Monday, October 5, 2015

FAQ: What is Pattern Repeat?

When talking about our jacquard fabrics, we often talk about pattern repeat. But what does that mean?

Thunder and Earthquake jacquard fabric
12.5 inch repeat
roughly 36 inches of fabric showing

The repeat of a fabric (or wallpaper!) is the vertical length before the pattern starts again. We usually measure this in inches.

In the image of the Thunder and Earthquake fabric above, you can see how the pattern repeats fairly frequently. A row of large diamonds above a row of small diamonds, over and over. This is what we call a "small repeat" -- although your definition of small may vary.

Walking Rock jacquard fabric
26 inch repeat
roughly 32 inches of fabric showing

For example, our popular Walking Rock fabric pictured above has a 26 inch pattern repeat. (Comparatively speaking, this is a large repeat.) That means for you to get the entire design of the large cross and areas with triangles/diamonds above and below the cross, you would need at least 26 inches of the fabric.

Why is this information important?

Let's say you're making 20 inch pillows. If where the design falls on your pillows isn't important, you could just buy 20 inches of fabric -- or maybe 21 inches for seam allowance. But if you want every pillow to have a cross in the center, you might need to purchase extra fabric to ensure you get the part of the pattern that you want.

If you chose a fabric with a smaller pattern repeat, you might not need to purchase as much extra fabric in order to get the part of the pattern you want for your project.

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