History / Background Information

Boxwood for your curtain

historique-rideaux-perle-buis-1I make to measure bead curtains for your doors and windows.

These decorative curtains can be used as room dividers, wardrobe fronts, for windows and various openings.

In Provençal homes in summertime, these curtains keep away flying insects whilst keeping indoors cool.

Box is a very dense wood with beautiful grain patterns. The oval-shaped Boxwood beads are linked together by galvanised wire hooks (so no rusting!)

This way of weaving a wooden curtain is ancient and has evolved to ensure the curtain will last for a good ten years or more.

The majority of the curtain is in natural Box colour, so the room stays bright whilst being protected from the heat outside.

The natural Boxwood curtain blends in well with many different styles and uses.

I can also produce curtains with coloured motifs, more modern or more 'exotic'. I offer you a wide choice of different styles to match all tastes.

The village of Aiguines was the centre for Box production. Located in the Verdon Canyon (Gorge du Verdon) with masses of Box growing in the vicinity, despite its slow growth rate. (It takes approximately thirty years to grow an 8 to 10cm trunk.)

Nowadays, the Verdon Canyon is a protected area and tree felling is prohibited. So I have to get my Boxwood from the Jura region where there is a huge Boxwood forest.
There are a number of wood turners in the Jura region and working with Boxwood is such a specialised art. In fact, the Jurassians really consider Box apart from all other types of wood.

This beaded curtain production is entirely hand made by craftsmen and women and there are only a few of us producing this work in France.

At the start, the wood is cut and stored for 2 years so it can work alone, it seasons (splits and bends, gets a sheen, all whilst drying). Then it is transformed into beads by passing the branches through different sections of a bead-machine which cuts, pierces, shapes and trims.

Then the beads have to be sorted, one by one, to remove the stained, split or badly pierced ones etc.

To produce beautiful natural Boxwood beads, they have to be polished and varnished very lightly. This is a meticulous task but the results are magnificent. To colour the beads they

have to pass through a succession of solvent dips and colour dips.

Certain colours won't take but I do manage, despite the difficulties, to have a good dozen colours.

These curtains can be fixed inside door frames. In this case before weaving the rows of beads, I drill two or three large holes in the support bar for long fine screws (that I will supply). These screws can fix into wallplugs in the ceiling or into the door frame. The curtain will be flush to the lintel, ceiling or frame. The support must be solid because one of my 1.6metre curtains weighs about 7kgs (15 ½ pounds).

You can also fix the curtain in front of an opening; in this case, you must attach hooks on the wooden curtain support bar yourself and then fix them onto suitably placed rings or pegs in the wall.