What: Ornamental edging and trims applied to curtains and furniture, often just called "trimmings" today.
History: Passementerie origin is in France, the first known use is in the 18th century. No doubt to adorn lavish homes and people's clothing. There are several different kinds of trimmings that are considered passementerie: gimp, braids, trims, tapes, fringe, tassels, cords, piping, & tie-backs and further descriptions include the materials used: embroidered, beaded, pom-pom, leather, etc. For example you can have leather tassels and leather piping, there are fringe pom-poms, and pom-pom trim.
Use: Some passementerie is purely ornamental and others serve a purpose, such as preventing a cord from unraveling or tying back curtains. Since people are living much simpler today passementerie is used less often and is generally not as fancy as it once was. Simple trim around a lampshade or to frame and finish a wallpaper. A 2" plain braid placed on the leading edge of curtains or a border around pillows. Passementerie can add a small amount of detail that will finish a space. Keep it tone on tone if you're afraid of commitment. You can also add a tassel to your furniture key or tiebacks.
Alessandra Branca used trim around chair seats and on curtains.
Waldo's Designs used curtain tiebacks with tassels in Elizabeth Taylor's living room.
Check out that fringe trim on the sofa and pillows in Ellen Niven's French home.
Timothy Whealon used brown tape trim to frame the roman shades & on pillows.
A greek-key tape trim adds just the right amount of detail to this home featured in Lonny December 2012.
To read the other Design by the Details:
and coming in June: Eglomise!