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, similarly 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.

How To Read Jewelry Marks

The number markings on precious gold jewelry are a bit of confusion to lots of people. We are generally used to seeing a karat or silver mark like this: 10K, 14K, 18K, Sterling, etc. The numbers mean the same thing.

For 14k the number is technically 583 but most manufacturers adopted the European way and make 14k gold a tiny bit over 14k, so the mark is 585 in most 14k jewelry. 18K is marked 750. If the mark is valid and there is a makers mark also in the jewelry, the number means these items are 18k gold.

Here is where the numbers come from. Pure gold is called 24 karat. For 18k gold, there are 18 parts of pure gold mixed with other metals to make the metal suitable for use in jewelry. 24k is too soft alone to stand up or to hold stones well. 18 parts pure gold divided by 24, or 18/24 equals 750. That is where the number comes from. The jewelry is 75% pure gold, 750 parts gold with 250 parts other metals out of “1000″ parts. It is easier to think of it as a percent which is pure gold in the recipe.

Sterling silver is marked 925. Sterling is 92.5% pure silver and the rest is other metal, generally copper.

What does it mean if the ring marked 14K PR? The 14K simply means it is 14K (Karat) gold and because of the K means it would have been made in either South East Asia or The United States. The PR marks are just the Maker or Store ID or even a design mark, and have no relevance to the Value.

The basic decimal formula to work out the quality of gold content is quite simple, as they are all measured in ‘Parts per Thousand.’ This means that 9ct gold is calculated like this: 9 (for 9ct) is divided by pure gold (24) and then multiplied by 1000 (for pure gold as a decimal). ie: 9/24*1000=375 That 375 is the decimal quality for 9ct gold and is sometimes shown with a decimal point in front – .375

The old Victorian standard of 15ct gold is calculated the same way – 15/24*1000 = 625 (Not quite the numbers you have on your jewelry. Dental gold is 16ct or 666 recurring. But you can also reverse this formula by starting with the decimal and working back. ie: 375/1000*24 = 9

In your case we can use 698/1000*24 = almost 17ct

I have a platinum engagement ring and found a wedding ring that I really like but the band is made of palladium. Is it safe to wear these two metals together without one damaging the other?

It will wear the softer metal OVER TIME but that could take many years. My Grandmothers wedding ring eventually wore away the band of her engagement ring but it took over 20 years to do.

Platinum and Palladium and quite good together but I would take the advice of your local friendly jeweler and have them check both rings. Sometimes the Platinum may be a lower grade in order to make it harder – so have that checked.

SEO Consulting For Big Brand Companies – 16 Guidelines For SEO Consultants to Beat the Competition

While the basic principles of SEO strategies are the same for most websites, there are certain techniques and strategies on which SEO consultants need to emphasize more when optimizing big brand web sites. An SEO consultant when selecting between different SEO services for big brand websites should apply strict planning and proven strategies that must be tailored to the specific needs of every web site.

1 – Establish your Authority:

Big brand web sites must establish their expertise in the field they are serving. Authority is recognized by both human visitors and search engine spiders by proving that their websites are the source of valuable information in their fields. Big brand websites must contain many pages dedicated primarily to providing useful knowledge to their clients. It can be in the form of a glossary of terms, frequently asked questions or tips and advices to their customers. The content of these pages must be of high quality and perfectly optimized for different keywords.

2 – Create semantic theming and siloing:

It is vital to create semantic branding for big brand websites by rearranging their pages and their internal link structure to represent clear categories that can be easily recognizable by both human visitors and search engine spiders.

An SEO consultant should divide the pages of the website into categories or groups. Each category must contain pages with closely related subjects and keywords. For each category there should be an index page where all the other pages of the same category will link to and the category index page will link back to them. Each category index page must have at least 5 – 10 pages from the same category pointing links to it with different relevant keywords as anchor text for these links.

Each category index page will link to the home page and the home page will link back to this category index page. You can create cross links between pages of the same category, but not between pages of different categories.

This type of internal link arrangement will increase the topical relevancy of every page and improve its search engine rankings.

3 – Review and clean out pages that are off topic:

After establishing the theming structure of the website, review every page and rewrite it removing all information that is not related to the specific topic or category where this page belongs to.

4 – Number of indexed pages and content:

SEO Consultants should match the amount of indexed pages and their content in big brand web sites to the amount of indexed pages and their content in the competitor's websites. If the pages of the competitor's websites have 500 words each, you should not have only 100 words in each of your pages. Your competitor's websites will look more authoritative.

5 – On-page optimization:

Proper on-page optimization will put the most relevant keywords where the search engine spiders go looking. Use long-tailed keywords as frequently as possible in the different pages according to the semantic theming of the website.

6 – Rewrite title tags and description metatags:

Big brand websites with thousands of pages typically have many duplicate title tags and description metatags. Rewrite unique title tag and description metatags for every page using keywords relevant to every page to enforce the new theming design of the whole website.

7 – Improve HTML Code:

Over years and with many configurations and additions, the big brand websites typically accumulate a lot of bad HTML coding. Clean up the code and make all links absolute as this gives the pages more relevancies when visited by search engine spiders.

8. Add footer links:

Using links in the footer of the pages is an effective method to strengthen the anchor text for the main pages and enhance the themic structure of the whole website.

9. Finish on-page optimization before starting off-page optimization:

Do not attempt to do any off page search engine optimization before you finish on-page optimization to a reasonable level. First fix the content and internal linking structure as much as you can. It does not make any sense to get more potential customers or search engine spiders visiting a big website which is completely messed up.

10 – Build high quality back links:

One of the biggest challenges to any SEO consultant is to acquire high quality back links from respectable sites. SEO consultants must avoid buying links that will lose its value over time. They should concentrate most of their energy on getting such links from relevant websites and ask for anchor text relevant to their subjects.

11 – Combine organic SEO campaign with PPC:

Combine organic SEO campaign with different forms of paid advertising like paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion in different search engines.

12 – Implement a fully optimized blog on the web sites:

Big brand websites need at least one blog to engage its customers more in their news and events and to drive more relevant links to the pages of the main website. Many big brand companies have more than 5 well maintained blogs.

Continuously add new content to the blog to increase spider activity which will spread to the whole site. It will also attract a steady stream of readers and potential customers.

13 – Social media marketing (SMM):

An SEO consultant providing SEO services to a big brand company must establish a strong presence of this brand name in different social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. He should also encourage sales and marketing personnel to get involved in the discussions around their brand, products and services.

14 – Reputation management:

SEO Consultants should consistently monitor the brand reputation on the internet to take quick actions so that they can resolve any problems stated by customers in any website. There are different software programs available to enable companies to monitor and track any indication of their brand on the internet.

15. Publish highly optimized press releases:

Big brand companies should regularly publish highly optimized press releases about different activities, events, new products or services. This will emphasize their authority and enhance visibility.

16 – Monitor and track your progress:

SEO consultants must have a set of tools to allow them to monitor and track their progress in the different aspects of their SEO campaign and to detect every possible change in the progress of their search engine optimization planes. Start by establishing a base line to know where you are concerned ranking, link popularity, convergence rates and other metrics.

Creating an aggressive search engine marketing (SEM) campaign for a big brand website with tens of thousands of pages typically needs a meticulous SEO plan that takes all search engine optimization problems into consideration. An SEO consultant should continually interpret and evaluate the results to adjust his strategies accordingly.

The New Wedding Chic – Wedding Favor Designer Trios

Times are changing. Bridal gowns are more colorful, bridesmaid’s dresses don’t have to match, destination weddings are in vogue and wedding favor trios are bursting on the scene. But what exactly is a wedding favor designer trio?

So many weddings are themed: beach weddings, black tie, fairy tale, heart themes, and the list continues forever. Everything in that wedding points to who the bride and groom are and what they love. So many times while consulting on a wedding, the bride would turn to me and say, “But why do I have to do it that way?” I never had an answer for her, because most of what we do at weddings follows tradition. Then who’s to say that tradition can’t be changed.

This exact situation happened just recently. The couple’s theme was “love.” From the ceremony to the honeymoon, they planned it around this word and showed it in every area of the day. Then we came to the final decision; what wedding favors were they going to choose, considering there are so many with their specific theme. That’s when she turned and asked me that question which has changed the way we look at wedding favors.

We went through every favor we had: love coasters, love bottle stoppers, love candles and the list seemed to continue forever. She liked too many of them. Suddenly, I had an idea. Why not mix and match the wedding favor to coordinate with the love theme of the wedding? She was so excited she could hardly contain it. She turned to me and said, “I can do that?”

So happily we chose a trio of wedding favors that coordinated perfectly with each other and with the couple’s theme. That day, for us, the wedding favor designer trio was born. And since that day, wedding after wedding – even the ones I had no part in – have trios of favors gracing the tables of the guests.

I’ve said it many times before and I’ll keep repeating myself; it’s your wedding. You have to be happy with your day. Hopefully it will be the only one you’ll ever have. So break the rules. In this case, overturning that wedding favor tradition is now the chic thing to do!