Tips and Advice

With all the trimmings – that’s how we want our holiday meals, our weddings, our knock-out fashion, and yes, even our home décor. How bland would those window treatments be without the exquisite tassel tiebacks as the finishing touch? How much do we love embroidered ribbon borders, delicate fringe and intricate beadwork on our throw pillows, upholstery edges and lamp shades?

Those beautiful trimmings that interior designers use to take a piece from plain to head-turning are known as passementerie. French for the art of making elaborate trimmings, passementerie includes braids, cords, embroidery, ribbon, beads, tassels, pompons, ruffles, fringe, and appliqué pieces made from any material in any color imaginable. For centuries each piece was handmade by master artisans who spent years perfecting their craft and only the social elite could afford such finery. Today, the process is industrialized so everyone can surround themselves with passementerie, but designers are no less skilled in their art.

Here are a few examples from some of the best in the business:

This tassel tieback with staggered crystal squares from Haywood Trimmings will catch the light dancing through your windows.


Designer Lori Weitzner uses natural fibers and materials to create luxurious yet environmental conscious embellishments, like these pieces from her collection with Samuel & Sons Passementerie.

Notice how designer Mary McDonald uses appliqué detail trim that picks up patterns from the rest of this space in this exclusive collection she created for Schumacher.

Mary McDonald Schumacher Collection

If you are like me and you just can’t get enough of passementerie, you can see more on my pinterest board. What’s your favorite?

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