Differences Between Damask, Brocade, and Jacquard

Often times, uneducated individuals use the terms damask, brocade, and Jacquard interchangeably with one another. It can often confuse those who are unfamiliar with the world of fabrics. Jacquard is a decorative or woven pattern that is created by using a Jacquard attachment on a loom. The attachment resembles the punch card on a piano. It is purported to offer better versatility and fabric control for the operator of the loom. The Jacquard technique can be applied to a variety of fabrics, and it is commonly used on brocade and damask fabrics. It is commonly used in a variety of apparel and home goods, from tablecloths to bedding.

Brocade is defined as a lavishly decorated, shuttle woven fabric. It is primarily woven from silk; although, it is possible to find brocade constructed from a blend of silk and synthetic fibers. Often, it will be embroidered with gold or silver thread. Brocade can trace its origins back to India, where weaving is a traditional art form. It is typically woven on a loom, and it may or may not be woven using the Jacquard technique. It is also characterized by the manner in which the brocaded or broached parts of the fabric hang in loose groups or are clipped away. Although the scenes and patterns on brocade appear to have been embroidered, the scenes are actually woven into the fabric using advanced weaving techniques that involve manipulating the weft and weave of the fabric. The most common types of scenes depicted on brocade fabric are those of floral prints.

Damask, similar to brocade, is a fabric that features woven scenes of floral patterns, intricate geometric designs, or simple scenes of domestic life. It may be woven of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers. However, it is most commonly created from silk. It is primarily different from brocade in the fact that its woven fabric pattern is reversible, while that of brocade is not. Similarly, shorter weft patterns in damask allow for more subtle effects in the fabric to be created as it plays off of shadow and light. Damask weaves also contain a higher thread count than that of brocade. Double damask weaves are the highest quality of damask produced; however, it is also the most expensive.

Shoe Storage – The Shoe Aficionado’s Friend

You may not be in Imelda Marcos's league (in the 1980's, the widow of former Philippine president Fernando Marco was infamous for, among other things, her collection of more than 3,000 shoes), but you're no slouch in the shoe department. You have shoes for everyday wear, for your dancing nights on the town, and for each of your athletic pursuits. Oh, and you just found a great shoe sale, so you'll be adding to your already more-than-adequate shoe supply. Maybe it's time to think about shoe storage.

Stacking your shoes on the closet floor or lining them up under your bed might work, but if you want to be able to find just the right shoe at a moment's notice, a more organized form of shoe storage can do the trick.

With so many types and style of shoe organizers on the market, the only trouble you will have with shoe storage is deciding which one to choose.

Here are a few of your options:

If you want to keep your shoes out where you and others can admire them, consider a standing, rotating, shoe tree to display your collection. You'll find spinning shoe trees in attractive finishes like metallic bronze, and the best come with racks that can be adjusted vertically. Look for a rack with a weighted bottom to keep the stand from tipping over.

If you want the ultimate protection for your shoes, take a look at canvas shoe drawers, where you can hide your shoes away from dust and potential scuffing. You can find shoe drawers either as free-standing or hanging units. With shoe drawers, you gain the added flexibility of being able to store other items, like scarves, socks, or belts.

If saving space is an issue, how about an over-the-door shoe rack? Over-the-door shoe racks come in several styles, everything from a bamboo rack for your flip-flops and sandals to racks with fashionable wood frames and chrome inserts.

With the proper shoe storage , you'll always have room for that perfect new pair!

Traveling With a Toddler – 5 Tips to Keep You Sane!

Traveling can be taxing and difficult on its own, nonetheless, traveling with a toddler. In order to ensure a good, fun, and happy trip, here are a few helpful tips!

1. Bring A Special Bag

My daughter is currently obsessed with Dora and Diego. So in preparation for a recent trip, we purchased a Diego backpack for all of her toys. Not only was my daughter thrilled with the backpack, but she was also able to wear it while traveling, so freeing my hands for something else!

2. Pack Lots of Toys and Drawing Supplies

Being prepared is the key for pleasant travels. You can never have enough books, coloring books, crayons, stickers or toys for a toddler. To make sure that it's really special and new, start buying supplies in advance. That way there is extra excitation and eagerness to read a new book or use new crayons. A great place to find inexpensive and small items is the Dollar Store.

3. Bring the Favorites

A great tip I learned from a season mom is to start putting away favorite toys before a trip and then re-introduce while traveling. Not only are the kids excited to see the toy, but you already know they will happily play with it!

4. Do not Forget The Snacks

Food and drinks are always a necessity while traveling. Juice boxes and goldfish are an essential; however, bringing new items may also work. Try making trail mix and have two bags … one for the trip there and one for the way home. And be prepared, if you are flying, security may seize your opened containers. I found that they allowed my daughter's sippy cup with juice, but that might not be the case at all airports. Bottom line, have a "plan B" in place!

5. Maintaining A Schedule

Although you're on vacation, following your typical schedule and routine can be comforting to a toddler. If your child is use to taking a daily nap, do everything in your power to maintain that schedule. Otherwise, you could be vacationing with a cranky and unpleasant child … which is not relaxing or fun!

Traveling with a toddler can be lots of fun, but be sure to plan ahead. Be prepared and expect the unexpected! If you can roll with the punches, everyone is sure to have a great time!

Web Branding – Make A Name For Yourself

There really are three different levels of marketing significance when it comes to your online business.

There are three different levels of strategy that result in three different sets of results.

1) Advertising – This role is primarily designed to elicit short-term results on a specific campaign or site performance goal.

2) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This role is designed for long-term growth by getting search engines to recognize your site and view you as trustworthy and describing of a high ranking.

3) Web Branding – This role is also designed for long-term growth, but may have more to do with customer confidence in your product and less to do with driving new traffic to your site.

In web branding the idea is to develop a confidence in your product and or service.

Did you know it is possible to develop a strong web brand and find customers returning even if that means paying more with your site?

Why is this true?

If you develop sound web branding strategies a customer will have no problem returning to use your services or buy your product. Customers will pay the extra if for no other reason than they are confident you can and will deliver on your promises. These customers have seen your track record and they are satisfied you will do what you say you will do.

In times past there was greater brand loyalty for house cleaning products, food items, clothing and even vehicles. Branding of most products is becoming harder to do, but it's not impossible.

Web site owners who have taken the time to really understand the core of their business begin to gain a clear picture of how they can take the uniqueness of the business and leverage that special something into a means of branding their company online.

This is important because there are businesses that stop at advertising. Other businesses will add an impressive array of SEO strategies that will eventually get them noticed. While both of these are important strategies the miss the mark in defining the difference between online businesses that sells a product and THE online source for a product or service.

The end goal is to have customers view you as the only reputable seller of whatever product you specialize in.

There are many too many businesses that are content to simply sell a product without ever really making a name for themselves.

Is not it time you started taking steps to make a name for yourself?