Direct Fabrics Blog

  • Suspended Ceiling Curtain Track Options

    When faced with an awkward space it is always best to plan your approach for fitting curtain tracks and other hanging elements. A particularly difficult space to fit to is suspended ceilings. Lets go through the various information to try and assist you in your decision in buying a curtain track for your suspended ceiling.

    What is a Suspended Ceiling

    Suspended CeilingA suspended ceiling is a ceiling that has been installed below the standard ceiling for a space. The void created is usually used for services including air conditioning, wiring, plumbing and other elements that are needed usually in commercial sites for quick and easy access. Usually these suspended ceiling are created from a grid system that is made from a metal aluminium frame that is durable and sufficiently strong to hold the tiles plus any additional weighting.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The framework is the crucial part of whether it is possible to suspended additional weight from the tiling sections. 

    Main Suppliers and Manufactuers

    Armstrongs

    Rockfon

    Epifon

    British Gypsom

    A standard weight tolerance for these is 10kg per metre squared.  Remember that when the curtain is pulled along the track it weight will be evenly distributed across the track.

    Direct Fabrics recommendation is to use our cubicle curtain track for a hand drawn option. This is so that you can put the majority of the weight of the curtain on the wall shoes when the curtain is drawn back.

    U Shaped Room DividerAreas to Consider when fixing to a suspended ceiling

    The weight tolerance of the ceiling grid is the main area of risk when fitting to a ceiling grid. The grid must have been installed correctly to enable it to hold the required wait of additional fixtures and fittings.

    First Question that need to be asked. What is the weight capacity per metre squared of the grid?

    Curtain Weight Calculations

    What is the weight of my curtains. This can be calculated by knowing the full length of the curtain and doing some calculations. eg. Curtain width 400cm x Drop 200cm = 8sqm. Then knowing the fabric weight. Eg Venus fabric 280gms plus lining 200gms = 480gms. Then multiple the 2. 8 x 0.48kg = 3.84kg for the curtain.

    In the picture to the left it is not a suspended ceiling but you can see that the curtains are drawn back to the wall where the wall shoes are located this means that the weight is passing through the wall not the ceiling brackets.

     

    Fixing Curtain Tracks to Suspended Ceilings

     

    How to instrall curtain tracks to suspended ceilings

    When fixing to a suspended ceiling there are 2 options to consider.

    Should i fix to a noggin above the ceiling tile?

    or should i fix all the way up to the concrete or solid sealing above?

    It all comes down to the weight that is going to be going through the wall and the ceiling tiles. If the weight of the curtains is our standard cubicle curtains then a standard setup will be fine using the noggin as the curtains have been chosen due to their construction of 220gms curtain fabric.

     

     

     

     

     

    Which Tracks are Compatible with Suspended Ceilings

    The majority of top fix curtain tracks are compatible with suspended ceilings. If there is considerably more weight going through the track it is advisable to use a track that can also be mounted the wall shoes on each end in order to distribute the weight more effectively across the track.

    The curtain track that we recommend is the cubicle curtain track as it can have long expanses without many brackets and takes the majority of its support from each end. The cubicle track can have upto 3m without any central supports at all. It is hand operated and can be purchased here

    https://www.direct-fabrics.co.uk/curtain-tracks/cubicle

     

     

  • School Hall Curtains

    Introduction to the Client

    churchdown-school-logo

    http://www.churchdownschool.com/

     

    Work Requested for School

    The client is a prestigious school. They have decided to upgrade the school hall curtains. Previously fitted was very old vertical blinds and roller blinds to provide a standardised shading solution. However by nature blinds as a solid structure are not very good for acoustics. It was decided to use a flame retardant velvet material that was a tiviera, this meant that it could be washed and continue to be flame retardant.

    The tracking needed to be installed on the high slit windows all the way around the assembly hall of the school.

     

     

    Products Required

    The curtains were manufactured with a robust 3" pencil pleat heading, the curtain tracks installed were a combination of corded tracks that were child safe for the high windows and hand drawn heavy duty tracks for the lower windows.

    Flame Retardant Curtains

    Hand Drawn Curtain Track

    Cord Drawn Curtain Track

     

    Photos from the Project

     

    Conclusion to Project

    The client was extremly happy with the service provided by Direct Fabrics ans now is looking to replace the stage curtains.

  • Marriott Hotel Testimonial - Function Room Wave Curtains

    Introduction to the Client

    Marriott

    Work Requested

    Initially the products requested we flame retardant Roman Blinds in a Creation Baumann fabric that had been specified by the groups architect. However when evaluating the suitability of using full length roman blinds over 350cm, it was decided that they would have issues over time due to the inherent defects caused by using roman blinds. Roman blinds on long length put too much strain on to the stitching. Also having chain mechanisms in a high traffic aread gives the opportunity for misuse. Based on this the decision was made to use a simple tracking system with draw rods and a wave heading option for a clean finish.

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    Products Required

    Flame Retardant Curtains

     Hotel Contract Curtains

    The curtains used were made with a Creation Baumann curtain fabric with a wave heading attached to a heavy dty top fix curtain track

    Photos from the Project

     

     

    Conclusion to Project

    An excellent project to be part of and to come in 50% lower in price

  • Understanding Flame Retardant Standard European EN 13773

    Flame Retardant Standard EN 13773 - European Flame Retardant Standard

     

    Standards Across Europe

    EN 13773 = Class 1,2 or 3 European Standard Textile burning behaviour for curtains and drapes.

    Click this image to buy m1 b1 curtains

    EN13773 Buy Fr Curtains

    What is EN 13773 - 1,2,3 Flame Retardant Standards – European FR Standards for Curtains

    EN13773  is the European flame retardant standard for contract drapery. This is the latest flame retardant standard for drapery and links in with old tests such as BS5867, M1 B1 and other drapery flame retardant tests. It has been introduce

     

    Test standardFlammability classCountry
    DIN 4102B1 ("Brandschacht")Germany
    EN 13501B-s1, d0Europe
    EN 13772 and EN 13773Class 1Europe
    NF P 92-503 to 92-505,
    92-507
    M1France
    BS 5867, 5438Part 2, Type CGreat Britain
    NFPA 701PassedUSA
    Credit to
    http://www.trevira.com/en/textiles-made-from-trevira/home-textiles/flame-retardant-textiles-trevira-cs/fire-safety.html

    By using the EN 13773, this interlinks and unifies the results across Europe for testing purposes for 1 market.

     

    Composition of Fabrics – Flame Retardant Standards Europe

    Understanding which fabrics pass which tests is important as you can have inherently flame retardant fabrics such as Trevira which are polyester fabrics with the flame retardant yarn so they do not need to be treated. This means they can be washed and they will keep their flame retardancy. Some fabrics that are treated will need to be retreated if they are not inherently flame retardant. Therefore a user needs to be mindful that after dry cleaning they may no longer be flame retardant.

     

    Areas Used

    The European flame retardant standards will be required in any commercial environment, a hotel will require EN13773,  M1 B1 standards in Europe and BS5867 in the UK. They are all similar tests but it is required for insurance requirements to ensure that they are certified to avoid any legal risks.

     

    Understanding Different Fabric Flame Retardancy

    Durably Flame Retardant

    Again these fabric have been chemically treated and will be suitable for washing.

    Inherently flame retardant

    An inherently flame retardant fabric is made from a yarn that has the flame retardancy already within the yarn like a Trevira. This means it can be washed multiple times and not loose its flame retardancy.

     

     

  • Recording Studio Acoustic Drapes

    Introduction to the Client

    From the company website " BIG JAM STUDIOS

    Big Jam is a Music, Video, Photography, rehearsal and recording studio  founded by producer Kevin Thorpe in 2012. We are the only studio in Kent to be visited by ITV’s X Factor in 2016, and we’re regularly producing potential hits.

    Big Jam Studios is fast becoming hailed as the most comfortable yet professional recording studio to get big results on your music no matter what genre you perform. Our music rehearsal and recording studio boasts some of the best facilities in the area."

    Work Requested

    To supply black wool serge surround drapes for the studio with a low cost tracking that could be self mounted around bends

    Products Required

    Acousting Black Wool Serge Curtains

    https://www.direct-fabrics.co.uk/fineline-curtain-track-white.html

     

    Photos from the Project

    Big Jam Studios Black Wool

    Testimonial

    Brilliant Curtains and they look great and reduce the sound significantly passing to other spaces in the centre.

    Conclusion to Project

    A successful project using our black wool serge flame retardant fabric. This can be purchased as our client above in a made to measure format, or by the metre see the link here. Black Wool Serge Fabric

  • Village Hall Bifold Door Curtains

    Introduction to the Client

    The client was a community village hall that had been freshly renovated with a modern finish and to complete the work they contacted Direct Fabrics looking for curtains

    Work Requested

    To supply and install 2 large curtain tracks and pencil pleat curtains across the total expanse.

    Products Used

    The curtains were manufactured using our venus flame retardant curtains

    Heavy Duty G5600 curtain track

    Photos from the Project

    Bifold Door Curtains French Door Curtains

    Testimonial

    We couldn't be happier with the service from start to finish. The installation team were excellent and fitted the curtains beautifully. We would recommend them to anyone looking for community hall curtains.

    Conclusion to Project

    A pleasure to work on, the finish to the room was superb and our curtains have left the modern room feeling warm and looking beautiful.

  • Public Health England Blackout Area

    Introduction to the Client

    Public Health England

    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england

    Work Requested

    To create a blackout area with a curtain surrounding a booth for medical testing that would react badly to light.

    Products Required

    A light weight blackout curtain that could be washed and easily maintained. The main element was for the curtain to be black in colour and also have flame retardant properties and be totally blackout.

    Direct Fabrics recommend odyssey blackout material made into a curtain as it is a 3pass flame retardant blackout and very light weight

     

    http://www.direct-fabrics.co.uk/odyssey-fr-curtains.html

    http://www.direct-fabrics.co.uk/made-to-measure-curtain-track.html

    http://www.direct-fabrics.co.uk/contract-curtain-fitting/

     

    Photos from the Project

    Testimonial

    The client was very pleased with the project

    Conclusion to Project

  • Full Guide to Black Wool Serge Fabric

    This article is going to look at black wool serge flame retardant fabric and why it is has been an industry staple for theatres and auditoriums and other locations with stages and function areas. Wool serge fabric is made from sheep’s wool and woven to create a fabric that is very durable, rich and thick which means it is ideal for acoustic curtains for stages.

     

    Continue reading

  • Hotel Woven Curtains Testimonial

    Introduction to the Client

    Dansfield House Hotel

    Work Requested

    1 Large pair of divider curtains for between 1 dinning area and another. The curtains had to match 2 colour schemes so had to be double sided and lined with another fabric for cordinating with the second room.

    Products Required

    Flame Retardant Curtains

     Hotel Contract Curtains

    Photos from the Project

    Testimonial

    Beautifully made curtains delivered ready to hang. Hotel residents love them and always comment on how wonderful they look.

    Conclusion to Project

  • Understanding Flame Retardant Standard M1 B1

    European Flame Retardant Standards

     

    Standards Across Europe

    M1 = French NFP92 503-505 M1

    B1 = German DIN 4102 B1

    EN 13773 = Class 1,2 or 3 European Standard Textile burning behaviour for curtains and drapes.

    BS 5867 = British Standards “Fabrics for curtains and drapes.”
    Click this image to buy m1 b1 curtains

    Click this image to buy m1 b1 curtains

     

    What is M1 B1 Flame Retardant Standards – European FR Standards for Curtains

    M1 B1 is the European flame retardant standard for contract drapery. It is used across Europe so companies are aware that a fabric and in turn the curtain made from that fabric is flame retardant and can be used safely in a commercial environment. Locations that use M1 B1 fire retardant fabrics are; Hotel, Care Homes, Schools, Hospitals and more.

    Depending on which country in Europe there are slightly different standards for flame retardant fabrics. Fire retardant fabrics in France follow the M1 Standard and in Germany follow the B1. Based on this generally if a fabric passes M1 Standard it will pass B1. Although it will need to be checked that it posses the necessary certificates.

     

     

    FR Standards Guide
    Please let us know about your project and download our free guide

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    >

     

    Composition of Fabrics – Flame Retardant Standards Europe

    Understanding which fabrics pass which tests is important as you can have inherently flame retardant fabrics such as Trevira which are polyester fabrics with the flame retardant yarn so they do not need to be treated. This means they can be washed and they will keep their flame retardancy. Some fabrics that are treated will need to be retreated if they are not inherently flame retardant. Therefore a user needs to be mindful that after dry cleaning they may no longer be flame retardant.

     

    Areas Used

    The European flame retardant standards will be required in any commercial environment, a hotel will require M1 B1 standards in Europe and BS5867 in the UK. They are all similar tests but it is required for insurance requirements to ensure that they are certified to avoid any legal risks.

    Most common locations that M1 E

     

    Understanding Different Fabric Flame Retardancy

    Non Durable Flame Retardant  - NOT M1 or B1 Certified.

    These fabrics are coated with a soluble flame retardant, this means that if they are wetted in anyway you should get them retreated to ensure they remain flame retardant, this is usually related to velvets and natural fibres that have

    Durably Flame Retardant

    Again these fabric have been chemically treated and will be suitable for washing.

    Inherently flame retardant

    An inherently flame retardant fabric is made from a yarn that has the flame retardancy already within the yarn like a Trevira. This means it can be washed multiple times and not loose its flame retardancy.

     

    Flame Retardant Tests – Reference - http://www.eurocobusiness.com/resources/European%20Fire%20Standards.pdf

    Germany

    The fabric specimen is suspended vertically and a 20mm high flame is applied for 15 seconds to both the fabric surface and edge. Reference lines are marked on the specimen, which achieves B2 classification if the tip of the flame does not reach the reference marks within 20 seconds on any sample. 5 samples are tested with filter paper being placed below each to determine the production of flaming droplets.

     

    DIN 4102 Parts 15/16 - Brandschacht (B1) Referred to as the "Brandschacht test", this is the main test method in Germany which measures reaction to fire and is considered the highest flammability standard in the country for upholstery fabrics. The term Brandschacht, literally "fire shaft", refers to the testing apparatus itself which consists of a square-shaped vertical housing equipped with a gas burner. Four fabric samples are held vertically in a supporting frame and subjected to flames for 10 minutes. At the same time a constant, uniform flow of air is blown into the Brandschacht from below. In evaluating the test, smoke gas temperature and the mean residual length of the sample are taken into account (residual length is the part of the specimen which has escaped burning). In order to be classified as B1, the tested fabric must show:

    1. A mean residual length of not less than 150mm, with no specimen being burned away completely 2. A mean smoke gas temperature of less than 200oC

     

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