Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Differentiating Yourself:

DWP Carpet Binding recently received a job that required carpet seaming. Seaming is when two pieces of carpet are fabricated using a seam iron and seam tape to get the desired shape and size.  In this case the overall size that was required was 30 inch by 21 feet.

Steps taken to Seam:

1. Make sure there is enough carpet to get the overall size.
   In the past we have had requests to make a certain size runner from a piece of carpet when there wasn't enough carpet to begin with. It's simple math, however, sometimes people overlook such an obvious factor.
Bottom line, you can't turn a 4 ft. by 6 ft. carpet into a 2 ft. by 24 ft.

2. You must establish the pattern of the carpet, if any.
   It is important to find the pattern repeat size in order to seam a piece properly. It is sloppy work if your pattern does not match up at the seam area. If the pattern is of no concern, then there's no need to worry about what the pattern run is.

3. Decide where to make the seam.
   Upon knowing there is enough carpet and that you can balance the pattern, you must decide where in the pattern a seam will be the most discrete. In most cases, this is a matter of opinion made by the mechanic. However, there are times where a floral icon or stripes are prominent in the pattern, which is something to consider. It is always a great idea to plan where the seam will work best for the carpet.

4. Make the initial cuts.
   After you planned out how your seam will work best, it's time to cut the carpet. There's a little phrase Dan says quite often, "Measure twice, cut once." There's not harm in double or triple checking your work prior to cutting into your pieces, especially if you're working on a very expensive carpet. The worst thing one can do is make a silly mistake because they didn't measure something correctly or they read their measuring tape wrong. If you planned everything out correctly, you should be able to cut your pieces square with very little issue.

5. Latex the sides that you will be seaming.
   ALL SEAMS MUST BE LATEXED! What some people don't realize is if there were a problem with a piece that was seamed, the only way you will be refunded is if the person who fabricated the piece followed the proper procedure. If for instance you had a factory rep. in house checking to see if your carpet was defective, they use a violet light to check if the seam was latexed. If there's no traces of latex, they will not accept any fault ... even if the carpet was in fact defective. So, after your cuts are made, it is pertinent that you latex every side that will be seamed together. Latex helps rubberize the edges, as well as aids in keeping the carpet fibers in place after it is cut and while being seamed. The images below will show you what latex can do!
Glob of dried latex; like a rubber band after it dries.

Same glob of latex. I stepped on it then stretched it up about 3.5 - 4 ft. high!!

6. Now the seam can take place!
   After you have let the latex dry, you can begin to seam your pieces together. This takes place with a seam iron, seam tape and some practice.

7. Double check your work.
    Now that you have seamed your pieces together, it's time to take a step back and admire your masterpiece. Yeah, yeah, it's only a carpet seam, but to some it's a work of art when it's done right! You want to be sure that your seam isn't peaking anywhere. You also want to be sure that there are no voids in between the pieces of carpet.

8. Clean up any loose fibers, strings from the carpet backing and trim any fibers standing taller than others.
     This step is just to make sure that everything checks out aesthetically. The last thing you would want to happen is to have a gorgeous well-fabricated seam that has loose fibers or anything like it announcing where your seam is. It is up to the mechanic who made the seam on how picky to be with this step.

Here are a couple of pictures of the project DWP Carpet Binding recently worked on:

Front Facing (unfinished): The pattern is balanced & the seam nearly invisible!

Front Facing (unfinished): We chose where to cut and seam the piece, then followed the steps to get this.

Although the pictures do not show the finished piece, they do depict the result when following steps 1 - 6.
We did steps 7 & 8 after the piece was cut to size and finished with serging on all four sides.

 Now that I have shared the steps in seaming a carpet, I will explain how DWP Carpet Binding differentiates ourselves from the rest. The biggest factor is, following all of the steps above. In this current project, we had to match up the pattern, determine the best place to cut & seam it, then complete the following steps. While there are 4 inch and 6 inch seam irons, for this job we used the 4 inch. However, what we did something a little bit different. We reinforced the seam with 6 inch scrim tape and hot-glue from a pneumatic glue-gun.
The brown line in the middle is the seam tape. With scrim tape & hot-glue there is a good 2 inches beyond the seam tape.

Close up: seam tape with 6 inch scrim tape & hot-glue.

The reason we opt to do this (and we pretty much do it with every seam project we take on) is the reinforce the seam tape to prevent any peaking taking place. Not only to prevent peaking, it also is an easy way to give the seam longevity. That sucker isn't falling apart any time soon!

There you have it! Seaming 101, including ways to improve your final result.
You won't always have an invisible seam, nor will the carpet choice always be easy to work with, however you must follow the proper procedure. When you give 100% of effort hand-in-hand with trade knowledge there's little-no-chance of failure, in my opinion!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Little Bug Here, A Little Bug There-

This past week DWP was cursed with horrible cases of a vicious stomach bug!

It started when we celebrated a special 5th birthday; my nephew's, Bobbie & Dan's grandson's.
Prior to the little monster turning five, he was hit with a stomach bug. Which got passed to his mother , which got passed to me, which then got passed to Bobbie and Dan simultaneously.

Despite the small obstacle, DWP Carpet Binding's team still popped out a lot of work this week. Let's recap, shall we?

We had a baker's dozen of area rugs that required binding. Another half dozen that required serging. A handful of runners in which only two ends needed attention. A few carpet base jobs, with more on their way in. Plus, on Monday Dan went out to make a repair at a job-site.

As we wrap up the week, (after disinfecting everything twice over) we would like to say THANK YOU to all of our customers who provided us with work and kept us busy! No stomach bug will keep DWP down!
(Well, it put me out of commission for a day, but SuperDan didn't go down without a fight!)

Don't forget to "Spring Ahead" this weekend!!!

Have a great weekend!
-The Team of DWP Carpet Binding