Friday, February 22, 2013

Cotton Binding

   When DWP Carpet Binding started up in 2004, one of the products we offered was cotton binding. Though the volume was low, a handful of jobs requested the product. With several attempts ultimately being failures for multiple reasons, we decided that we wouldn't offer cotton binding anymore. The major component of this decision was that we would waste more material and time than the job was worth. The cotton binding frequently sewed on with wrinkles in the material, which ruined the aesthetics of both the carpet and the binding. Whether we ran a 12 ft. side once or five times, we were only going to get paid for it once. Having less than desirable results, we opted to eliminate cotton binding as an option.

   Well, recently a woman came in with two Stark carpets. She had her mind set on cotton binding. Dan showed her a sample of our cotton serging as an option, but she wasn't a fan for serging. She said she "could have lived with it" if there was nice fringe on both ends. Dan explained to her that with past attempts the cotton binding rarely ever worked out. They also went over the option of the sisal/wide-border binding. She felt that it was too informal for her pieces. She associated the wide binding with outdoor sisal carpets and didn't want to ruin the overall style of her pieces with something which may be presented as informal. What she left with was 3 options:

  1. Have us cut the carpets to size, then ship them to another binding shop that offers cotton binding.
  2. Serge the carpets.
  3. Use sisal/wide-border binding.
She said she would think about it over night and get back to us the following day. It was clear that she was disappointed in hearing that we didn't offer cotton binding. One of Dan's famous lines is, "You can be a part of the problem, or you can be a part of the solution. I prefer to be a part of the solution." So, he started thinking about how to be a part of the solution. He went through some of the extra miscellaneous spare parts we have for our table model binding machines. In doing so, he found a couple of random folders (this is the part where the binding is fed through, prior to being stitched). These folders looked different than ours, which set a light bulb off in his head. Maybe these folders are meant for cotton binding versus polyester binding? 

   Dan put them to the test. He set up one of our table models with one of the folders and began running cotton binding onto scrap carpet. After finagling for a chunk of time, he was finally able to get the right setting so that the cotton binding stitched flawlessly! (Eureka!)

He called the customer and let her know that he was going to attempt to bind her rugs with the cotton binding she chose. There wasn't one problem in the process. The end result? Check out the picture below:
Cotton Binding application
(Of course I remember to take a picture AFTER the carpet is wrapped. Tsk. Tsk.)
  The customer was in today and she was beyond thrilled about the results. She absolutely loved it saying, "How rare that the producer and the buyer of something both end up happy with the result."

  Not only are we happy with the result, but we're ecstatic to offer another product for people's binding needs. We no longer have to worry about wasting material and time, nor worry about whether or not we can get the desired result. Dan often says, "You have to have the right tool for the job." Finding the cotton binding folder for our machine allowed for us to have the right tool for the job ... now and for future cotton binding jobs!

  DWP Carpet Binding is ending its work week on a delightful level. We made a customer happy and solved an ongoing obstacle in the process.

Side story: In the past a customer referred to Dan as "Pad-a-Genius", since his last name is Padegimas. He'll use that nickname from time to time when making phone calls. Well, in this case it's a well deserved nickname. His genius came through to help solve a problem and finish a task at hand.

Thank you to all of our customers!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Textures and Loops:

  For some reason, people are always asking about Berbers. I often wondered if it's because they know the name of the style. Berbers can go a long way in some cases, in other cases they would be a bad choice of carpeting. I do not care for them personally, for a multitude of reasons. One of the main reasons is they don't bind very well; especially not thick ones. What happens with Berber carpet is that the binding tends to form to the shape of the carpet loop. This makes for an illusion that the binding is not sewn straight. Today, we worked on a thick Berber carpet. The binding looked very erratic to me. It didn't seem as if the machine stitched a straight line, even though it did. I don't like when our binding doesn't look good, it gives a bad impression on the consumer. Alas, I will write about it in attempt to dissuade people from thinking it's the binding versus the real culprit- the texture of the carpet.
  Below are a few pictures of a Berber carpet without any binding:

Image 1: Berber  carpet without binding.

Image 2: Berber carpet without binding.

Image 3: Berber carpet without binding.

   In the first image, you can clearly see the variances of carpet loop. The edge has a tiny/discrete loop that turns into a very bulbous prominent loop and so on and so forth. When you bind an edge like that, the binding forms to the carpet (as previously stated) creating an unsightly visual.
   In the second image, you may have noticed all the loose fibers protruding out (no, it isn't a bad hair day). This is what happens when you cut Berber carpet to width. They rarely, if ever, cut well to width. When they are manufactured, Berbers are looped in rows, to the length of the carpet. You can pull just one little loop out and continue pulling that same strand until the whole length of the roll is reached. At which point, you will see the carpet backing.  This is how many people ruin their Berber carpets; a small snag turns into a big loop that's no longer fastened to the back, so they keep pulling at the yarn until there is nothing left to pull (nor any carpet loops left). Which would look like this:
Berber carpet not bound; carpet back shows when loops are pulled completely to length.
    The third image is merely a different angle of the same carpet, again the loops cut to width just fray out. Which is where binding is necessary! When binding these Berber carpets, we use a pair of 12 inch scissor-shears and trim all of those fiber prior to running any binding machines. When the edge is cleaned up from all the snaggly yarns, we can then bind them. However, just as it is to length, the binding will form to the shape of the carpet. 

   So, what am I getting at here?
When purchasing a carpet, it is important to be aware of the texture and what it may or may not do when it is bound. Really thick Berber carpets that are bound rarely have the same crisp look that a cut-pile carpet will have. This only matters if you're a picky consumer. Texture, loop size, pile-height and thickness are all factors that make or break a binding job. That's why you can use the same binding on two different types of carpet and end with two very different outcomes aesthetically. 

  I won't end this with so much negative connotations against Berber carpet. There is some benefit to them. Multi-colored Berbers hide stains well; they are frequently used in apartment complexes for that reason. If they are cared for properly, they can last a long time (don't even think about wearing stiletto spikes and walking on it though). Lastly, they are cost effective, depending on the quality. If you're looking for a quick replacement on a low budget, one of the super stores (Lowe's, Wal-Mart, etc.) will most likely have Berber carpet in stock, already bound and ready to go home with you. Just remember, the texture of the carpet will impact the final aesthetics of the binding! 

DWP Carpet Binding would like to say 
"Thank You" to all of our customers!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Time To Say Good-bye ...

[I will preface this by saying this is not your typical blog entry about business. It is about business creating friendships that will impact your life.]  

 Sad news came to us over this past weekend. One of our customers, better yet, one of Dan's friends passed away. Although there was a bit of forewarning, one can never really know how they will feel until it happens.

   It's 2004 in November. DWP Carpet Binding has just opened up for business, hosting a "Grand Opening" party. Many people are strolling in to see our facility during the evening hours. I was in charge of greeting everyone, introducing myself as I was new to the business and leading them to the hors d'oeuvres. I observe my mother, Bobbie, using her charm to make each one laugh upon their arrival, while Dan is yucking it up with people he has already done business with for years. I take note of the people who look like they legitimately like Dan and vice versa.
   As I'm crossing off a name on the RSVP list, it's then that I meet him. I look up to see an older, yet handsome man with a smile so big, it decreases my need to be shy. I smile back.
     "Hello, I'm Nick Damato. Am I on the list?" he jokes.
     I introduce myself and reply "yes".
     He informs me, "There will be more of my clan."
   There was.  Many of his sales staff came in for the celebration as well. I cross his name off and watch as he makes his way over to Dan. Dan's face lights up. "Come here you no good SOB!" Dan shouted. They shake hands and I hear Dan joke, "Give me a hug, give me a kiss too, brother." (One of Dan's classic lines.)  Their mannerisms continue on like that of old college roommates which tells me these two guys really like each other.

   Throughout the years, Nick's business was one of our biggest accounts. Regardless of any obstacles that occurred, he was always one of the biggest proponents in Dan's corner. Countless phone calls back and forth for business purposes, yet there were also quite a few involving personal matters.  Nick would call us and if I answered he'd say "Hi. Is Rambo there?" At which point I hand the phone to Dan who answers, "Rambo here." The conversations always ended with Dan saying, " [...] That's why I'm Rambo, I go at them until I run out of ammunition, then I affix the bayonet."
   Last Thursday "Rambo" had to make a delivery to Damato's showroom. In an effort to save on gas, he put all of the carpet to be delivered in his Durango as opposed to hooking up his trailer. Along the way, something occurred that has never happened during a delivery. One of the bigger area rugs ended up slipping out on a diagonal with one end dragging on the ground. Dan pulled over to get the carpet back into his SUV. He noticed that the binding would need to be done over again. When he arrives the salesman informs him that they really needed that carpet right away. So, on the following day we repair the binding and Dan fulfills his promise of delivering the piece in time. He also brings with him an Edible Arrangement for Nick, who was not in the showroom, but did have a conversation with Dan over the telephone.
  Later Dan says to me, "You know, it has never happened to me before, but that carpet fell out of my car for a reason. It gave me a chance to do the right thing and I was given the chance to put a little closure on my friend dying. I'm glad that it happened."

   Nick passed away the following Sunday surrounded by his family.

   Dan and Nick have known each other for 25 years. They did business together and in doing so, a friendship was formed. One that was clearly visible to any outsider. When each of Dan's parents passed, Nick sent flower arrangements. When Nick got remarried, Dan was in attendance of the wedding. With that being said, it is difficult not becoming emotional over the loss of a friend. I myself am finding it surreal. One day you're talking carpets and binding, the next you're trying to figure out how to come to terms with sad news.
   So, in honor of Mr. Damato, a loyal customer and valuable friend of Dan, I post the following video via (it is one of Dan's favorite songs and performances).

With heavy hearts, the team of DWP Carpet Binding offers their condolences to the family and friends.