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Design details: Braids and trimmings

Passementerie, originating in France in the 16th Century, is the art of making elaborate trimmings or edgings of applied braid, cord, embroidery, silk or beads to clothing or furnishings. The Victorian era featured the largest and most elaborate of these decorative designs where passementerie peaked in its opulence and usage.

Historic design ebbs and flows in popularity – the mid-20th Century saw a marked decline in production of trimmings with the widespread minimalist design trend, however the latter part of the 20th Century has seen passementerie return to favour with interior designers.

Edgings and trimmings elevate furniture design to add contrast and detail to a piece. Using braids, ropes, tassels or fringing accentuates the silhouette of a sofa or chair and adds texture and decorative interest.

In style terms, trimmings add opulence to highlight a traditional, classical design, but can also beautifully complement contemporary furniture when used with modern fabrics and patterns. Contrasting edging in jewel tones can be used to stunning effect for a statement piece; alternatively trimmings, fringing or tassels in a similar colourway to the upholstery will add depth and interest to a crisp, sharp contemporary sofa or chair.