Friday, January 25, 2013

Quality Counts-

   Yesterday, I was working on a couple of oriental runners. The job task was to remove the existing serging and re-serge four sides of each piece. Removing an existing serging is a lengthy process, because you literally have to undo the stitching, by hand. When I started the process, I was pretty appalled at the serging thread that was used to stitch the yarn into place. It was a clear thread, with not too much to it. I could literally just tug at it and it would break. The only attribute that had any value to the thread was that it was clear. Which isn't really a big deal, when you can easily match the thread to the yarn. Comparatively speaking, the gauge of the thread was smaller than any dental floss on the market.  Check out the pictures below:

Serging thread: "theirs" vs. DWP's
Serging thread: "theirs" vs. DWP's
    It may not be a noticeable difference in the first picture, however, I think it's clear to see the difference against the carpet. Our serging thread is at least three times the gauge of the thread used in this job. You would cut your hand trying to rip it apart with our serging thread. The second picture depicts both threads against the carpet, notice the clear one is barely visible against the carpet unless it's all balled up.

   Quality counts. If you're going to pay for a product, it should be something that is durable and will last a while. When I was pulling the serging off, stitched with the clear thread it just kept breaking, making the project longer than necessary. When the thread is durable enough, you can keep it all in one piece while de-stitching. In this case, I had a difficult time with both the thread and the serging yarn, both of which just kept breaking. Again, all this did was make the task at hand a lengthier project.

  This is nothing that is Earth shattering, mind you. However, I think it's a key factor in what makes DWP Carpet Binding different than the rest. We sought out many products upon opening up for business. We're also proud to say that we stand behind our supplier's products because the quality far exceeds many other options. Like any other smart shopper, we gladly pay higher prices for better quality.  As a consumer, you should do the same. If you're going to pay for something, make sure the quality is worth your hard-earned money!

Thank you to those who came to see us for their binding needs this week!

Happy weekend, everybody!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Transform Samples Into An Area Rug!

   Prior to Thanksgiving we had a gentlemen come in looking to have a custom carpet made for his living room. He had previously sent pictures of styles he liked by e-mail. His intentions were to get a carpet that had a patchwork finish, like a quilt. I told him to come in and we can look at some potential pieces to use.  Ultimately he picked out pieces from a pile of samples we had on hand. We spent a good chunk of time placing each piece in an order that he liked.

   Although it would be a lengthy project in time, I thought it would be a simple task. Never underestimate the  work at hand. Each sample piece had serging around the perimeter, which needed to be cut off in order to seam all the pieces together. This later caused a slight issue, because there were seven inches of carpet lost in total. Initially, I figured we could have the customer choose additional pieces of carpet in order to fill in the gaps, however, it was easier to stick with the initial design with the end result being shorter in length by a few inches. With the original lay-out the area rug would have been a 5 ft. by 7 ft. By the end of the project it ended up being 5 ft. by 6 ft. 6 in.

   While the piece was being worked on, there was a lot of talk about it by anybody who happened to be in at the time. One woman thought it was neat and was surprised that we could put so many pieces together to create such an eccentric design. There were a handful of installers who did not like the look of the carpet, but acknowledged the amount of work that would need to be put into it. On the other hand, many installers thought it was different and appreciated it for that alone.

   After many e-mails back and forth and many hours of labor, the piece was finally finished!
"Patch-work Quilt" Custom Carpet; finished off with brown serging yarn.

   The main reason the customer chose to use these pieces was to match the color-blocking paint job of the room. He said the walls were multi-colored and that all of these pieces would help to draw everything together.

   This is a good example of making practical use of sample pieces or even scrap pieces. This particular customer knew what he was looking for, chose the pieces he wanted to use and created the lay-out. DWP Carpet Binding's task was to put it together in a way that made it look its best.

   It is certainly a unique piece you won't find anywhere else. The patterns, textures & different pile height add dimension and character. This is one fine creation, made simply with 18 carpet samples. This is something you should keep in mind, if you're ever in the market for something different than what retail stores will offer.

DWP Carpet Binding would like to say 
 THANK YOU to everybody who has been in to see us for their binding and custom carpet needs!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Power of Lubricant -

   Are you laughing like a school-grade aged child at the potential reference from the title? Good. Then my New Year's resolution of making one person smile or laugh per day is completed! However, this is serious business. I just finished working on a carpet base project of 1300 linear feet. Upon starting the project there were a couple of skips in the stitching. So, I started the regular procedure when this occurs:

  1. Check the threading path of the monofilament and nylon thread. Both were correctly threaded. 
  2. Check the needle. Is it dull? Does it need to be changed? I replaced the needle.
Although it was a brand new needle, there were still skips in the stitching. At this point I'm beginning to get frustrated as well as perplexed. What's the deal here? I thought. Then a light-bulb went on in my head. The machine needs oil!

Lubricating oil is essential for the binding machines. In this case, the machine was well-oiled with the exception of this tiny triangular-shaped felt padding that is a key component to the threading path of the monofilament. Typically, before any project is started we put a few drops of oil onto the felt pad; which I had done upon starting this carpet base. Although, I was in a for a surprise because the felt pad was pretty dry, despite having put a few drops of oil in. I ended up putting in quite a bit of oil/lubricant onto the pad throughout the binding process. I was surprised at how much oil that little felt pad could hold!

In finishing up the project, I learned a valuable lesson- always check to make sure all parts and pieces are properly lubricated before, during and after a binding job. I could have wasted about 10 binding needles, assuming it was the needles (which is a typical issue), not the machine needing lubrication.

As they say, "You learn something new everyday."

In other news: Making the right call:

   Let's talk about patterned carpet for a minute. We recently had a patterned carpet in here that needed to be cut and serged.  It is always important to measure everything out first with patterned carpets, so that you can properly balance the pattern when cutting it. In this instance, Dan had drawn a line on the back of the carpet, which followed the straight-edge. Although it was a straight line, it was very obvious that the pattern of the carpet had been skewed upon the weaving process. At that point, we took pictures to send to our customer to ask how they wanted to proceed. The options were:

  1. Send the carpet back to the mill as defective.
  2. Cut the carpet to be square, regardless of the pattern.
  3. Cut the carpet to the pattern, ending with bowed sides.
  4. Power-stretch the carpet, in hopes to straighten out the pattern.
  At first the customer told Dan, "Use your best judgement." Which just isn't sufficient. Dan's judgement is different than the buyer's judgement as well as their expectations. Dan was adamant that the buyer be informed of the issue and that our customer would instruct us accordingly.
Below you can see two pictures displaying a clear visual of how skewed the pattern of the carpet really was.
Visual showing the pattern skew versus the straight line.

Visual showing the pattern skew versus the straight line.

  As you can see from the pictures, the pattern of the carpet runs off. I believe it went from 1/4 inch - 1 inch total. Typically the mills' instructions will have a 2 inch leeway before calling a carpet defective. Therefore, the first option of returning the product was no longer an option. Ultimately, the customer took the carpet back. Had an installer power-stretch it, stay-nail it into place and let it sit for 1 - 3 days. They also cut the carpet. This was a resolution that worked for this particular carpet. Power-stretching the carpet allowed for the carpet to be pattern balanced AND square. Although this is a good technique, it will not work with every carpet; depending on the backing of the carpet as well as the pattern/design. 

  This is one thing to keep in mind when purchasing patterned carpet. You may have to make the decision on whether to cut the piece square or cut it to the pattern. In some cases, you may have to wait an extra month or two, order a new piece and ship the existing piece back as defective. These are common issues that your sales rep. will help you with, if it should ever arise as an issue. 

There is your carpet binding lessons for the day! 

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has come into DWP Carpet Binding since the start of the New Year! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Welcome to 2013!

Well now, what have we stumbled upon? 
A New Year! 

   As businesses start up their regular hours, while everybody is recovering from their own family traditions and celebrations, we have a slow start to the new year. Which, for me, is just fine. I don't think anybody wants to jump right back into the grind full-force.

  The year 2012 was a good year of learning for us at DWP Carpet Binding. There were many curve balls thrown our way that taught us good lessons for the future. We were able to pick-up more accounts, had more walk-ins and despite the economy looking bleak, we're excited for future business opportunities!

  Since there is not much more to report on the close-out of 2012, I decided to post pictures from the past year of work we have done, for your viewing pleasure!

Custom carpet commissioned for a Christmas present: Last name & jersey number (for a hockey player). 

Carpet seam: "So, where is the seam?!" -the customer
(This was not cut & bound at this point.)

Custom carpet commissioned for a Mother's Day gift (to a mother in Florida).

Custom carpet commissioned for a daughter's room. This was the final result from a repair.
(That dark shadow would be me, trying to get a good picture.)

Custom carpet commissioned for a wedding gift; using the colors of the wedding decor.

Custom shaped stair treads, for a metal spiral stair case.

This was seamed together from two hand-knitted pillow covers to make a throw-rug.

Wide-border/ sisal binding: 1.5 inch exposure; this was a mock up for a customer in NY.

As always, I'd like to say thank you to all of our customers.
We're looking forward to the future endeavors with all of you!

Let's make 2013 a great year in business!