Damask Pattern

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2014 06:09 PM GMT

Question

I am an Interior Designer in Australia and I have had an upholsterer recover a very expensive French couch in an Italian damask after paying for the job on completion I now realise the damask pattern is upside down, after pointing this out to him he insists he is right and that it could be either way, which the supplier of the fabric vehemently denies, it is the opposite to what he has done, after pointing this out to my client they have stated that it doesnt seem to worry them but acknowlege that the way he has done it is wrong. I can get more of the fabric and enough to rectify this but the upholsterer has refused and he has told the client it is MY fault as I should have stated the way it was to be on the day I left it with him. When I originally saw it I questioned the way it was and he insisted it was right and that he had asked 5 people (NOT ME) and they had all assured him it was the right way up. In Australia the usual proceedure is IF IN DOUBT CONTACT THE CLIENT AND GET CONFIRMATION EITHER VERBALY OR IN WRITING ONCE THE FABRIC IS CUT ALL RESPONSIBILITY IS WITH THE PERSON WHO DID THE CUTTING. I would appreciate your views on this dilema.

Answer

In my opinion there is a long list of "could have and should have here" the way I see it there is shared responsibility.

The fabric house could have and should have placed a label on the fabric with an arrow and the word "up".

As an interior designer you could have and should have told the upholsterer which direction to run the fabric.

And the upholsterer asked 5 people which way the fabric should be run, which indicates that there was a doubt in his mind about that, and asked all the wrong persons - he should have and could have asked you or your client.

So there is shared responsibility - everyone dropped the ball. The party who may have a sofa with the fabric upside down is your client and may not care. Were I in your position I would not want a sofa out there for the next 15 or so years with the fabric, per you, obviously upside down.

Many damask fabrics can be run with either side of the pattern up, there is obviously enough doubt here that 5 people were consulted, the client doesn't care and we now have the upholsterer's opinion pitted against the designers - pride?

Regarding the warning label, in the United States the responsibility is slightly different from Australia in that there is always a warning label stapled on fabric stating that the fabric house is no longer responisble once the fabric has been cut into. So the responsibility for this error from the fabric house perspective is shared by you and your upholsterer (your subcontractor - employee)additionally, your client hired you to represent them and therefore has no issue with your upholsterer but only with you I hope this helps, please don't hesitate to contact me if you need further explanations of my opinion or help in resolving this issue.

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