If you’re in the process of finding a workroom to sew a custom balloon valance for you, it can be a daunting task. Balloon valances can vary in pricing and options widely, but here’s what to look for if you’re looking for a good quality balloon valance that’s worth the cost of custom.


#1: A generous amount of fabric is used.

True balloon valances require lots of fabric to be used. Usually, this is about double of what the length is. For example, if your balloon valance is 36 inches long, then your sewing workroom should be using 2 yards of fabric. A valance that’s only slightly longer and has a few rings at the bottom is not a real balloon valance and you will probably be disappointed.

This large requirement for fabric isn’t for the length only. Balloon valances also require a lot of fabric for the width to be able to form each of the deep poufs.

For inverted box pleat balloon valances, this means that both the face fabric and the contrast fabric for the pleats require the same amount of fabric. This oftentimes seems incredulous to novice interior designers because very little of the contrasting fabric is visible in the finished product, but that’s what gives the balloon valance its unique volume and weight.


Custom Balloon Valance in Tan

Gathered balloon valance.


Green Silk Balloon Shade

Pleated balloon valance in solid silk with patterned contrasting box pleats in a darker color.


#2. Pleats are created on each side, too.

While this is a matter of preference, we believe that a good quality pleated balloon valance has finished pleats on the side of the window treatment too. This is necessary to continue its weight and volume on the sides.


A balloon valance with pleated sides = good.


White Balloon Valance Bedroom

A balloon valance with only half-pleated sides = not so good.


#3: The pocket on rod pockets is hand-sewn.

If your balloon valance is pleated and mounted on a rod (has a rod pocket), a good drapery workroom will always hands ew the pocket. This makes the top look cleaner and avoids the mess of having to run a sewing needle over several thick layers of fabric.


A handsewn top pocket.


#4: Patterns are continuous or centered.

For pleated balloon valances, a good drapery workroom will always (at their discretion) either give you a continuous or centered fabric pattern placement. Typically, continuous patterns are for random patterns, while the centered placement is for fabrics with medallion designs.


Centered fabric placement – the round red medallion is centered on each section.


Continuous fabric placement.


#5: Bottom folds are neatly stacked.

Unless you’re deliberately trying to achieve a scrunchy and messy look like you would with some silks and stiff fabrics, most balloon valances will fall neatly at the bottom. Depending on the amount of fabric used, you’ll typically have about 4 to 8 folds at the bottom. You’ll of course need to do this once your receive your balloon valance by hand for each fold, but once you do this once, you’ll have a beautiful balloon valance for years to enjoy.


Balloon Valance with Lots of Fabric Volume

A balloon valance with neatly stacked folds at the bottom.


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