National Drapery Workroom, Inc.

The History

National Drapery Workroom, Inc. has been family run by Virgil and Geneva “Sissy” Ivey for the last 45 years. 

Virgil Ivey left  West Virginia for Washington, D.C.  in 1959, where he found himself working as a Methods Engineer for Litton Industries.  “ A Methods Engineer”, he said, “was a person who finds the best way to do the job.”

During his employment with Litton, Ivey took on many moonlighting jobs with various companies during their busy seasons.  One Christmas he moonlighted for the J.C. Penney Co. as a drapery installer.

Ivey  did the job well and was soon working  for J.C. Penney as manager of the drapery and design department in one of their suburban Maryland stores.  From that position he moved into store management, which provided him the opportunity to learn the various facets of retailing.

Ivey was fascinated by the drapery business and by innovative window treatment. This coupled  with  an offer to go into the business exclusively, led to his opening of a drapery business in Hyattsville, MD.

From his shop, Ivey was supplying draperies for a number of retail outlets in the Washington area.  It was a successful business, but he yearned to be back home in West Virginia.

Ivey made the big move back to his hometown in 1971.   Drawing on his many experiences from methods engineering to retailing, he set up a drapery facility revolutionizing the manufacturing process to make draperies faster and more accurate in size, while maintaining the highest quality.

The company has since completed many outstanding jobs.   One concerns an order from Danneman’s, a suburban Washington D.C. interior design shop. The job was particularly demanding because the fabric was a heavy blue velvet. The dimensions were expansive and the client was the White House Interior Designer.  Few visitors to the Blue Room at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, at the time, realized the draperies were made in Scarbro, WV.

The Future

National Drapery Workroom, Inc. is transitioning to the next  generation with Virgil’s son and daughter-in-law,  Leon and Jennifer Ivey , taking over the family business.  “We are excited to continue the National Drapery traditions of offering impeccable service and quality handcrafted, custom products to our clients, and hope to do so for another 45 years.

Leon has a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design from the Carleton Varney School of Art and Design at the University of Charleston, Charleston, WV.  He has worked in the interior commercial and residential furnishings and design industry for over 20 years.  Leon and Jennifer  also bring their experience of a successful custom closet and installation business to National Drapery.