Jennifer Buchanan

Mandi Winkler




Recently, two of our Pioneer Window Works (a Marathon Building Environments division) professionals Jennifer Buchanan and
Mandi Winkler visited Draper Inc. 

Draper is an American owned manufacturing company in Spiceland, Indiana.  Spiceland, Indiana, a  town of about 800 people located 40 miles east of Indianapolis, Indiana.  Draper has been operating in the same location since 1902.

Draper prides itself on high quality American made roller window shades.

Draper’s new focus is to tackle more custom large-scale projects.  They have grown their custom department with engineers, invested in 3-D printing, and are tackling more architecturally integrated sun control options.  Another area they are growing in is exterior building sun control.  With smart motorized solar control options, they are providing exterior grade shades and aluminum horizontal louvers that attach onto the exterior of buildings.  These shades and louvers are programmed to open or close with the weather and sun location, by providing sun control on the exterior of the building this keeps the heat from ever entering a building therefore creating a more energy efficient building.

We asked both Jennifer and Mandi about their experience and below are their responses:

Did you learn anything new in regards to the existing draper products while you were there?

  • Customization (especially brackets) are available.  Brackets is the actual hardware that hold the shades in place during the installation.  Being able to have these brackets custom (both in sizes and colors) is unheard of in their industry,  This is HUGE!
  • Phifer fabrics (one of their major suppliers and they are USA made)  does more than fabrics – aluminum drawn wire (metalizing wire, cold heading wire & food packaging wire), custom color fabrics, indoor and outdoor fabrics, and more
  • Phifer manufacturing has plants all over the world and the product manufactured in that country stays in that country – Again this is HUGE!

Did they share information about new or upcoming products?

  •  Branding ,website updates, NEW website and new products all coming in 2018.

How was this tour different than others?

  • From the last time we went in 2014 they have grown significantly both footprint / square footage of production plant and new products.  Since 2014, Draper has seen a decrease in AV projection screens and an increase in overall roller window shade sales.  They have adjusted their plant footprint accordingly.  They are also a 24/7 shift operation.

Did anything out of the ordinary stand out?

  • We are really kind of excited about the customization, this will help our team work more efficiently when Draper has the staff to engineer and design something customized to fit our needs.
  • Draper is a family owned business and has been since it started in 1902

Draper still hand paint their components

This represents only a small sample of the 1000s of fabrics that they use for their shades

The shade cutter – these can cut 2 shades at the same time

Inspecting the shades for defects