of 6" above the window (watch for swag short point)
  • Watch out for the open gap between the pole and the top of the center swag droop. Be sure it will cover the headrail of shades, blinds, draperies, window trim and anything else underneath
  • Allow face width to extend 1½"-2" on each side of the under treatment
  • Allow for the projection of the swag to extend 1½"-2½" to clear the under treatment, and more for working draperies or verticals, as swags have depth and tend to rock backward when hanging
  • Check to be sure the swag short point will cover everything itnecessar. Use a scale drawing if required.
  • To find the finished length for ceiling mounted:
    Take the overall finished length of the window treatment (including under treatments) and divide by 5, then add 2". This will equal your recommended swag finished length. For example: 108 divided by 5 = 21.6 (round up) = 21.75 + 2 = 23.75". This is the recommended finished length of the top treatment.
  • To find the finished length for above the window:
    Take the overall finished length of the window treatment (including under treatments) and divide by 6, then add 2". This will equal your recommended swag finished length. For example: 84 divided by 6 = 16.8 (round up) = 17 + 2 = 19". This is the recommended finished length of the top treatment.
  • The swag long point should cover into the glass 3" to 4", and/or should cover the head rail of any blind or shade which are inside mounted
 

Kirk Axelson

Precision Draperies Education

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